The Gardiner Dairy Foundation’s involvement with the Monash Industry Team Initiative (MITI), on behalf of the Australian Dairy Industry, has been nationally recognised at the Australian Financial Review (AFR) Higher Education Awards in the Industry Engagement category.

Monash University won the award, which is Australia’s most prestigious recognition of innovation and achievement in the higher education sector, at a ceremony held in Sydney on Tuesday.

Gardiner via the MITI project, is committed to improving the dairy industry’s engineering capability through placing multi-disciplinary student teams in Australia’s leading dairy organisations to solve real-world research and development challenges.

Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Mary Harney, notes that programs like MITI will ensure that Australia’s dairy industry remains ahead of the curve in terms of capability development.

“We also congratulate Monash University on this prestigious award for the MITI program. It is a testament to the exceptional work of all parties involved and we are proud to collaborate with the University.

“The results that have been achieved through the MITI studies are outstanding and it is a model that significantly contributes to the advancement of our industry. We’re thrilled to be recognised as a collaborator for a project that is so integral to the success of our aim to invest in a vibrant future for the dairy industry,” said Ms Harney.

One MITI milestone project saw Parmalat, Fonterra and Devondale Murray Goulburn unite to develop an industry guideline on how dairy manufacturing by-products could be modified into stockfood supplements. This particular project saw a landmark collaboration between the above mentioned manufacturers, as well as dairy site managers, farmers, Monash students and an animal nutritionist.

The Gardiner supported MITI model provides numerous benefits to the dairy industry, including addressing an engineering skills gap within manufacturing, attracting students with sought-after skills to the industry, exposing students to life in rural Australia, having bright-young minds tackle some of the industry’s most pressing issues and providing students with unsurpassed experience in a real world workplace.