Scholarships promote dairy manufacturing

Monday 04 March 2013 | From Dairy Australia

Some of Australia’s leading dairy manufacturers are opening their doors to develop the skills of talented graduates as a part of Dairy Australia’s 2013 Manufacturing Scholarship program.

For the next 9 weeks, Priscilla Chan, Holly Colbert, Vivian Chen Gong, Marilyn Koh, Archana Kolasani and Adam Langworthy will be working with dairy processing experts.

The graduates will spend three to five days at factories of sponsoring companies including Murray Goulburn, Parmalat, Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, Lion Food and Drinks, Bega and La Casa del Formaggio.

In 2012, more than 83 per cent of scholarship winners ended up with jobs with the participating companies within a few months of completing the training – up from 65 per cent in the 2011 program.

Dairy Australia program manager Dr Mani Iyer said the scholarship was aimed at attracting talented graduates into the industry.

“Each year Dairy Australia offers these scholarships to six new graduates and diploma holders who are committed and passionate about the dairy industry,” Dr Iyer said. “This program aims to attract new people into dairy, train them in dairy manufacturing and hopefully retain them in the industry.”

Recently graduated dietician Priscilla Chan is keen to increase her understanding of dairy food manufacturing and to become an advocate for dairy foods.

“Dairy is an essential food group, which I enjoy consuming and incorporating into my daily diet. It plays an important role in a balanced diet for all, and I want to be able to spread that message,” Priscilla said.

Holly Colbert grew up on a fourth-generation dairy farm in Yarram, Victoria and has recently completed a Bachelor of Nutrition, Food and Health Sciences.

“Growing up on the farm, I was always aware of the industry, but now I am mainly focussed on the nutrition and food side. Milk is a nutritious, natural ingredient and this program will help me learn more about the manufacturing process and how to promote milk as part of a healthy lifestyle,” Holly said.

Vivian Chen Gong currently works as a Quality Assurance Officer at Ernest Hillier Chocolates and recently completed her Master of Food Science.

“This program will help me learn more about the nutrition of various dairy products and the factors that may aid or hinder the quality of dairy products. It will also develop my practical knowledge and help me build a career in dairy food manufacturing,” Vivian said.

Marilyn Koh originally completed a degree in engineering but it was a project in her last year that changed her focus to dairy manufacturing.

“I did a research project on milk enzymes towards the end of my degree and it made me want to focus on food manufacturing. I’ve completed a Masters in Food Science and this program will give me dairy- specific training to use across the industry,” Marilyn said.

Archana Kolasani has recently completed her Masters in Food Science and Technology and was keen to apply for the program to build her practical knowledge of the industry.

“I have a passion for the dairy industry and I believe this program will teach me how to apply my skills. It will teach me about the commercial value of dairy and kick-start my career in the industry,” Archana said.

Tasmanian Adam Langworthy has recently completed a degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Tasmania and developed a real passion for the industry since working on a friend’s dairy farm.

“The scholarship provides me with the opportunity to work directly with experts in dairy. It’s something I doubt I’d get to do without the program,” Adam said.

Dr Iyer said there were a large number of applications and the judging panel had a challenging task to choose the six winners based on their academic excellence, work experience and communication skills.

“The winners of the scholarship selected are talented and committed graduates keen to be part of our industry.”

The scholarship involves a comprehensive training program at the National Centre for Dairy Education Australia (NCDEA) in Werribee which covers dairy chemistry, microbiology and the processing of milk into products such as milk powder, butter, market milk and cheese.

The program is funded and managed by Dairy Australia and strongly supported by the dairy manufacturing industry. Dairy Australia is grateful to all the sponsors whose commitment to the program enables the graduates to learn from the best experts available

For more information on the program, visit the Dairy Australia website -  

This is one of the many examples of the dairy service levy at work. For more information on this and other levy investments visit

Dairy Australia is the national services body for the Australian dairy industry. The company acts as the collective investment arm of the industry, investing in essential research, development, extension and industry services.