Dr Gavin Porter has been awarded UQ Gatton Gold Medal.
Dr Gavin Porter has been awarded UQ Gatton Gold Medal.
11 December 2012

Dr Gavin Porter has been awarded The University of Queensland Gatton Gold Medal for his impact on the horticulture industry and education.

The UQ Gatton Gold Medal is awarded each year to a past student who has made an outstanding contribution in their field.

Dr Porter, who grew up at Gatton, graduated from the Queensland Agricultural College, now known as the UQ Gatton Campus, in 1983 with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Horticultural Technology).

Dr Porter after managing a vegetable property for two years returned to UQ.

For 17 years he lectured and researched at the University and became an industry leader in the field of intellectual property management and commercialisation of new fruit varieties.

During this time he mentored and taught hundreds of students who went on to have successful careers in agriculture and horticulture.

“One of the things I miss the most about my time at UQ is the interaction each day with young, interested and enthusiastic students,” Dr Porter said.

“From my time teaching at Gatton it was abundantly clear the staff and the practical training across all aspects of the programs were preparing students very well to go straight into industry.”

Dr Porter thoroughly enjoys his career and he encourages people to enter the horticulture industry.

“Unfortunately there are not many horticulture programs left in Australia and the horticulture industry needs graduates more than ever before,” Dr Porter said.

“It is a rewarding and diverse career that will open up many opportunities.”

Dr Porter’s commitment to ‘learning something new every day’ is the secret to his successful career.

“Regardless of where you work every day there should be something new to learn that creates excitement and enthusiasm,” he said.

“I am grateful for my time at Gatton as we were taught how to learn.

“We weren’t given everything we need to know in a job, that’s not possible.

“Rather we developed the critical skill of learning how to learn.”

Dr Porter embraced this philosophy and never stopped learning.

While at UQ he was awarded a Doctor in Philosophy (Botany) for his study in Physiological and Biochemical Factors contributing to the Postharvest Characteristics of Peaches.

With the skills Dr Porter gained from his time at UQ Gatton he transitioned into working for industry in 2002.

He took on the role as Company Secretary and Treasurer in the Associated International Group of Nurseries based in Washington State, USA.

After eight years he became the Chief Executive Officer of this organisation.

Dr Porter is also the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Australian Nurserymen’s Fruit Improvement Company and the Chief Executive Officer for Horticulture Fresh Australia.

Today Dr Porter is humbled to be receiving the Gatton Gold Medal considering the caliber of past recipients.

“It is a wonderful award which I will dedicate to my family and my many international and Australian colleagues,” he said.

He will be presented with the medal at the 11am graduation ceremony on Wednesday at UQ Gatton in the Gymnasium (Building 8144).