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Local Young Achiever wins National Seafood Award

Media Release

29th October 2019

Local Geraldton girl Justine Arnold was recognised at the 2019 National Seafood Industry Awards on the 10th October where she was crowned the 2019 Young Achiever.

The award acknowledged the outstanding contribution Justine has made to the seafood industry through her commitment to developing the Aquaculture industry in the Mid West, her commitment to the national non-profit organisation Women in Seafood Australasia and her potential to continue to develop as a future leader in the industry.

The biennial awards were held at Melbourne’s South Wharf Boat Builders Yard, as part of the 2019 Seafood Directions conference celebrating the achievements of Australia’s seafood industry and awarding the best of the best through 12 categories.

Justine is from a local Midwest fishing family and has been involved in the seafood industry her entire life. Growing up at the Abrolhos Islands Justine studied a Bachelor of Marine Science with Honours, before to returning to work with local aquaculture company Indian Ocean Fresh Australia, where she currently holds the position of Production Manager, growing yellowtail kingfish.

Justine with her parents at the National Awards

Justine said she was thrilled to gain recognition for her hard work on a national stage and looked forward to what opportunities the next 12 months hold.

IOFA Director and owner, Erica Starling congratulated Justine on her well-deserved award stating that Justine has thrived on developing herself professionally and personally and is an excellent role model, generously sharing her knowledge and skills with others.

“Justine is a hands-on manager in our business who works hard and maximises every opportunity presented to her,” Mrs Starling said. “She has guided and inspired many other students through mentorship of school based traineeships, internships and research projects.

“The future of the seafood industry is very bright with up and coming leaders of Justine’s calibre who are committed to ensuring the development of industry for generations to come.”

Over the past 6 months, Justine has taken part in the National Seafood Industry Leadership Program (NSILP). The participants, from a wide range of communities within industry, have been involved with the development and implementation of a national strategic vision to ensure protection of our world class seafood through accountability and transparency for generations to come.

The program culminated last week in Canberra with presentations to different sectors of industry highlighting strategies to unite industry, build public awareness and provide consumer awareness about purchasing Australian seafood.

“I applied to be a part of the program to expand my knowledge surrounding the bigger picture and develop that big picture thinking” Justine said.

“Leaders are important for the development and management of any industry, I would like to see more young people becoming involved in the seafood industry and stepping into leadership roles”.

Justine holding broodstock

Further Information:

At the National Seafood Awards in Melbourne there were 12 awards up for grabs, WA took home 4 of these awards.

There were 4 inductees in the Seafood Hall of Fame at the National Seafood Awards, of which 3 WA veterans of the industry were inducted.

Justine was awarded the Western Australian Young Achiever of the Year at the WAFIC seafood awards in July this year

Indian Ocean Fresh Australia were awarded the Western Australian People Development award at the WAFIC seafood awards in July this year.

Justine was nominated as the Western Australian Director for Women in Seafood Australasia (WISA) in 2018.

Justine started working with Indian Ocean Fresh Australia in 2008 when the company undertook the first pilot aquaculture project.

Indian Ocean Fresh Australia now commercially produce Yellowtail kingfish. The product has been recognised for outstanding quality through national awards, most recently taking out the Champion Australian Seafood 2019 at the Australian Food Awards in Melbourne last month.

Media Enquiries:

Justine Arnold


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