Amabel Fulton: a major contributor to APEN and the development of extension in Australia
15 October 1964 - 15 August 2009
Amabel Fulton was a major contributor to APEN, helping to steer its development and activities, and as stated by Professor Frank Vanclay (UTas) when Amabel’s PhD was conferred in 2009 -
"Amabel’s contribution is substantial because she has been part of a movement in Australian agriculture circles that has advocated a new way of understanding farms and farming, and the way farms might be encouraged to innovate.”
Partner of David, both personally and professionally, and devoted mother, Amabel was taken too soon when she lost a long battle with breast cancer.
1st Australasia Pacific Extension Conference, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, 12 to 14 October 1993 (International Conference). APEN was born at a breakfast meeting - keen supporter
"Managing Change – Building knowledge and skills," 2nd Australasia Pacific Extension Conference, Albury, New South Wales, 18 to 21 November 1997. (International Conference and AGM) - on the organising committee
Secretary of APEN Inc. 1998, 1999, 2000
"Evolving Systems - Challenged minds", Perth, Western Australia, 11 to 12 November 1999 (National Forum and AGM), Inaugural APEN Award for Excellence in Extension awarded - set up selection criteria
"Extending extension – beyond traditional boundaries, methods, ways of thinking," Hobart, Tasmania, 26 to 28 November 2003 (National Forum & AGM) - Convenor with Frank Vanclay
Founding partner and CEO of Rural Development Services Pty Ltd (RDS) based in Hobart and employing eight permanent staff, providing private research, project management and extension services to rural communities and industries. A rural social researcher and consultant with Rural Development Services, Amabel had worked in rural journalism, agricultural extension, rural social research, rural training and business management. She worked in the livestock, horticultural, dairy industries, in new industries and in natural resource management.
Research included the role of training brokers in agricultural education and training (with Dr Sue Kilpatrick, from the University of Tasmania, for RIRDC and, FarmBis); and factors affecting the participation of women in education and training activities within the wool and meat industries (with Cathy McGowan, of Catherine McGowan Consulting, for Meat and Livestock Australia and Australian Wool Innovations).
Amabel's key research interest was in understanding the family farm business - both in terms of its internal processes, and the impact of these processes on the family, the farm and the business; and in terms of the relationship between the family farm business and the external environment within which it is situated.
"Leading the future," Melbourne, Victoria, 15 to 16 June 2005 (National Forum) – This was the culmination of a series of regional workshops on Leadership in Extension and Community Engagement in Launceston – Tas, Toowoomba – Qld, Naracoorte – SA, Albury - NSW/Wodonga – Vic, Busselton – WA, Melbourne – Vic, Hobart – Tas (APEN/Rural Development Services) - Convenor and main facilitator
"Shaping Change in Communities – Dimensions of Excellence," 5th Australasia Pacific Extension Conference, Busselton, Western Australia, 9 to 12 November 2009 (International Conference and AGM) - Young Professional Award renamed the APEN Amabel Fulton Award for Excellence in Extension by a Young Professional in memory of the late Amabel Fulton