FOUR business leaders with links to agriculture have been recognised in this year's Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame honours list.
Catherine Harris, Harris Farm Markets; Marie Piccone, Manbulloo Ltd; Mary Retallack, Retallack Viticulture; and Miranda Sharp, Melbourne Farmers Market, were among 17 entrepreneurs who joined join more than 200 women previously inducted into the group which is coordinated by businesswoman mentoring company, HerBusiness.
The list recognises a collective of quiet achievers, high profile industry leaders, emerging entrepreneurs, champions of the community and not-for-profit sectors.
The inductees were announced in time for International Women's Day today.
Hall of Fame inductees need to be: founders or business owners who have demonstrated they are exemplary in their field; making new pathways; mentors amongst mentors of other women; demonstrate inspiring and aspiring business journeys and trailblazers.
A founder and director of Melbourne Farmers Markets, Miranda Sharp, has worked in the Melbourne food industry for 25 years.
Melbourne Farmers Markets is a not-for-profit company with a voluntary board of directors, with seven accredited farmers markets, two of which run every week.
Ms Sharp said she is currently seeking to diversify into a network of services to assist in the growth and sustainability of the local food system.
“Without the farmers, the rest isn’t possible," Ms Sharp said.
Marie Piccone is the managing director of farming company, Manbulloo Ltd which is known for producing and exporting high-quality Kensington Pride, R2E2, and Keitt mangoes to numerous countries.
In 2005, Ms Piccone made the strategic decision to purchase three neglected mango plantations which she turned around to become a top-producing network of farms.
Manbulloo was originally the name of the Northern Territory mango plantation.
Ms Piccone said her mentors provided amazing insights and experiences that gifted her with great guidance and more knowledge.
"When times have been really tough, they have believed in me and the future of the business and have also given me very honest and relevant feedback when I've needed it most," she said.
"They have all variously provided me with mental strength and ‘carried me forward for an hour' when I have been exhausted by the enormity of some of the challenges that I have faced."
Representing the wine and grape-growing industry on the list is Mary Retallack of Retallack Viticulture.
Ms Retallack is a third-generation viticulturist who grew up on a fruit block in the Riverland, South Australia.
Ms Retallack worked in the wine business for decades in a wide range of practical, extension, consultancy and research roles.
She has written numerous technical articles and informational booklets for wine producers, and has presented workshops around Australia and internationally on a diverse range of topics.
Today, Ms Retallack is the viticulturist and managing director of Retallack Viticulture, which offers a broad range of viticultural services throughout Australia.
She is a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide, combining her love of natural resources and the wine sector to study the use of native insectary plants to boost the presence of “good bugs” in the vineyard.
Catherine Harris is the chair of Australia’s largest independent produce retailer, Harris Farm Markets.
Harris Farm Markets was established in 1971 with one small fruit and vegetable shop in the western Sydney suburb of Villawood and has since grown into an operation with a chain of 23 stores across the state of New South Wales and has 2000 employees.
In the 40 years since its founding, the company has remained family owned and operated, still being based in its original home of the Sydney Markets at Flemington.
Catherine is also a director of Tyro Payments, a startup bank, and the Australian Ballet. She has board positions in the Australian School of Business UNSW, the MCA, the Australian Defence Force Academy, the National Gallery of Australia, and the Australian Japan Foundation.
Ms Harris is an officer in the Order of Australia. Some of her awards include the Australian Public Service Medal, the Centenary Medal, and has an Honorary Doctorate in Business from UNSW.
Women are nominated by Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame alumni, industry and business groups and the HerBusiness advisory board.
A selection panel, featuring a mix of women in business, the media and government, is responsible for the selection process and review.
HerBusiness chief executive officer, Suzi Dafnis, said the collective influence that women entrepreneurs have on business in Australia has never been as cohesive and prominent as it is now.
“The women inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame are incredibly inspiring with stories of determination and passion that have set them on paths to success — paths that often have quite a few big bumps along the way," Ms Dafnis said.
“Being a business owner is one of the most rewarding, yet challenging, experiences a woman can have.
"The Hall of Fame shines a light on Australia’s most talented women entrepreneurs and shares their authentic — stories that inspire other women to be bold and confident in business — even when the going gets rough or they lose their mojo. Successful women inspire other women to strive for success."
The 2017 Hall of Fame inductees
- Adina Jacobs, STM Brands
- Bronwen Healy, Hope Foundation
- Catherine Harris, Harris Farm Markets
- Emily McWaters, SOL Group (Gifts Australia)
- Grace Chu, Performics
- Jane Lu, ShowPo
- Jodie Fox, Shoes of Prey
- Kelly Jamieson, Edible Blooms
- Kim Liddell, NDEA
- Leanne Preston, Wild Child
- Liz Courtney, Unboxed Media
- Marie Piccone, Manbulloo
- Mary Retallack, Retallack Viticulture
- Miranda Sharp, Melbourne Farmers Markets
- Roslyn Campbell, Tsuno
- Teresa Cutter, The Healthy Chef
- Samantha Wills, Samantha Wills