Recognised plant biosecurity champion at Australia Day Awards

30 January 2019

(Issued by Department of Agriculture)

​Assistant Secretary of Plant Import Operations, Lois Ransom, has been awarded a Public Service Medal in recognition of her outstanding public service through the strengthening of Australia’s plant biosecurity system.

Acting Head of Biosecurity, Dr Marion Healy, said Mrs Ransom has devoted her career of over 30 years to strengthening Australia’s plant biosecurity system across State and Federal levels of Government, as well as internationally.

“Australia has a favourable plant health status, being free from many of the damaging plant pests that occur in other countries and this is thanks to the significant work of the department pre-border, border and post border,” Dr Healy said.

“Mrs Ransom’s work has contributed to a substantial legacy of strengthening Australia’s systems for effectively managing the risk that exotic plant pests and diseases pose to our plant based industries, the environment, and communities.

“For the last two years she has chaired of the Commission of Phytosanitary Measures—the governing body of the International Plant Protection Convention—in recognition of her expertise in plant biosecurity, leadership and foresight.”

“In her chairing role, Mrs Ransom oversaw the development of the first International Year of Plant Health (IYPH), to be held in 2020, recognising the importance of global cooperation to keep plants healthy and free of pests and diseases.

“Australia will be playing a key part in the IYPH to highlight the importance of recognising that plant health is vital for food security, trade, the economy and environment.

“Mrs Ransom has played a leading role in driving national coordination of plant biosecurity activities, resulting in the development of a number of national biosecurity strategies,” Dr Healy said.

“This includes the National Plant Biosecurity Strategy, the National Fruit Fly Strategy, the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Strategy, and the National Plant Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy.

“I was also delighted to see that more than 70 per cent of this year’s Public Service Medals were awarded to women. The number of women receiving an honour has increased from a long term average of around 30 per cent to 37.4 per cent in 2019.

“I congratulate Mrs Ransom on her Public Service Medal and thank her for the significant contribution she has provided to the department and Australia’s Biosecurity System.”

For more information visit Australia’s Plant Biosecurity.

For more information visit the International Year of Plant Health.