Food for the Future director Dr Susan Nelle and locally produced basket of food 21 Jul 2000.
SUSAN V. NELLE
Food industry leader
Born: July 6, 1942, Aurora, Illinois US
Died: December 17, 2016, Portland, Oregon
THE moment Dr Susan Nelle arrived in Australia she knew it was where she belonged.
She came to Australia in 1989 after working as a consultant in strategic planning and change management, mostly in the US healthcare sector. She had managed to complete her PhD in educational psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1975, while raising a family. Here, she continued her work as a consultant to boards and senior management teams.
In 1999, while undertaking a consulting assignment in Adelaide, she applied for and was appointed to a five-year term as executive director of Food for the Future. Based within the Department of Primary Industries and Resources SA, the group was later renamed Food South Australia.
Susan brought with her a dynamic management style and created a paradigm shift for industry development.
Central to the program’s success was the Premier’s Food Council which, chaired by the premier, actively engaged the participation of senior managers from both large and small food companies and agencies across SA.
She used the expertise of leading food companies to partner with government in order to develop strategies to drive growth in SA’s food industry. She convened industry-wide strategic planning workshops involving more than 100 participants to obtain their input on the opportunities and challenges they faced.
She regularly travelled to rural areas such as the Barossa Valley to engage, inspire, and give voice to emerging regional food groups and artisan producers.
She introduced the Premier’s Food Awards in 1999 to recognise and foster excellence throughout the industry.
She was instrumental in establishing The Food Export Centre in the premises of Business SA. That brought together government staff from Food SA, along with representatives from food industry organisations such as Food Adelaide, Flavour SA, and the Canberra-based National Food Industry Strategy (NFIS). Until then, an inclusive and participatory approach between industry and government had been rare.
Susan created a team within PIRSA that included people with private sector experience in export, small business development, financial and IT services. Her approach threatened traditional thinking and the rigid structures within government and industry and it took her force of personality to drive through changes.
Increasingly, Susan’s leadership and achievements were recognised nationally. In 2001 she won Gourmet Traveller magazine’s Jaguar Award for Innovation in Food and, in 2002, was a finalist in the South Australian Telstra Business Woman of the Year.
At the end of her contract here Susan became managing director of the Canberra-based NFIS.
Susan applied the lessons she had learned in SA at the national level.
She showcased Australian food products in supermarket chains in Singapore, the UK, Hong Kong and Bangalore and in the five-star hotel food service sector in Dubai. She was able to build international consumer awareness and demand and set up supply chains for Australian food companies in new and emerging markets.
That was followed in 2006 by time as a senior research fellow at the Hobart-based Australian Innovation Centre.
Susan took sabbatical in the US, chasing her private passion for the stage by taking formal training in theatre with the Portland Actors Conservatory.
But she soon returned to Adelaide, the place she felt she most belonged. In 2014, she became a senior research fellow at the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Global Food Resources. She revelled in lecturing, coaching and mentoring international masters’ students as well as undertaking new research projects.
Unfortunately, shortly after her return to Australia, Susan was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. But, in her trademark style, she continued to live life to the fullest.
In addition to lecturing, she was cast in The Peach Season, a University of Adelaide Theatre Guild production, and regularly competed in dragon boat races with a team from Dragons Abreast Australia. She returned to Portland in September to be with her family.
The Centre for Global Food Resources is planning to establish a Susan V. Nelle scholarship in recognition of her work.
A celebration of Susan’s life will be held in Adelaide at 5pm on Monday, May 8. Anyone wishing to attend should contact Craig Johns at the University of Adelaide on email at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
MAVIS (MAY) JACKSON OAM
Born: October 30, 1924; Freeling
Died: February 18, 2017; Adelaide
MAY Jackson was a proud advocate for women’s issues, the arts and the Riverland. Her proudest achievements included receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia and serving as mayoress of Loxton.
She grew up in Freeling as the eighth of nine children to Francis, a railway worker, and Ellen Meaney. She met her late husband, Peter, while working as a telephonist in Adelaide. They married in 1948 and moved to a Lucindale soldier settler block.
In 1963 they bought Peter’s father Bill Jackson’s property, Banrock Station, in Kingston-on-Murray. The property had many kilometres of frontage on to the River Murray, but since the installation of a downstream lock in 1923, much of its shore line had been flooded and degraded.
However, higher water levels made irrigation possible and Peter and May were among the first people to plant wine grapes in the Riverland — planting chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1960s.
In 1972, May developed breast cancer and they sold Banrock. The property came into the hands of BRL Hardy, now Accolade, and its wetlands have been restored, while the property has become a major Riverland wine producer.
Peter and May moved to Loxton. May, while recovering from her own breast cancer, had become very aware that women’s health resources were scarce.
She became active as a counsellor with Breast Cancer Australia and travelled all around the Riverland talking to women waiting and undergoing surgery.
She was there when help was needed throughout their lives.
She also became involved with the Loxton Arts Council, the Riverland Cultural Trust, Chaffey Theatre, the Loxton Ladies Probus Club, Loxton High School and the Loxton Hospital Board, among other organisations.
While May assisted all the local community and arts organisations, Peter became a Loxton councillor, and rose to the position of Mayor of Loxton. It meant that May became Loxton’s last mayoress. They were in office from 1977 to 1994, were followed by a lady mayor, Jan Cass, before Loxton merged with Waikerie to form the District Council of Loxton Waikerie.
May was named Riverland citizen of the year in 1986 and Loxton citizen of the year in 2001, but her biggest thrill was being awarded an OAM in 1988.
She wore the award as much as possible and became publicity officer for the Order of Australia Association after moving to Adelaide in 2001.
She is survived by four of her five children, Anne, Bill, Jennie and Louise, 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Born: May 27, 1940; New York City
Died: April 21, 2017; Los Angeles
SANDY Gallin, an agent and talent manager who guided the careers of such luminaries as Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Cher and Nicole Kidman, as well as being a TV, movie and Broadway producer, has died in Los Angeles. He was 76.
Gallin died after a long battle with multiple myeloma, according to close friend Bruce Bozzi. “We lost a shining light this morning,” Bozzi wrote on Instagram in tribute.
Gallin began his career work in the mailroom of the GAC talent agency, according to a bio on his official website, becoming an agent within three years. Among his early clients were Joni Mitchell, Phyllis Diller and Laura Nyro. “During that time, he also revealed his gift for recognising new talent and signed then-unknown Richard Pryor, Joan Rivers, Tiny Tim and Cass Elliot,” Gallin’s bio reads
Other Gallin clients included Neil Diamond, Joan Rivers, Mariah Carey, Whoopi Goldberg, Renée Zellweger, Lily Tomlin, Martin Lawrence, Paul Lynde and Howie Mandell.
He helped produce such films as 1991’s Father of the Bride and 1994’s I.Q. starring Tim Robbins, as well as the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. He earned a Primetime Emmy Award in 1980 for producing The Miracle Worker, starring Melissa Gilbert.
He also managed Michael Jackson after the pop star was accused of molestation and guided Milli Vanilli when the performers were stripped of their Grammy Award after it was discovered they had not sung on their hit album.
On Broadway, Gallin produced the 2002 Tony Award-nominated revival of Man of La Mancha, starring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and a revival of Hedda Gabler with Kate Burton.