The 2023 Australian Biosecurity Forum was held on Wednesday 5 April and livestreamed around Australia.

Facilitated by renowned media figure Richard Morecroft, this year’s key speakers included Andrew Metcalfe, Australia’s Director of Biosecurity, Stuart Anderson, Deputy Director-General Biosecurity New Zealand and Dr Gabrielle Vivian-Smith, Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer.

Four sessions and more than 30 experts shared their knowledge and discussed the challenges, opportunities and innovative approaches for protecting Australia’s biosecurity system.

There were four key themes:

  • Stronger partnerships and a shared biosecurity culture.
  • New opportunities and challenges.
  • Natural pathways and invasive species.
  • Integration supported by technology, research and data.

In-person delegates then checked out some of the products on display at the Innovation Showcase – from SPOT the robotic dog to smart glasses.

The event also included the launch of Commonwealth Biosecurity 2030 which outlines the priority actions to be undertaken to further strengthen Australia’s risk-based biosecurity system.

The plan highlights the need to respond to increased threats, risks and demands to ensure we protect our agriculture, environment, people and economy from harmful pests and diseases.

Australian Biosecurity Awards winners for 2023 were also announced. Winners include primary producers who implement sound biosecurity practices on-farm, academics who instil a passion for biosecurity among students, and industry partners who develop tools and plans to manage emergency pest and disease outbreaks.

The winners were:

  • Dr David Banks Biosecurity Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr Darryl Hardie
  • Dr Kim Ritman Award for Science and Innovation: Dr Richard Bradhurst
  • Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year: Price Cattle Company
  • Industry: Dr Kylie Hewson and Trevor Ranford
  • Environmental Biosecurity: Bob Makinson
  • Government: The Department of Primary Industries and Regions, South Australia
  • Community: Victorian Community Pest Management Groups
  • Education: Emerita Professor Eileen Scott and Dr James Camac and CEBRA, School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne

Read about all the winners here. A recording of the 2023 Australian Biosecurity Forum will be available soon here.

SPOT the robotic dog was one of the Innovation Showcase tech items on show at the 2023 Australian Biosecurity Forum.