About the award

Are you making a difference in agriculture, passionate about what you’re doing, and keen to further develop your skills?  Apply for an award that recognises determined and passionate young Kiwis and Aussies, and can help take your career in ag to the next level. 


The prize package is significant, providing the winner with opportunities that money just can’t buy. This impressive personal development package will put you in the passenger seat with some of the biggest and best agriculture operators in Australasia, and is widely regarded as a career and life-changing experience.


Who was Zanda McDonald?

Zanda McDonald was a prominent identity in the Australian beef and livestock industry and a foundation member of the Platinum Primary Producer (PPP) Group. He died in April 2013 at the age of 41, following a tragic accident on his Queensland cattle property.


Zanda was proud to be a farmer and worked tirelessly to encourage young people to work in the industry that he loved.  As part of his role in the PPP Group he led a number of initiatives to promote his industry to the next generation. 


In his honour the PPP group launched the Zanda McDonald Award. This award aims to recognise young people working in the primary industry sectors in New Zealand and Australia, and support their future career development.


Previous Winners

The inaugural Zanda McDonald Award was held in 2015 and won by Emma Black from Queensland. Dean Rabbidge from Southland took out the award in 2016. Morgan Easton, hailing from Canterbury NZ, was the 2017 recipient, and Thomas Macdonald from Taupo NZ, took out the title in 2018. In 2019 the award was shared by Luke Evans from the Northern Territory and Shannon Landmark from Queensland. Our most recent recipient of the Award, Jack Raharuhi, from Westport, was crowned in March 2020. Click here for more details.


Applications for the the 2021 Award

Applications for the the 2021 Award are open from 1 - 31 August 2020.

The prize includes:

  • a fully personalised mentoring trip across Australia and/or New Zealand, spending time with leaders across all areas of the primary sector. This trip is 100% tailored to your desired areas of interest and growth

  • all travel and accommodation expenses for the mentoring trip, including flights on a private Pilatus jet, ensuring you can get to remote and varied locations in style, speed and comfort!

  • an education or training package suited to your needs, up to the value of $10,000*

  • a one-on-one day visit from an industry mentor at your place of work

  • a full day tailored media training session

  • a one-year position on the Zanda McDonald Award Advisory Group. This includes being a judge of the 2022 Award

  • all expenses paid trip to the 2021 and 2022 Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) Conference

  • Lifetime membership to the Platinum Primary Producers Group

  • $2,000 cash.

* The aim is to provide the Award recipient with further education that is in line with their future development and personal growth. Therefore the education and/or training package is not restricted to a set list of options, but is subject to mutual agreement by the Award recipient and judging panel (and subject to acceptance into the desired training/course) . Up to $10,000 AU is available to put towards these costs, including all travel and accommodation expenses. Any costs exceeding $10,000 will be at the winners' own expense.

Register your interest in the 2021 Award

Applications for the 2021 Award are open to individuals aged 21 - 35  (as at 31 August 2020), who live and work in the agribusiness sector in either Australia or NZ. Register now and we'll be in touch in July 2020 to let you know when and how to apply. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up-to-date with Award announcements.


In 2005, Shane McManaway of Allflex Australasia, pulled together a handful of like-minded farmers to spin some yarns and solve a few industry problems. Today, this once-small group has evolved into a powerful collective of over 150 of Australia and New Zealand’s top rural leaders. The combined horsepower of the Group - its knowledge, experience, drive and resources - means it is well-placed to tackle the toughest of industry problems and come up with smart initiatives that will help agri-business in both countries. 


What we do

The Group's key objective is to provide a forum for leading producers and professionals, from across the farming landscape, to discuss and debate pertinent issues affecting the agricultural industry. With a truly Trans-Tasman outlook, the Group provides an international platform for members to network, share their thoughts and ideas and impart their experience to others. Given its wealth of knowledge, the Group is also a 'come-to' organisation for anyone in (or aligned to), agriculture who might need a helping hand.


Our commitment

The PPP Group is committed to giving back and supporting our communities wherever we can. Each year, we fundraise for charities and worthy causes. 

In 2011, the Group auctioned an All Blacks’ rugby jersey and raised over $45,000 to help victims of the destructive Christchurch earthquakes. In 2012 the group supported The Farming Show's Jamie Mackay by raising $27,000 to cycle 240km in aid of the air rescue services in New Zealand and Australia. In 2013, raised $42,000 for New Zealand's The CatWalk Trust and Australia's the Spinal Cord Injury Network. The group has also raised funds for small regional schools including $41,500 for Pirinoa School in the Wairarapa.


In 2014, the Zanda McDonald Award was launched. Created in honour of one of Australia's beef industry greats, this award aims to recognise the future leaders in our industry and help them progress their careers.

PPP Conference

Each year the group convenes to network, discuss current industry issues and also announce the winner of the Zanda McDonald Award.




© 2020 Platinum Primary Producer Group