WA broadcaster is GRDC Seed of Light winner

29 Feb, 2012 08:02 AM
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GRDC western panel chairman Peter Roberts, left, GRDC western region Seed of Light award winner Owen Grieve and GRDC chairman Keith Perrett.
GRDC western panel chairman Peter Roberts, left, GRDC western region Seed of Light award winner Owen Grieve and GRDC chairman Keith Perrett.

LONG serving ABC Rural Radio journalist Owen Grieve has been awarded the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) western region Seed of Light award.

The presentation of the award was made at Perth’s Agribusiness Crop Updates, which are supported by the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) and GRDC and coordinated by the Grains Industry Association of Western Australia (GIWA).

Making the presentation, GRDC western panel chairman Peter Roberts said Mr Grieve was a deserving winner of the Seed of Light award which is presented annually to someone who makes a significant contribution to communicating the outcomes of research.

“Listeners and those interviewed by Owen appreciate his relaxed but well structured approach, and his wealth of agricultural knowledge,” he said.

“Owen’s extensive experience and old-school style are also a great strength within the WA ABC Rural team - he is their ‘go-to’ man for agricultural knowledge and helping to find the people and background for a story.”

Mr Roberts said that Mr Grieve was first and foremost an agriculturalist, having started his working life as a jackaroo and farm manager in WA before attending Marcus Oldham College in Geelong, graduating in 1972 with honours in farm management and rural economics.

“After working briefly for CSIRO, Owen joined the ABC Rural department in 1972 and, like many of his peers, came to his job with knowledge of and empathy for agriculture, learning journalism on the job,” he said.

“Owen remained with the ABC for 12 years, working from country locations and then Perth, eventually becoming presenter and producer of the WA Country Hour.

“He was also the weather presenter on the ABC television nightly news.”

Mr Grieve had a break from his radio career when he and his family moved to WA’s Great Southern region in 1984, working as a hotelier at the Nyabing Inn before buying a small property at Mourambine east of Pingelly and a hardware and rural supplies business in town.

During this time, Mr Grieve maintained close connections with agricultural organisations, in particular the Kondinin Group, assisting with two of the organisation’s research and development programs.

“ABC Rural wisely enticed Owen back into the fold in 1996 and he has been the Great Southern rural reporter for the past 16 years,” Mr Roberts said.

“A career highlight for Owen was being part of the ABC Country Hour’s 60 year celebrations in 2005, which included an outside broadcast in Hyden with his daughter Jane, who was the WA Country Hour presenter at the time.

“It was the first and only father-daughter Country Hour broadcast in the ABC’s history.”

During the presentation of the GRDC Seed of Light award Mr Roberts acknowledged the role played by the wider rural media in raising awareness of research outcomes.

“The GRDC recognises that the rural media is a most important collaborator in the whole grains research industry in helping to drive productivity, improvements and farming systems change,” he said.

Previous GRDC western region Seed of Light winners include Geoff Fosbery, Stephen Powles, Bill Bowden, Peter Newman, Peter Mangano, Bill Crabtree, Cameron Weeks, Peter Nelson, Ros Jettner, Vanessa Stewart, Rob Loughman and Fran Hoyle.

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