Big names set to star at Banana Industry Congress

 Big names set to star at Banana Industry Congress

The Australian Banana Industry Congress (ABIC) is shaping up to be a great excuse for banana growers to get off farm and join other growers and industry representatives for a well-earned celebration of the achievements of the industry.

Focussing on the themes of sustainability, resilience and innovation, the biennial event will feature a stellar line up of inspirational speakers and entertainers over three days – from June 22-24 – ensuring a positive reset for the future.

Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) Chair Stephen Lowe says with Sydney as the host city this year, the venues alone are cause for excitement.

“The Sheraton on the Park will host the majority of proceedings, while Doltone House will offer glamour and style as the destination for the much anticipated industry ball,” Mr Lowe said.

“The Banana Congress is always an exciting event and is a great chance for growers to get away from their farms and socialise with other growers to celebrate the industry and toast to a bright future.

“This year also coincides with the State of Origin game two, so there will be plenty of fun in store.”

Comedian Anh Do headlines the impressive list of entertainers and speakers who will bring a diverse mix of enthusiasm, motivation and information to the premier industry event.

Mr Do will be a special guest at the Friday night dinner and industry ball on June 23. The well-known funny-man, author, actor and artist is sure to provide a fantastic night of entertainment and humour to the evening.

Another highlight of the program will be a cooking demonstration by award-winning celebrity chef, restauranteur and television presenter Peter Kuruvita. Mr Kuruvita will bring his culinary genius to Congress, showcasing his signature style of cooking with fresh quality seafood, adding a distinct banana flavour as a special treat.

As well as fun and entertainment, growers are sure to find inspiration from two respected motivational speakers. Former footballer, author, historian and media personality Peter FitzSimmons will kick-start the program, as the first guest speaker to open the Congress on June 22.

Rounding off proceedings will be Australian grazier and former cowboy Rob Cook, offering his incredible tale of resilience. Despite being left a quadriplegic in a horrific helicopter crash, he has embarked on some amazing journeys and continues to run his family cattle farm, with his devoted wife Sarah.

“The line-up of incredible speakers, both banana-focussed and more broadly, is arguably the best we have ever assembled for the ABIC,” Mr Lowe said. “We are certainly getting very excited about the program and all it has to offer.”

The Congress also is an opportunity for growers to hear from world-leading scientists, researchers and innovators, to learn the latest research and development on a broad range of topics that impact their industry.

World renowned scientists’ Dr Frederic Bakry (France) and Professor Randy Ploetz (US) will update growers on the latest research in disease resistance. Australian futurist Rose Herceg will innovate with her forecasts of future trends in consumption, while Hort Innovation Australia marketing manager Elisa King will speak on marketing Australian bananas and staying ahead of the game.

The program will also include a retail tour and scientific research panel discussion. A complete program of events and full list of speakers is available online at


For further comment contact:
North Queensland Communication’s Officer

Sonia Campbell
0428 038 330 E:


Paula Doran

Communications Manager

Australian Banana Growers’ Council

M: 0447615135