14th – 2003 Western Australia

10th to 15th August – Burswood Convention Centre, Perth

congress_14th_1In 2003 the IFMA Congress came to Australia for the first time, to the beautiful city of Perth, and the magnificent setting of the Burswood Convention Centre and Hotel.

The Theme – “Farming at the Edge” was particularly appropriate at this time, not just to Australia, but also to many, if not most parts of the world.

The organisers chose an excellent set of speakers to back up their programme, and they are congratulated on an excellent and most enjoyable week of technical programmes, tours and social events.

The 14th Congress had all the customary elements including plenary, symposia and contributed paper sessions, a choice of farm trips on two of the five congress days, as well as two pre and two post congress tours. To see a summary, and the full report, of an evaluation survey of delegates carried out at the congress – where more than 90% of respondents were well/highly satisfied – Click here

Below you can gain a small insight into the Congress, the Field Trips, the Social Programme and the Pre and Post Congress tours.

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The Burswood Convention Centre, where the week long Congress was held, with its grand views over the Swan River and the City of Perth. Truly a magnificent venue with excellent conference facilities.

Field Trips – held on 2 days with 6 options for delegates to choose from.

Day one – Dairy, Wool Processing, Viticulture, Beef & Awassi Fat Tailed Sheep, Broad Acre Cropping, Meat Processing & Marketing,

Day two – Wood Production, Pig Production, Aquaculture, Salinity & Stability, Horticulture & Floriculture, Grain Handling/Processing/Export and Marketing.

Just a few examples:

Viticulture

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 Wool Processing, Grain (storage and handling)

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Horticulture (strawberries and navel oranges – Westralian Fruits)

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and Floriculture (Geraldton Wax wild flowers, ready for stem treatment and dipping)

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Social Events – Sandelford Winery – wine tour and square dancing + koala bear

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Congress Banquet – The Wesfarmers Landmark Congress Dinner

Great entertainment, great food, great company and great dancing!

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Accompanied Persons Programme

Spread over three days, a most interesting and varied programme was arranged for those accompanying the delegates to the Congress. This included visits to the Flying Doctor Service, Pearl Fishing and Jewelers, Swan Valley wineries with several tastings of wine as well as olive oil, a gallery showcasing Australian woods and art works, a fashion show of Australian designed clothing, the Perth Mint, as well as the inevitable shops and other visits alongside the beautiful Swan River. Photographs? – Sorry they were all too busy supping the fine wines and eating the delicious food!!

Pre and Post Congress Tours

Pre- North Western Australia Tour – Northern Territories and the Kimberley’s – Jumping crocodiles, aboriginal art (lightning man – ladies beware!), flood irrigation metering system

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Ord river Crossing 2 Danes and a Scot looking for crocodiles!, mango and banana plantations

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Pre- South Western Australia Tour – Perth, Albany, Pemberton & Margaret River Wool, wheat, wood and wine – oh, and veal and fish too!

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Post- East Coast Australian Tour – Sydney to Brisbane via Blue Mountains, Orange, Dubbo, Narrabri, Moree, the Darling Downs and Toowoomba. Cotton seed, lupins and wool production.

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Post- South Australian Tour – Desert Farming and Living. (No photos available unfortunately). Starting and finishing in Adelaide and lasting 6 days this tour visited Port Augusta, Andamooka, Lake Eyre, Coward Springs, Marree, Iga Warta and Blinman and covered the driest region in Australia. It involved sheep and cattle pastoralism, Aboriginal culture and food, bush foods, desert camping, opal mining, arid land biodiversity, a flight over Lake Eyre and driving over the Flinders Ranges.

From all accounts this was a fascinating and illuminating tour, and thoroughly enjoyed by a small but stoic group of Congress delegates. After the tour one respectable middle-aged lady was heard to say, “It was great – I’ve never laughed so much in all my life”. Intriguing!