Award for an Aussie Champ

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Award for an Aussie Champ


Ann FlemingOur October Award for AwF Woman of the Month is announced on the day an FAO Round Table Meeting entitled ‘Shaping an International Network for Women in the Seafood Industry’ is taking place in Vigo, Spain.

AwF congratulates Dr Ann Fleming for her selection as our October Woman of the Month.

Ann was the Manager of the Aquaculture Unit, within the Fisheries Group of the NT Government for over six years. In this role she managed the Unit’s activities to actively encourage and facilitate the development of the aquaculture industry in the Territory. A significant part of her work involved leading the R&D programs and daily operational activities of the Darwin Aquaculture Centre, including research and development projects, commercial production of juvenile stocks, farm extension service, and collaborative projects with Industry, Indigenous clients and partner research providers.

Dr Fleming took a keen interest in supporting Indigenous livelihoods through sea-based aquaculture and this  has led to a suite of collaborative research projects between the Aquaculture Unit and a range of partner research institutes and funding bodies. These  collaborative research networks have helped the Aquaculture Unit identify culturally-aligned ways of farming edible tropical oysters, trepang and giant fluted clams as well as culturally-integrated business management approaches that focus on community development through clan-based farming enterprises.

During her past six years Ann has developed and led all of the groups Indigenous Economic Development projects and programs. Through this work Ann has contributed significantly to government policy and scientific literature. However more importantly she has contributed to the lives of the community members with which she works.

This is a remote and challenging environment to work within but Ann has always applied a strong significance in Indigenous cultures and a deep understanding of cultural perspective to her work. Although aquaculture is her passion she possess “big picture” thinking that allows her to collaborate and work across programs and disciplines. As an example, Ann was instrumental in developing and securing funding for the Women’s Healthy Tucker Program; which aims to supply locally collected seafood products to young and elderly members of the Warruwi Community on South Goulburn Island. This program is built around 20 indigenous women and sees them engage in all facets of the roles required including undergoing coxswains training, engaging in the Yagbani Fisheries Traineeship and enrolled within University studying Certificate II in Seafood and regularly employed by the NTG as research assistants.

Ann, an epitome as a role model to all aspiring women scientists, has earnt respect as a principal of her team of women and men within the Aquaculture Unit of the NTG and always encourages personal development in her growing staff of women and much of this is due to her passion, in a culturally appropriate way, to achieve long lasting sustainable outcomes for the communities within which she works. Ann has experienced what it takes to be a leading woman – not only within aquaculture, but also with state government and being a change-agent.

Whilst we heartily applaud Ann we will have more to report from FAO Round Table Meeting as one of the AwF Women’s Networks keenest supporters, Marie Christine Monfort, has a leading role. In her FAO role Marie Christine advises that this is only the start of the consultation process. FAO have listed the major networks they are aware of and intend to be in contact with a questionnaire/survey to understand the needs/requirements of such organisations. AwF looks forward to engaging and in highlighting more of the champion women that we have in the growing aquaculture sector.

If you would like to nominate a woman to be the next Woman of the Month, please check the Criteria and complete the Nomination Form.