Recent Medal Recipients

J I Scarr Gold Medal

The 2019 Jack Scarr Gold Medal for Outstanding Service to the DIAA is awarded to

Peter began his career in the South Australian dairy industry in the late 1970s, as a trainee accountant with the Southern Farmers Co-operative, which later became Farmers Union Foods, and then National Foods. Peter worked his way through the ranks to become an integral part of the management team that developed the iconic Farmers Union Iced Coffee and ‘Fruche,’ both of which still enjoy a loyal consumer following.

In 2005, Peter joined Golden North ice-cream as a finance and administration manager. In October 2009, he became the company’s part-owner and today he is its managing director.

Peter has been actively involved with the DIAA’s South Australian branch since 1999, serving as treasurer since 2001. A quiet achiever, Peter never hesitates to help with any project or sub-committee and always looks for ways to give back to the dairy industry.

Peter Adamo is a truly worthy recipient of the Jack Scarr Gold Medal.

John Bryant Gold Medal

The John Bryant Gold Medal rewards outstanding service to the dairy industry. The 2019 recipient was NEIL WILLMAN.

Neil has been a specialist cheese competition judge, in Australia and internationally, for the past 22 years, including the World Championship Cheese Contest in the US and the British Cheese Awards. He is also head judge at DIAA’s Australian Dairy Product Competition, whose winners we are celebrating tonight.

Neil’s other important contribution to the DIAA is his term as National President in 1996.

For more than 30 years, Neil trained aspiring cheesemakers at the Gilbert Chandler College in Werribee, and undoubtedly many of Neil’s former students are in this room tonight. Neil now operates a cheese advisory and consultancy business, as well as being principal and director of the New Zealand Cheese School.

Neil has written numerous training manuals for the Australian and New Zealand cheese industries. He also published a book for home cheesemakers, which has sold more than 20,000 copies.

For the past three years, Neil has been working on a project to assist cheesemakers in poor regions of Peru to improve their quality and methods.

Neil’s contribution to the dairy industry in Australia and internationally makes him a worthy recipient of the DIAA John Bryant Gold Medal.


The 2018 Loftus-Hills Award of Merit for a significant contribution to the
development and uptake of science and new technology has been awarded to

Heather has had a distinguished career in the dairy industry, first as a microbiologist
with the Department of Primary Industries, and then as a senior research
microbiologist with the Australian Food Science Centre and the CSIRO.

Over the past 38 years, Heather’s research has focused on solving process hygiene
issues for the dairy industry with outcomes of improved microbial safety, shelf life
and specification compliance for dairy products. She has published 45 articles
in peer-review journals, contributed to seven book chapters, written 18 industry
articles and taken part in more than 60 conferences as a presenter or contributor.

She is currently an honorary fellow with the CSIRO, a position she has held since 2014.