I have worked with some phenomenal young people in my life-time and I know how well deserved this acknowledgement of Jo Newton’s contribution to the empowerment of young people is.
Dr Joanna Newton Winner Leadership Winner in Victorian Young Achiever Awards
Jo was nominated for this award by her employer. When she asked me to be one of her referees, I thought how do you do some-one like Jo justice.
I have never met anyone so selfless and so team focused. Jo is a city girl who discovered agriculture at school and made it her career journey. Her passion is the science, her dedication is partnering with farmers to build the trust necessary to take the science out of lab and onto the farm. She spends every minute ruminating, consulting and planning how to make this happen
In her spare time she gives every minute to agricultural advocacy and supporting youth in agriculture.
If ever there was some-one who epitomised the word champion its Jo Newton.
Jo said on accepting her award
In Australia less than 1 in 3 leadership positions are held by women. In agriculture its less than 1 in 7 leadership positions held by women so it is an incredible privilege to have my contributions to agriculture recognised here tonight.
Hard work, passion and determination can take you a long way, what I have learnt is the journey is much easier when you are supported by family, friends, colleagues and mentors along the way.
Whilst young people like Jo may only be 20% of the population, they are 100% of the future. Young people are in a unique position as they face the reality of an uncertain future but potentially they are best-placed to push for and deﬁne the long-term societal response to the planet they envision. They are also the most vulnerable to the legacy of decisions made by older generations. Although young adults arguably have the most to gain and the most to lose their voices are not prominent, and too often engagement with this crucial demographic is in many ways limited. How do we work together to break down the barriers to Youth Voices?
To quote from a speech another Young Farming Champion gave at the Australian Farm Institute Conference in 2017
Investing in our youth will secure the future for Australian agriculture.
We can all invest in our youth
As an as an individual, you can identify enthusiastic young members of your industry.
Encourage them to tell their stories, to step up and do a leadership program, to become the voice for the future of their industry.
Invest in them.
Together we can ensure a bright future for Australian agriculture. Dione Howard AWI Young Farming Champion
Yes its that simple. Lets do it together