THE National Farmers’ Federation has this week welcomed the 2022 cohort of the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program to Canberra for the initiative’s two-day introductory retreat.
The group of 12 women were selected from more than 100 applications for the mentoring and network opportunity. The program, now in its fifth year, is designed to create a clear pathway for women to pursue leadership opportunities within the sector.
Program coordinator Kristy Barber said across the two days, the group heard from inspiring leaders and took part in practical personal and professional development sessions.
“The NFF is committed to diversity in all its forms, not just because it’s the right thing to do, its because we need the best and brightest working and taking up leadership positions in our industry.
“The Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program is the NFF’s flagship leadership initiative focussed on the goal to double the number of women in agriculture’s leadership ranks,” she said.
“Again this year, we have a cohort of seriously talented women with a huge cross section of skills and experience, who all have one thing in common: they aspire to play a leading role in the future of Australian agriculture.”
Ms Barber said Day 1 of the retreat included an introduction to the National Farmers’ Federation; a briefing from remote working expert and former Rural Woman of the Year Jo Palmer, a pep talk from Eden Monaro MP and Assistant Minister for Regional Development, Kristy McBain; personality profiling; a leadership workshop and a wind-down blanket knitting workshop with Ohh Bulldust’s Sam Longmore.
An important part of the retreat was starting the mentoring program. The 12 mentees were matched with their mentor, accomplished male and female leaders, with whom they will complete a five-month intensive mentoring program.
“The retreat provided the opportunity for mentees and mentors to meet for the first time face-to-face and start the process of goal setting and all the very worthwhile outcomes that come from mentoring.”
The second day also included media training and an intense speed dating session with industry leaders. The group will now meet with their mentor regularly and come together as group regularly for online learning opportunities.
2022 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership cohort
Rachel Palumbo – West Melbourne, VIC
Olivia Lawson – Clarkes Hill, VIC
Simone Cameron – Katherine, NT
Mary Raynes – Perth, WA
Nicole Byrnes – Pooncarie, NSW
Skye Ward – Bungendore, NSW
Michelle Lench – Wingfield, SA
Anna Playfair-Hannay – Forbes, NSW
Sarah Woolford – York, WA
Sophie Lountain – Orange, NSW
Leanne Rudd – Bundaberg, QLD
Elke Cleverdon – Young, NSW
The NFF’s Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program is made possible with the support of 33 committed partners, who are making transformational change when it comes to the increased representation of women in the leadership ranks of their organisations.