Launched in 2014 and born out of mate-ship and respect for one of agriculture's natural leaders, this award aims to recognise young people working in agriculture in Australia and New Zealand, and support their future career development.


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



Applications are open from 1 August - 30 August 2019 (5pm). Late entries will not be accepted.

Who can apply?

The award is open to individuals between 18 - 35 years old (as at Friday 30 August 2019), working in agri-business in either Australia or New Zealand. Applicants must be a resident of either Australia or New Zealand and must not be related to any person involved in the award scheme. Applicants must read, understand and agree to the terms and conditions associated with entering this award.


What do I need to consider when applying?

Applicants must display a passion and a desire to improve their industry. The award winner must be prepared to represent the Zanda McDonald Award as an ambassador during their term.



What is the application process from 1 August 2019?

All applicants are required to complete an online application form. This includes a short video clip (maximum 1 minute, to be uploaded), and 250-word submission, which may be accompanied by supporting documents. Your video clip does not need to be high tech or complicated - the judges are only interested in the content, and a submission from your phone is perfectly acceptable.

The prize package involves a tailored mentoring trip, which will require time away from work.  If appropriate, the application form will need to be signed by the applicant’s employer. Applications close 5pm on Friday 30 August 2019.


You must include the following 3 points in your short video clip, which must be no more than 1 minute long.  No additional marks will be given for editing or graphics. You can take the clip on a mobile device, iPad or similar.

You will need to load your video to Dropbox, Google drive or similar repository then paste the link into the designated field in Question 4.

•       Your name and job/role at the start of the clip

•       Briefly explain what you do

•       Tell us where your passion for your industry lies, and how you’re making your mark.


In your 250 word submission, you are required to explain how you would benefit from a tailored mentoring package, where you would like to be in your career in five years, and how you would be a fitting ambassador for this award


ABOUT THE PROCESS - What happens after applications have been received?

What happens next?

All nomination forms received by the closing date will be acknowledged by email and then assessed by the judging panel. See below for the list of judges.


Who decides who is short-listed?

Once all application have been received, the judges will assess each application. The judges will then choose a shortlist of six. The six applicants on the shortlist will be notified directly by 24 September 2019.


How will the interviews work?

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview with the judges on 18 October 2019. They will be asked to present a short version of their award submission. Interviews may take place in New Zealand or Australia, and this will be advised by early October. Applicants should ensure they have a valid passport. Overnight accommodation and travel to and from the interview will be pre-paid by the award.





Following interviews of the six shortlisted applicants, the judges will select three applicants as finalists for the 2020 Award. Finalists will be notified directly and announced in the media and via PPP networks on 4 November 2019. All three finalists will be invited to attend the 2020 PPP Conference in New Zealand, in March 2020. Accommodation and travel costs to and from the conference will be covered.


Who receives the award?

The winner will be selected by the judges from the three finalists and announced at the 2020 PPP conference.


What is the award prize?

The winner will be awarded with:

  • The Zanda McDonald Award trophy and certificate

  • An all-expenses-paid trans-Tasman mentoring trip designed to help further their career/work. This involves spending time with leaders in agriculture from Australia and New Zealand, through the PPP network. This will require time away from the workplace as well as overseas travel

  • Some flights provided by aircraft sponsor Pilatus for their tailored mentoring trip

  • $2,000 prize money

  • Membership to the PPP Group

  • Access to a number of impressive networking opportunities


Accommodation and travel costs relating to the mentoring package are all included in the package.





Your application will be judged on the following criteria:

1.    Thorough completion of the application

2.    Details on what your current role means to you and how you see yourself contributing to the future of your industry

3.    Ability to explain why you deserve to win this award


Please note that you will not be judged on the quality of your video clip, only the content. No additional marks will be given for editing or graphics.  You can take the clip on a mobile device, iPad or similar.





There are nine judges:


  • Richard Rains, Chairman, Zanda McDonald Award, Director of the Country Education Foundation.

  • Emma Black, Beef Extension Officer, Queensland and 2015 Zanda McDonald Award winner

  • Charlie de Fegely, Owner, Quamby, Ararat, Victoria, Australia

  • Thomas MacDonald, Business Manager, Spring Sheep, Taupo NZ and 2018 Zanda McDonald Award winner

  • Julie McDonald, CFO, MDH Pty Ltd, Queensland, Australia

  • Shane McManaway, PPP Chairman and CEO, Allflex Asia Pacific

  • Richard Subtil, Owner, Omarama Station, New Zealand

  • John McKillop, Chairman LAWD Pty Ltd, Australia

  • Erica van Reenan, Managing Director AgFirst, New Zealand




•    Applications are open from Thursday 1 August 2019 until 5pm, Friday 30 August 2019.

•    A shortlist of six applicants will be announced by Tuesday 24 September 2019.

•    Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview on Friday 18 October 2019.

•    Three finalists will be announced on Monday 4 November 2019.

The winner will be announced at the 2020 Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) Conference in New Zealand, in March 2020.

For any questions about registering, applications or the Award process, please contact info@zandamcdonaldaward.com



© 2020 Platinum Primary Producer Group