join the network

About the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network

The National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network (NPBDN) is the nationally integrated network for plant diagnosticians in Australia

Members of the network support their profession by helping to contribute to a sustainable plant diagnostic system. Their activities enable the efficient and effective diagnosis of plant pests by Australian plant diagnosticians.

The network was founded in 2011. The network was formally established by a wide range of stakeholders involved in managing Australia’s plant biosecurity system. Plant diagnosticians involved with this network are located in every state and territory. Diagnostic services are provided from cities and regional centres in most of Australia’s major agricultural production areas.


Subcommittee on Plant Health Diagnostics

Click here to learn more about the subcommittee

  • Juliane Henderson

    Chair – SPHD

  • Jamie Davies

    Deputy SPHD Chair


  • Mark Schutze


  • Kath de Boer

    Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) – Commonwealth

  • Dominie Wright

    Proficiency Testing Coordinator

    Western Australia

  • Rachel Mann

    Plant Health Australia

  • Stanley Bellgard

    Northern Territory

  • Veronica Hayes


  • Fiona Constable

    Agriculture Victoria

  • Toni Chapman

    New South Wales

  • Cathryn Todd

    South Australia

  • Mike Hodda


  • Jo Luck

    Observer – PBRI

  • Jeremy Thompson

    Observer – New Zealand

  • Bianca Rodrigues Jardim

    Observer – NPBDN Coordinator
    Plant Health Australia

  • Our network

    Consider joining the network

    Providing plant health diagnostic services in Australasia can be challenging, particularly given the array of host plants, shrinking resources and the heightened risk from increased trade and travel.

    These challenges are more effectively dealt with when Australasian plant biosecurity diagnosticians are working cooperatively in a network. If you would like to contribute to this network, consider becoming a member.

  • Our network

    Are you eligible to join?

    To join the network you must be an active plant diagnostician employed within Australasia by a government agency, a research institution-based laboratory, a commercial laboratory or a museum.

    The network invites all plant diagnosticians to become members, including: entomologists, general plant pathologists, virologists, phytoplasmologists, bacteriologists, molecular biologists, mycologists, nematologists, botanists and weed scientists.

  • Our network

    Benefits to you

    • Connect with other diagnosticians for assistance and advice
    • Improve your awareness by being able to take advantage of opportunities to enhance your expertise in plant diagnostics through various professional development activities
    • Easily access and share insights on a range of tools and resources.


  • Our network

    Benefits to Australian plant diagnostics

    An integrated, national network has numerous benefits, including:

    • identification and reduction of unnecessary duplication of effort through networked diagnostic capability and capacity
    • removal of impediments that currently restrict open multi-jurisdictional interactions through the development of standard operating procedures and agreements.
  • Our network

    Benefits to Australian plant diagnostics

    • identification and development of responses to emerging risks and gaps in diagnostic services across the biosecurity continuum
    • provision to deliver seamless surge capacity during outbreaks
    • increased information flow through the use of contemporary IT and secure social network services
    • promotion of delivery of education and training for plant diagnosticians.


Our governance

Charter for the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network

The purpose of the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network (the Network) is to enhance the delivery of plant biosecurity diagnostic services in Australia to safeguard the economy, environment and community. The Network improves Australia’s ability to respond to plant pests through better utilising available skills and capacity, improving connections and sharing of information, and coordinating the effective development and deployment of diagnostic resources.

The Network consists of organisational, individual and coordinating members. Individual and organisational members:

  • diagnose exotic and established plant pests;
  • exchange experience and expertise through the Network; and
  • improve the capacity of the Network by developing new or improved technologies and procedures.

The National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Professional Development and Protocols Projects are coordinated and delivered by Plant Health Australia and are funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The objectives of the Projects are to enhance and strengthen Australia’s diagnostic and surveillance capacity and capability to identify priority plant pests that impact on plant industries, environment and the community.

Coordinating Network members:

  • oversee the strategic direction and development of the Network and its members;
  • manage the Network structure to optimise efficiencies and to assist members; and
  • communicate on behalf of the Network and promote the Australasian plant biosecurity diagnostic system.
See our Charter