NFF finalises 2021 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership cohort

Sheep Central, May 19, 2021

SUCCESSFUL participants in the National Farmers Federation’s popular 2021 Diversity in Agriculture Program have been finalised.

The NFF said a group of 12 skilled, talented and ambitious women, professionals in areas as diverse as station management, animal science and international trade mad up the 2021 program intake.

The 2021 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program cohort in the image above, starting top left, moving right and down, includes Anna Harrison, Mungindi, NSW; Anna Hooper, Mitcham, SA; Brie Montgomery, Winmalee, NSW; Gillian Fennell, Marla, SA; Janice Liu, Gosford, NSW; Latarnie McDonald, Taradale, VIC; Lucy Staughton, Gunnedah, NSW; Mary Vaughan, Mount Isa, QLD; Miffy Gilbert, Glen Iris, VIC; Prudence Cook, Dimboola, VIC; Sally Murfet                    Sorell, TAS; Tracy Sullivan, Broome, WA.

The women were selected from 100 applicants and will soon embark on an intensive one-on-one mentoring program, to assist in determining leadership goals and the role they aspire to play in the future of Australian agriculture.

The Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program is a flagship initiative of the federation aimed at achieving its goal to double the number of women in agriculture’s leadership by 2030, based on a 2018 benchmark.

NFF president Fiona Simson said she is inspired that the program, in its fourth year, continued to resonate with women across Australia.

“The success of Australian agriculture to date has hinged on men and women working together on farm.

“However, providing a pathway for women to transcend to leadership positions has not materialised as fast as it should have,” she said.

Ms Simson said the program is making a difference by creating the pathways and networks needed to ensure gender parity in the roles that would shape the agriculture of tomorrow. Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program graduates have gone on to hold industry board positions and to be changemakers within their sectors and communities, the NFF said.

Ms Simson said the program was underpinned by a group of more than 20 committed partners, including government agencies, multi-national corporations and farm advocacy bodies.

“Our partners publicly pledge to make meaningful change towards gender diversity and to report on the steps taken towards this goal.

“The targets, plans and innovations our Partners continue to put in place to ensure female and male voices are heard equally are making a difference: from introducing designated breast-feeding rooms; and more flexible work arrangements to doing more to encourage and incentivise men to take parental leave,” she said.

The 2021 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program cohort goes to Canberra in June for an introductory retreat and members will complete their mentoring and graduate at the NFF’s National Conference in September.

“Like in previous years, the program attracted a high volume of very high calibre applicants and I am left in no doubt that the future of our sector’s leadership is bright, if as an industry we continue to foster the development of our people,” Ms Simson said.

“I congratulate this year’s group and I look forward to getting to know these 12 outstanding women and supporting them on their leadership journey.”

Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program partners include: AgForce; AACo; AgriFutures Australia; BASF; Bayer; CANEGROWERS; Coles; Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia; Cotton Australia; CPC; Federal Department of Agriculture, Water & the Environment; FMC; Grains Research & Development Corporation; nbn; NSW Farmers; Nufarm; Nutrien Ag Solutions; Prime Super; Rabobank; Rimfire Resources; Rural Bank; Syngenta; WFI & Wine Australia.


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