Levied Industries Capacity Building Program

AgriFutures Australia is committed to supporting the people driving the future prosperity of Australian rural industries and communities. AgriFutures Australia, in conjunction with The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA)*, is currently seeking applications from individuals working in an AgriFutures Australia levied industry to participate in a High Impact Mentoring Program facilitated by Inspiring Rare Birds Australia.

Who can apply

  • Anyone who is working across AgriFutures Australia’s levied industries: rice*, chicken meat, honey bee and pollination, ginger, tea tree oil, pasture seeds, export fodder, thoroughbred horses, kangaroo, buffalo, deer, or goat fibre.
  • Applicants are expected to provide evidence of their involvement in one or more of these industries.
  • Refer to frequently asked questions below for more information on who should apply

*RGA will fund and select 10 mentees from the rice industry. The remaining 10 mentee positions will be selected via a competitive application process. All AgriFutures Australia levied industries are eligible to apply.   

Key dates

  • Applications open 9.00am Monday, 13 January 2020 (AEDT) and close 5.00pm Friday, 13 March 2020 (AEDT)
  • Applicants will be notified prior to Tuesday, 31 March 2020
  • For further details about the key dates for each of the opportunities please refer to the specifics below.


If you have any questions regarding this opportunity please contact:

Lauren Sharkey, Manager Communications and Capacity Building


0409 966 182

Mentoring Program

Date: June 2020 – May 2021 

Location: online

The successful applicants (mentees) will be mentored by experienced entrepreneurs and leaders (mentors) outside of their industry and line of work, to guide and support them over a 12 month period using Inspiring Rare Birds platform and expertise.
Mentors, from a range of industries and backgrounds, will be selected to suit each mentees specific needs and be there to provide mentees with the necessary tools and advice to overcome challenges faced in their industry right now.

Mentees will be paired with a compatible and influential mentor, receiving two hours per month (via Skype, Zoom, phone call, or face-to-face) with their mentor via accessing the Inspiring Rare Birds online platform to set goals, milestones, track progress, and access content and missions.

Mentoring is a form of real-time learning through the transfer of knowhow, experience and wisdom. The online platform connects the mentee with a high-calibre mentor (from another industry or field) who will guide and assist the mentee achieve their goals and realise their potential.

Upon completion, participants’ will feel equipped with the necessary tools and resources required to face challenges, feel confident to learn from different ways of thinking, and be provided pathways for progressing their career and business.

Key information

  • Learn more about the program and facilitators at Inspiring Rare Birds
  • Applicants are required to respond to a number of criteria and provide evidence (including two references) of their engagement in one of AgriFutures Australia’s levied industries.
  • AgriFutures Australia stakeholders are encouraged to submit an application via an online platform, to be assessed and selected by AgriFutures Australia staff.


  • Applications open: Monday, 13 January 2020 at 9.00am AEDT
  • Applicantions close: Friday, 13 March 2020 at 5.00pm AEDT
  • Applicants notified: Prior to Tuesday, 31 March 2020
  • Onboarding / matching process begins: Monday, 13 April 2020
  • Mentorship begins: Monday, 1 June 2020
  • Mentorship complete: Friday, 28 May 2021
  • Evaluation begins: Monday, 31 May 2021
  • Graduation: July 2021.


Frequently asked questions

  • Who should apply

The Mentoring Program will benefit leaders and producers from our levied industries, who are seeking to advance their personal and business development by way of one-on-one mentoring.
The program can assist individuals with succession plans, defining and setting long-term goals, and providing a better basis for promotion and advancement decisions.
If you have experience and are in a decision making role, mid-career, at a management level, or for those in the higher stages of their career please consider applying.

  • Mentoring vs business coaching: What’s the difference?

Mentorship and business coaching are often confused because both involve a one-on-one experience between a mentor and mentee to overcome challenges. However, they are completely separate practices that serve different purposes.
Business coaching is task orientated and short term. There is a focus on solving targeted issues, such as, a desire to manage more effectively, more effective speaking, or learning how to think along the lines of a certain business strategy. The skills coaching lasts for a specific period of time, perhaps only a few sessions, where the issue in question is solved.
Conversely, mentorship is designed to be a long-term working relationship with a view to passing on knowledge and developing business direction. Although specific learning goals or skills may be used as a means of forming the relationship, the intention extends beyond these areas. The mentor also provides a safe outlet to deal with the personal side of business by investing interest into the issues preventing the entrepreneur from developing their business and personal achievements. These could be anything from, clarifying the work-life balance, to self-confidence, goal identification, structural or financial planning, or dealing with self perception and public presentation.
Mentoring is more of a mutual and involved experience and less of a training service than business coaching. This makes the process more abstract and free but means that, unlike coaching, mentorship requires a design phase to determine the strategic purposes.
Perhaps for these reasons, coaching is most employed within corporations who want to train employees to acquire specific job performance skills that would aid their work. The coach’s role is simply to tutor the skill, the relationship is clear, and then the use of the coach is fulfilled.

  • How are the mentors selected?

Following the application process successful applicants (mentees) will need to complete an online mentee profile providing detail on your business goals and focus areas. The Inspiring Rare Birds team will use this profile, and some additional information, to assist in matching you to an appropriate mentor.