John Ralph Essay Competition

John Ralph Essay Competition Winners

  • 2020    Open: Ash Salardini, Novice: Michael Wellington  
  • 2019    Open: Jessica Ramsden, Novice: Matt Champness
  • 2018    Open: Deanna Lush
  • 2016    Open: Dean Ansell, Novice: Brendan O’Keeffe
  • 2015    Open: Tim Byrne, Novice: Alexandra Grigg
  • 2014    Open: David Thompson
  • 2013    Open: Matthew Cawood, Student: Lauren (Xi) Yu
  • 2012    Open: Geoff Ball, Student: Edward Perrett
  • 2011    Student: Nicolette Cameron
  • 2010    Open: Daniel Gibbons

WEBINAR - John Ralph Essay Competition 2020

On Thursday the 5th of November, AFI held an ‘in-conversation’ webinar on competition policy featuring finalists from the John Ralph Essay Competition. Discussions focused on the key themes emerging from essay entries and the desired future direction for competition policy in relation to Australian agriculture.


  • Mick Keogh – Deputy Commissioner ACCC 
  • Richard Heath – Executive Director AFI 
  • Ash Salardini – Open Category Winner 
  • Michael Wellington – Novice Category Winner
  • Danielle Captain-Webb – Open Category Finalist 
  • Pete Mailler – Open Category Finalist 
  • Emma Scholz – Open Category Finalist

A selection of finalists will be published in the summer edition of the Farm Policy Journal.

View the webinar below:

John Ralph Essay Competition - History

John Ralph was instrumental in the establishment of the Australian Farm Institute, becoming its founding Chairman in 2004 and continuing in that role until his retirement in June, 2010.

John has been CEO of CRA (now Rio Tinto Ltd), former Chairman of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, former Deputy Chairman of Telstra Corporation and previous Chairman of Business Council of Australia and Australian Mining Council.

His outstanding contribution to the country was recognised in 2000 when he was appointed to Australia’s highest civilian honour, a Companion in the Order of Australia, having been made an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1988.

Involved in farm enterprises in southern NSW, John Ralph argued strongly for comprehensive and objective research as the basis for sound policy decision-making, particularly for the agriculture sector.

In 2010, the Australian Farm Institute created the John Ralph Essay Competition to acknowledge John’s ongoing support for sound research and debate in agricultural economics and policies.

The John Ralph Essay Competition aims to engage the community in informed debate about policy issues impacting on the Australian farm sector.

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