Analytical Science news

15 July 2019

Augusta van Wijk receives award for exemplary services at the NZIFST annual conference

Cawthron Institute’s Analytical Science Business Development Manager Augusta van Wijk  has been honoured by her peers at the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST) annual conference.

The conference theme ‘Good Food’, referenced the quadrable bottom line concept of food that is good for the community, planet, people, and business. The busy line up of presentations and workshops spanned three days from the 2nd – 4th of July and was supported by The New Zealand Food Safety Science & Research Centre (NZFSSRC) symposium on the 1st of July.

“There were a number of standout presentations that captured the essence of this year’s conference, including a powerful ‘letter from the future’ presented by NZX Head of Analytics, Julia Jones,” said Ms van Wijk. “The letter addressed the need for industry innovation, to be brave in the face of change and collaborative as we seek to position New Zealand as a producer of high-value food ingredients and products”.

“Here at Cawthron, we have the science and connections to support industry as they work towards this future of high-value exports.”

Letter from the future by Julia Jones (NZX)

Augusta van Wijk attended the conference with other Cawthron delegates, including Donato Romanazzi who presented as part of the Where is the Gold? Good for business, Good for the planet session.

At the conference dinner, Augusta received the Ron Hooker Award for Exemplary Services, an award which recognises significant past or current service or contribution to the NZIFST.. This is a wonderful acknowledgement of Augusta's commitment to the field of food science and her leadership, organisational, and networking skills.

The citation with the award  recognised Augusta’s substantial contributions to the Institute at the branch level, in national-level governance, and through organising annual conferences.

NZIFST citation excerpt: 

Augusta joined the Institute in 2007 and soon showed exceptional leadership as Branch Chair, revitalising the Nelson branch of NZIFST and showing great determination and people skills.

Her crowning achievement was that, after a 20-year gap, Nelson once again hosted an outstandingly successful NZIFST annual conference, in 2017. As Chair of the organising committee she worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the conference, with much of this work outside her normal work hours. 

Augusta also made substantial contributions to the organising committees for the 2014 Christchurch, 2018 Hamilton and now the 2019 Christchurch conferences. NZIFST says these conferences have benefited from focused, cohesive sessions she created from her extensive contacts, organisational skills and leadership.   

In her acceptance speech, Augusta acknowledged the NZIFST for their inclusivity and thanked the Cawthron Institute and others who have supported her journey in the food science industry.

“Through my involvement with the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology, I have enjoyed working with industry and making connections outside of my own organisation.

“A personal highlight was organising the 2017 NZIFST conference in Nelson. Hosting the annual conference at the top of the south enabled local businesses to access the event and provided an opportunity to showcase all that our innovative region has to offer.

“I strongly recommend anyone with an interest in the food industry get involved with the NZIFST. It’s a great way to meet people and the organisation is cross-sector, occupying a unique space in the New Zealand food science landscape,” said Ms van Wijk.