Isobel Knight has a strong passion for her local community, owns and manages a grazing and marketing business with her husband and has also established proAGtive, a business that specialises in succession planning for family farm businesses.
Isobel’s Award ambition is to develop an online platform which educates, provides process and inspires rural business owners, managers and family members to undertake the process of succession planning.
Following her own family’s frustrating experience in trying to plan for the future of their family farm, Isobel recognised the need for frameworks to be available for farming families to address succession planning needs. Isobel discovered that this was a common story and that available services were often expensive and inadequate. Knowing that family businesses that develop and communicate succession plans increase their business performance, profitability and long term viability, Isobel set out to undertake additional study including post graduate psychology, counselling and mediation to enhance her capacity to offer a unique and effective succession planning service to farming families.
Isobel also established proAGtive not only to help facilitate farming families as they addressed their succession planning, but also to encourage them to adopt relevant and more formal management system practices to ensure harmonious relationships and profitability.
In her community work, Isobel has developed her skills by taking on a diverse range of roles. These have included Real Estate and Law teaching positions at local TAFEs; Chair of the Ulinda Landcare Group; President of the Calrossy Campus Parents and Friends Association of Tamworth Anglican College; and participation on advisory boards including the Board to Resource Consulting Services and the Regional and Rural Health Advisory Board NSW. She is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Isobel will use the Award Bursary to develop an online platform for succession planning that rural businesses can easily and regularly access. This platform will improve the level of education about succession planning, inspiring positive attitudes in relation to and driving up the level of implementation, as well as the management of generational change in rural and regional businesses.
Isobel believes that rural women in particular will greatly benefit from her project, as they strive to sustain relationships and create successful family businesses.