ANNOUNCING OUR 2019 NATIONAL AGDAY CAREERS COMPETITION

Imagine your dream career in agriculture !!!!!!

National Ag Day Career Comp

In conjunction with the Sydney Science Park we are launching our third “Imagine Your Dream Career in Agriculture” competition to coincide with National Agriculture Day on November 21. The competition encourages students in Years 5-12 to envisage their own career in STEM based agriculture.

Aimee Snowden from Little Brick Pastoral has created ten STEM agricultural photographs showcasing LEGO® minifigures to represent science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. The careers are an agribusiness banker, an agriculture teacher, an agronomist, a biosecurity officer, an engineer, a geneticist, a GIS specialist, a mechanic, a scientist and a stock and station agent.

Lego Characters

Students may choose one of Aimee’s characters on which to base their entry or alternatively may build and photograph their own LEGO® character. They are then asked to identify their interests and the subjects they excel at, research pathways they might take to achieve their agricultural career dream and to write a day-in-the-life story on their chosen career.

Entries will take the form of an infographic and a $2000 prize pool is on offer.

FIND OUT EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW HERE

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#YouthinAg #YouthVoices #STEMCareers

Tallong Public School creating lifelong environmental heroes

Mega proud of the students and teachers at Tallong Public School maintaining the rage to protect our endangered species

Last year their efforts to protect the Tallong Midge Orchid saw them win Grand Champion Kreative Koala.

grandchampion-tallong.jpg Simon Tedder from the Office of Environment and Heritage was so impressed with the students dedication he offered to help them set up a native garden in their school grounds. This has led to the students deciding their native garden would provide a habitat for glossy black cockatoos. 

Tallong Public School.jpg Tallong Public students planted about 80 Allocasuarina littoralis trees at their school in April 2019.

Each student at Tallong Public school added more glossy black-cockatoo foraging habitat to the landscape by planting Allocasuarina feed trees in their school grounds. With great enthusiasm from Tallong school staff and the new principal, Scott Osborne, the Glossies in the Mist team were welcomed onto the school to share fun facts about glossy ecology and plant trees during short workshops with the students.

The students and Glossies in the Mist team installed the feed trees in an eroding embankment which will stabilise the area and create a nice wind break to the students playing fields. At one point, the team heard the distinctive flight calls of a glossy black-cockatoo and looked up with the students to observe a pair, flying directly over us – the students were captivated!

Glossy Black Cockatoo

The Glossy Black-cockatoo is a charismatic, beautiful bird. It is also vulnerable to extinction.

So proud of these wonderful Australians – sending  a big congratulations to the students and staff at Tallong Public School and their Glossies in the Mist support team for contributing to this new foraging habitat and taking on the role as glossy black-cockatoo custodians in their local area. Source 

The Power of the Koala to create the Ripple Effect

This story not only shows what can happen when you bring schoools, students and teachers together with community experts, it show the power of passionate people

As you will see from the students responses in this video Simon Tedder had a phenomonal effect on the students when he visited (they even named their Koala after him) as their Kreative Koalas Community Champion in 2018. As did his colleague Lorraine Oliver on the students at Braidwood Central School. Simon and Lorraine are part of an incredible team of passionate people at the NSW Department of Environment who wake up every day 100% committed to engaging farmers and the community to work together to protect our endangered species.

Special shoutout to them this week as we celebrate people we perceive to be heroes by their courageous actions that go above and beyond

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons Learnt – When you put your hand up to “have a go”, roll your sleeeves up, take some risks, you’ll wake up one day and realise you’re living your dream job

“HAVING A GO” LEADS TO POSITION OF GENERAL MANAGER

In recent weeks in our Lessons Learnt series we have heard from Kate McBride and Ben Barlow who both sit on the board of the Western Division of Local Land Services. Staying in that space we now chat to their general manager Erlina Compton, who, at 38, decided to “have a go” and take on the position in an acting role. That, in turn, led to a permanent position and her trajectory, according to Ben, as one of the best leaders he has met.

Meet Erlina Compton

If a job advertisement for General Manager of the Western Division of Local Land Services was written it would probably ask for someone with a passion for the people and places of western NSW; and for someone with a strong background in landholder liaison, strategic planning and environmental commitment. It would probably ask specifically for Erlina Compton.

Erlina grew up around Narrabri in northern NSW, worked with Landcare in Victoria, completed a PhD looking at landholders and decision making, and worked with the NSW Catchment Management Authority. “One of my long-term goals was to work in western NSW and when Local Land Services formed I moved across from the CMA and took up a position as Strategic Planning Manager in Dubbo,” she says.

However, her career was soon to take a different turn. “The General Manager resigned after twelve months,” Erlina says, “and, out of the blue, I was asked to act in the role while they recruited a new one. It was supposed to be for eight weeks and I thought ‘I don’t think I can do this but I’ll have a go and do it for this short amount of time’.”

Complicating Erlina’s new appointment was the fact a major organisational re-structure had just been announced but this gave her a unique opportunity to not only help implement it but suggest changes.

“Ben and other board members have been brilliant to work with,” she says. “They are all landholders – practical people quite free from government processes – who provide real-life guidance and support, and so I started working with the staff and the board to figure out where we would go.”

Erlina found she enjoyed the work and when the permanent position was finally advertised, two years later, she had no hesitation in putting up her hand.

In her role as General Manager Erlina has faced the challenges of working with a diverse group of people, with a limited budget over an enormous area. But with the challenges comes the satisfaction of seeing Local Land Services evolve into a successful model bearing fruit for her landholders.

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Western Local Land Services Gilgunnia Cluster Fence open day.

Part of Erlina’s success comes from her relationship with the people she works with.

“Being a good leader is about supporting and growing the people around you,” she says. “It’s about bringing the people, whether it’s your staff or the board or the organisation generally, on the journey.”

Erlina is also inspired by young staff working with her and believes “having a go” is an important trait.

“There are so many young leaders who come forward with fantastic ideas and think about doing things so differently than I would,” she says. “It’s about being brave enough to speak up and share the ideas no matter how different they are.”

From Kate McBride, who joined the LLS board at 18, to Erlina Compton who was General Manager at 38, to Ben Barlow who uses his wealth of experience to nurture and guide, leadership takes many forms, but perhaps the most telling characteristic is the confidence to say yes to challenges and opportunities as they are presented.

 

 

Shining the spotlight on Lake Cargelligo Central School a little school doing big things

Continuing our series of shaing stories about the schools we work with going above and beyond today we shine the spotlight on Lake Cargelligo Central School. 

The cost of freight is a serious limiting factor to how far and wide we can take The Archibull Prize. This year two school communities in rural NSW came together to fund their local schools participation in the program. One of these is Lake Cargelligo Central School which has a strong focus on agricultural education

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With the cost of freight being a limiting factor the Lake Cargelligo community came together to fund the transport of Archie to their local school

Pigs and grains are the focus of two projects students from Years 9 and 10 at Lake Cargelligo Central School are undertaking this year to increase their emphasis on agricultural education. Pigs will be the feature of a paddock to plate project while the students will study the grain industry in The Archibull Prize.

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One of the first thing the secondary students did was introduce Archie to the kinders

“Our school is located in regional/remote NSW and the majority of our students have some connection to agriculture through their family,” agriculture teacher Tara-Jane Ireland says. “We run an agriculture show team that focuses on all enterprises we can access (chooks, sheep and cattle) and we source animals from local breeders to build connections with the community.”

In the paddock to plate project students will raise, show and process two pigs (Peppa and George) and then combine with food technology students to create menus for the table. Read more about Peppa, George and the rest of the team here.

Like The Archibull Prize, the pig paddock to plate event is an example of project-based learning. “Project-based learning has become an integral part of our teaching practices at LCCS to enhance the engagement of our students,” Tara-Jane says. “In 7/8 all our classes complete learning through PBL and teachers are now expanding this to 9/10. This allows our students to develop essential life skills like leadership, communication and problem solving.”

Twenty students will participate in The Archibull Prize. They are looking forward to not only connecting with students from other Archibull schools, but with a local artist and their Young Farming Champion Emma Ayliffe, who they are hoping can assist them develop career goals and aspirations.

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“Our aim is to focus on holistic approaches to agriculture while having fun,” Tara-Jane says, “and to help students lead healthy lifestyles by producing their food sustainably now and in the future.”

#ArchieAction #YouthinAg #YouthVoices19

Chloe Dutschke is immersing herself in the world of wool

Young Farming Champion Chloe Dutschke who was recently named the joint winner of the 2019 Peter Westblade Scholarship along with Brett Stockings of Dubbo is certainly becoming a dynamo in the wool industry.

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Picture taken by Forbes Corby

After completing a Bachelor of Animal Science at the University of Adelaide in 2014 Chloe began her career in wool as a jillaroo in the Flinders Ranges. Today she is a contract musterer working anywhere from southern NSW to northern SA but, along the way, Chloe has taken every opportunity to immerse herself in the world of wool. For example, in 2016 Flinders Merino, a South Australian woolgrowers group, sent Chloe to Hong Kong to learn all about the wool supply chain. So it should come as no surprise that Chloe was amongst the six finalists for this year’s Peter Westblade Scholarship.

“The scholarship has a strong focus on young people and offers a large range of networking opportunities which I was drawn to,” Chloe says. “I self-nominated but was also nominated by David Rankin, manager of Tupra Station in NSW. I feel he nominated me because he can see the need to encourage and guide young people in agriculture and has seen first-hand the passion and dedication I have to the sheep and wool industry.”

For Chloe the win is not only recognition for her own dedication but recognition and thanks to people who have assisted her career and become her mentors. People such as David Rankin, Plant a Seed for Safety founder Alex Thomas, Peter Westblade committee members Georgie McGuiness and Craig Wilson, and our very own Picture You in Agriculture director Lynne Strong.

“I believe those who inspire you, giving you their time and leadership, are mentors. I try to surround myself with those types of people and hope to one day be a mentor for someone else.”

The Peter Westblade Scholarship comes with a $10,000 bursary, which Chloe is using to attend conferences such as MerinoLink, LambEx and EvokeAg, and to extend her corporate networks in order to promote her visions for the wool industry.

One of those visions is The Pastoral Network.

“I have developed The Pastoral Network for the pastoral areas of northern South Australia,” Chloe says. “I see it as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to share industry and community events and information, jobs, topical articles and general information.”

So committed is Chloe to her project that she has entered the ABC Trailblazer competition.

“I am hoping that being selected as an ABC Trailblazer means I can further develop this shared information idea into a website for other agricultural areas to use across South Australia and nationally as well.”

Congratulations on all you have achieved and all you aspire to Chloe. You are a credit to the wool industry and Australian agriculture.

 

Ben Barlow learning and growing by empowering young people

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Shoutout out to Young Farming Champion Marlee Langfield for the awesome image

As highlighted by the Chair of our youth leadership team, Dr Jo Newton in her opionion piece in the Stock and Land, agriculture has a lot of great immersion workshop leadership training opportunities. The question Picture You in Agriculture is seeking the answer to is – Are we making the same mistake as the rest of the world and not giving young people the opportunity to practice what they are learning.

The problem is, while the science of management has advanced significantly in the past three decades, the practice of management hasn’t.  The new purpose of business — and the future of work — has to include maximizing human potential. Source

The management team at Western Local Land Services is certainly doing everything it can to empower emerging leaders through action learning  Ben and Erlina.jpg

Chair of Western Local Land Services Ben Barlow with GM Erlina Compton – source

In the last episode of our Lessons Learnt series we met 21 year-old Kate McBride and learnt of her leadership journey. As the youngest board member of Local Land Services she credited Ben Barlow, chair of the Western Division, as an important role model and mentor. Today we chat to Ben to discover his take on leadership, diversity on boards and his advice to young people looking to make an impression on the world.

With experience in agriculture, both on the ground and in corporate and financial circles, Ben Barlow was an obvious choice as an inaugural board member when Local Land Services formed in 2014. The new organisation represented an amalgamation of the Livestock Pest and Health Authority (LHPA), Catchment Management Authorities (CMA) and extension sections of the NSW Department of Agriculture.

“I thought it would be a bit of a challenge to bring them all together.” Ben says of his reasons for joining the Western Division board. “Whenever you bring cultures together you can’t expect them to work well straight up; you’ve got to bring the best out of them all across the organisation and you set the tone from the top – from the chair and the board down – and through good counselling and quality discussion time with the general manager who is running it day to day.”

“When we started I think the western board had the lowest customer engagement and staff satisfaction scores of the group and now they are the highest in the state,” Ben says of the transformation that has occurred in the five and a half years since inception.

This transformation has been a product of clear direction and purpose from the beginning, with the Western Division having a strategic plan in place before one was finalised for LLS as a whole.

“Our principles are customers and stakeholders, people, productivity and natural resources of the region,” Ben says. “If a policy enhances these then good; if not we don’t do it. It’s pretty basic. This makes it one of the few agri-political boards I have been in that does not have any politics at all. It just focusses on the job at hand.”

Ben has held the position of chair for three years and believes it is not the role of the chair to have opinions or objectives, but rather to get the best out of the people sitting around the board table, and to facilitate the best questions so management can form direction. To this end he is a strong advocate of a diverse board.

“Over time we’ve moved the composition of the board from mainly older men and a couple of women to a fifty/fifty gender ratio with an average age of about 40, with the youngest being 21,” he says.

“We’ve moved to a generational change to create diversity, pass to the next generation and to maintain good corporate leadership and governance.”

But gender is not the only measure of a diverse board and the Western Division has a stated objective to encourage traditional owners to apply for a seat on the board in the next elections.

“I think that will be a significant step forward. A board is about asking the right questions and you therefore need the right people represented around the table.”

As Kate McBride can attest, joining a board when young and female can be overwhelming and although LLS offers professional development opportunities such as the Australian Institute of Company Directors course, it is personal guidance and mentorship that can prove most valuable.

“I said to Kate when she was appointed that this was going to be a bit daunting but I would stand behind her all the way,” Ben says, “and it hasn’t been just me but the whole board who have nurtured her and helped her grow. It’s about relationships: Kate may have valued my support and advice on lots of levels but I have also really valued that interaction. It has helped me grow.”

“I enjoy seeing people grow and develop and try, and make mistakes and reach out and try again and get over it. If you do nothing you’re going to learn nothing. If you do something and make a mistake you learn. You’ve got to do something to learn. I’ve had some wonderful leaders and I’ve had some awful ones and I’ve learnt a lot from the best and I’ve learnt a lot from the worst and I’ve made a lot of mistakes myself.”

With his experience and life-learning Ben has this advice for people looking to make an impression on the world:

  • Listen carefully and watch; take the best of things you see and ditch the worst of things you see, and be very distinctive about that choice,
  • Don’t put on social media what you don’t want to see on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald; where there is mystique there is margin – it gives you some latitude and leverage in life,
  • Find someone who might be able to help you and ask them to help; and they will usually say yes

By legislation, Ben’s term as chair and board member of the LLS Western Division will come to an end in 2020, but Ben believes in the power of positive transition and will step down from these roles this year, but don’t call it succession.

“I think succession implies the end of something whereas I think it is about progression where the work you’ve done has got you to a point and the next part of the journey for the enterprise is a new leader who takes that culture further and does something with it. We’re here for many generations and if we do it well handing over the reins will be a progressive thing.”

#YouthinAg #StrongerTogether #YouthVoices

Kate McBride – a young woman disrupting the status quo

Inspire

Special thanks to Young Farming Champion Marlee Langfield for this fabulous photo 

Young people have the most to gain and the most to lose from deccisions made by older generations. Too often their voices are not heard

Amplifying the voices of youth is something very close to the heart of the Picture You in Agriculture team. The Chair of our youth leaderrship team Dr Jo Newton has made it her mission to seek out and showcase young people views on leadership models and you can read her regular opinion pieices in the Stock and Land here  and here

As part of our lessons learnt series we will be showcasing organisations who are giving young people a place at the decision making table and support them on their jounrey

The first in the series will showcase Western Local Land Services 21 year old board member Kate McBride, the Chair of the Board Ben Barlow and Erlina Compton the General Manager Kate McBride.jpg

Picture source  The Australian. Photographer David Geraghty

This is Kate’s story penned by our journalist Mandy McKeesick  

Sometimes we all get caught with our blinkers on, looking inward rather than outward. We could write all our Lessons Learnt series on our Young Farming Champions but Lynne Strong is driven by a desire to acknowledge, celebrate and learn from young agricultural leaders, no matter their background or affiliation. Such was the case when Lynne tuned into a recent episode of the ABC’s Australian Story and was impressed with the communication skills and the presence of a 21-year-old from Tolarno Station on the Darling River.

Kate McBride grew up on the banks of the Darling River. It is close to her heart and the current dire straits it is now in has spurred her to advocate for the river. As she said in the program: “We need to fix this and I’m going to do that in any way I possibly can.”

But as a young person in regional New South Wales Kate initially found herself lacking the skills to communicate her message. Then she found the Australian Conservation Foundation.

“ACF were running the River Fellowship Program and bringing together people from across the Murray Darling Basin to do workshops and training,” Kate says. “My step-mum was involved and when she couldn’t attend one of the programs I stepped in and then Beth Koch suggested I do the entire eight month course.”

The ACF training initially involved gaining knowledge about the Murray Darling Basin and then extended into people and communication skills. The training took Kate from someone who could not string two sentences together in front of a camera to the eloquent young woman on Australian story.

“ACF gave me the confidence to stand up and get my message across, especially to politicians. It taught me politicians are just normal people; they are accessible and you can go and speak to them and get your point across.”

With this new confidence Kate put her hand up for the board of the Western Local Land Services and was duly elected. Like the ACF Local Land Services has given Kate a broad appreciation of agriculture beyond her front paddock; and also training to assist her leadership journey with a three-day Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

As Beth Koch became her mentor with ACF Kate credits Ben Barlow, Chair of Western Local Land Services, as being another great teacher.

“I was pretty nervous when I joined the board but from Day One Ben was incredibly supportive. He is interested in making sure people are growing and have the ability to go out and serve the community. He is an incredible mentor.”

At 21 Kate has a long and potentially influential career in front of her so what advice does she have for other young people interested in the advocacy and political space?

“The most important thing I have ever done is when opportunities have arisen I’ve put my name forward. You’ve got nothing to lose. I’m also constantly learning and working out how to better do things. Rome wasn’t built overnight and I know I’ve got a long way to go.”