Innovator Michael Leslie Poole inducted into the Agricultural Hall of Fame

June 17, 2024

RASWA President John Snowball, with Inductee Michael Leslie Poole’s family members: Chris Poole, Alison Poole, Emily Poole and Claire Keenan, alongside His Excellency the Governor of Western Australia Chris Dawson and his wife Mrs. Darrilyn Dawson 

The Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia (RASWA) proudly announces the induction of Michael Leslie Poole AM into the prestigious Western Australian Agricultural Hall of Fame. This honour recognises Poole’s outstanding contributions to agriculture and rural life in Western Australia, commemorating his lifelong dedication to agricultural science and innovation. 

Michael Leslie Poole, (1 September 1943 – 4 September 2022), made significant strides in agricultural productivity, particularly in the development of Western Australia’s canola industry. His pioneering research and leadership in agricultural science have left a lasting impact on the region’s farming practices and policies. 

During his extensive career, Poole worked with the Western Australian Department of Agriculture, focusing on various research areas, including crop and pasture production, weed competition, and the development of new cropping systems. He played a pivotal role in the introduction and expansion of canola farming in Western Australia, which has grown to become the second-largest crop in the region after wheat, significantly contributing to the state’s economy. 

Poole’s leadership extended beyond research. He held numerous key positions, such as Director of Enterprise Development and Executive Director of Plant Industry at the Department of Agriculture. Later, he served as Executive Chair at CSIRO’s Centre for Environment and Life Sciences, fostering collaboration between scientists and industry stakeholders to address critical agricultural challenges. 

In addition to his scientific contributions, Poole was actively involved in various environmental and planning initiatives, including the Swan River Trust and the Central Perth Planning Committee. His efforts have been recognised with numerous awards, such as the Member of the Order of Australia and the Centenary Medal of Australia. 

The induction ceremony presided over by His Excellency the Governor of Western Australia, celebrated Poole’s legacy. This prestigious award was accepted by Michael Leslie Poole’s son, Mr. Chris Poole, and his daughters Ms. Alison Poole, Ms. Emily Poole and Ms. Claire Keenan. 

Dr Keith Croker, who nominated Mick for the accolade, commented: “Mick had a particular capacity for bringing others together in collaborative teams focused on a common problem, identifying practical solutions to the difficulties of farming on West Australia’s challenging soils and climates. His style was always collaborative and understated, immensely competent and ideally suited to the later roles he undertook in CSIRO and elsewhere.” 

The Agricultural Hall of Fame was established by RASWA in 1999 to honour individuals who have made exceptional contributions to agriculture and rural life in Western Australia. Since its inception, 67 individuals, including farmers, scientists, business leaders, academics, and agricultural innovators have been inducted. 

Call for Nominations 

RASWA is inviting nominations for the next round of inductions into the Agricultural Hall of Fame. Nominations should highlight individuals who have made a significant contribution and influence on the history of Western Australian agricultural, primary production and/or rural life in their local and wider communities in Western Australia. Submissions are due by the end of August 2024. Detailed information on the nomination process and previous inductees can be found on the RASWA website. 

For more information, please visit: Agricultural Hall of Fame – RASWA                                   


Media Contact: 

Ailsa Gardner, Communications Specialist
Phone: 0479 198 938


About the Royal Agricultural Society of WA 

The Royal Agricultural Society of WA (RASWA) is a member-based not-for-profit organisation dedicated to growing opportunities for the future of WA food and agriculture.  Since 1903, the 194-year-old organisation has been based at the Claremont Showgrounds — a much-loved community asset, best known as the home of the annual Perth Royal Show and hundreds of different community events.  Importantly, RASWA supports the future of agriculture through a range of student scholarships, farm skills and young judges’ programs, the rural ambassador competition, and our Next Generation committee. 

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