Containing our showcase of the stories of the Australian Wool Innovation Cultivate Growing Young Leaders Scholarship finalists
Meet Kate McBride ——-
As a fifth-generation wool grower I suppose there’s no surprise I’ve ended up in the agriculture industry and I am thrilled to be debunking the stereotypical farmer image.
Kate McBride – Healthy River Ambassador
I am a farmer, I am female and I am under 30. I am also a board member, a healthy river ambassador, a university student working towards a masters and a researcher at The Australia Institute, one of the country’s leading think tanks. I’m also regularly speak at events and schools and a perk of my career is the work I get to do in the world of politics, working with politicians from all backgrounds on issues that matter to rural Australians.
Appearance on Q&A in 2019, alongside David Littleproud the Federal Minister for Agriculture
It wasn’t long ago I was a shy girl that couldn’t string two sentences together in front of a camera, let alone on National TV. So, what’s changed and how can others do it? For me it came down to two things;
- Finding my passion and
- Learning from mentors.
I found my passion and my call to action happened when I witnessed the complete collapse of the Darling-Baaka river, a place I’d grown up along side and loved. I knew something was wrong, but I wasn’t sure why or how I could help. Initially my upskilling involved a lot of learning about the river system, networking with experts and training in skills like media.
Standing in the dry Darling-Baaka river- My call to action
The second important element for me was the mentors I sought out and learnt from. I have benefitted from incredible mentors over the years that have helped shape me into someone that not only has a voice, but helps other find their own. For me, having one mentor that I could go to for everything didn’t fit, instead I have an army of people I go to for both personal and professional advice. One thing that has been installed in me is the fact that having a voice and platform is a privilege, and with that comes a responsibility. Not just a responsibility to work on a variety of issues, but a responsibility to help young people whose position I was in not too long ago. To me leadership isn’t about being heard, its about supporting others to grow with you and drawing out the best in them.
Sitting in the Senate Chamber at Parliament House
The variety in work our industry offers is unrivalled in my opinion. From sheep yards to think tanks, board rooms to parliament house, Agriculture offers it all.
Not only are we seeing more women enter the industry but equally as importantly, we’re witnessing generational change. Our industry has significant challenges and opportunities ahead and we need to be working together, people young and old, experienced and newbies to not just survive but thrive into the future.
I am looking forward to inspiring other young people, supporting them to find their voice and seeing just how far a career in agriculture can take them !
#WomeninWool #YouthinAg #YouthVoicesinAction #GrowingYoungLeaders