2020 Winner

Michelle Downs
Lethal Pest Control Gold Coast

Michelle is the sole owner/operator of Lethal Pest Control, Southport Queensland and is a qualified pest technician with more than eight years’ experience in the pest management industry. Michelle’s career in pest management began as a solo female operator carrying out General Pest Services, nature conservation and weed control. To expand her presence in the industry Michelle went on to include termite treatment options after training with an experienced male pest manager who had been in the industry for 20 years. 

Lethal Pest Control was formed in 2012. Michelle worked in her business on weekends and after hours whilst working in the role as Vector Control Technician, regularly working 12-15 hour days to ensure the continued viability and growth of her business whilst taking advantage of the opportunity to further enhance her knowledge in pest management. Continued growth in her own business saw Michelle leave the role of Vector Technician and concentrate solely on meeting the demands of an expanding customer base; only one year after
establishing Lethal Pest Control.

Michelle’s desire to inspire more female advocates in the Australian pest industry began her posting videos of her work in the field on the Professional Women in Australian Pest Management’s Group Facebook page, discussing pest identification, harborages and successful
treatment options she employs in the eradication of pests that she encounters in her day-to-day work, as a way to inform and support other pest technicians working in the field. She has been able to demonstrate women are not limited to roles in administration and management roles in the Australian pest industry, and that they can have rewarding careers working in the field as pest technicians or owner/operators.


Tracey Eyles
Scorpion Pest Management Tasmania

Tracey Eyles is the Business Manager for Scorpion Pest Management. Tracey alongside with her husband established Scorpion Universal Pest Management in 2008 which became a company in 2017 known as Scorpion Pest Management. Before the establishment of Scorpion Pest Management and having accomplished 14 years in Managerial roles, Tracey completed the necessary certifications such as Diploma in Business Management and Diploma in Human resources.Tracey knows what it takes to be a good Manager and Leader. 

Tracey is the driving force behind Scorpions “Keen to get Green” campaign where the Scorpions team are actively involved in the community, whether it be through educational purposes, voluntary programs, or monetary contributions, relating to environmental conservation. In 2016 Tracey implemented the Scorpion Advancement Programme (SAP) with the purpose of the programme is to ensure that all staff have access to learning, development and training opportunities which enables them to be suitably knowledgeable and skilled to carry out their role within the company and the offering of enhanced career opportunities. In September 2019 Tracey implemented a health and well-being program for all employees, this program is designed to encourage employees to be more physically active by making provisions in the workplace, provide healthy eating choices through addressing healthy physical settings, food supply and education, promote awareness of key health issues for employees including social and emotional well-being and encourage employees to provide input into health and well-being initiatives.

Kuyan Rider
Conquer Termites Northside Brisbane

Kuyan Rider is the general manager at Conquer Termites Northside and is currently successfully maintaining the sanity of 7 technicians, a business owner, a franchisor and a full time administrator. Kuyan’s skillset includes accounts, HR, IT, sales & marketing, scheduling and event planning and has a varied interest in study from psychology to Digital Media & Technology. She has recently completed her full Certificate 3 in Urban Pest Management by also completing her timber pest course. Whilst working in the pest control industry for the past 9 years Kuyan has grown her passion for providing honest, reliable, trained and trustworthy pest and termite technicians to homeowners throughout North Brisbane.

In Kuyan’s words “Hopefully I have been inspiring women around me to consider pest management as a career option
for them by sharing my thoughts and experiences whilst doing my pest and termite course. I can help others
to achieve their goals and improve the industry overall.”

Rachel Skedd
Acacia Pest Control Geelong

Rachel Skedd, alongside with her husband Cameron started Acacia Pest Control 20 years ago, starting out as a single operator business operating from the Bellarine Peninsula. Rachel’s forte was office administration, mostly scheduling, accounts and bookkeeping in the early days but when Cameron was diagnosed with a genetic condition that was not curable, her role grew a considerable length. They had to change their tact with the business to keep it prospering. It was apparent that to
continue with their business they would need to employ technicians to carry out the work that
Cameron could eventually no longer do. Rachel had to take on a much bigger role in and outside of the business. At this fork in the road, a new journey began at Acacia Pest Control. 

A side-step in the business in 2006 had Rachel involved with Cameron in creating the Tristar rodent bait station that is used in the pest industry. This journey took her focus to another level to find pathways to market and improve their own business strength in the industry. The bait station is a widely used tool in pest control and the Tristar RatShack is an innovative style, markedly different from the standard ‘shoebox’ design that has been in the industry for many years. The Tristar bait station is used in the Australian Pest Industry and has also been exported to Singapore, United States, England, Switzerland and Indonesia. 

A further side-step in Rachel’s business was her volunteer contribution to the VPMAA (Vertebrate Pest Managers Association of Australia). The VPMAA began in 2009. The Association began as a Victorian Group but grew and expanded to incorporate the rest of Australia in 2015. Rachel had some involvement up to 2015 at which time she became heavily relied upon for secretarial and treasurer support.

Over the twenty years of being in business, Rachel has had fifty people work with Acacia Pest Control. Of these fifty people, thirteen are currently employed at Acacia, some decided the pest control industry was not for them and nine others went on to create their own pest control businesses, some of which are now very successful and have made themselves a high profile in the pest management industry. She is delighted that in a small way she has had something to do with their success.

Kerryn Waters
Rentokil Initial Qld

Kerryn has worked in the pest management industry for nearly 5 years, having come from the Woolworths group with an extensive background in retail and team leadership, and currently leads a team of 200 people across 4 businesses throughout Queensland. Since joining Rentokil Initial, Kerryn’s most notable achievements have been to lead teams that have won Australian Sales Team of the Year in 2016 & 2019.

Kerryn demonstrates outstanding leadership in the Brisbane branch, changing the culture, and growing pest revenue. She is a mentor to 6 Brisbane female employees and continues to drive this momentum in creating opportunities for women in the industry. 

When Kerryn first started in 2016, she had only 1 female in her senior leadership team of 5. She now has a 100% female senior leadership team (7 including herself) in Brisbane.

Cassie Ryan
Above and Beyond Pest Control Geelong

Cassie Ryan is one of the owners of Above and Beyond Pest Control. She is a fully qualified pest management technician. Cassie’s passion is actually loving all of the spiders and bugs, not killing them. As one could well imagine, this isn’t a great marketing spiel to hook a customer shopping around for a pest control company. Instead of leading with her scandalous secret, Cassie makes a concerted effort to build a
trusted relationship with her customers based on transparency, and then enthusiastically shares some of the ways she considers a spider or insect to be part of a healthy ecology.

Cassie first joined the pest control industry as an admin assistant for a medium-sized, locally owned business. When they advertised a position for a new trainee pest controller, she applied. She did not get the position, but as fate steps in it ultimately led her to go out on her own to operate a small family pest control business with her partner Chris, whom she shares 3 children with.  

Cassie has put herself out there to the industry. She is passionate about the industry. In Cassie’s words ” My sole superpower is to
encourage and support and educate. Especially to women trying to find their feet. I wish for women to have the confidence to choose a place in the industry they WANT to be.”

Social media has allowed Cassie to share her passion with many people from the general public, both female and male pest control technicians, business owners, founders and administrators of many different industry pages. She loves to learn new things, and manages to rationalise all of the time she spends on industry social media pages as ‘research’.


Nicole Bellman (Rentokil Initial – Adelaide) 
Shirley Lyon ( PDM Pest Control)
Cassie Ryan (Above and Beyond Pest Control)
Kuyan Rider (Conquer Termites Northside)
Emily Ward (Rentokil – Newcastle)
Catrina Kennedy (Allpest WA)
Liz Thatcher (Allpest WA)
Jodi Urey (Drop Dead Pest Control)
Christine Maindok (M&M Pest Control)
Lara Power (CQ Propest)
Karen Dadson (Pest Guard WA  Pty Ltd)
Michelle Downs (Lethal Pest Control)
Danielle Teulan (Bargain Pest Control)
Anna Moseley (Rentokil Initial – WA) 
Lee-Ann Edwards (Rentokil Pest Control –  Brisbane)
Amanda Robin (Rentokil Initial – Brisbane)
Lisa Goff (Rentokil – Brisbane)
Sylvia Sandas (Rentokil Pest Control)
Myarnee kinga-Rawiri (Rentokil Pest Control – ACT)
Kerryn Waters (Rentokil Pest Control – Qld)
Kirralee Hotching (Rentokil Pest Control)
Jenny Jordan (A1 Pest Control Canberra)
Dostana Begum (WG Genera Pacific Pte Limited)
Nina Ferrie (Flick – Newcastle Branch)
Jessica Halls (Pesteco)
Kahlee Aldridge (Suburban Pest Management)
Mia Bartos (Sundew Solutions)
Michaela Olovsson (KR Pest Control)
Tanya Brooksby (Greens Pest Services)
Lisa Gale (Safe Spray Pest Control)
Rachel Skedd (Acacia Pest Control)
Toni-Rae Buenaventura McEvoy (Pest Protocols Pty Ltd)
Asita Devi Deo (Fastkil Pest Control Services Pte Limited)
Bree Mirabito (Zapp Pest & Property Services)
Delia Sanig (iDeBug Pest control)
Tracey Eyles (Scorpion Pest Management)
Sharon Hampson (Bugs-Be-Gone Pest Control)  
Marilyn Escosa (CPM Pest & Hygiene Services)  
Marcell Cottier (Mr Pest Controller)