The world needs creative, innovative and courageous young people who can connect, collaborate and act. We know that youth may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future. The time is now to let them share their dreams and design the future they want to see.
I have just signed up for a workshop with Amy Gallo, an international expert in dealing with difficult people
Lets be honest with ourselves we can all be difficult to deal with if some-one touches the wrong buttons at the wrong time.
I manage a capability building program for young people who are “doers” and changemakers
I often find myself fielding calls asking for advice on how to handle people who are resistant to change
The first thing I say is “This is not my area of expertise”
Whilst I have done multiple workshops across the world with world class experts like Amy. Its one thing to learn the theory, its another to put into into practice, another to find safe spaces to practice it and the mega important one finding the role models in the Compassion Curiosity Framework space that you can surround yourself with, learn from and channel when you need to
What my years of training has allowed me to do is identify the people who do it well and they make my heart sing
I saw an extraordinary example when I watched Series 12 Episode 2 of Call the Midwife recently
This 4 min video collates the scenes that I am referring to. Watch how Sister Julienne role models the Compassionate Curiosity Framework ( hear Kwame Christian talk about the framework here )
At Action4Agriculture we grow Young Farming Champions to be confident leaders and trusted voices for agriculture. Part of that process is to encourage them to seek leadership opportunities relevant to their specific fields of expertise. For our “woollies” that often means participation in AWI’s esteemed “Breeding Leadership” program.
The five-day program included sessions on personal leadership, strategic planning, corporate governance as well as skills such as time management and delegation. It also allow for networking with other young wool professionals across the country, giving greater insight into challenges facing the industry and opportunities for improvement.
The 2022 Breeding Leadership cohort in action
YFC Sam Wan attended Breeding Leadership in 2014 and the experience has remained a pivotal moment in her career as a wool broker.
“The highlight for me was networking with a diverse range of people, primarily woolgrowers around the same age. It gave me more perspective on issues they were facing like succession planning. I knew as a broker what the responsibilities and service provided were but the course really instilled a focus that what I do on the brokering side does go back to families and their ability to reinvest into their businesses. I certainly learnt more about myself in the individual development segments and this had me actively seeking out further opportunities to connect more within the wool industry.”
The 2022 instalment of Breeding Leadership was recently held in Clare, SA and among the 19 participants were YFC Dione Howard and Katherine Bain.
AWI CEO, John Roberts, addressed the group and was impressed by the keen interest in all levels of the industry displayed by those present.
“These young people are the future of our industry and are so important. I really enjoyed meeting the Breeding Leadership 2022 cohort and can’t wait to see what they do next.”
Both Katherine and Dione were impressed:
“It was an amazing week in Clare networking with a great group of people who are all so passionate about wool. The course itself was insightful and practical. I think most leadership courses can get lost in the aspirational ideas and you leave without gaining any real skills. Over the week we had lots of discussions around issues like farm succession, communication and governance that, for me, led to some great ideas to bring home to the farm. I left feeling excited for the future of wool both on and off farm.” Katherine Bain
Photo source – Did you see the story on Katherine Bain and Sam Wan in latest Graziher magazine – then get your copy
“YFCs and wool industry enthusiasts have raved about this course over the years, and I can see why. A group of 19 young wool industry members came together to learn about ourselves and how we can best work within and build the farming businesses we’re involved in. The course was facilitated by Pinion Advisory and we were treated to talks and stud tours, from those out there in the industry with learnings and wisdom to share. The future of the industry is bright and I left feeling inspired for what’s to come.” Dione Howard
Sam Wan is a committed life-long learner from the Wool Auctioneer Floor, to learning the ropes in the shearing shed to promoting the fibre in Grazhier magazine
AWI collects statistics to measure the effectiveness of Breeding for Leadership with participants repeatedly giving the course 4.9 out of 5 for its value to their business and a 4.8 for new skills acquired. All sessions report a greater than 90% satisfaction rate with sessions on personal leadership and succession planning ranking the highest.
“Often people remark to AWI employees that Breeding Leadership kicked started them into doing more in and for the industry and that gives us great pride,” George Lehmann, AWI Project Coordinator, says.
Woolly YFCs aged between 25 and 35 are encouraged to apply for Breeding Leadership when applications open later this year. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the website for more information.
In this episode of Leadership is Language- Conversations with Thought Leaders the founders of Black Box Co Emma Black and Shannon Speight talk to Young Farming Champion Dione Howard
Black Box Co is a cloud-based software program that manages and compares large datasets, presenting insights in graphical form on online dashboards. It is the brainchild of two northern Queensland women, Shannon Speight and Emma Black. “By simply uploading a file to Black Box, data can be tied together across the supply chain,” Shannon says. “It becomes a decision-making tool that you can execute and it gives maximum insight for minimum effort. It takes the grunt work out of data analysis from fertility to growth to carcass.”
In this interview Emma and Shannon share insights into their first year of business going from:
Emma and Shannon working part-time to now having a full time staff of 10 people
Zero cattle on their database to having 900,000
Zero data points to 15 million data points
Shannon and Emma also reflect on:
the value and experience they have gained from their mentors
tips for applying for awards
what a typical day looks for both of them as business women with 4 children under 6 between them – the negotiables and the non negotiables
Importance of self care and what that looks like for them personally
When the moons align make the most of it. Shannon and Emma have leveraged key moments in their lives and their strengths
Their drive and commitment to being solutions focused
Both living in Northern Queensland
Power of the bottom up approach
Success is identifying a gap and meeting the wants and needs of your customer.
Identify and work with the early adopters
“its not about balance – you are always juggling balls. You have to work out which balls are made of glass and which ones are made of rubber” Shannon
“awards are about taking a giant leap and making the most of the experience. Whilst the award initially recognises something you have done, the follow up and the opportunities are the best part that comes from awards” Emma
“the Zanda Award has been instrumental in changing both our lives. We both had people who tapped us on the shoulder and back us when we applied. On the other hand when you get knocked back for an award it can be just as important as a learning experience. Applying for awards multiple times can make you stronger each time” Shannon
‘do your research when applying for an award, find out what the judges are looking for, ring some-one who has applied before, really put the effort in” Emma
“a good mentor can really challenge you and your thinking” Emma
Shannon is passionate about the beef and livestock industry. Having graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Sydney Shannon has spent extensive time working within the beef industry in various roles. Shannon began as a vet working with live export in North Queensland and then mixed practice in Charters Towers and Longreach.
One of her most recent roles has seen her coordinate a large scale beef genomics project across Northern Australia. This project has involved over 50 properties from Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia and ovarian scanning over 30,000 heifers to develop a DNA suitable for northern cattle with a focus on fertility traits. Shannon was integral in supporting producers with data collection, ovarian scanning and pregnancy testing and providing genomic and production feedback to producers.
Shannon was awarded the Zanda McDonald Award in 2019. The Zanda McDonald Award has been running for the past six years and seeks to highlight talented and passionate young individuals working in the agricultural sector. This highly prestigious Trans-Tasman award allowed Shannon an impressive personal development package that included a trans-Tasman mentoring trip and the ability to get up close and personal with leaders in the Australasian ag sector through the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) Group.
Shannon has since co-founded Black Box Co an innovative SaaS (Software as a Service) product that ingests raw data across the beef supply chain to inform prediction, forecasting and key production insights. Black Box Co has secured production data on over 900,000 animals and this product is now being trialled with key commercial partners across the beef supply chain.
Shannon is currently completing her Masters of Business Administration through James Cook University and is the chairperson of the Beef Australia Next Generation Committee.
Emma has always been passionate about the beef and livestock industry since growing up on a property in Western Queensland. Educated at the University of New England, Armidale NSW, Emma went on to work in livestock nutrition consulting followed by meat processing to gain a knowledge right along the beef supply chain. To apply this knowledge, Emma then worked in extension services taking a whole-of-business approach, working directly with beef producers and industry to assist in livestock nutrition, pasture/livestock management, meat quality, business/data analysis and general property management.
Emma has since co-founded Black Box Co, an innovative software that ingests raw production data from right along the beef supply chain, instantly turning it into key insights to inform production decisions, prediction and forecasting. Black Box Co has secured production data on over 900,000 animals and is currently being trialled with key commercial partners across the beef supply chain.
Emma was the inaugural winner of the prestigious Zanda McDonald Award which has provided her with ongoing mentoring and guidance from the biggest movers and shakers in the agricultural industries across Australia and New Zealand through the Platinum Primary Producer (PPP) Group. To further her knowledge and skill set Emma is currently studying a Masters in Business Administration. She is extremely passionate about mentoring the next generation including young producers, university and high school students.
The addition of the past Impact 25 winner, to the charity, formerly Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA), brings to the unique organisation the ideal mix of youth, philanthropy, government, industry and grassroots knowledge and experience, said founder and director Lynne Strong.
“Highly respected with a background in philanthropy and tackling some of the major social issues facing Australia, Tanya is a fantastic and extraordinary new appointment for us.
Tanya will help us see how agriculture is part of a bigger picture that shares common issues with other sectors and identify opportunities where we can all collaborate on the challenges that the country faces.
In Tanya, we have someone who can show us how we can harness grass roots advocacy and achieve change beyond the traditional ways that agriculture has done in the past.”
Tanya is a former head of Refugee Advice & Casework Service (RACS) and a past AFR 100 Women of Influence Non-profit Sector winner. She joins youth representatives Dr Joanna Newton OAM as deputy chair, and Emma Ayliffe, recently announced as the 2021 Australian Young Farmer of the Year recipient, and NSW RAS Rural Achiever winner Dr Dione Howard and non-executive director Dr Jenni Metcalfe
“Having young people in visible senior leadership roles provides role models for young people to look up to and sets an example for other organisations.
Young people may be 20% of the population, but they are 100% of our future so it’s important young people have seats at today’s decision-making tables.” said Jo.
A4A’s fresh new name and logo greater reflects the advocacy work that the dynamic not-for-profit is continuing to carry out to ensure that youth voices are amplified in all aspects of society, said Lynne.
“There is now a great opportunity to leverage the young people A4A have trained over the years, today viewed as role models and influencers, to ensure youth are heard and that their opinions truly valued, they have the capacity to take action on issues that are important to them and their communities”
A4A is taking a grassroots approach, venturing out and engaging with the wider community, discovering what is important to young people in schools, and acquiring an understanding of what’s important to today’s consumers” she said.
Lynne highlighted that the Agriculture industry was a growth industry increasing its GDP value to the economy by 7% in the last 20 years and now worth close to $67 billion. Agriculture is now seen as a progressive industry and a career with purpose with an increasing number of young people opting to study agriculture-related tertiary courses, and the sector has made a commitment to taking real action to address climate change.
In today’s review of our Leadership is Language webinar interviews Graham Smith, Australian Rural Leadership Program Manager, sits down with Young Farming Champion Hannah Hawker to discuss the importance of throwing out stereotypes and misconceptions when it comes to leadership and language.
Language is spoken language, body language and listening
Pay attention to how you feel when communicating
Think positively, think strategically and act in an adaptive, authentic way
“….leadership really is a series of processes. It’s not a product or an output or an outcome .. and if you dig down into that, more often than not, communication will come up as the most important process in leadership.”
Graham Smith coordinates the Australian Rural Leadership Program and his deep roots in the non-urban landscape of Australia stem from an upbringing in Barraba in northern NSW.
He has career has included positions with the Australian Public Service and CSIRO, General Manager of Questacon and secondary teaching. His public sector work has been recognised by an Australia Day Medallion and Australian Public Service departmental award for leadership.
Graham has a committed professional interest in Indonesia and its fast developing economic and cultural relationships with Australia. These relationships extend to his leadership development with ARLP.
Hannah is an enthusiastic farmer’s daughter from Central West NSW where she has returned to continue her teaching career, delighting in the opportunity to share knowledge with secondary students. These two passions are consolidated through her involvement in local and state level agricultural shows; behind the scenes organisation, as a competitor and on the microphone as an MC and ring announcer. Completing her term as President, Hannah is now sitting on the board as Executive Advisor for ASC of NSW Next Generation where she assists in the continuation of skill development opportunities for young agriculturalists. Hannah is a 2013 Young Farming Champion Alumni, who represented the red meat industry
The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1992 with the aim to develop leaders for rural, regional and remote Australia. The Foundation runs a series of leadership courses including the flagship Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP).
Over the next 6 months we will be sharing a series of articles showcasing the extraordinary work that is being done to engage young people in conversations about the production of the food they consume and the natural fibres they use and promote career pathways for young people into agriculture.
A significant body of this work is being done in our schools, inviting teachers to empower students to come up with their own solutions to agricultures images and perceptions challenges and opportunities .
We would like to thank Lorraine Chaffer from the NSW&ACT Geography Teacher’s Association for her support in providing context from a teacher’s perspective
What we know:
Surveys reveal that Australians, and Australian students, do not understand the importance or value of agriculture in the context of Australia, Asia and the world.
Most teachers and students have a general understanding of sustainability and over the course of time develop some understanding about the components or pillars of sustainability – environmental, economic and social. This will vary between subjects and the focus of school teaching programs. Much of this understanding has a focus on environmental sustainability linked to subject specific topic content. Some of the subjects are electives and not studied by all students.
Many senior students (Years 11 and 12) do not choose to study agriculture for their HSC. The subject is perceived as being less valuable than others for ATAR calculations and link to future careers.
In K – 10 there are limited opportunities to develop deep, cross curricula knowledge and understanding about sustainability, the importance of agriculture in feeding Australia and the world (and issues of food security) and the application of sustainability considerations in the daily decisions made by farmers.
From an agriculture perspective there is a need to demonstrate:
that 82% of careers in the agriculture sector which enable farmers to produce food, fibre and affordable clean energy are in areas with predicted high growth in the future.
that the workplace opportunities and multiple career paths in food and fibre production and the study of agriculture presents an excellent prospect for capable students.
We look forward to showcasing the experimentation, the success stories, the learnings, the tweaks and opportunities to multiply the impact of the success stories
Today’s guest blog comes from Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth who has been a very busy girl not only has she just returned from Antarctica she has also submitted her PhD thesis for review and appeared on The Project TV. We see big things happening for Anika in 2020
For over 12 months I have been part of a leadership program run by Homeward Boundfor women of STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) who are working on ensuring the sustainability of our planet.
At the end of 2019 I traveled to Antarctica with this cohort of 100 women from around the world, from all different backgrounds and disciplines, but sharing a common purpose – to help create the best possible future for our planet.
We stepped aboard the Hebredium Sky in Ushuaia, southern Argentina, as talented individuals. Experts in our specific areas – be that marine ecology, molecular chemistry, astrophysics, agricultural science, or climate diplomacy – just to name a few. Each of us raised our hand to say ‘I’ want to be part of ‘us’ who change the trajectory.
I was immersed in an intensive program that covered four key components – leadership, strategy, visibility and science. The program consisted of lectures, personal coaching sessions, group action setting, and individual presentations. We dived into the greatest challenges facing our planet – tackling the complexities of these issues head-on in honest discussion – and brainstorming how to implement effective solutions.
Antarctica sets a unique backdrop of learning for working as a collective. The pages of history are decorated with the stories of individuals heading to uncertain futures at the end of the world. On arriving in the most challenging conditions on the planet, these individuals quickly learnt that the only way to survive was by pulling together. Ice sheets would not be crossed, studies would not be conducted, ships would not sail and buildings would not be built if the team didn’t come together as one in this ice-covered wilderness. Impossible to complete as one, possible to be achieved together. The Antarctic Treaty, signed in 1959, is a prime example of nations across the globe committing together to something bigger than any one country could achieve alone. The preservation of Antarctica for peace and science epitomizes the spirit of international cooperation. It was quite fitting that as we sailed through this frozen landscape during the 60th anniversary of the signing of this treaty.
It was this spirit of teamwork, encouragement, respect and responsibility that bound the participants together – and has set them up to achieve something more than they ever could alone.
Antarctica was our teacher, and as students, we learnt a lot. The landscape showed us the importance of stillness and reflection, the fragility of our natural world, and the power and presence of our incredible planet. This iconic environment also showed us first-hand the influence of human activities on the environment and provided critical insights into the global-scale change required.
Now, I am back home on my family’s farm in Far Western NSW, where again I am reminded on a daily basis of the climate challenges we face. We’ve had to truck in water – the first time in our family’s history on the farm – and summer has been defined by relentless dust-storms and 40+ degree days.
However, something has shifted in me. I am feeling more equipped and motivated than ever to stand-up to the big challenges and protect the incredible places we love and call home. I am feeling more optimistic about our future than I have in a long time. I have met incredible STEMM women working actively on the solutions and who are not shying-away from what needs to be done. I have returned home with new knowledge and networks. I have developed my communication skills and plan to use these to positively influence policy and decision-making on climate action. I plan to continue amplifying the voice of farmers who are grappling with the harsh realities of climate change today, so we can ensure the best possible tomorrow.
We asked the teachers at Bellbird Public School why they wanted to participate in Kreative Koalas
As a staff our main motivation to participate in this opportunity was to provide authentic opportunities for students so they could recognise problems, design solutions and be part of making a positive impact upon their own and everyone else’s future.
We know that children are our future and it is our role as educators to
Each of the initiatives we have undertaken through this project have continued, we are still working on and improving applications to embed them in all our practices and more importantly into the lives of our community members.
What was their big idea
Bellbird Public School designed their Term 2 K-6 learning programs around a whole school theme of War on Waste. This underpinned and supported all of the initiatives we undertook as part of our participation in the Kreative Koalas Create a Brighter Future Program.
All classes discussed what they felt were the main issues impacting upon the people and environment surrounding Bellbird and three major directions emerged;
the need to reduce the amount of rubbish we as consumers were contributing to the environment
the need to be proactive in improving and sustaining the quality of our immediate environment (Black Creek)
our responsibility as a group to aid people less fortunate than ourselves by utilising existing resources
Once these three challenges were posed, classes and stages began planning ways they could contribute to solving them.
We conducted a whole school rubbish audit. We sorted and weighed the rubbish collected from all bins in our school. We were amazed at many things; how much paper ended up in the rubbish, the amount of packaging and the amount of food being wasted.
Classes and our school parliament had many discussions about a plan of action. We bought individual coloured bins to sort rubbish, paper recycling and plastic recycling. These were implemented in both eating areas and the teacher’s staffroom. We access the Return and Earn program with our appropriate containers.
Classrooms had recycling bins and small rubbish bins added. Recycling bins are emptied regularly by our Environment Ministers.
Stage 2 set up worm farms and collect food scraps daily from classrooms and eating areas. These worm farms fertilise our gardens.
Each Wednesday is Waste Free Wednesday. Through this we encourage all families to making both cost effective choices and environmentally sustainable choices about the foods that are purchased and provided for daily consumption at school. It was highly evident from our rubbish audit the high percentage of pre-packaged food that was filling lunchboxes. Our community were offered alternate ideas and suggestions such as buying in bulk and dividing into portion sizes in reusable containers and cooking more nutritious options.
Awareness amongst students and staff has increased greatly about the amount of unnecessary waste we as consumers perpetuate. As our theme exposed us to information and facts about the Great Southern Garbage Patch, landfill required for extraordinary amounts of discarded clothing, coffee cups, water bottles and a wide range of reusable items, we have made changes to reduce our impact as a school and community. We have reduced the amount of rubbish being brought to school in lunch boxes, better reused resources such as paper that was going into landfill, utilised snippets from our community’s home gardens to create new potted plants to decorate our school but most importantly we have all started making conscious decisions about how our consumer choices impact upon the environment.
Initiative 2 – Improve and sustain health of our local creek and surrounding environment (SDG 15.1 Life on Land)
With the support of Cessnock City Council, Hunter Water and Bug Blitz, Stage 2 have participated in ongoing water testing, bug detecting, plant and animal species identification, weed identification and rubbish removal. Through these educational and awareness building opportunities, students have learnt about how local mines impact upon our waterways and the responsibility they have as residents to maintain their local environment.
Students have claimed responsibility for this part of their environment. Small groups of volunteers spend their lunch play time over at the creek with a teacher ensuring that it is clean, clear of rubbish, and conducting testing that is recorded directly onto an app. and uploaded onto the net. Classes visit as whole groups to undertake more thorough data collection. Our General Assistant keeps the area directly adjacent to our school mown for easy access. It is an enjoyable place to be and a lunch time opportunity students line up to participate in. Pride in and group responsibility for the area have increased.
Initiative 3: To provide assistance to those in need through utilising existing resources
(SDG 12.3 Responsible Production & Consumption)
Kindergarten sort a local charity that they could support and found Hunter Hands of Hope. This service provides daily meals and other services to the homeless in our local area. Blanchies Café in Cessnock kindly donated their left over food items that our Kinder classes cooked up into hearty nutritious meals that were delivered to the drop in centre each week by Kinder students with their parents and teachers.
As a school we have participated in terracycling of dental hygiene items, plastic lids to be made into prosthetics and reading glasses to be distributed in third world countries.
This initiative was very well received by both the charity and the people who gratefully received these meals. Both the Kinder students and their parents benefitted from this opportunity to support those in our community who are in need of a helping hand. It too provided a waste reduction of valuable food from the business. Instilling the mindset that we can all help others has been a wonderful trait to nurture.
The collection of the other items was well supported and continues.
What Did they Notice Along the Way?
*All students K-6 have had the opportunity to be involved.
*Knowledge of environmental facts has increased.
*Desire to devise plans to take action for change have developed.
*Students have included their parents and family members in their learning journey.
*Everybody has made some impact upon positive choices for a sustainable environment both at school and home.
*All of the initiatives we have implemented continue to develop and enhance our students’ lives and those of our community.
The whole process has been incredibly rewarding, eye opening and life changing! We feel that it has completely changed the culture of the school. The conversations and research at the beginning of the year really led our environmental team to make changes. We were concerned that the changes might not last very long, but letting the students lead the change has been the key to its success. It’s excellent to see the conversations around the playground everyday. The students (and staff!) love checking with a Nature Ninja to confirm they are putting their rubbish in the correct place.
We were surprised how easy it was to get other schools and community businesses involved. With TV shows like “War on Waste” from ABC the community is aware of the effect humans are having on the environment, therefore they are keen to make changes.
On our recent year 3/4 excursion to Sydney it was lovely to see students pick up rubbish without being asked while we were at Taronga Zoo, then they even made an effort to put it in the correct bin. Many students found bread tags, lids and ring pulls on the ground which they took to a teacher to take back to our Recycling Zone…every little bit counts! A Nature Ninja also asked the zoo staff if we could take the lids from breakfast back to school. It was lovely to see our recycling efforts don’t just happen on school grounds, which confirms this whole process has been worth the effort!
The fact that Maitland’s landfill area, known as Mt Vincent Road Waste Management Centre, sits on Wonnarua country only about 30 kilometres from our school is very disturbing to us. It has built a desire to respect, reduce, reuse and recycle.
We are delighted how many conversations we are having with staff and parents about how they are changing their buying, recycling and reusing practices at home too.
Where to next?
With the end of the year drawing near, our Nature Ninjas are planning ahead for next year. We have the following ideas in the pipeline.
• Introduce nude food/zero waste days
• Plan lessons around wants and needs to reduce general consumption
• Build a yarning circle to complement our existing gardens and show respect to our Aboriginal community, as it would be a community space for all people to use.
Our most exciting news is that we are working with Lower Hunter Landcare at the moment and they are seeking grants on our behalf to run a community project for Lochinvar Creek. Lochinvar Creek runs under the New England Highway not far from the front of our school, then bends around and flows along our back fence. The project aims to clear the area of introduced species and weeds. Our students, plus invited community members, will then plant natives to encourage the local wildlife to return to our area. This project is expected to start in February.
Staff and students have really enjoyed the Kreative Koala journey this year as it has given us the kick start we needed to make necessary changes to improve our environment for the future. Without this project we would still be guessing which bin to put or rubbish in and disrespecting the environment by sending unnecessary items to landfill.