NEWS RELEASE   July 15, 2022

John Deere Australian Technician Award finalists announced

Queensland (15 July, 2022) — PRECISION agriculture specialists, resourceful mechanics who have worked across the globe, and a tenacious young woman returning after being a finalist last year are among the contenders in the Agriculture Service Technician category of the second annual John Deere Technician Awards.

The talented technicians rose to the top of a competitive field of more than 100 award nominations from across both Australia and New Zealand. They will now progress to the second round of judging where their hands-on skills and technical expertise for providing remote backup support will be tested.

John Deere Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Luke Chandler, congratulated the four Australian finalists: Jaymee Ireland, Emmetts Roseworthy; Vincent Powditch, RDO Equipment - Taree South; Karl Moschella, Honeycombes, Ayr; and, William Lawless, Brandt, Sunshine.

"Technicians deliver services integral to the agriculture industry by not only providing vital backup support and remote diagnostics, but by empowering operators to get the most out of their machinery and technology," Mr Chandler said.

"Australia is fortunate to have an enormous pool of talented technicians working across the country, so these finalists deserve to be very proud for being named among the best in their field."

Mr Chandler also congratulated the four Australians named as finalists in the John Deere Australian Parts Technician category: Sally Clayton, Hutcheon & Pearce, Forbes; Caitlin Williams, RDO Equipment, Gympie; Dillon James, AFGRI Equipment, Narrogin; and, Sarah Lewis, Brandt, Terang.

"Parts technicians play an integral role in ensuring the agriculture, forestry and construction industries have a rapid flow of parts and equipment to their machines," Mr Chandler said.

"Technicians working in the parts department have an intimate knowledge of machinery and are often a farmer or operator's first port of call when seeking new parts."

The John Deere Technician Awards were established in 2021 to recognise the hard work and expertise technicians provide to farmers across Australia and New Zealand, and their drive to support operators and businesses to be their most efficient, productive and profitable.

In total, more than 100 nominations from across Australia and New Zealand were received for this year's award program, with finalists competing in six different categories, including Agriculture Service Technician of the Year, Construction & Forestry Service Technician of the Year, Turf Service Technician of the Year, Service Apprentice of the Year, Parts Technician of the Year and Parts Apprentice of the Year.

The award winners will be announced at a special gala event on 5 August in Brisbane.


Jaymee Ireland: Roseworthy, South Australia

Fully qualified John Deere Technician Jaymee Ireland has carved a career in South Australia's rich broadacre and vineyard industries, where she specialises in header repairs and said she finds enormous reward in her work, and the integral role it plays in food and fibre production.

Jaymee's infectious drive and determination have made her an ambassador for young people interested in pursuing mechanical trades in the agriculture sector. From an early age, the hardworking 22-year-old had an interest in heavy machinery, which was first piqued when growing up near cane farms at Mossman, Far North Queensland, where her grandfather, Charlie Brischetto, showed her the ropes of John Deere harvesters.

Today, Jaymee often relies on John Deere's JDLink™ and Connected Support to provide farmers remote and instant diagnostic and backup support to ensure equipment is running at optimal performance. 

Vincent Powditch: Taree South, New South Wales

Master Technician Vincent Powditch brings years of life experience to every job when supporting dairy, cropping and livestock farmers in the Taree region. After briefly studying accounting as a young man, he decided he was better suited to hands-on work and fulfilled a range of tasks including rolling whiskey barrels in Scotland and running vehicle workshops in remote national parks across Australia, an experience which saw him repair boat motors while surrounded by four-metre crocodiles. While Vincent said there was a thrill to being a 'bush mechanic' he was pleased to have found his niche supporting agriculture businesses as a John Deere Field Service Technician in Taree.

Vincent's genuine passion for machinery and exceptional problem-solving skills have seen him excel through John Deere training and become a leader within the workshop, mentoring the next generation to improve their technical expertise.

Karl Moschella: Ayr, Queensland

Ayr Field Service Master Technician, Karl Moschella, has dedicated close to 20 years to providing vital backup support to farmers working across the Burdekin, Australia's largest sugar-producing region, and as far north as Mossman, in Far North Queensland. Karl was instrumental in developing, and maintaining, a market for secondhand John Deere cane harvesters in Thailand, where he fostered key relationships with large millers and government entities. Karl also leant his expertise to the John Deere Thibodaux factory, in Louisiana, where he helped identify quality control measures for harvesters on the production line.

Over the years Karl has fostered close relationships with farmers, as he has played a leading role in ensuring their businesses are making the most of the sector's peak windows of opportunity, be that planting or harvesting.

William Lawless: Sunshine, Victoria

William Lawless has become a precision agriculture champion and dedicates much of his day supporting farmers in adopting innovative farming technology and streamlining their use of John Deere software in their businesses. William's drive and passion for precision agriculture stems from a firm belief the sector should be well supported in capitalising on evolving technology, given the role farmers play in maintaining the world's food supply chain and caring for Australia's land and resources.

Growing up on a farm himself, William has always had an interest in heavy machinery, and after completing work experience at a few machinery dealerships he pursued a career with John Deere as it meant he could work with farmers and complete tasks in the field.


Sally Clayton: Hutcheon & Pearce, Forbes, New South Wales

Sally Clayton's roots in the agriculture industry, having grown up working within the sheep and wool sector, made forging a career in the farming industry highly appealing. When still a teenager, she stumbled upon the Hutcheon and Pearce Top Gun Apprentice/Trainee program and jumped at the chance to become a Parts Technician.

Today, Sally has built a rapport with farmers, and has become passionate about mentoring and upskilling the next generations of Parts Technicians servicing the Forbes region.

Caitlin Williams: RDO Equipment, Gympie, Queensland

Caitlin Williams has spent five years carving out a career as a Parts Technician, and along the way earned a reputation for her extensive knowledge of John Deere machinery, but readily admits she "fell into the job". Originally, Caitlin was working in her local Gympie John Deere dealership's administration, however was called in to assist in the Parts Department for an interim period, during which she fell in love with the job and gained her qualifications to be a parts interpreter.

Caitlin said she enjoyed the variety and scope of work John Deere provided, as she supports customers ranging from large-scale farming contractors, to home gardeners requiring new blades for their ride-on mowers.

Dillon James: AFGRI Equipment, Narrogin, Western Australia

Growing up in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia and graduating from the Western Australian College of Agriculture Narrogin, Dillon James was determined to find work within the farm sector, and preferably, something close to home. Dillon secured all of this and more when he became a Parts Technician at his local John Deere dealership, AFGRI Equipment.

After gaining experience monitoring the flow of parts into the dealership, and ensuring they reached farmers as swiftly as possible, Dillon has now set his sights on becoming a Parts Department Manager. To achieve this long-term goal, Dillon has gained as much experience as possible and has worked in different roles across the business, including spending time as a Customer Sales Representative.

Sarah Lewis: Brandt, Terang, Victoria

Growing up in regional Victoria on a small farm and being surrounded by large agriculture has meant Terang Parts Technician, Sarah Lewis's, heart has always been with supporting farming communities. Sarah grew up around mechanically minded relatives which instilled a fundamental understanding of the crucial nature of parts to farming businesses operating under tight timeframes. This deep understanding propels Sarah to push herself and ensure she is finding timely solutions for customers on a daily basis.

Sarah was never daunted to be a female working in a male-dominated industry, and said she has gained the respect of, and built strong relationships with, the dealership's farming customers.


Agriculture Service Technician of the Year Finalists
(will compete for Australia only Award)

  • Jaymee Ireland, Emmetts, Roseworthy, South Australia
  • Vincent Powditch, RDO Equipment, Taree South, New South Wales
  • Karl Moschella, Honeycombes, Ayr, Queensland
  • William Lawless, Brandt, Sunshine, Victoria

Construction & Forestry Service Technician of the Year Finalists
(will also compete against two New Zealand technicians for a combined New Zealand/Australian Award)

  • Peter Roughley, RDO Equipment, Eastern Creek, New South Wales
  • Scott Jackson, RDO Equipment, Richlands, Queensland
  • Max O'Brien, RDO Equipment, Wingfield, South Australia
  • Ben Mummery, AFGRI Equipment, Albany, Western Australia

Turf Service Technician of the Year Finalists
(will also compete against two New Zealand technician for a combined New Zealand/Australian Award)

  • Cameron Black, RDO Equipment, Lismore, New South Wales
  • Michael Gemzik, RDO Equipment, Loganholme, Queensland
  • John Mooney, AFGRI Equipment, South Guildford, Western Australia
  • Adam Kent, Brandt, Knoxfield, Victoria

Service Apprentice of the Year Finalists

(will also compete against two New Zealand apprentice for a combined New Zealand/Australian Award)

  • Oliver Dean, Hutcheon & Pearce, Cowra, New South Wales
  • Jack Jones, RDO Equipment, Roma, Queensland
  • Josh Kramer, Emmetts, Roseworthy, South Australia
  • Thomas Conroy, Brandt, Ballarat, Victoria

Parts Technician of the Year Finalists
(will compete for Australia only Award)

  • Sally Clayton, Hutcheon & Pearce, Forbes, New South Wales
  • Caitlin Williams, RDO Equipment, Gympie, Queensland
  • Dillon James, AFGRI Equipment, Narrogin, Western Australia
  • Sarah Lewis, Brandt, Terang, Victoria

Parts Apprentice of the Year Finalists
(will also compete against one New Zealand apprentice for a combined New Zealand/Australian Award)

  • Kaylyn-Rose Netrval, RDO Equipment, Rutherford, New South Wales
  • Lauren Cortes, RDO Equipment, Dalby, Queensland
  • Mitchell Channer, AFGRI Equipment, South Guildford, Western Australia
  • Matt Harvey, Midland Tractors, Longford, Tasmania

About Deere & Company:

Deere & Company is a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, golf & turf, construction, and forestry equipment. We help our customers push the boundaries of what's possible in ways that are more productive and sustainable to help life leap forward. Our technology-enabled products including the John Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor and See & Spray™ are just two of the ways we help meet the world's increasing need for food, shelter, and infrastructure. Deere & Company also provides financial services through John Deere Financial. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at or in Australia at

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