- Honour Roll
Merna is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and is a trail-blazer in the rural community. In 1992, she was part of a small team who met to discuss the establishment of Australian Women in Agriculture, Australia's peak organisation for women across all areas of agriculture.
In 1994, Merna was a member of the organising committee for the first international conference for Women in Agriculture held in Melbourne, and in 1996, was a founding member of the Women in Grains pilot project, providing skills-based training programs for women and young people working in the grains industry.
In 1997, Merna convened the first regional Landcare Conference to raise awareness of degeneration along the North Central Region's river catchments. She was the first woman elected to the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) Grains Council, which represents over 21,000 farm members across 15,000 farm enterprises. She was subsequently elected Vice President of the VFF.
In 2001, Merna became the inaugural Chair of Partners in Grain (PinG), a national organisation that provides locally relevant training for Australian grain growers. PinG was a direct outcome from the Women in Grains project. In 2003, Merna was awarded a Centenary Medal "for services to the promotion and recognition of women in primary and rural industry".
Merna is currently a member of the Victorian Catchment Management Council, Chair of the Agrifood National Regional Initiative, Loddon Mallee, and a life member of the Newbridge Football and Netball Club.