Entering its second year, the Professional Women in Australian Pest Management (PWAPM) Excellence Award this year goes to owner/operator Michelle Downs of Lethal Pest Control, QLD.

The Professional Women in Australian Pest Management (PWAPM) Excellence Award winner is recognised as a woman in the pest control industry who has not only shown outstanding leadership, but has dedicated her time and energy in making notable contributions to the development and growth within the industry. The 2020 winner was chosen for her high standards, professionalism, and commitment to not only her own business, but women in pest management.

The pandemic threw a few challenges our way in presenting this year’s award due to the national pest conference being cancelled. The announcement was made via a live stream from the Sofitel Noosa, and it was encouraging to see the positive comments from everyone watching. It was also an opportunity to see what a virtual future could look like and for more of us to experience its potential benefits.

The success of this year’s award has proven the importance of recognising the amazing work of people in our industry, even though many businesses are facing uncertain times. This year we were excited to have entrants from women in varied roles, ranging from administration and managerial to pest technicians. Six deserving finalists were chosen out of 66 nominations. Five judges were chosen for the written application process and five for the live interviews, with these 10 judges comprising two PWAPM Award Committee Representatives, a BASF Representative, an AEPMA Chair, a previous award recipient, and individual persons and experts who have been involved in the pest industry for many years.

The 2020 finalists were:

  • Tracey Eyles – Scorpion Pest Management, Tasmania
  • Cassie Ryan – Above and Beyond Pest Control, Geelong
  • Kerryn Waters – Rentokil Initial, Brisbane
  • Rachel Skedd – Acacia Pest Control, Geelong
  • Michelle Downs – Lethal Pest Control, Gold Coast
  • Kuyan Rider – Conquer Termites, Northside Qld

Congratulations to the 2020 winner Michelle Downs. Michelle is the sole owner/operator of Lethal Pest Control, in Southport Queensland, and is a qualified pest technician with more than eight years’ experience in the pest management industry.

Michelle Downs, Owner/Operator of Lethal Pest Control, PWAPM Excellence Award Winner 2020
Michelle Downs, Owner/Operator of Lethal Pest Control, PWAPM Excellence Award Winner 2020

She has demonstrated that women working in the pest industry are not limited to roles in just administration and management, but they can have rewarding careers working in the field as pest technicians or owner/operators. She is a great representation of what females in the industry can achieve. To learn more about Michelle, please visit the PWAPM website.

Thank you to BASF for again sponsoring this award; without support from companies such as BASF we would not be able to present such awards. We look forward to launching the 2021 PWAPM Excellence Award and encourage everybody to get involved and nominate. It’s the ideal way to show your appreciation and thank co-workers or someone you know who does great things in the industry.

Nicky Turner, President, Professional Women in Australian Pest Management (PWAPM)

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