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Member Profile: Meet Dr Sally Bound

This week we profile CPSU Member Dr Sally Bound, Senior Research Fellow at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA). Sally was recently awarded the Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) Excellence Award for 2018 in recognition of her commitment and contribution to the industry.  

She discovered that she’d received the Excellence Award at an industry breakfast recently, saying the award came as a surprise and made for a “good start to the day!”

 Sally has co-authored three books, and authored several book chapters, production guides and industry articles as well as countless scientific publications. Her work helps growers in our state and across Australia, providing technical information and advice to orchardists and industry groups as well as delivering workshops, training courses and seminars.

We congratulate Sally on her award, you can read more about Sally and her work below.

Sally’s work: helping Tasmanian and interstate growers

Being the Apple Isle,  Tasmanians know the importance of agriculture, especially fruit, to our state. And that’s where Sally’s area of expertise lies.

“I work on orchard tree crops, apples, pears, cherries and stone fruits,”  Sally explains.  “Over  the years I’ve predominantly worked on apples and pears – looking at crop load management and the impacts on yields and fruit quality.”

Sally works directly with industry, both in our state and others, to improve and maintain the quality of their fruit crops.  

“My work is about trying to help growers ensure they get good crops every year. A lot of tree crops are what we call biennial bearing, where they crop heavily one year and lightly the next, which doesn’t give them consistent cropping. 

“The initial aim of the work I was involved in was to get consistent cropping every year, while maintaining fruit quality. There’s no point producing a good yield if the quality is not there.”

While most of this work used to happen at Grove Research Station, these days it takes place on commercial properties. “We coordinate and work directly with growers, which is fantastic.”

Starting from the grassroots

Sally’s research has evolved over the years. “I focus mainly on fruit quality issues now – and different orchard management factors that can affect quality.”

Her work in the industry began back in 1980, working for the State Government’s Department of Agriculture.  “I started off as a Technical Assistant looking after the glasshouses and propagation work at the New Town Research Labs. Then I worked my way up to Technical Officer, which is where I started on this work. My mentor was Keith Jones, who was an incredible mentor.

“I then worked my way up to Research Officer, then when TIA (a joint venture between the State Government and the University of Tasmania) was established, I moved across to TIA.”

Most of her work over the years has been with apples and pears and other tree fruits. “Over the last 10 years I’ve also done a fair bit with cherries and a little bit with apricots. The apricot industry isn’t that big here in Tassie but cherries are certainly expanding.”

What does a typical day for Sally look like?

Sally said there simply isn’t one.  “It’s just so varied, which makes the job so interesting. I could be out in the field either setting up trials, putting treatments on or collecting data. I could be in the lab doing fruit assessment measurements or sitting at my desk analysing data or writing grant applications or reports.”

Outside work

Away from crop load management, trials and lab work, Sally has a keen interest and involvement in Taekwondo.  “I took it up after just after my kids started. I was just sitting there and watching them and I thought “why don’t I join in?” so I did. As part of that I referee as well – that takes up a lot of my time.”

On unions

Sally is a long time union member. “I’ve always been a believer in unions. My view is that everyone should be a member. We wouldn’t have all the working conditions we have today without unions.”

Advice to people starting out in the industry

“Just go for it – don’t give up.  If you’ve got a dream, just keep working towards it and you’ll get there eventually.”

Congratulations to Sally on her recent award achieved by many years of work.

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