Promoting the awareness, understanding & control of weeds

Life Membership

Weed Society of New South Wales Life Membership MedalLife membership is a special honour given to recognize outstanding commitment, service, and support to the society for a long period of time.

The following criteria for life membership were ratified in 2002:

 1.  Membership of the society for 30 years.

 2.  Served on the executive committee for at least 5 years.

 3.  Held a position of President, Secretary, Treasurer, CAWS delegate, or Newsletter Editor, for at least 2 years.

 4.  History of support for society activities/functions.

Photo Contact Biography

Deirdre Lemerle
Life Member (2016)
Deirdre first joined the Society in 1978 whilst a post graduate student at the University of Sydney. Deirdre served on the Executive Committee for a total of some twelve years, during which time she also held the position of Newsletter Editor for four years. Deirdre was also co‐editor of the Proceedings of the 7th Australian Weeds Conference in 1987, and played a significant role as Program Leader on the organising committee for the 14th Australian Weeds Conference in 2004. In addition, Deirdre also played a key role in the formation and success of the Riverina Branch of the society during its period of operation.

Deirdre’s outstanding contribution to the science, technology and practice of weed management has been recognised at a national level through presentation of the NSW Agriculture 'Outstanding Achievement' Award in 1996, the Council of Australian Weed Science Societies (CAWSS) Medal for Leadership in 1998, and the Charles Sturt University Vice‐Chancellors Award for Research Excellence to Allelopathy Research Group 2000.

In addition to a lengthy research career based in Wagga Wagga, Deirdre has also demonstrated her leadership qualities through being Program Manager of the Cropping Program of the Weeds Co‐ Operative Research Centre for 10 years, Acting Director of Regional Research, and the inaugural Director of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation from 2005 until 2015, an alliance between Charles Sturt University and the Department of Primary Industries.

During her career, Deirdre has published over 150 scientific papers and numerous advisory articles for NSW Agriculture and other articles in industry and grower magazines. She has also served on various advisory and editorial boards and supervises post‐graduate students.


Warwick Felton
Life Member (2015)


Warwick has been a member of the society for over 40 years and has served as President in 1987 – 1988 and again in 2005 - 2006. He has served on the committee for more than 20 years and during that time has always been an active participant and willing helper at society seminars and functions where he has for a number of seminars been responsible for the editing of the seminar abstracts. In addition to his role as President he has served for varying amounts of time as a CAWS delegate, assistant secretary and a member of the Conference Future Fund Committee.

Warwick is a graduate of Hawkesbury College (1965). He joined Lanes Chemicals and worked in Narrabri investigating weed control in cotton before being offered an Agronomist-in-Training position at Yanco investigating weed control in cotton. He then commenced studying at the Faculty of Agriculture - Sydney University as a NSW Department of Agriculture Trainee graduating in 1970 before moving to Tamworth as a weed agronomist where he remained until his retirement in 2004.

Warwick has received a number of awards which resulted from his weed control work viz. The Brownhill Cup for conservation farming (1991), Land Inventor of the Year AgQuip (1991), Excellence in Engineering Awards, Australian Institute of Engineers Sydney Division (1991 and 1992), Council of Australian Weed Science Societies Medal (1992), and a NSW Agriculture special staff achievement award (1998) together with the NSW Weed Society Medal for Excellence in Weed Management in 2011.


Lawrie Greenup
Life Member (2015)


Lawrie joined the Society in the mid 80’s when he was located in head office of the NSW Department of Agriculture. He has served on the committee for more than 20 years and during that time has always been an active participant and willing helper at society seminars and functions. Lawrie has been the editor of the Society newsletter A Good Weed for nine years. He transformed it from a black and white newsletter to the full colour publication that it is today.

Lawrie graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Sydney in 1961 and held a variety of positions, including vegetation study with NSW Soil Conservation, entomologist with the NSW Department of Agriculture, agricultural chemical development with Monsanto Chemicals, and almost a decade in Sydney at the NSW Department of Agriculture head office dealing with pesticide residues and the protection of prime agricultural land. He later commenced private consultancy with the fresh fruit and vegetable industry dealing with consumer and industry food safety and environmental issues.

Lawrie has received a number of awards associated with his work with pesticide residues, urban weeds and landscape conservation: Churchill Fellowship on Disposal of Small Quantities of Pesticides on the Farm; Australian Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Association Award for outstanding contribution to the fruit and vegetable industry; National Trust of Australia (NSW) Meritorious Service Award; National Trust of Australia (NSW) Award in recognition of voluntary service, and the NSW Weed Society Medal for Excellence in Weed Management.


Alan Murphy
Life Member (2014)

Alan became a member soon after the society was founded in 1966 and has served on the committee for more than 20 years, holding positions of President, Vice President, Secretary and Public Officer. 

Alan graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture - Sydney University in 1961 and then joined Geigy Australia Pty Ltd and worked with field trials with triazine herbicides which were relatively new to the Australian scene in field crops and industrial sites.

In 1965 he joined Dow AgroSciences and spent the next 35 years with them until retirement in 2000. Alan worked as a herbicide technical specialist in both Australia and Asia. He was responsible for the development of GARLON®, GRASLAN®, TORDON® and STARANE® brands for Dow AgroSciences.

He also had extensive knowledge of cereal and fallow weeds in the grain belt and was widely respected by the research and agronomic communities. He trained and mentored a good number of technical specialists in Dow and when all else failed, the cry was, “Ask Murph”.


Mike Barrett
Life Member (2011)

Mike completed his Masters degree at Cambridge University and then worked in southern Africa for several years before relocating to Australia to commence employment with ICI. The contributions to weed management made by Mike during his career have been acknowledged previously by this Society through Mike receiving the Medal for Excellence in Weed Management.

Since joining the Weed Society in 1972 Mike has been a long term dedicated member of the executive committee.  He was President in 1975-76, Treasurer 1981-84, Secretary 1986, 1988-92, and Public Officer since the society was incorporated over 15 years ago.

Mike has also represented the Society as the Secretary of the Council of Australian Weed Science Societies, soon after it was formed in 1978. He has also been very active on sub-committees organising society functions.


Jim Swain
Life Member (2011)

Jim completed studies at Sydney University before commencing a long career in research and development in the agricultural chemicals industry.

The contributions to weed management made by Jim during his career have already been amply acknowledged. He is a recipient of both the Society’s Medal for Excellence in Weed Management, and also of the Council of Australian Weed Science Societies’ Medal for Leadership.

Since joining the Weed Society in 1970s Jim has been a long term dedicated member of the executive committee.  He was President in 1981-82, Secretary 2003-05, and has served as Treasurer since 2006.

Jim has represented the Society as a delegate to the Council of Australasian Weed Societies and has also been very active on sub-committees organising society functions.


Alex McLennan
Life Member (2003)

(deceased)

Alex studied at the Wagga Agricultural College and Hawkesbury Agricultural College, graduating in 1951. He then followed a career in agriculture, before joined the NSW Rail Authority in 1977 as their inaugural agronomist. In the 1990’s he operated a consultancy practice in agronomic and spraying advice.

He had a great interest and knowledge in weeds, weed science and practical control methods and agriculture in general. He was awarded the Society’s Medal for Excellence in Weed Management in recognition to his contributions to weed management.

Dedication to the Society is amply demonstrated through serving as Vice President (1981-82), President (1983-84) and for two periods as Treasurer (1975-1980, 1994-2005). Alex was also the founding president of the Agricultural Technologists of Australasia (ATA). Alex chaired the organising committee for the joint 8th Australian Weeds Conference/Asian Pacific Weeds Conference held in Sydney. He also helped organise many other Society functions.


Kelvin Green
Life Member (2002)

(deceased)

Kelvin completed an Agricultural Science degree from Sydney University where he majored in economics.

Kelvin’s contributed to weed science in New South Wales through a lengthy and influential career with the Department of Agriculture, commencing in 1938. Appointed as Principal Agronomist (Research) in 1969, he established the basis of the Department of Agriculture’s weeds research programs. From 1974 until retirement, he held the position of Deputy Chief, Division of Plant Industry.

Kelvin was the first Vice-President when the Society was formed in 1966, and then President in 1967. Continued involvement with both the executive committee and the newsletter over many decades demonstrate a long, dedicated association with the Society. Kelvin also played an instrumental role in the formation of the Council of Australian Weed Science Societies in 1977.


Leon Smith
Life Member (2002)

(deceased)

After completing his undergraduate studies, Leon Smith pursued further studies at the University of Guelf, Ontario.Leon then return to Australia and spent some years lecturing at Hawkesbury Agricultural College before joining the Department of Agriculture's Head Office team as Principal Agronomist (Weeds).

Since first joining the Society around 1970, Leon was actively involved on the executive committee, serving as Vice President (1977-78), President (1979-80) and Secretary (1993-2002).

Leon served as Newsletter editor for a number of years from 1977 onwards, as well as being a Society delegate to the Council of Australian Weed Science Societies (CAWSS) for seventeen years commencing in 1982.

Leon also served as President of the International Weed Science Society, and was the recipient of the Council of Australian Weed Science Societies (CAWSS) Medal for Leadership in recognition of his outstanding contribution to weed management in Australia.


Nelson Johnston
Life Member (1999)

(deceased)


Peter Michael
Life Member (1989)


Eric Cuthbertson
Life Member (1976)

(deceased)

The inaugural Life Membership of the Weed Society of New South Wales was conferred on Eric Cuthbertson by President Mike Barrett at the General Meeting on 5th October, 1976.

Eric made a major contribution to weed science during a 37 year career with the New South Wales Department of Agriculture and gained an enviable international reputation as well.

His interest in weed science developed during studies on rangeland management at Trangie with the Department of Agriculture and he was probably the first person to look at control of Galvanised Burr with herbicides. Some twenty years weeds research at Wagga Wagga followed, including basic studies on two important perennial weeds, Skeleton Weed and Silverleaf Nightshade. He was a leader in developing herbicides for new crops such as lupins and oilseed rape, and has took a keen interest in new techniques such as direct drilling.

[Top]