ANNUAL DROUGHTMASTER AWARDS4 Oct 2023
Over the past six decades, a number of people have made a lasting impact upon the Droughtmaster breed and the Droughtmaster Society. To celebrate our 60th anniversary, and to honour those who have made significant contributions, two perpetual awards were initiated this year. These awards will be presented annually in recognition of exceptional leadership and contribution to the Droughtmaster breed.
The Neil Donaldson Memorial Award has been named in honour of former CEO Neil Donaldson. For over 20 years, Neil dedicated half of his working life to building the Droughtmaster Society and promoting the breed to become highly respected in the beef cattle industry.
The Droughtmaster Stud Breeders’ Society Presidents’ Award honours the important role of the Society President and acknowledges the contribution that every Past President has made within the operation of the Droughtmaster Society.
In selecting recipients for each award, Society members are invited to nominate fellow members whom they feel have made an outstanding contribution in promoting the Droughtmaster breed.
Neil Donaldson Memorial Award
Jenny Underwood, Eversleigh & Wallace Vale Droughtmasters, has been named as the well-deserving recipient of the inaugural Neil Donaldson Memorial Award, which recognises outstanding leadership and contribution to the Droughtmaster breed. The award was presented to Jenny at the recent Roma Droughtmaster Bull Sale by President Todd Heyman, who said “Jenny is passionate about the Droughtmaster breed. It was this passion, combined with her exemplary communication skills, her innate capacity to capture amazing photographic images, and her social media skills, that led her to the voluntary role of Droughtmaster Australia Facebook administrator.
The Droughtmaster Australia Facebook page commenced in 2012 and Jenny has been a driving force behind it for 10 consecutive years. For most of this past decade, Jenny was the administrator and her commitment to the Facebook page was resolute.
Jenny regularly attends Droughtmaster sales and events and is rarely without a camera in hand. She has captured countless images of members and of Droughtmaster cattle and as such, has contributed to the recording of our breed history during the past decade plus, and brought joy to many of our members that are often unable to capture memorable images of themselves with their cattle.
Many of Jenny’s photographs have been used in Droughtmaster promotional material. Jenny’s attendance at Droughtmaster events, the photos that she records, and stories that she compiles, bring members together.
Jenny’s enduring commitment to the promotion of our breed, and the support of our members through social media and other mediums, continues today and for this, she is worthy of our gratitude, and our recognition.”
President’s Award – Warren Woz Giffin
By Todd Heyman, President.
I am pleased to announce that Mr Giffin, Warren Woz Giffin, is a recipient of the 2022 President’s Award, in recognition of outstanding leadership and contribution to the Droughtmaster breed.
Warren Giffin has been teaching at Tully SHS for 32 years. 30 years ago, he was instrumental in starting the school’s foundation herd of Droughtmaster cattle with Tully State High School becoming Droughtmaster Stud #710. The school now has a well-established and recognised stud herd which also forms a large part of the school curriculum for the students.
Warren Giffin lives and breathes Droughtmaster cattle, and he will espouse the breed’s virtues to anyone who will stand still and listen to him! Many of the students with whom he has worked over the last 30 years are not from a cattle background. Warren knows that the temperament of the breed is perfectly suited to his students which is important for those new to handling livestock. Many of Mr Giffin’s students have gone on to excel in the local, State and National Showrings.
He has generously dedicated his life to promoting the breed and introducing generations of students to all that Droughtmasters have to offer. He plans to retire at the end of 2024. Up until that day he is continually striving to improve the genetics of the stud herd to ensure that he leaves a legacy for the students who will continue to run the stud.
President’s Award – Graham Brown and Melanie Brown
By Todd Heyman, President.
On behalf of the Droughtmaster Stud Breeders’ Society, I am pleased to announce that Graham and Mel Brown of All Star, RSVP and Sylvan Springs Droughtmasters are recipients of a 2022 President’s Award.
Melanie and Graham are fervent community-minded people, and this includes the Droughtmaster community. They are fiercely committed to promoting the Droughtmaster breed, supporting and mentoring fellow Droughtmaster breeders, and facilitating the education and development of our youth.
In 2014, they were instrumental in establishing the Bunya Sales in Southern Queensland. The Bunya Sales involve two Society endorsed, non-invitational, multi-vendor sales that are held annually at the Coolabunia Sales Complex at Kingaroy. The Bunya Bull Sale and the Cream of the Crop Female Sale have grown substantially and are now recognised as premier Droughtmaster sales.
From an industry achievement perspective, Graham is one of an elite group of people who has won the Australian Young Judges competition. He is highly regarded and highly respected in the industry and has officiated at countless Agricultural and Royal Shows across Australia.
Both Graham and Melanie selflessly give their time and share their knowledge and skill with many Droughtmaster members. While Graham and Melanie are deserving of being nominated for this award as individuals based on the work each does for the breed, the work they do as a team is definitely their strength and worthy of recognition as a couple by the Droughtmaster Society.
60th Anniversary Award – Sharon Harms, Oakmore Droughtmaster Stud
By Todd Heyman, President
At the commencement of 2022, our 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Year, the Society set out an ambitious schedule of events that demanded a great deal of our staff and volunteers.
The year included recognition of the breed’s past, present and future at events across the country.
Over the course of these events, one member in particular has been able to provide the Society with their valuable time with respect to input and expertise on the Society’s history.
On behalf of the Droughtmaster Stud Breeders’ Society, I am pleased to announce that the 60th Anniversary Award recipient is Sharon Harms, Oakmore Droughtmaster Stud.
Sharon was instrumental in assisting our former CEO Neil Donaldson during the course of our 50th anniversary, so it should come as no surprise that she was available once again to provide editorial input, expertise, knowledge and advice over the course of our 60th anniversary year.
Sharon is a humble, unassuming and “no nonsense” hard worker, who has provided a huge amount of input into the Society’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Year, was on the committee for this year’s Toogoolawah Feature Event, whilst also successfully leading the Roma Droughtmaster Sale Committee and being one of the main organisers of the Droughtmaster display at Farmfest. Sharon has been an invaluable source of knowledge for the Society’s 60th Special Edition Droughtmaster Magazine and history video.
Sharon’s commitment to the history and people of our breed continues today and for this, she is worthy of our gratitude, and our recognition.