The APEN Award for Excellence in Extension is open to APEN members, either individuals or groups, who have demonstrated excellence in extension through a work program completed within the last five years.

Awards are presented in the Open or Experienced and Young Professional (under 35 years of age) categories. In 2009 the Young professional award was renamed the Amabel Fulton Award for Excellence in Extension for a Young Professional in memory of the late Amabel Fulton who was a major contributor to APEN and the development of extension in Australia.

Sponsorship of the Awards has been provided by:
  • Grains Research and Development Corporation - 2003
  • Dairy Australia - 2006
  • Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation – 2007
  • Dairy Australia - 2015

2015 Awards 
2017 Awards
2013 Awards
2011 Awards 
2009 Awards
2009 Awards

The award includes a plaque, travel (within Australia) to the APEN conference, registration, accommodation and the opportunity to give a presentation about the extension work for which the prize has been awarded. (Individual or one person from within a group.) The award is not transferable. 

Past winners

 Year Category Recipient   Extension work
 2017 Open Heather Collins For her experience as a facilitator leading to study into improving the way in which we work with farmers in response to growing community expectations of farming practices and their impact on the environment.

 2015 Open Simon Sankey

Cam Nicholson
For his contribution to extension and in mentoring extension professionals through his work with DairyNZ.

For his contribution to extension design, delivery and governance in the fields of livestock production, cropping and Natural Resource Management.


Young professional


Robbie Commens For his contribution to extension through his work in the Australian Macadamia industry.
 2013 Open Pauline Brightling &
The People in Dairy Core Group Team

For their contribution to extension through Dairy Australia's
The People in Dairy Program.

Erin Sinclair For her effective extension with New Zealand's dairy farmers.

Open David Hickey DEEDI CQ Beef Project

Young professional

Kate Sargeant EverGraze and Feedbased Projects 

Neil Guise and SLIS Team,
Nancye Gannaway, Yolandee Jones
and Heidi Blackburn

For their contribution to extension through the Small Landholder Information Service

Young professional

Lauren Rickards

For her contribution to extension as a
consultant to the BCG, Meat and Livestock
Australia, Grain and Graze Program and
many others.


Mark Paine

Contribution to dairy extension
across Australia and New Zealand

Young professional  Fiona Best

For her work as Extension Coordinator
for the Birchip Cropping Group Inc (BCG)

Open Neale Price Contribution in the roll out of
MLA & VicDPI EDGENetwork
 and to Extension

Young professional Laura Schibrowski

The Effectiveness of the MIA
EnviroWise Approach to
Community Engagement Project

 2003 Open
Fiona Johnson
Practice change

  Young professional

Jess Jennings

Profitable Pastures Project
 2001 Open

Cathy McGowan
and Cheryl Phillips

Women in Dairy project
 2000 Young professional  Kathryn Egerton- Warburton

Woolpro and Bestprac, the
application of Continuous
Improvement and Innovation

 1999   Open

Ian Simpson

Producer network of the 
Sustainable Grazing
Systems project

Conditions of the award

The winner will be required to give a presentation of their work at the APEN Forum or Conference, and to take part in publicity associated with their success.


Nominations will be called six months prior to an APEN Conference or APEN International Conference and will be due in four months prior to the event. Members will be notified through ExtensionNet or APEN’s eBulletin.

Nominations can be received direct from the nominee(s), or from other persons or organisations on behalf of the nominee(s).
Nominations should include a summary of the work addressing the selection criteria, a copy of any written material or reports produced, and the names of two independent referees able to comment upon the work. An electronic version would be preferred.

Selection criteria

  • The use or development of extension principles in the work.
  • Evidence of the effectiveness and efficiency of the work.
  • The applicability of the work in the broader practice of extension.
The APEN Management Committee will judge entries and their decision will be final.

Nominations to be sent to:
APEN Secretariat
PO Box 1239
Ph 61 (0)2 6024 5349