Our Known Firsts

1962 – Plant Nursery Mechanised Harvesting

Articulated engineering design for the first mechanical harvesting of fruit trees in the Whole Sale Plant Nursery, Nobelius Nurseries.

1967 – Farm Water Storage Design

Identified need for improved design criteria and regulations governing small to medium on-farm water storages.

1968 – Australian Plant and Animal Conservation Values

Identified that many of Australia’s native fauna and flora were in need of conservation and protection and that native species could be commercially grown to facilitate this.

1968 – Recyclying Initiatives

Introduction of household refuse sorting into component types for disposal ; (1) organic matter, (2)paper and plastics and (3) tins and bottles.

1970 – Stock-crate Removal from Flatbed Lorry

Developed circular or elliptical ‘legs’ with increasing radii as mechanical method to lift and secure heavy steel stock-crate onto and from a flatbed truck.

1970 – Aboriginal Culture

Identified that the aboriginal community chose not to share their way of life including cultural and indigenous stories because elders and leaders would not do so unless you were initiated to.  Such practices meant that vast knowledge and resources were being lost and if this community did not change its attitudes could be completely lost within a generation or two as very few individuals were now being initiated into tradition lifestyles.

1975 – First Court Appearance

Magistrate Court appearance in regard to motor vehicle accident.

1975 – Mouthwash

Combined two traditional remedies in the form of salt and vinegar to gargle when you have a sore throat; one spoon and 3-4 teaspoons vinegar dissolved in a glass of warm water.

1976 – Aeronautical Engineering

Concept development of wingtip projections to minimise wind turbulence in the application of chemicals by Agricultural aircraft.  This concept has now been adopted across all aircraft to minimise turbulence and improve handling, fuel economy and ‘drag’.

1976 – Qualitative Analysis

Advocated use of qualitative analysis in the form of 5-10 group classifications where quantitative analysis was either too difficult or not a realistic alternative.

1977 – Plan A, B and C

Outlined principle of having several hypothetical plans to deal with specific issues so that a number of scenarios are thought about prior to commencement of task ; Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and Plan D so that if previous plans are not appropriate or fail another could be adopted quickly.

1978 – Farm Economics

Description of an Economic Unit in relation to farm size and productive capacity of different farming operations and how these could be tracked over time to provide a rate of change measurement.

1978 – Livestock Prices

Predicted higher livestock and meat prices in the longer term as larger proportions of the worlds population requires better quality protein and can afford to purchase this product.

1979 – Farm Machinery

Described and designed grader-board equipment for seedbed formation in broad-scale farming operations.

1981 – Have a Good Day!

Started using term in preference to using similar American term; ‘have a nice day’ as believed this was more in-line with Australian values.

1982 – Bank Managers

Identified that Bank Managers were no longer trusted friends and places for advice, but were only glorified salesmen seeking to ‘place’ dodgy loans.

1982 – Surveying Projects

Undertook the first of three farm surveying projects in Irrigation farm layout, water drainage and storage at “Belmore”, Moulamein.  The first of which was to survey and layout about 130 acres of new and existing contour irrigation areas into dual purpose Boarder Check and Contour irrigation layout with contained drainage and water supply.

1982 – Rebuilding of Registered Levee Banks

Suggested that registered levee bank on Northern side of Niemur River (South Western Riverina) should be renovated and rebuilt as this structure had been neglected for 50+ years.

1983 – Agronomic Characteristices to Maximise Rice Yields

Identification of key criteria to maximise rice yield; plants per square metre, tillers per plant, grain per panicle.

1983 – Stock-routes and the Long Paddock

Suggested featuring a stock route with wayside stops and information points as a tourist attraction for the south western Riverina in NSW and that this should be known as the ‘Long Paddock’.

1983 – Mentoring of International Exchange Students

Supervised and mentored visiting International Exchange Students.

1983 – Feral Species and the Environment

Suggested that most environmental and habitat damage was done by domesticated and feral species in conjunction with naturally occurring climate conditions such as prolonged drought.

1984 – Land Forming in Relation to Whole Farm Planning

Experimented and trialled stockpiling and topsoiling of heavily ‘cut’ areas during land forming development.  Identified that it was preferably to have 250mm to 300mm of topsoil on deep cracking soil types and that there was no substitute for topsoiling heavily cut areas to maintain productivity.

1984 – Deep Ripping to Improve Yields

Deep Ripping cropping land will improve yields dramatically as this breaks compaction layers caused by machinery over 100 years allowing plant access to moisture and nutrients.

1984 – Soil Sulphur Deficiencies

Suggested that elemental Sulphur deficiencies may be affecting crop yield in rice production in the South Western Riverina and that additions of Sulphur would increase crop yield in many soil types.

1984 – Tour Coach Trailer

Specified criteria to build a tour-coach trailer to carry food, equipment and luggage which was built and used by my cousin Rhyce Ham.

1985 – Rehabilitation of Native Fauna

Suggested increased knowledge was necessary into the rehabilitation of Fauna and Flora and in particular, individual personal involvement in the care of injured native fauna.

1985 – Multiple Medication Reactions

Identified that nobody knew the effects of mixing a cocktail of prescribed medications over a period of time on people.  Of course, those that are at greatest potential side effects are people with a number of different health problems and older people who take a number of medications simultaneously.

1987 – Knowledge Modeled as a Jig Saw Puzzle

Articulated concept of a story or topic represented as a Jig Saw Puzzle and how people add pieces of the puzzle as they learn or improve knowledge on any particular concept.  Eventually, an excellent knowledge on a topic is represented as a near finished puzzle or picture.  The concept also included a persons use of thousands of such…puzzles.

1989 – Nuclear Waste Storage

Advocated that Australia had an obligation to safely store nuclear waste on the basis that we have favourable geological formations to do so, had been exporting yellow cake for decades and as corporate citizens needed to have a social consciences.

1991 – Water Sampling Pole Extension

Design and had built extension pole to hold litre bottles to facilitate in-stream water sampling.

1992 – Fire Shovel

Developed system and technique to burn and dispose of diffusely spread degraded wood and logs to bring large areas into on-farm cereal production.

1992 – Climate Change

Took-up cause of man induced climate change and actively tried to educate people on the ramifications of CO2 in the atmosphere by drawing friends attention to this around the world.

1992 – Television Interview

Interview on Television by ‘WINNews’ outlining the problems with Blue-green Algal outbreaks and there management.

1992 – Commonwealth Rehabilitation

Trained and mentored injured employee so he could return to fulltime employment.

1992 – Emergency Services Committee

Sat on Emergency Services Committee for Victorian Central Highlands area representing the Rural Water Industry.

1992 – Corporate Memory Loss

Change within organisations means that people with vast business experience were retiring without ensuring a ‘hand pass’ of knowledge to the next generation.  Identifying this characteristic helped ensure business procedures including knowledge recording and business management software being developed, training programmes and advocated ensuring  people were sufficiently skilled to do your job when a person changed jobs.

1992 – Training Qualifications

Identified that many practical employees had vast experience at this time, but few formal qualifications.  Advocated adult bridging training courses of study to provide these people with qualifications and thus providing them with nationally recognised ones with certificates.  This programme developed into what is now known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

1993 – ACF Forest Protection

Instigated and wrote a report which galvanised Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) to help protect the Wombat State Forest from logging coups in the Victorian Midlands.

1993 – Secondary School Reunion

Initiated and organised secondary school class reunion.

1995 – Second Version of Water Sampling Pole Extension

Articulated improved design criteria incorporating  telescopic fibreglass pole and improved bottle holding capacity.

1995 – G-MW WaterNote Series

Initiated a series of technical information  publications pertinent to the Rural Water Industry for Goulburn-Murray Water.

1995 – Mentoring Students and Professionals

Mentored first University student

1995 – Coined term; ‘Progression into Retirement

1996 – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

Represented G-MW in regard to Statutory Planning Permit appeal.

1996 – Groundwater Pumping for Salinity Control

Developed and facilitated the implementation of joint ownership of groundwater pumps for salinity control within the Goulburn-Broken Salinity Management Plan.

1996 – Coined Term ‘Transistioning to Retirement’

1996 – WaterMove Logo

Suggested design and format for the WaterMove business unit of G-MW.

1997 – Commenced Water Quality Thesis

The Transportation and Cycling of Phosphorus in the Deakin Drain involved original or fundamental research to measure adsorption and desorption of nutrients from sediments to the water column using Radioactive P33 as a tracer.

1997 – Coined Phrase; ‘Environmental Scientist’

1997 – Blue-green Algae Management Plans

A number of emergency management plans developed on a catchment basis were written describing the problem that blooms of Blue-green Algae (BGA) have on water quality, specifying alert levels and what actions should be taken when these are reached.  Provided training and rolled out strategy to key Emergency Management Authorities.

1998 – Industrial Relations Court

Represented G-MW scientists and Union at dispute hearing during wage bargaining process.

1998 – Deakin Drain Diversion Strategy

Using daily flow data in irrigation drainage systems, a strategy was developed, written and proven via a pilot programme to divert high and low flows into on-farm use and storages so that nutrient loads could be diverted away from river systems improving water quality.

Initiated the use of the fictitious name ‘Bill Bloggs’ to develop and test software computer programmes.

1999 – Water Trading and the Development of a Water Market in Australia

Input to the Water Market design and Water Trading in Victoria and development of Logo design for the ‘Watermove’ business unit of Goulburn-Murray Water which facilitated the legal transfer of water from one property to another in Australia (i.e. separation of water from land).

1999 – Guidelines for the Protection of Water Quality

Convened and chaired the North East Planning Referral Committee which provided 13 Municipal Councils with a guideline booklet indicating clarity and streamlined criteria for Statutory Planning Referrals.

2000 – Irrigated Farm Survey (IFS)

Conceived and project managed telephone farm survey (IFS) using tone telephone.  Twenty four thousand customers were surveyed using an Integrated Voice Recording on the water ordering system or Irrigation Planning Module (IPM) known to customers of Goulburn-Murray Water (G-MW) as ‘WaterLINE’.

2002 – Wetlands and Duck Damage to Rice Crops

Identified that environmental flooding of wetlands would attract water birds including ducks away from rice crops thus reducing damage to emerging rice crops.

2002 – Men’s  Health Night

Suggested and helped organise Rotary Club of Tatura hold a health night featuring celebrity guest speakers that presented on both physical and mental heath attributes and risks to 250 local men.

2003 – Farm Tours of Rice Farms

Provided advice to South Western Riverina farming operation suggesting that property was ideally suited to farm tourism and outlined details to undertake project.

2004 – Irrigation Farm Surveys

Developed and used several survey sampling techniques while undertaking Irrigation Farm Surveys to collect irrigated farm product information.  Worked with Bureau of Statistic to trial use of new Statistical Framework for population statistics collection.

2005 – Corporate Enterprise Bargaining

Initiated enterprise bargaining report outlining pay discrepancies  between scientists and other employees at G-MW which led to significant pay adjustments for scientists.

2006 – Test for Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation can be defined when thoughts are analysed during sex; if you are fixated on the opposite sex you are heterosexual, but if fixation varies between sexes you are likely to be bisexual etc.

2007 – Radio Interview

Interviewed by ‘StarFM’ radio to promote awareness of Bowel cancer and Rotary Bowelscan project.

2007 – Dookie College Reunion

Initiated, Chaired committee and helped organise and run a ‘back to college’ reunion where about 300 people from a ten year commencement period enjoyed a weekend at the Melbourne University agriculture and veterinary campus.

2008 – Restructuring of Corporate Libraries

Reports furnished to Rural Water Industry on how to restructure their libraries and amalgamate services with similar organisations to facilitate synergies.

2009 – Climate Variability

Documented and articulated that climate variability could be more important in the climate change equation than average temperature increases.  Such increases in variability would result in greater storm, flood and drought intensity, duration and frequency.

2010 – Club Leadership Plan

Developed, drafted and wrote a Club Leadership Plan for the Rotary Club of Tatura with elements adopted nationally and Internationally.

2010 – Rotary Club of Tatura President 

2010 –  Goulburn North East Football Association

Tribunal member to settle disputes and reports in the GNEFA.

2011 – Environmental Strategy

Drafted Environmental Strategy for Local Government.

2011 – Fair Work Australia

Appearance before Justice in regard to work dispute.

2011 – The four ‘R’s Important in Society 

Developed framework for responsibility describing Risk, Reward, Responsibility and Respect as the key elements in a well working democracy.  Quite often you can not have one of these with other three and there is a good reason why Respect comes last.

2012 – Genetic Disease

Predicted that everybody would have at least one defective gene causing disease and those that did not have one would have three or four.  This is because every disease has a genetic basis and most are yet to be identified.

2013 – Resilience

Rather than try and protect our vulnerable and younger members of society from negative influences by promoting (for example) anti-bullying programmes in schools and the community, it was preferable to build resilience to such impacts by encouraging people to deal with these unexpected impacts and therefore stay happy and healthy.

2013 – Alumni Council 

Unsuccessfully stood for the University of Melbourne Alumni Council elections representing the School of Agriculture and Engineering School.

2014 – Definitive Argument Against Veganism

If humans were meant to only eat herbage and vegetation why has he only one stomach?  That is, herbivores are ruminants and have four stomachs to allow them to utilise herbage for nutrition.

2014 – Dookie College Class Reunion

Initiated, helped organise and acted as Master of Ceremonies for a 40th year class reunion weekend in Shepparton where about 50% of an eligible 90 original students responded.

2014 – Requirements for Success

Out-lined the three format criteria to be successful; requirement to have qualifications, experience in your area and have the know-how or understand how the ‘jig-saw pieces’ fit together in society.

2014 – Coined Phrase; ‘Social Progressives’

Left-wing and Right-wing Social Progressives are also subset terms also coined.

2015 – Plastic pollution in the Marine Environment

Wrote submission to Australian Government Senate indicating that plastic pollution and in particular micro plastics could pose as big or bigger problem than Climate Change in the environment and to mankind.

2015 – Sexual Orientation Spectrum

Sexual orientation can be likened to a spectrum; homosexual and transsexuals on one end of the spectrum and heterosexuals at the other end.  If this is correct, there is likely a large percentage of bisexuals situated between these groups that relatively little is known about.

2016 – Report on Finley War Memorial Hall

Advocated that Local Government Council was not acting according to democratic principles, was attempting to ignore  local opinion and was attempting to demolish a war memorial according to an unknown agenda.

2016 – Report on Statutory and Regional Planning.

Furnished report for NSW Planning authorities on the 20 year Riverina-Murray Regional area that was also applicable to the entire state of NSW.  The report advocated incorporation of environmental indicators into Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other Indexes to help protect and reduce the reliance upon environmental exploitation in annual economic growth figures.