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Australasian Biotechnology (backfiles)
ISSN: 1036-7128
Vol. 10, Num. 4, 2000, pp. 16-18
Untitled Document Australasian Biotechnology, Vol. 10 No. 4, 2000, pp. 16-18


Code Number: au00040

Barbara Arnold Farewelled

Barbara Arnold, our long standing and much-respected ABA Company Secretary, has resigned from the ABA after 12 years of wonderful service to members. Barbara has accepted a new position at Deakin University. She left the ABA’s Gardenvale office in Melbourne on 28 July 2000. A farewell and presentations were made at a dinner with colleagues and Melbourne-based directors on Thursday, 10th August. Barbara was the ABA’s first permanent employee. Barbara is being replaced by Theresa Mongan who started on 21 August. Welcome Theresa.

Election of Directors

Nominations for the position of ABA Director were called in July. Nine Directors are required to be elected. Nominations closed on 18 August. Postal voting will take place, if necessary, during September. Declaration of the poll and names of the successful candidates will be announced at the Annual General Meeting of the ABA, which this year will take place in Melbourne on Wednesday, 18 October 2000.

ABA Website Update (

The informative ABA website has been further updated. The updates were launched in early August. Viewers will notice the completely revised and re-organised links sections. Australian links have been placed in logical sections, which should make location of sites easier for users. New sections on company and research institute websites have been introduced, and act as useful “directories” to supplement the main on-line directory. Further sections of CRC, CSIRO and university websites are planned.

The Memorandum and Articles of the Association have been replaced to incorporate the changes agreed at the recent Extraordinary General Meeting to allow for a new category of membership Institution Membership. The new fee categories are also included. A new membership form is also included.

In the news - Summaries of the CEO Round table sessions held at ABA 2000 in July have been included. Resolutions on the new directions for the ABA are also included.

ABA Executive Director

ABA Directors are currently progressing the business planning, and search and selection of this new full-time position for the ABA. An appointment is expected before the end of this year.

ABA Future Directions

Dr Peter Riddles (IMBcom), an ABA Director, is heading an ABA review on new directions for the ABA, possible future changes in the operation of the ABA, and membership categories. Peter is keen to receive all members’ ideas, which can be sent directly to him. (details follow below).

Strengthening the Role of the ABA in Meeting Corporate Members’ Needs

The needs of corporate members and corporate non-members was discussed at the recent ABA 2000 Conference. The issue was the subject of a forum held on the Monday night (July 3rd). Many of the concerns and issues raised at the forum were subsequently reviewed by interested parties during the week that followed.

The Directors of the ABA obtained feedback either in groups or individually with a wide cross section of ABA’s stakeholders.

The Directors considered the feedback arising from these activities at several meetings.

At a special meeting on Wednesday night (July 5th), Directors met formally to consider and review how the ABA could strengthen the role of the Association in meeting corporate members’ needs, in addition to the needs of all other members of the Association.

This meeting agreed to a number of resolutions which were presented to the conference delegates on Thursday 6th July.

The Directors acknowledge and appreciate the input from the ABA State Branches and the many individuals who have contributed during this process and their commitment to supporting the ABA during the debate.

The following resolutions were passed at the Special Meeting of the ABA Directors on 5th July at the Brisbane Convention Centre:

  1. That a response be made to ABA2000 conference delegates and all ABA members regarding the issues raised at the ABA special forum held on 3rd July, 2000, on strengthening the role of the ABA in meeting corporate members’ needs.
  2. The Directors of the ABA in conjunction with stakeholders will establish a Steering Group to identify means of strengthening the role of the ABA in meeting corporate members’ needs.
  3. The Steering Group will meet preferably before the end of July to review and evaluate: 
    • The mission statement and objectives 
    • The structure and Corporate governance of the Association 
    • The membership structure of the Association 
    • The Association’s role and services

    The Steering Group will develop a consultative process with stakeholders to ensure the needs of all members and stakeholders are met.
    The Directors anticipate that the Steering Group will provide a final report for circulation by 11 October so that the report can be presented and reviewed at a meeting of stakeholders and members prior to the AGM on 18 October, 2000.

  4. It was agreed that Peter Riddles will be the interim Chairman of the Steering Group during its establishment phase.
  5. The Steering Group will comprise representatives from the Corporate sector, the ordinary membership as well as Industry members, Directors, and Biotechnology Australia (DISR). All states and/or branches will be represented. The Steering Group will number approximately 10.

Contact Dr P. Riddles (07) 3365 7130

Annual General Meeting

The AGM will be held in Melbourne on Wednesday, 18 October 2000 at

The venue will be announced on the web site of the ABA.

Martin Playne - ABA’s First Life Member

Martin was the recipient of the ABA’s first Honorary Life Membership at the Conference dinner at ABA 2000 in Brisbane. John Grace, MD of AMRAD Corporation made this special presentation. The award was made “in recognition of many years of outstanding service to the Association, as a Founding Member, Director, Journal Editor and President”.

The award certificate was accompanied by a gift of crystal glasses and champagne. Martin is reportedly very pleased.

ABA Next National Conference

The next national conference is to be held in Sydney, probably in October 2001. The organising chairperson and committee are expected to be announced shortly.

ABA Finance Officer

With the increasing complexity of organisational financial activities brought about by the GST, the new appointment of an Executive Director, and the financial accounting of five stage branches, the ABA Directors are seeking a Finance Officer to assist the Treasurer, and to work with the ABA’s auditors. Any members with suitable skills and interest are invited to contact the ABA secretariat (Tel: (03) 9596 8879) to discuss the position. Some remuneration will be paid for this part-time position.

ABA 2000 Huge Success

Attended by around 500 delegates, supported by good sponsorship, backed by the Queensland and Federal Governments, and ABA’s largest trade exposition ever (48 booths), the ABA’s national conference was a huge success. The conference program was excellent with a strong emphasis on biotech companies, how they are structured and how they structure themselves to succeed. The Brisbane Convention Centre at Southbank was a well-chosen site with a fantastic ballroom which housed the trade exposition, the poster displays and all lunches, happy hours and cocktail functions.

The Conference was chosen by Senator Nick Minchin for the launch of Australia’s National Biotech Strategy (see separate story on page 4). Deloitte’s also launched their 3rd biotechnology index at the Conference. Mr Jim Elder, Deputy Premier of Queensland welcomed delegates to Queensland, announced ‘Biotechnology Month in Queensland’ and espoused the virtues and benefits of Queensland as a location for a new biotechnology ‘silicon valley’. He also explained new Queensland funding for biotechnology. The Conference was opened by Senator Minchin.

A series of breakfast CEO roundtables were held during the week. These are summarised in reports mounted ‘In the News’ on ABA’s website (

Greg Harper and Peter Riddles and their Organising Committee are to be congratulated on running a wonderful conference, which was really good value for all who attended.

Change of contact details

Lyndal Thorburn, ABA Director, can now be contacted at Advance Consulting and Evaluation Pty Ltd (ABN 13 075 223 282) PO Box 629, Queanbeyan NSW 2620 Tel: (02) 6297 2438; Fax: (02) 6297 2203; Mobile: 041 897 2438; Email:

Branch News

Victorian Branch

The newly-formed Victorian Branch of the Australian Biotechnology Association (“ABA”) aims to represent and advance the interests of both Victorian Members of the Australian Biotechnology Association, as well as advancing biotechnology in general in local, national and international territories.

Upcoming activities include:

  • Workshop - Legionella, science, and the media
  • Victorian government perspectives on biotechnology in Victoria
  • “Cocktail party” - ABA members/friends/candidates/etc
  • Access to an evolving data and information network
  • Much, much more in the months to come!!!

The Hon John Brumby, Victorian Treasurer and Minister for State & Regional Development talked on Victorian government policy on biotechnology at a cocktail party for ABA members held in conjunction with the legal firm, Blake, Dawson Waldron in Melbourne on 17 August, attended by about 120 guests.

A symposium is being organised in conjunction with the legal firm, Freehills on Legionella. There will be four technical presentations on different aspects of this public health issue. The mini-conference will take place on the evening of Tuesday 10 October. See our separate advert for this event on page 23. Call the ABA before 26 September to register.

Canberra region branch

The Canberra Region Branch held a successful meeting with the local LES Canberra Branch on 16 June. Dr Kelvin Hopper of Aoris Nova Pty Ltd addressed the Canberra region branches of the Australian Biotechnology Association and the Licensing

Executives Society. Dr Hopper has been advising Sydney-based firm, Enterix Pty Ltd, as it brings a new diagnostic screening service for colon cancer to the Australian market. Enterix, based in Ryde, NSW, was established in 1997 in response to a recognised global opportunity for colorectal cancer screening program. Dr Hopper gave the 30 attendees at the lunch a case study of the market, development and manufacture of the diagnostic kit, and the tracking system and database which underpins the company’s competitive advantage. Milestones of Enterix’s development include:

  • two patents;
  • work with CSIRO on the test development software;
  • proprietary robot for analysing test results;
  • US subsidiary (1999)

Product release occurred in March 2000 in Australia and is planned in the US in 2001. It has worked so far as a virtual company and is relying on external specialist support for manufacture, IP and business advice. Approximately 30 people attended and the presentation was followed by a lively discussion.

The next Canberra Branch function will be in August and will focus on agribusiness.

The Canberra region branch continues to grow with the ACT Chief Minister’s office joining as an Institutional member and we have also welcomed several new individual members in recent months. We now have eight people on the branch committee: Ms Lyndal Thorburn (Chair), Dr David Fayle (Treasurer), Dr Ted Maddess (Secretary), Dr Bob Seamark, Dr Joe Hlubucek, Prof Allan Cripps, Dr Clive Morris and Dr Kattemalavardi Prakash. Anna Manzoney has resigned from the committee as she has left the employ of corporate member AVCARE. We wish Anna well and thank her for her energetic support of the ABA’s Canberra activities.

The next Canberra region function will be a dinner with Dr Val Giddings, Vice President for Food and Agriculture of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Prior to joining BIO he was Senior Staff Geneticist, International Team Leader, and Branch Chief for Science and Policy Coordination with the biotechnology products regulatory division of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of USDA, on 9 August. The dinner is part of a national tour sponsored by the Grain Growers’ Association (formerly Prime Wheat Association). Dr Giddings will be touring regional NSW to meet with farming groups before and after his stay in Canberra.

Lyndal Thorburn, Branch Chair

Grant for Canberra Region Branch

The Canberra Region Branch of the ABA is pleased to announce that it has received a grant of $13,000 from the ACT Chief Minister’s Department. The grant will enable the branch to conduct a series of “CEO roundtables” over the next eighteen months. The Canberra Region Branch of the ABA branch is aiming to generate an informal network among the biotechnology-based firms where firms can learn from each other’s experiences and can be referred to sources of assistance and to form a ready-made network for new entrants in commercial biotechnology.

There are 10 commercial biotechnology firms based in the ACT and a further three in the surrounding region. The local branch submitted a funding proposal to the ACT government in the belief that these firms would benefit from a forum separate to the regular ABA meetings as the subjects are more specialised and the participants will benefit from having the sessions in a small group format. We hope to run these round-tables every two or three months. The meetings will be based around a theme that is determined following consultation with the group itself and which will probably include breakfast or lunch. By limiting these activities to company heads (or their nominees), this will help cement a strong, informal network which will benefit all firms in the long run. The grant will cover organisational costs such as travel and accommodation for external speakers who will, if appropriate, also be asked to speak on a more general topic to a Canberra Region seminar; venue hire; running costs for functions; and some administrative support from the national ABA office. The Canberra Region Branch will provide administrative supervision, will manage overall planning and will chair the meetings.

The ACT government invited local firms to a meeting on 9 August 2000 to discuss the format and timing of the ABA events. For more information contact Mary Nicolson at


The following new members are welcomed to the Association:

  • Dr Phillip Comans
  • Mr Denzil Scrivens Dept of the Premier & Cabinet
  • Mr Stuart Allison Wilson HTM
  • Ms Luisa Ashdown Genetype Pty Ltd
  • Dr Matthijs Smith Parncutt Acton
  • Miss Hyeon-Joo Lee UNSW (Student)
  • Dr Glenn Tong Genset Pacific
  • Miss Mimi Liao UNSW (Student)
  • Mr Bruce Barnard Market Gateways International P/L
  • Dr Jackie Fairley Parncutt Acton
  • Mr Mark Fink Technology Structuring Limited
  • Dr Sylvia Lachberg Agriculture, WA
  • Ms Geraldine Farrell Freehills
  • Mr Philip Heuzenroeder Middletons Moore & Bevins
  • Dr John Bauld
  • Mr Andrew Mackenzie Amrad Pty Ltd
  • Mr Albert Mellick Griffith University (Student)
  • Mr Peter Willcocks Lander & Rogers Lawyers (Corporate)
  • Mr Martin Harris HBH/Optiscan
  • Miss Melinda Smith Kelly Scientific Resources (Corporate)
  • Dr Khay-Lin Teoh Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre, Singapore
  • Dr George Lewkovitz Lewkovitz Group
  • Dr Bin Wang Progen Industries Ltd
  • Dr Jennifer Rosenthal Genetype Pty Ltd
  • Ms Lisa Keam Freehills Technology Services P/L
  • Mr Graeme Browning Ernst & Young (Corporate)
  • Mr Casey Pfluger University of Queensland (Student)
  • Dr Maree Burgess CRC for Food Industry Innovation
  • Mr Rodney Saunders Progen Industries Ltd
  • Ms Senka Margetic Central Qld University (Student)
  • Dr Wayne Millen Epitan Limited
  • Dr Trevor Davies F B Rice & Co
  • Mr George Raitt Anderson Rice Lawyers (Corporate)
  • Mr Michael Ohanessian Vision Instruments Ltd (Corporate)
  • Mr Robert Hetzel Australian Red Cross Blood Service
  • Miss Karen Ho University of Melbourne (Student)
  • Miss Jia Lee University of Melbourne (Student)
  • Ms Angela Shih University of Queensland (Student)
  • Dr Dominic Barnes Johnson & Johnson
  • Ms Sarah Beck Russell Reynolds Associates
  • Mis Selvia Sofyan University of Melbourne (Student)
  • Dr Ross McKinnon University of South Australia
  • Miss Serina Cucuzza University of Melbourne (Student)


Biotechnology in New Zealand - An Overview by Dr Selwyn Yorke, President, New Zealand Biotechnology Association

Owing to its geographical isolation and limited mineral resource, New Zealand developed an economy based on wool, dairy and forestry exports. This was a reasonable historical model for economic development because New Zealand is located in temperate latitudes and has good quality soils for land-based production. Over recent decades, New Zealand has expanded its land-based exports into new horticultural products, like kiwifruit.

A Commentary on Biotechnology in New Zealand - Dr Dr William Rolleston, Chairman, Biotenz

New Zealand exports over NZ$100 million (US$51.2 million) worth of biotechnology based goods and services each year. The industry is diverse and incorporates biological processing of products from plants and animals to research in molecular biology.

First GMO Approvals for New Zealand under New Law

In New Zealand, the development, field testing and release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is now regulated under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. Approvals must be obtained from the Environmental Risk Management Authority and the process may include a public hearing.

Research Institutes and Universities


Crop & Food Research

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research


University of Canterbury

Lincoln University

Massey University

University of Otago

Biotechnology Companies

Agrimm Technologies Limited

AgVaz Development Limited

Forest Research

Genesis Research and Development Corporation Limited

Industrial Research Ltd

New Zealand Pharmaceuticals Ltd

Tasman Extracts Ltd

Directory of Contributors

A list of the research institutes and universities, and biotechnology companies which are being featured and their contacts.


PRESIDENT: Dr Peter Rogers (CUB - Brewtech) Tel: (03) 9342 5449; Fax: (03) 9347 9240

VICE PRESIDENTS: Dr David Tribe (University of Melbourne) Tel: (03) 9344 5703; Fax: (03) 9347 1540

DIRECTORS: Dr Anne Campbell (CRC Association) Tel: (02) 6279 8835; Fax: (02) 6279 8836

Mr Gary Cox (Wray & Associates) Tel: (08) 9325 6122; Fax: (08) 9325 2883

Dr Shirley Lanning Tel: (03) 9690 0219; Fax: (03) 9690 0219

Dr Peter Riddles (Institute for Molecular BioSciences) Tel: (07) 3346 2507; Fax: (07) 3346 2509

Dr Peter Rogers (CUB - Brewtech) Tel: (03) 9342 5449; Fax: (03) 9347 9240

Ms Lyndal Thorburn (Advance Consulting & Evaluation) Tel: (02) 6297 2438; Fax: (02) 6297 2203

Dr David Tribe (University of Melbourne) Tel: (03) 9344 5703; Fax: (03) 9347 1540

Dr Neil Willetts Tel: (02) 9416 5537; Fax: (02) 9416 5537

Dr Elane Zelcer (Thrombogenix Pty Ltd) Tel: (03) 9827 6427; Fax: (03) 9824 0054

SECRETARY: Ms Theresa Mongan Tel: (03 ) 9596 8879; Fax: (03) 9596 8874

TREASURER: Mr Steven Clarke Tel: (03) 9596 8879; Fax: (03) 9596 8874


GENETIC RELEASE: Dr Sue Meek (WA Dept of Commerce & Trade) Tel: (08) 9327 5637; Fax: (08) 9327 5542

PUBLICATIONS: Dr Martin Playne (Melbourne Biotechnology) Tel: (03) 9598 9818; Fax: (03) 9521 9925 email:

W.A. BRANCH: Dr Michael Borowitzka (Murdoch University) Tel: (08) 9360 2333; Fax: (08) 9310 3505

QLD BRANCH: Dr Peter Riddles Tel: (07) 3346 2507; Fax: (07) 3346 2509

NSW BRANCH: Dr Neil Willetts Tel & Fax: (02) 9416 5537

VIC BRANCH: Dr David Tribe Tel: (03) 9344 5703; Fax: (03) 9347 1540

ACT BRANCH: Ms Lyndal Thorburn Tel: (02) 6297 2438; Fax: (02) 6297 2203

Copyright 2000 - Australiasian Biotechnology

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