The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA), in partnership with the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), has announced the winners of the annual ABA Scholarship program for Australia and New Zealand.

The Scholarship program enables one eligible candidate the opportunity to undertake a Diploma in Packaging Technology valued at $9,000 and a second person the opportunity to undertake a Certificate in Packaging valued at $7,000.

Certificate in Packaging Winner

The winner of the first 2022 ABA Scholarship which enables one person to undertake a Certificate in Packaging is Lea Reynolds AAIP, Commercialisation Manager, Steggall Nutrition.

Lea has been working at Steggall Nutrition for the last 11 years and has  always been involved in and have been primarily responsible for managing the packaging requirements for the clients.

The knowledge that I have gained through undertaking courses with the AIP over the past few years has been most valuable in both her professional and personal life. Lea struggles to believe that as early as the year 2050 we will be in a global crisis if we don’t find a way to live in a circular economy and to achieve sustainability.

Lea believes sustainability is having the ability to meet the needs of our social, economic and environmental requirements without compromising or taking away the same needs and requirements of our future generations. To her Lea even the smallest of changes can grow into something much bigger.

Through embracing and undertaking further education, she would like to assist in educating others to make more environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging decisions, and more importantly educate her own children who can continue to educate future generations.

For Lea being awarded this invaluable opportunity would mean that she could continue to learn and grow as the industry changes and be confident in the information that she has learned to tackle challenges and to make informed decisions.

Diploma in Packaging Winner

The winner of the second 2022 ABA Scholarship which will enable one person to undertake a Diploma in Packaging Technology is Mark Saturnino MAIP, Packaging Specialist, Woolworths.

Mark’s relationship with Packaging was apparently not love at first sight and for a long time he considered himself part of that faction where packaging is just a physical form, taken for granted and ironically almost invisible the way it has been regarded. So how did Mark end up accepting his first job offer, knowing it involved packaging, let alone to be the one responsible in developing its form?

Unaware for a long time, it turned out he already had this connection with Packaging that was brewing whilst he was doing his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering. Mark’s interests and passion in materials, their end-to-end processing, and the encompassing interplay of different sciences became evident during this time. To him it was never dull and disengaging to learn about different feedstock substrates and their properties, and the material transformation they go, including the environmental and commercial considerations needed to be mindful of for the practical application of these concepts in real life scenarios.

Once Mark realised this common ground between packaging development and his interests, he decided making a career in this field. Mark believes that undertaking the Diploma in Packaging degree will enable him to truly fill in the knowledge voids and become closer to his professional goals and personal aspirations. Once completing his degree, Mark would like to be seen as an emerging leader in this industry and engage in discussing problems relating to the Elimination of Food Waste and Packaging Waste.

The AIP would like to take this opportunity to commend the ABA for providing such invaluable professional development to the industry.