The 10th Australian Soil Judging Competition was held by Soil Science Australia in Ballarat and surrounds in December. This year’s event includes participants from around Australia coming together to connect, learn and improve their understanding of soil.

The event was held in the lead up to World Soils Day on 5 December.

Soils are one of our most valuable resources in Australia.  They are essential to our food, fibre and water supplies.

The Soil Judging Competition included two training days and one competition day, leading to the announcement of the winners at the awards dinner.

Prizes were awarded for team and individual performances.

The competition was held at Federation University, Ballarat, Victoria and in the surrounding area.

14 teams from universities and consulting firms around Australia took part in the competition, guided by soil science experts.



Congratulations to all participants.

Early Career Professional 

  • First – Michael White (Landloch)
  • 2nd  – Liam Thompson (Landloch)
  • 3rd  – Lachlan Campbell (Landloch)


  • First – University of Sydney
  • 2nd  – University of New England Team 1
  • 3rd – University of Melbourne Team 2


  • First – Lucinda Matthews (Uni Melb)
  • 2nd –  Stephen Lang (South Aus)
  • 3rd – Tony Fan (Uni Melb)

Bennison Trophy – Overall Winner

University of Sydney 

“Good quality soil science is key to improving and managing soil. Soil judging competitions are one of the best possible training and networking events for aspiring soil professionals” said Dr Gary Clark CPSS, Convenor of the Australian Soil Judging Competition.

“Soil judging competitions bring together experienced soil scientists with early career soil professionals and students to gain practical experience of soil in the landscape”.

“As the peak body for soil science, Soil Science Australia supports students and emerging soil professionals through a range of initiatives to help develop future soil professionals” said Michael Walker, Executive Officer of Soil Science Australia. “Soil Judging Competitions are a key professional development and networking opportunity for students and aspiring professionals”.


THANK YOU to all our participants, coaches and volunteers.


Special thanks to:  Ian Lawrence and Chris Weston. The landholders that welcomed us onto their property.

Organising committee

  • Gary Clark (Latrobe Uni – CPSS)
  • Nathan Robinson (FedUni)
  • Ivanah Oliver (UNE)
  • Bhawana Bhatta Kaudal (UniMelb)
  • Richard MacEwan (CPSS)
  • Clayton Butterly (Uni Melb)
  • Alexis Pang (Uni Melb)
  • Rebecca Mitchel (Ag Vic)
  • Christian Krohn
  • Michael Walker (SSA)
  • Xanthe Rivett (SSA)

Judges and experts

  • Richard MacEwan
  • David Rees
  • Brian Murphy
Coaches, judges and experts

The soil pits on competition day

Soil Pit 1 - Red Dermosol
Soil Pit 2 - Black Sodosol
Pit 3 - Brown Dermosol

Thank you to our partners


Further information:

Soil Judging – 22nd World Congress of Soil Science ( – The International Soil Judging Competition was held on Wednesday 27 – Sunday 31 July 2022 as part of the World Congress of Soil Science 2022 (WCSS 22) in Glasgow.

10th Australian Soil Judging Competition 2022 – The Australian Soil Judging Competition will be held 1-3 December in Ballarat, Victoria, with teams and participants coming together from across Australia.

Soil Science Australia is the national soil science body and a not-for-profit professional incorporated association for soil scientists and people interested in the responsible management of Australia’s soil resources.

World Soil Day is held annually on 5 December focussing attention on, highlighting the importance of healthy soil and advocating for the sustainable management of soil resources.

Media/interview enquiries:

Soil Science Australia Federal Office: 0476 450 321 or [email protected]