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Awarded for service to Agriculture
Born: 15 October 1964
Died: 15 August 2009
Entered on roll: 2011
Amabel’s contribution is substantial because she has been part of a movement in Australian agriculture circles that has advocated a new way of understanding farms and farming, and the way farms might be encouraged to innovate. (Professor Frank Vanclay at the ceremony to confer a PhD to Amabel Fulton, 2009)
Amabel Fulton was born in Hobart on 15 October 1964. She attended Hobart Matriculation College and excelled in her studies. She graduated from the University of Tasmania with an Agricultural Science degree in 1987, with a major in animal production, and was awarded First Class Honours for her thesis on the genetics of footrot in sheep.
Amabel became a rural journalist with Tasmanian Country before working for the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment.
In 1999, Amabel and her husband David started the successful consultancy company Rural Development Services (RDS). RDS provides research development and education services to the agriculture and seafood industries, with a focus on supporting rural industries to be sustainable and internationally competitive.
In recognition of her work, Amabel was awarded the Telstra Tasmanian Business Women's Award in the innovation category in 2008 and was the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Women’s Award runner up in 2008.
Amabel continued her studies over a long period while raising her three children, Tom, Ben and Sarah. Her studies focussed on issues related to helping farming communities manage change, especially farming families. Amabel believed that instead of seeing the farm as a singular entity under the management of a male farmer, farms should be appreciated for what they usually are - family farming businesses. She was a champion of women’s role in agriculture and a member of the Australian Government’s Regional Women’s Advisory Council. Amabel was awarded her PhD in rural social research in 2009.
Amabel passed away in August 2009 after a long battle with breast cancer.