Twelve outstanding women with skills and a vision for agriculture have been selected for the National Farmers’ Federation’s 2020 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.
The 2020 cohort hails from across the country and boasts a broad range of expertise from science, research and development; farm health and safety; education and farm business management.
The 2020 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program cohort
- Alexandra Thomas, Mount Osmond, South Australia
- Jessica Fealy, Paddys Green, Queensland
- Alison Hamilton, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales
- Margaret Jewell, Brisbane, Queensland
- Alysia Kepert, Perth, Western Australia
- Niki Ford Wilston, Queensland
- Diana Fear, Condobolin, New South Wales
- Rebecca Staines, Bowna, New South Wales
- Fiona Marshall, Mulwala, New South Wales
- Sarah Parker, Undera, Victoria
- Jaelle Bajada, Pyrmont, New South Wales
- Susie Green, Lenswood, South Australia
Out of the twelve women selected, six are members of the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Alumni.
Jessica Fealy, AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Alumni and member of the AgriFutures Ignite Advisory Panel says the opportunity comes at the perfect time of her career.
“After applying last year and missing out, I am thrilled to be a part of the NFF Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program in 2020. My career has been much like a patchwork quilt since having kids, and I am now at a point where I really want to get some clarity and set some clear direction and intention for how I hope to make a contribution of value to Australian agriculture.
I have never had a mentor before so I am looking forward to building this relationship through the program, meeting some other awesome women in agriculture and tapping-in to the personal development opportunities on offer.”
The Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program is in its third year and is made possible by the support of a line-up of Australia’s leading voices across government, business and advocacy.
Partners include AgForce; AACo; AgriFutures Australia; BASF; Bayer; CANEGROWERS; Coles; Cotton Australia; CPC; Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment; FMC; Grains Research and Development Corporation; nbn; NSW Farmers; Nufarm; Nutrien; Primesuper; Rabobank; Rimfire Resources; Rural Bank; Syngenta; WFI and Wine Australia.
The partners have committed to increasing gender diversity within their organisations and to reporting annually on their progress.
NFF President Fiona Simson said in the face of the challenges such as drought and most recently COVID-19 fostering farm sector leaders had never been more important.
“With some modifications to the schedule, the NFF was resolute in pressing ahead with the program at time when keeping in touch is crucial.”
From today, the 12 women will begin a five-month one-on-one mentoring program with a collective of experienced leaders as mentors and will take part in regular online personal development opportunities.
The NFF has a goal for agriculture to be a $100 billion industry by 2030. The 2030 Roadmap, the plan to achieve $100 billion, outlines a target to double the number of women in agriculture leadership roles by the same year.
“The Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program is making serious inroads towards this goal,” Ms Simson said.
“Graduates of the 2018 and 2019 programs have gone on to assume federal and state government-based board roles and to be high-profile female advocates and leaders of our sector,” Ms Simson said.