LEADERSHIP capability in Australia’s sheep meat and wool sectors has been given a $630,000-plus boost from the Federal Government.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce said the Sheepmeat Council of Australia and WoolProducers Australia are among 27 organisations sharing in the $5 million from Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund.
The SCA will receive $450,000 to develop the Future Flock Network, a group of skilled sheep meat industry leaders aiming to represent and support the industry to ensure productivity and profitability.
WoolProducers Australia has been granted $187,430 for its ‘Raising the Baa Leadership Program to provide an innovative and supportive environment for industry leaders to develop and refine their leadership skills.
The SCA said the funding would be used to develop a Sheepmeat Industry Future Flock Network – an alumni and activities that will connect current and future sheep meat leaders with the skills and support to represent the industry. The alumni will complement the organisation’s existing suite of programs through the joint Meat & Livestock Australia and SCA Building leadership capability for the sheep industry initiative.
SCA chief executive officer Dr Kat Giles said SCA’s key focus was on developing leaders with the right skills to take the industry forward, but also supporting them with the necessary systems and processes needed to ensure they can be effective.
“At present, we run a number of programs which support sheepmeat producers in the areas of leadership development and VIDEObuilding corporate governance skills.
“The funding from the Australian Government will further increase the support we can provide, ensuring skills developed are well used through a leadership pipeline that will allow the sheep industry to grow in the future and have a strong united voice for producers.”
WoolProducers CEO Jo Hall said the announcement represented a positive long term opportunity for the Australian wool industry.
Identifying and preparing dynamic future leaders by addressing the representative capacity building gap that currently exists within the industry will result in a robust, innovative and sustainable Australian wool industry, WPA said.
“The WoolProducers Raising the Baa Leadership Programme” will provide an innovative and supportive environment for leaders within the wool industry to continue to develop and refine their leadership skills in order to contribute to building our industry,” Ms Hall said.
WoolProducers said it is committed to develop leadership capacity and capability recognising the continuing need for leadership support and mentoring in the agriculture sector. The body looked forward to continuing regular engagement with the Minister in support of the Australian wool industry, and ‘raising the baa’ of leadership within the industry.
Mr Joyce said the fund provided wide-reaching benefits and support our farming, forestry and fisheries representative organisations to boost their leadership skills long into the future.
“The Coalition Government recognises strong industry leadership is critical to agriculture remaining one of the pillars of our national economy, building on the sector’s outstanding performance as the key driver of national GDP growth in 2016-17,” Mr Joyce said.
Dr Giles said the SCA is taking a strategic approach to leadership capability building through the Sheep Industry Leadership Strategy developed by SCA.
“The recent reform of the organisation to include a skills-based board, has been driven by the desire to engage leaders across the industry and, vitally, provide the development pipeline through the supporting policy committees.”
SCA is adopting a new governance framework as part of its transition to become Sheep Producers Australia Ltd. This transition will give the organisation capacity to accommodate and adapt to changes in its operating environment.
“Our plan is to connect all the participants of sheep meat industry programs, including the SCA’s programs, so we can provide ongoing engagement, professional development and networking to build a pool of people for the industry’s leadership positions and to keep them engaged in SCA and industry activities,” she said.
Mr Joyce said the Cattle Council of Australia will receive $500,000 from the fund to support activities leading to the establishment of Cattle Australia, a new representative body to provide leadership across the grass fed cattle industry—and for leadership capacity building once the entity is established.