The State Government has unveiled a new scholarship honouring the life of WA’s Pink Lady apple breeder John Cripps, who died at the ripe old age of 95 last year after a lifetime serving the agriculture and food sectors. Mr Cripps was best known for developing the Cripps Pink Lady apple, marketed as the trademarked Pink Lady, at the Stoneville research station in 1973 by crossing a Golden Delicious with a Red Williams. WA Agriculture Minister Jackie Jarvis unveiled the John Cripps Horticulture Scholarship on the first morning of the two-day WA Horticulture Update in Perth on October 31, saying it would bolster production across WA’s $1.49 billion horticulture industry. She said the scholarship’s creation had the support of Mr Cripps’ family, including his daughters Alwyne Parker and Dr Helen Cripps. “John Cripps left an enduring legacy, with Pink Lady, Sundowner and Bravo apples now household favourites in WA and around the world,” she said. “This scholarship is a fitting way to commemorate and celebrate John’s vision and determination, which transformed apple breeding. “I look forward to seeing the fruits of this investment and what the next generation of horticulture researchers will achieve.” The scholarship is open to one student every second year, with $150,000 on the table for doctorate students (to be spent across tree years) and up to $100,000 on offer for post-graduate students (to be spent across two years). Students must be studying at a WA university and committed to boosting collaboration between government, academia and industry. The scholarship will be funded by royalties from horticulture varieties developed by the State, including those from Cripps Pink and Cripps Red apples — commonly known as Pink Lady, Sundowner, as well as the Bravo. Ms Jarvis said the investment reflected the State Government’s commitment to driving a strong future for WA’s horticulture industry. Mr Cripps worked at the then-Department of Agriculture and Food WA for more than 40 years, leading the team that developed one of the world’s most popular apples: the Cripps Pink variety. He was also behind the development of the Cripps Red variety, known as Sundowner, which is a parent of the recently released deep burgundy Bravo apple. The Pink Lady first hit the market in 1991 and has since been listed as one of Australia’s top 100 inventions. Eventually, the brand accounted for more than 30 per cent of Australia’s apple production. In 2010, Mr Cripps was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Royal Agricultural Society of WA, and five years later was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. At the time, the then-83-year-old was the only member of the horticulture industry in the Hall of Fame, and said it was “important to keep the WA fruit and vegetable industries alive”. To find out more and apply for a scholarship, visit agric.wa.gov.au/john-cripps-horticulture-scholarships.