Leadership is Language – meet rural women Rebel Black and Kirsty White

At Picture You in Agriculture we are big fans of project based learning and are putting it into action. We work with young people in agriculture and young people in schools supporting them to be partners in their learning through co-leading change with their peers, leaders, students  and teachers. We are supporting them to have the capacity to set goals, reflect and act responsibly to effect change. We are supporting them to take others on a journey that sees leadership is about:

  • acting rather than being acted upon;
  • shaping rather than being shaped; and
  • making responsible decisions and choices rather than accepting those determined by others.

We are piloting this model within our organisation through the Youth Voices Leadership team 

As an example of the creativity and leadership within the team the Youth Voices Leadership Team  sub commitee the Innovation Hub kick-started a new initiative in June with the launch of Leadership is Language

 

This series wll see our Young Farming Champions exposed to some of Australia’s foremost thought leaders on communicating how we can show leadership by the language and communication styles we use.

The series opened with YFC Lucy Collingridge sitting down for a chat with Dr Nicole McDonald, a social science researcher using vocational psychology to investigate the future workforce requirements of the Australian cotton industry. Lucy and Nicole discussed the difference between “we need to talk” and “let’s talk”. If you missed out on the live show, you can view a recording here. Nicole followed her presentation with an online webinar for YFCs asking them to take a reflective look at their communication, through both their own lens and through the lens of their audience.

Nicole invited the interactive webinar participants to:

Next up in the series will be Kirsty White interviewing Rebel Black .

Rebel is a successful global business woman operating from her home at Lightning Ridge in Outback NSW. In 2015 she founded THE Rural Woman, an online community for rural woman around the world encouraging them to #thrive, #heal and #evolve. Rebel describes herself as a human agronomist and syntropic entrepreneur.

Kirsty lives and works on a family farm called Bald Blair on the Northern Tablelands of NSW with her husband Sam and two sons Abbott and Arthur. Together their vision is to build a happy and healthy family business, which includes running an angus stud, Kelly’s Cottage farm stay and farm tours.  Kirsty regularly participates in the Ladies in Livestock program run by the Northern Tablelands Local Land Services and is a lifetime member of THE Rural Woman. You can read more about Kirsty in this blog post from Lynne Strong.

During their discussion for Leadership is Language Kirsty and Rebel will share insights such as:

  • lifelong learning and leadership development and prioritising your personal growth
  • take every opportunity, even when it scares you
  • great leadership is not a position or authority, it is a mindset
  • your work matters and it has a ripple effect, so nurture and grow yourself as a matter of priority
  • ‘you don’t even have to climb, you just have to stop holding onto the bottom’ A. Hicks – you will lead if you learn how to be fully realised as you

and as a speical treat we are shaing Kirsty and Rebel’s interview with you

Excting times for our Young Farming Champions – what a wonderful opportunity to see and hear from thought leaders, coaches and mentors in our not-to-missed Leadership is Language series. and

Speaking of  inspirational people catch this episode of Wellbeing Wednesday with host Cynthia Mahoney and Louise Thomson and special guest our very own Dr  Jo Newton OAM.

Australian Agriculture beams live into New York City

Through The Archibull Prize we shine a spotlight on the wondrous range of careers available within Australia agriculture. We do this by pairing schools with Young Farming Champions, facilitating career competitions which teach young people how to hone their employability skills and wirte a resume that helps them stand out from the crowd

We also identify others doing great stuff highlighting the diversity of careers in agriculture and the diversity of people chosing those careers.

One of these partners is the Visible Farmer Project, a series of short-films telling the stories of women working in agriculture and promoting the fact that 49% of all food in Australia is produced by women. So successful has this project been that yesterday it was selected to feature at World Webfest Mania, an innovative film festival right in the heart of New York City!

Gisela Kaufmann and Carsten Orlt the dynamic duo behind Visible Farmer 

Check out this Facebook feed to find out more about the live streaming event and the Q&A session.

Our extensive monitoring and evaluation programs tell us it is absolutely pivotal for agriculture to show people who they can be.

We know that when young people first consider the idea of a career in agriculture their thoughts run to farmers, shearers and old blokes with dogs but after participating in The Archibull Prize, where they learn from our partners such as Visible Farmer, they expand this vision to include scientists, agronomists, biosecurity officers and veterinarians.  In fact they learn that in agriculture is the place they want to be.

We are proud to showcase Visible Farmer on the Archie website and in doing so, beleive the message reaches even more young minds in rural and urban Australia.

 

Kylie Schuller – the journey so far which includes a move to America in March 2020!!!!

Kylie Schuller Photo Source RAS of NSW

March 2020. Coronavirus is reaching its tentacles around the world, spreading fear and causing unrest and uncertainty. Does this sound like the time to take on a new role in North America? Heck, yeah! Give Kylie Schuller a challenge and sit back and watch her meet it.

Kylie Schuller is one of our earliest Young Farming Champions, having joined the program seven years ago in 2013.

“The Young Farming Champions program taught me so much about how to communicate and get your messaging right, skills which apply every day in my job,” she says.

With her recent move to Atlanta, Georgia, USA we thought it was an ideal time to catch up with her journey so far and find out what advice she can give to current YFC and the new cohort embarking on the Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program.

Kylie grew up on a beef feedlot in rural NSW and her family established a Shorthorn stud in 2001 but she is the first to admit she was not enamoured with agriculture growing up.

“I won’t lie to you, when I was younger living on the farm wasn’t something I was proud of or even enjoyed,” she says. “There was lots of hard work to be done and it seemed to always need to be done when it was 40°C or bucketing down raining. I wish that I could tell you that there was a moment that changed my life, that made me realise how important beef production and agriculture is to our society, but there wasn’t! Somewhere between being obsessed with “Home and Away” in year 7 and travelling across America looking at cows on my “gap” year I found a passion for beef production, second to none!”

Kylie completed a Bachelor of Livestock Science at UNE in 2011 and soon after took a role with domestic foodservice supplier Andrews Meat Industries. Her role was initially involved with administration and support and over the years has grown as the company, too, has grown and expanded. She has been exposed to all aspects of premium beef brand supply chain management and in March accepted a new position with Andrews Meat Industries as their North American Sales Manager. Her role entails introducing high quality Australian Wagyu beef to distributors, chefs and restaurants.


Jacinta Geddes and Kylie Schuller (right) celebrate Andrew Meats winning the Dick Stone Perpetual Trophy in 2014. Photo source . Listen to Kylie on the Country Hour  here 

In today’s world young people may move through many different organisations in the quest for the perfect job but Kylie has remained loyal to the one company and is now seeing a myriad of benefits from this association. What are her key messages?

  • Invest in Lifelong Learning: “I find that the more I learn, the more I have to learn. I think this is important to consider in every aspect of life, but particularly when it comes to profession. You will always benefit from a new perspective.”
  • Give Back: “If there are organisations and opportunities from who you have benefited then a great way to support them is by giving back. I am very grateful for many of the opportunities I have been given over the years and aim to support those organisations with my time and energy wherever possible to ensure that the next generation gets the same opportunities.”
  • Be Customer Focussed: “For me relationships are everything. I find that the best way to achieve anything is through long term engagement and genuinely caring about the different stakeholders of your operation. In sales it’s really important to build that connection, but I think it is just as important to have those relationships across the entire supply chain so we are all engaged and working for the common goal.”
  • Value Networks: “The world becomes a much smaller place when we connect with people. Whether that be in person or online, I think, especially now, people want genuine connection and building up our networks and how we engage with them is a big benefit to us all.”
  • Loyalty: “Some people are so eager to climb the ladder, get the next achievement or accomplishment that they end up jumping around between positions and never really dig into a role. I think if you find a company that fits your mission and values, then you should stick it out, because yes opportunities take time to develop, but there is a lot to be learned in the process.”

Kylie recently shared these key messages and learnings with the UNE Agriculture Industry Connect podcast series, and spoke about the challenges of being in America one week before lockdown.

Her role with Andrews Meat also involves the screening of applicants for some roles and she looks for people with multiple interests and dedication to the agricultural industry, whether that be by attending conferences, listening to webinars or participating in programs such as Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders.

“There is so much information available that there is no excuse not to be engaging with industry and we want someone who goes beyond clocking in and clocking out.”

With that in mind what advice would Kylie give to our new cohort of Young Farming Champions?

“Be open minded – taking in the experiences and perspective of the people around you is so valuable and an incredible opportunity,” she says. “And use it – actually get out there and do the work. It’s all well and good to talk about something in the room, but it is getting out and doing the work of connecting with people about their food and fibre that is the most rewarding.”

 

 

 

Young Farming Champions Muster June 2020

Headline Act

Oh wow, wow, WOW. Our very own Jo Newton has been awarded an OAM! We are so very proud of this young woman whose has contributed to scientific research, inspired countless young people to consider a career in agriculture, volunteered hours of her time and overcome some major life-hurdles along the way. And even with an OAM she remains humble, respects her contemporaries and continues to give back. Read all about it in her own words here and read Beef Central’s celebration of rural OAMs (including Jo) here.

In The Field

Even though restrictions are easing COVID-19 remains a big part of our lives and affects how we do business. YFC Chloe Dutschke recently shared her experiences of mustering and shearing in these socially distanced times with the National Farmers Federation, who published her story here. In these days when most people take to social media to express an opinion it is refreshing to see Chloe’s story and photos in long form. Well done Chloe.

Speaking of COVID Kylie Schuller chose a pandemic to move to America to take up a position as North American Sales Manager for Andrews Meat Industries. She spent one week in the office before lockdown, which has certainly been an interesting way to start a promotion! You can listen to Kylie’s American experiences in a podcast series from UNE. The series, which looks at the opportunities for work placements for students, also features Emma Ayliffe and Jo Newton.

Speaking of podcasts, friend of the YFC Matt Champness (who has commenced a PhD on irrigation in rice production with Deakin University) joined Sam Wan recently speaking with Generation Ag.  Matt spoke about small holder farming and food security, while Sam did what she does best – talk about wool!

Another of our woolly YFCs, Deanna Johnston, is creating beautiful lanolin soaps and creams and marketing them as The Peeping Sheep.

“I’m a country girl who loves to shear and I have a passion for sheep and wool from the paddock to the final product. Making my own soaps started because I have sensitive skin and I couldn’t use most soaps I bought. So, The Peeping Sheep was born! I make everything in my very own kitchen with care and love.”

Get in quick – you definitely don’t want to miss these products! Sam Wan is even using them on her eight-year-old dog Charlie.

“With winter, wet weather and walks her feet needed some TLC so I’ve bought The Peeping Sheep gift pack and will use the 100% lanolin on her paws.”

Out of the Field

June also saw the unveiling of our 2020 Youth Voices Leadership Team . This diverse collection of young leaders in agriculture are selected from our Young Farming Champions Alumni. Together, they identify gaps and opportunities to move the Young Farming Champion programs forward including suggesting program enhancements, providing recommendations and proposals to the board and developing, implementing and evaluating action plans.
Congratulations to our 2020 team…. 
Chair Emma Ayliffe
Vice Chair Dione Howard
Social Media Coordinator Marlee Langfield
Innovation Hub Rep. Meg Rice
Returning Officer Jo Newton 
Partnerships Ambassador Anika Molesworth 
Cultivate Intern Jess Fearnley

Read all about the team here

It’s also been out of the field and into the limelight for a number of our YFCs. Marlee Langfield’s beautiful photography graces the cover of the June edition of quarterly magazine Grain Grower

Meg Rice is the poster girl for the Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders advertisements appearing in the May/June edition of the AFI newsletter. Thanks to Corteva AgriScience two emerging leaders will be selected from a field of 60 applicants to join our Growing Young Leaders program

Martin Murray has been paying it forward mentoring school students at Gilgandra (read about it here in The Land) and there are rumours another YFC is taking up calendar modelling – stay tuned for an update.


Students Madison Hourigan, Amelia Murray and Thomas Eason with Teresa Standing, Gilgandra High School agriculture teacher, and Martin Murray, AMPS Commercial agronomist, Armatree. Photo. Gabrielle Johnston.

Also in the limelight are Jo Newton and Emma Ayliffe who will feature in Well-Being Wednesday in upcoming weeks. Well-Being Wednesday is a free webinar hosted by Cynthia Mahoney and Louise Thomson discussing the wisdom and stories of rural woman. Jo will share her challenges and opportunities on June 24, Emma on July 1.

Congratulations to Tim Eyes who has joined the board of BBM as a Director.  Like PYiA, BBM exists “to develop Australia’s talent base in agriculture” and Tim will use his experience to further his commitment of mentoring young farmers.

Congratulations also to one of our inagural YFC cohort Alison Hamilton who has been announced as one of NFF’s 2020 Diversity Leaders. Alison is an agricultural powerhouse. She and her family run a small beef trading business, Alison owns and operates AJM Livestock Solutions, she is a Councillor of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership program (ARLP), was the 2010 NSW RIRDC Rural Women’s Award Runner Up and was recently appointed to the board of Riverina Local Land Services. Way to go Alison!

Prime Cuts

Only an OAM could pip Emma Ayliffe’s Yacker as our headline act this month. Realising that a lot of farmers hate texting or don’t use social media, Emma and her Summit Ag business partner Heath McWhirter have developed the app Yacker. Yacker uses modern technology to connect people though the old-fashioned telephone, creating conversations rather than keyboard wars. Download your own version of Yacker and join the community today.

The YFC introduced a new initiative in June with the launch of the Leadership is Language series. First cab off the rank was Lucy Collingridge interviewing Dr Nicole McDonald. See a replay of the conversation here and stay tuned for upcoming episodes.

Lucy has also been putting her media skills to use with a Q & A session for Local Land Services on protecting lambs through fox control.

Climate Action Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth had a dream come true signing a book deal with Pan MacMillan

Anika says she is loving writing and has been spending her days researching content for her book and planning its structure. “Progress is going really well and I am enjoying the experience” says Anika whose book is on climate change and food security issues as well as the topic of leadership.

Lifetime Achievements

PYiA recognises the importance of the work-life balance, which is why we love to celebrate those big life moments in our Muster, alongside our career ones. So big congratulations to YFC James Kanaley and his wife Jess who welcomed their first child, Isla Lucy Kanaley, on May 17.


We are very proud of our Young Farming Champions who are turning their passion into persuasion, through our school programs The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas, sharing with teachers and students that agriculture is the place to be in the 21st century

 

Celebrating Partnerships with Jane Lloyd-Jones from Hunter Local Land Services

At Picture You in Agriculture we identify emerging leaders in the agriculture sector who want to share their story and pride in the sector they have chosen for their career journey far and wide.

We provide them access to a cohort of experts who give them  communication and presentation skills training and consumer insights

The key to all training success is applying what you learn.  What a powerful experience it is for them to facilitate our  inschool programs The  Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas that have collectively reached 400 schools and 300,000 students in the last 10 years.

This innovative and impactful program model also surrounds them and the teachers and students with intergenerational community expertise

During the last few years (and continuing during 2020’s challenging times) the Kreative Koalas program has been blessed to work with organisations who support each other and the people we work with to be part of life changing opportunities for their communities. An organisation that shares this ethos is Hunter Local Land Services and driving our partnerhsip with them and the Kreative Koalas schools is school engagement officer Jane Lloyd-Jones. Jane has made many visits to schools, coordinated excursions and starred in videos and today we sit down to discover how Jane came into this role.

Jane Lloyd Jones with students at Kreative Koalas Awards

“My appreciation for the environment started at a young age when I spent many weekends going for walks through the local bushland with my family. This love for the environment led me to complete a Bachelor of Science majoring in Resource and Environmental Management at Macquarie University.”  Jane says.

Upon graduating Jane went to work with Sydney Water where she was involved with the preparation of Reviews of Environmental Factors and Environmental Impact Statements. It was also where she got her first taste for working with schools when she developed presentations for young students about saving water.

“This was really my favourite part of my role, as I was out in the community interacting with school students and I really felt like I was making a difference,” she says.

With a fire for working with young people and the community lit, Jane moved onto Gosford Council. In this role she was responsible for the writing and implementation of the Stormwater Quality Management Plan.

“Implementation of this plan included many very successful community education and engagement programs, including starting up the Waterwatch program in the Gosford area,” she says.

Jane continued to build and consolidate her experience in community engagement when she worked as Coastcare Facilitator for the Mid North Region, assisting local groups to gain grant funding for coastal environmental rehabilitation projects. Then is was time to start a family.

At PYiA we realise and value the importance of finding a work-life balance. It is not all about career but being able to be flexible in our professional lives. As YFC Bessie Thomas once told us: “I can have it all but I might not be able to have it all at the same time!” So, Jane took a break to raise her children and when the time was right she returned to the career pathway she had cultivated.

“I decided to return to work and I started the part time role of Waterwatch assistant at the Hunter Central Rivers CMA,” she says. “This role has developed and broadened over the years, particularly when the CMA became LLS and our business outcomes broadened.

As school engagement officer, I really enjoy interacting with and helping school students to learn in a fun, engaging way.  I enjoy the close working relationship I have with a number of our partners, including local and state government, Landcare and not for profit organisations such as Picture You in Agriculture.”

In 2019 Jane and Hunter Local Land Services worked closely with Medowie Christian School in Kreative Koalas to develop a project around clean water and sanitation. This led the school to being named Grand Champion Community Project for Change. Catch a video of Jane and Medowie teacher Martha Atkins here.

It is partnerships like this that make PYiA’s in-school programs so successful and ensures that vital community good messages are shared far and wide

We  look forward to many more years working with Jane and Hunter Local Land Services to build resilient communities in productive and healthy landscapes..

 

 

 

Keeping it in the (NSW Farmers) Family – Turning up can take you a lot of places

The Howard family carrying on a proud advocacy tradition 

Here at Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) we believe in fostering partnerships with others who share our values to promote Australian Agriculture. Many of our Young Farming Champions alumniare proud advocates who readily volunteer to amplify the voices of these organisations.  A perfect example is NSW Farmers which in it’s various incarnations has supported the agricultural industry in NSW since the 1800s, advocating for rural industries and country people in times of both peace and war.

Dione Howard is a veterinarian with Local Land Services in Wagga Wagga and has been a Young Farming Champion since 2015. She is particularly interested in agricultural policy development and was the inaugural WoolProducers Youth Ambassador, which saw her attend WoolProducers board meetings.

“I had very little experience with policy prior to the Youth Ambassador role. It has opened up a whole new world in the agricultural space and I feel that I now have a much clearer idea of how decisions are made that affect farmers and people like myself as a veterinarian.” say Dione

Dione is now a graduation of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, is on the PYiA board and is the Vice-Chair for the Youth Voices Leadership Team. She is also  Secretary/Treasurer for her local NSW Farmer’s branch, following in the footsteps of her father Graeme who was a branch and district chairman for 15 years from the late 1980s.

Graham Howard and Dione share a love of sheep and advocacy 

“My family has always shown me what being part of a community is about, whether it is volunteering for local sporting clubs, P&C committees or being a member of the local show society.  When we’d take Dad to the plane to head to Sydney for the NSW Farmers annual conference I had an understanding, even from an early age, that he was off to help make decisions that were for the benefit of farmers. We’d stand there at the airport in our flannelette pyjamas and dressing gowns in the middle of July waving him off to the big smoke. It takes a lot to leave the family and the farm. It was a family ritual that left a last impression. ”

In his years with NSW Farmers Graeme was involved with the big issues of the day, namely water rights, native vegetation management and Ovine Johne’s Disease (OJD).

“It’s important for farmers to have a voice and seat of power about the issues that affect them and they look to NSW Farmers to address these concerns. Being a part of NSW Farmers also allowed me to understand a range of issues beyond my own industry, to build networks and to see the key players in the agri-political arena in action.” Graham says

Graeme’s grandfather was involved with early farming advocacy organisations in the 1950s and 60s, which has instilled a legacy in Dione and her siblings.

“I’ve always told them the world is run by those who turn up, and to take advantage of any opportunity. Turning up can take you a lot of places.” says Graham

Dione sees her role with NSW Farmers as the next step in her own advocacy journey, being a voice for primary producers and the rural communities they live and work in.

“I felt that becoming a member of my local NSW Young Farmers branch is a way to give back to my local community. Rural and regional Australia has been hit with drought, bushfires and now COVID-19, and Eastern Riverina (where our Young Farmer branch extends) has unfortunately felt the force of each. In the ‘old’ days (aka pre COVID) the face to face branch meetings provided a forum for young motivated agriculturalists to catch up over a beverage and discuss issues they face. We might not be meeting face to face at the moment, but we are tackling the challenges of late head-on. This includes making the most of being ‘tech natives’, providing virtual support to agriculturalists in our region through online meetings – as well as making sure valued positions in our community (eg Farm Counsellors) are here to stay.”

We applaud the Howard family for their contribution to agricultural policy development and their commitment to NSW Farmers and we look forward to watching Dione’s career flourish as she follows her father’s advice to grab any opportunity.

 

Proud to be shining the light on Heywire ensuring talented young people have equal opportunity

Picture You in Agriculture’s (PYiA) mission is to put young people in agriculture at the centre of the learning and doing experience and provide genuines opportunities for their voices to be heard and cinsidered. We support others who share our values to to achieve our joint goals. In November 2019 school students from Lake Cargelligo Central School and Wee Waa High School travelled to Sydney as part of The Archibull Prize. Along with attending the awards ceremony and visiting Western Sydney University, the students joined Young Farming Champions (YFC) in a Heywire workshop.

Like our YFC program ABC’s Heywire is a conduit for young people in rural and remote Australia to share and promote their stories and, for the second year running, YFC Meg Rice represented us at the Heywire Gala Dinner.

Heywire puts young Australians at the centre of the conversations that shape their communities and the ABC has been running the program, in partnership with the Australian Government, since 1998.

“The annual Heywire cycle begins with a storytelling competition – open to people aged 16-22, living in regional or rural Australia. Heywire encourages young people to tell stories about their life outside the major cities in text, photo, video or audio format and every ABC regional station selects a winning Heywire Competition entry to represent their part of Australia. The young winners work with ABC staff to produce their story to be featured on ABC Radio and abc.net.au. Heywire stories are renowned for their honesty and for giving us a window on the lives of young people in regional Australia.” says Meg

Regional competition winners attend the Heywire Summit in Canberra where they undertake leadership workshops and meet with members of parliament, government departments and community leaders. The ‘Heywirers’ work together in teams to develop ideas aimed at improving the lives of young people in regional Australia and present their ideas to a panel at Parliament House. The Summit culminates in the Gala Dinner.

“Attending the dinner is a wonderful opportunity to learn about what young people are passionate about, their trials and triumphs and what has made them into the inspiring young leaders they are today,” Meg says.

ABC Chair Ita Buttrose spoke at the Gala Dinner

ABC Heywire at Parliament House, Canberra on 9/12/13th February 2020. PHOTO: MARK GRAHAM

“Stories have been told in Australia from time immemorial. From the Dreamtime to today, they reflect and shape our culture and identity, they allow us to survive and prosper, they bind our communities together, they attempt to explain the world around us, they express our pain and our joy…Thank you Heywirers for sharing the stories of your life in regional and rural Australia. What we have seen and heard tonight and read and watched on the Heywire site are moving, inspiring, informative stories told from the heart.”

“Ita also spoke about people from the bush being renowned for being stoic and just getting on with the job but how in noisy times like these you sometimes have to grab the microphone when you see the opportunity,” Meg says.

“I think this highlights the synergies between Heywire and YFC. It demonstrates the power of story-telling and the importance of rural and regional Australia.” Meg Rice

37 Heywire winners were chosen from across Australia, describing their worlds from anything to adjusting to a new country to the healing power of the bush. Two stories, in particular, touched Meg. Renae Kretschmer, from Wirrabara, SA described the grief and pain of losing her mother to a heart attack at age 60.

“Mum once asked me “what inspires you?” At the time I probably said some noncommittal comment, but really it was her. My strong, capable mother inspired me in all she did….It took losing Mum to make me realise how special family and a country community is. How they help pull you through your absolute darkest days.”

Tim Martin spoke proudly about being from a fourth generation farming family and the battles against a long drought:

“But I know that if we can stick together we can face any challenge thrown at us. Because as a family we are full of love and laughter — whether it be sharing a story around the dinner table and having a good laugh, or watching one of our favourite TV shows together. I want to follow in Dad’s footsteps and keep the farming legacy going in our family, because I love being the son of a farmer. Maybe one day I’ll be a farmer myself and I’ll keep the farm in the family for a fifth generation.”

ABC Heywire at Parliament House, Canberra on 9/12/13th February 2020. PHOTO: MARK GRAHAM

Tim Martin  and Renae Kretschmer 

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2020 ABC Heywire competition.

 

United Nations Leaders and Teen Stars Invite Young People to Reimagine the World. 

We are very excited to be supporting The World’s Largest Lesson to promote the World’s Largest Lesson Live,

Save the date: 16th June

Why are they holding this event and why young people should get involved?

The world is facing enormous challenges right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown so many of our lives up in the air while many people continue to experience overwhelming inequality and injustice.

That’s why we’ve partnered with UNICEF to produce World’s Largest Lesson Live,

This 35 minute educational show for teenagers features United Nations leaders including Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the UN. They are joined by teen stars Millie Bobby Brown and Sofia Carson as well as students from across the world. It premieres on YouTube at 11am EST/4pm UK/1AM AEST Sydney on the 16th June and will be available on demand afterwards (French and Spanish subtitles).

We’re asking young people everywhere to help reimagine our societies so they are more fair, just and inclusive for everyone.

Can you ask your students and their families to watch the show and spread the word throughout your networks?  Then use these supporting resources to get everyone talking about the questions it raises:

  • What do we all want education to be like?
  • How can we create a world where everyone is healthy?
  • How can young people help shape what happens next?

Sign up here to be sent a reminder and look out for our social media campaign launching on Wednesday 10th June.

Young Farming Champion Dr Jo Newton awarded OAM in Queens Birthday Honours

At Picture You in Agriculture our greatest joy comes from watching others grow and develop. We are particularly proud of our Young Farming Champions; the dedication they show to agriculture, their willingness to share their stories and inspire the next generation, the heights they have achieved in their fledgling careers and the committment they show to ensuring other young people have the same opportunities to grow and learn and pay it forward

Today we are thrilled to share the news that Dr Jo Newton has been awarded one of the country’s top acknowledgments – a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her contribution to agriculture through her advocacy and support of young people, volunteering and contribution to dairy science.

The Order of Australia recognises Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement and the OAM is awarded for service worthy of particular recognition.

The OAM comes on top of a raft of awards for Jo in recent years including being named on the 2018 Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence List, winning the Dairy Research Foundation’s Emerging Scientists Award in 2017, winning the Leadership category of the 2018 Victorian Young Achiever Awards and the Royal Agriculture Society of Victoria’s Emerging Leaders in Victorian Agriculture Award.

We invited Jo to blog how she felt to have achieved so much in such a short time and how it felt to know so many people where supporting her shine

This is what she had to say…….

From today I can add the letters OAM after my name if I wish.

A fair bit of time has been spent in a speechless daze trying to sort through my thoughts on this unexpected and overwhelming honour. It still feels surreal. When PYiA approached me for a story I thought it was the ideal place to share some thoughts I’ve collected in the last few weeks.

Two months ago an OAM was something I viewed as an acknowledgement for people with many decades more experience than I – but granted I knew little about the award.

As a female who’s just turned 31, I don’t resemble many past OAM awardees which has led to a few moments of imposter syndrome. However, letting self-doubt takeover would be a disservice to those who deemed me worthy of nomination and invested their time in writing applications and referee reports. With awards like this I think there is a certain element of right place/right time to being nominated – there are worthy people whose names are never put forward. I am indebted to those who put forth and supported my nomination. I feel truly overwhelmed, humbled and honoured, to be an OAM recipient.

To me, leadership is a journey of lifelong learning and I will continue to strive to be worthy of the honour I have been granted. I am incredibly grateful to the agricultural sector who has invested in me through providing access to professional and personal development opportunities. I will pay it forward through continued advocacy and support of young people.

Every interaction I have with the volunteer team at Picture You in Agriculture reinforces the breadth and depth of talent, skills, and capacity for innovation young people can bring to the table. I will use the platform afforded to me to shine a light on innovative young people whose stories and ideas deserve to be heard.

“Hidden Treasures” like Bessie, Dione and Lucy who give enormously to their communities – many since they were teenagers.

Young women like Emma and Marlee who balance running agricultural businesses with community leadership roles.

Inspiring women like Sam, Anika and Casey who are being recognised within and outside of agricultural circles for the contributions they are making.

I hope my recognition on this years Queen’s Birthday Honours List encourages organisational leaders to seriously consider the impact that young people are having and think about meaningful ways to give young people a voice within their organisations, boardrooms and conferences. Those seeking inspiration may like to look at AgriFutures Ignite Advisory Council.

Congratulations to all the recipients on the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honour List.

To the coaches, mentors, champions, colleagues, family and friends that have helped shaped me into the person I am today thank-you.

 

Congratulations Jo. We are honoured to call you one of us. A young person in agriculture who is proud of what they do, sharing the great stories of agriculture far and wide, grateful for the opportunities, the support networks and the doors that have been opened for them and paying it forward in bucketloads.

and paraphrasing the words of Charlene Li

There may have been times when the way forward was illuminated by what felt like a penlight in the dark night. There may have been times  when you doubted the course you had chosen. And there were times when it might have felt like the entire world was aligned against you. You used these setbacks as opportunities to learn. Your vision of the future will provide you with the solace, inspiration, and strength to continue.

Putting people first and building bridges together

At Picture You in Agriculture we love it when people ask us

“What are you most proud of?”

Our response

 We believe people are our greatest resource. We are proud to be a people centric organisation. We bring people doing great stuff together so they can do more great stuff together.

In our work with schools, we advise them to consider the following questions.

  • What does community mean to you?
  • What resources are there in your school community you could tap into?
  • What are you doing already?
  • What new partnerships could you build?
  • What can you do to build the capacity of your local community?

And our program evaluations are consistently showing the capcity building model is working

We are supporting teachers to empower their students to drive behavoiral change

“This project has been life changing for our school, families and staff! I am now a town coordinator for Kids4Kids! I have changed my recycling habits at home and have helped many staff and family members to do the same. When it’s explained to most people, they are happy to get on board. Kreative Koalas has been a good conversation starter to introduce people who might think it’s all too hard…it’s not! It’s been wonderful working with our local council and schools. It was just what we needed to get the ball rolling. We look forward to our 2020 projects!”

Teacher quotes:

“Knowing that it is possible for a community to change their habits through education we were able to engage our community hub (multicultural group of women) to implement ways of upcycling old clothing. Kreative Koalas also allowed us to value and take advantage of our community stakeholders who hold wonderful expertise .”

“Although we are very close to our other local schools, we don’t tend to associate with them. If we hadn’t participated in the Kreative Koalas project it probably wouldn’t have crossed our mind to include other members of our community. We are glad KK has opened our eyes to including others in our projects!”

 

Teacher comments indicate students were actively changing themselves, their families, and communities:

 

 

“Students were actively talking about the problem and their solutions at home. I had many parents express to me how engaged their children were at home about this project. “

Over 50% of the schools reported partnering with Aboriginal Land Councils resulting in comments like this

Just like our young Aboriginal Girl’s Group, this koala is a young female in an uncertain world. The Worimi girls are traditional custodians and they feel connected to their lands. Mother Earth has always provided for First Nation people a feeling of connection, a sense of belonging to the Earth, to all living things – the animals, the trees, the stars, one another.”

and this 

” Our students were talking about connection to country and development of their understanding as future custodians of Worimi lands. What this responsibility may look like and what they can do to shape the future in positive and caring ways…sustainable ways to ensure the success and care of future custodians like themselves and also of all creatures themselves and importantly, the land to which they inherently belong.”

and this

“Vacy is a country village in the Dungog Shire.  My class 3/4 along with the Aboriginal students from 5/6 looked at how our use of the land in Vacy has changed over time. What do farmers (our families) grow/raise here now? Why? What are we eating for morning tea?( lots of packet food!) Is this good for the land? What did the Wonorua people eat for food? How did they survive and thrive for millions of years sustainably? …..The black shadows [on our koala] are the spirits of the Wonorua people guiding us to live in harmony with the land as they once did”                                                                                                                     

It goes without saying young people are our legacy.

When we give them ownership of the problem, support their teachers with professional learning and surround them with community experts they believe anything is possible and they prove it is

Special shoutout to our funding partners for sharing our ethos of putting people first and investing in their growth and wellbeing