One of the highlights of the PIDA awards evening is the announcement of the industry professional of the year award, which this year went to Joe Foster of OF Packaging. He spoke to PKN shortly after the announcement.
The Industry Packaging Professional of the Year Award is designed to recognise and acknowledge the outstanding achievements and contribution by an individual currently working within the packaging industry. The judges were looking for an individual who has demonstrated vision and leadership, shows innovation and who is not afraid to take risks.
This year's winner is Joe Foster, co-founder & director, OF Packaging. The audience heard that Joe Foster has had a passion for flexible packaging for most of his life and has run four businesses across four countries over the last forty years. Foster has spent the majority of his career working to not only understand flexible packaging at its core but progress the possibilities of flexible plastics with a continued focus on packaging innovation.
The citation said: "Joe Foster’s true legacy revolves around his resoundingly passionate attitude towards flexible packaging. Joe sees beyond what flexible packaging is, to what it can be, and hopes to create an evolved understanding of flexible packaging and the place it holds in society. His goal is to improve the relationship we have with flexible packaging and plastics, helping inspire new respect for packaging and improving consumer and waste behaviours along the way."
And here's what Joe had to say to PKN as the good news was sinking in:
Another much-anticipated announcement was the 2019 Young Packaging Professional of the Year Award, which this year went to Karunia Adhiputra (Adhi), packaging technologist – Technical & Production, Nestlé Australia.
The purpose of the Young Packaging Professional of the Year Award is to provide incentive and recognition to young professionals who are both currently working in and seeking to continue their career path within the packaging industry.
Adhi's citation read: "While Adhi has already achieved a significant number of things in his career the one that stands out is the development of the Australasian Recycling Label program tracker and generator for Nestlé. During the implementation and training of the ARL for Nestlé products, Adhi created an excel tracker which captures all products across Australia and New Zealand to assist in the auditing requirement of APCO members. Adhi is now responsible for training all Nestlé packaging technologists in both ARL and PREP tools and he hopes that one day he will become a mentor to new packaging technologists and provide them with the skills required to become a successful and valuable contributor to the packaging industry."
Also announced on the night was the winner of the 2019 Packaging New Zealand Scholarship.
The Packaging New Zealand Scholarship provides a Packaging professional who is looking to further their education the opportunity to enrol in the Diploma in Packaging Technology valued at $9000.
The 2019 winner is Poonam Patel, senior packaging technologist, Goodman Fielder. According the her citation, "Poonam believes that with a Diploma in Packaging Technology in hand she will have a strong platform to solidify her career path to specialise in the packaging field. Not only that, the knowledge gained from the Diploma will empower her to utilise her skills in teasing out ideas, risks and mitigations with a more focused and technical view. Using the knowledge she gains from this course Poonam would like to turn theory into practice that is engaging; inspiring future generations with little awareness of this fascinating sector. For Poonam the journey doesn’t just stop at creating and innovating. She recently read about the importance of women in the manufacturing environment and the part they actively play to grow the success of this sector. Her aspiration is to not only be a part of this movement but to advocate to the up-coming generation of women joining the work force on the viability of a career in packaging technology."