LA Judge Award – History

LA Judge Award history

The LA Judge Award was established in 1967 and is named in honour of Australian baking industry legend Les Judge.

Les Judge was born in 1904 in Inverell, New South Wales. He came from a farming and baking family and was involved in a number of both city and country bakeries. A wide interest in the Industry resulted in Mr Judge taking many new initiatives on behalf of the baking industry. During the 1940’s and 1950’s he lobbied extensively on behalf of bakers for an improvement in the quality of wheat varieties grown by farmers.

Mr Judge was involved in the establishment of the Bread Research Institute (BRI) in 1947. (For some years, the former BRI labs were managed by GrainGrowers, and now are managed by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC)). Mr Judge was actively involved in promoting research and training within the baking industry. In addition to being a qualified baker, he studied bacteriology and fermentation at the University of Sydney and completed a course in dietetics in order to gain a background in the technical and nutritional features of bread. Les Judge was keenly aware of the importance of apprenticeship training and assisted at East Sydney Technical College in various capacities. His enthusiasm and hard work resulted in a dramatic increase in the quality and standard of baking in Australia.

LA Judge is best remembered for persuading wheat growers to listen to the pleas of bakers and grow better quality baking wheat. He changed farmers’ attitudes not by rhetoric, but by going to them and baking bread.

Les Judge in 1952 (far right)