We are sad to announce that after decades of working with and advocating for the Western Australian agricultural industry and its landholders, Graham McAlpine is retiring.
Starting with us in 2014, he has held several roles and leaves us as Principal Regional Agricultural Landcare Facilitator and Food Future Program Manager. We have all benefited from Graham’s lifetime of invaluable knowledge, good humour and genuine willingness to assist.
After his early career as carpenter was hindered by injury, Graham entered the agricultural industry in 1980 – his first role was walking orchards with the Department of Agriculture, looking for fruit fly.
He went on to work on other quarantine, biosecurity and pest incursion issues; fresh produce production and post-harvest management; supporting growers in navigating domestic, national and international trade regulations; the development of food safety; environmental management, and supply chain systems.
Before joining Perth NRM, Graham worked a total of 20 years at the Department of Agriculture, along with roles at Fruit West, Curtin University and in private consultancy. He has also been a Board Director of Freshcare since 2016, which he will continue after retirement.
For four years in the early 2000s with Syngenta Asia Pacific, Graham took his skills to South Korea, Thailand, China and Indonesia. Here he worked to bring the local fresh produce industry up-to-speed on international food safety requirements and system management. He was in his element, working with motivated people, helping them improve their market access capability and quality of life.
It was not the first time others have benefited from Graham’s passion and genuinely helpful personality (and we’re sure it will not be the last). In 2020, Graham was immortalised in the ecological world when a new spider species was named after him, as a ‘thank you’ for the guidance and mentorship he had provided to the discovering scientist, Mark Castalanelli.
But his proudest achievement remains his family – his supportive wife of 45 years, Jenny; children, Ben and Amanda; and their families with two beautiful granddaughters – whom he is looking forward to spending more time with.
His garden will also now benefit from his attention – especially the overgrown veggie patch which he is (unsurprisingly) making plans to wrangle into a productive plot. With his expertise, we have no doubt it will be bountiful!
Graham – we are sure we speak for the entire agricultural industry when we say thank you for everything you have done during your career. It has been an invaluable contribution, and you’ve made a real difference.
Happy retirement Graham – we will miss you!