As Group Director, Plant Systems Alison leads a team of over 200 staff working in crop and horticulture research and development across the state. This portfolio covers R&D in the broadacre cereal and pulse industries, rice and cotton as well as temperate (citrus, nuts, olives, stone and pome fruit) and subtropical horticulture (bananas, blueberries) as well as winegrapes. The R&D teams undertake applied, field based R&D across the state as well as R&D in post-harvest issues and product quality.
Alison started with NSW DPI* as a Research Agronomist at Walgett in 1989. She then worked at Grafton and Trangie before moving the role of Research Leader, Southern Farming Systems at Wagga in 2003. She became Centre Director of the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute in 2004 and stayed in both roles until moving to Orange as Director, Productivity and Food Security Research in 2009. She became the Group Director for Plant Systems in 2012. She was also a Program Leader in the Future Farm Industries CRC for three years.
Alison has also worked internationally throughout her career, leading projects in Eritrea, East Africa (2005-2011) for the Federal Department of Agriculture, East Timor (2008-2010) for the World Bank as well as New Caledonia and currently in Papua New Guinea.
*NSW Department of Primary Industries was formed on July 1, 2004 through an amalgamation of NSW Agriculture, NSW Fisheries, State Forests of NSW and the NSW Department of Mineral Resources.