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.
Welcome to Series 3 of Leadership is Language – Conversations with Thought Leaders. Our first interview sees Dr Jo Newton OAM interview Josh Farr, Founder of Campus Consultancy as they discuss how leadership is service for the greater good.
“We take a broad approach to the notion of leadership as service. Our philosophy is if you are helping somebody else, if you’re taking proactive action and not stepping back, if you’re leaning into challenges, if you see as problems as a way to add value to the world, then that is leadership.”
Leadership is Service. Leadership is not necessarily a title, it’s the actions you take that make you a leader
Confident communicators don’t become less afraid, they become braver
To become an effective communicator find people you admire and study them, practice, practice, practice
After gaining a First Class Honours Degree from UNSW and beginning work as a civil engineer, Josh underwent his first mental health training program. Realizing he had much to learn and contribute beyond his technical experience, he spent the next 2-years travelling to 39 countries before returning to Australia to work in education and non-profits. Josh worked as the Victorian Recruitment Manager for Teach For Australia and saw the impact of education on young people experiencing disadvantage.
In 2017, Josh founded Campus Consultancy and has grown the company to be a market leader to empower young leaders to be their own agents of change. His team has since taken more than 21,000 student leaders from 33-universities and more than 30 high schools through his workshops on leadership, entrepreneurship and emotional intelligence. He’s delivered 2 TEDx talks including his most recent titled, “Leadership is service.”
At the age of 31 Jo was recognised as an OAM on the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her service to agriculture through her advocacy and support of young people, volunteering and contribution to dairy research. Passionate about research that delivers tangible benefits for farmers, since obtaining a PhD in animal breeding and genetics from the University of New England in 2016, Jo’s work has focused on practical tools to illustrate the benefit of better herd-improvement decisions on farm. This includes 6 months as a visiting scientist at Teagasc Moorepark, Ireland on an Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Jo currently works as a research scientist for Agriculture Victoria. Jo has a history of active involvement across the wider agricultural sector, particularly in advocacy and support of young people in agriculture. Her volunteer contributions span 17 years and dozens of leadership roles across 14 not-for-profit organisations including her current roles as a Non-Executive Director of Picture You in Agriculture and a member of the Youth Voices Leadership Team.
Jo’s contributions to agriculture have been recognised through numerous awards including: – Medal of the Order of Australia 2020 – University of New England’s Young Distinguished Alumni Award 2018 – Leadership Category Victorian Young Achiever Awards 2018 – Royal Agriculture Society of Victoria’s Emerging Leaders in Victorian Agriculture Award 2018 -Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence List.
“I don’t believe you can have a conversation about leadership without having a conversation about morality and ethics”
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“How you communicate, empathise and make people feel is fundamental. There are many ways of getting your ideas out to the world – verbally, written, artistically – the key is finding the medium that suits you and that you enjoy creating.”
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“What is enough? Why are so many people striving for things they don’t want? Gandhi said “happiness is when what you say, what you believe and what you do are in alignment.”
In this episode of Leadership is Language Lynne Strong, in conjunction with a Youth Voices Leadership Team panel of Dione Howard, Jo Newton and Tayla Field, hosts an insightful leadership expose with former federal politician Cathy McGowan.
Watch Cathy share her tips for being an effective leader here
Agriculture has enough leadership programs; we need people “doing” the leadership
Start with the end in mind
Harness your networks and your team
“In north-east Victoria we used to export our young people [to the cities]. Now there is a buzz in the community. Young people are wanted and respected. There is lots of energy and a sense that this is a place where young people want to live.”
In 2013, Cathy McGowan broke the Liberal/National Coalition’s hold on the seat of Indi, becoming the first independent member for the north-east Victorian electorate and the first female independent to sit on the parliamentary crossbench.
She entered federal parliament on the urgings of young people from her electorate and in doing so brokered a new way of community politics. Her memoirs were recently published in Cathy Goes to Canberra, an inspiring tale of the power of grass-roots activism.
Cathy believes young people have the ability, articulation and creativity to make their vision for Australia a reality.
Lynne Strong is the founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Picture You in Agriculture. Part of her vision is to see the young people who participate in our programs have the opportunity to be surrounded by role models and turn the leadership skills and knowledge they learn into daily habits. This vision is crystallised in the Youth Voices Leadership Team, where young people design and direct their future. Dione Howard is the team’s vice-chair, Jo Newton is the returning officer and Tayla Field sits on the Innovation Hub.
Cathy McGowan AO entered federal parliament on the urgings of young people from her Victorian electorate of Indi, and in doing so brokered a new way of community politics. Her memoirs were recently published in Cathy Goes to Canberra, an inspiring tale of the power of grass-roots activism.
In 2008 Cathy attended Kevin Rudd’s 2020 Summit, where four keynote speakers, under 25 years of age, talked about their vision for Australia.
“I was stunned by their ability, by their level of articulation, by their creativity, by their vision for Australia and the thought that they’d given to their presentations. My biggest take away from that summit was that older people, such as myself and most of the attendees, in fact needed to pay attention to young people in our community. They knew things that we baby boomers did not. They certainly were better educated and had new approaches that could find the answers to the problems we were facing….. I made a firm commitment to pay attention and get to know the young people, not only in my life, but in my work,” Cathy says in her book.
In keeping with her commitment to young people as Australia’s future Cathy jumped at the chance to share her wisdom with our Young Farming Champions. She spoke openly to the cohort via a zoom conference, hosted by Lynne Strong in conjunction with a Youth Voices Leadership Team panel of Dione Howard, Dr Jo Newton OAM and Tayla Field.
Cathy covered many aspects of the leadership pathway such as creating time budgets, life-long learning, the importance of networking, the power of finding, and supporting, your tribe and of having confidence in the skill set you have already developed. If these things sound familiar it is because Cathy’s wisdom mirrors closely the visions and ideals of Picture You in Agriculture.
Cathy has a passion to liberate people to be leaders and empower them to grow in confidence. She believes we have enough leadership training programs in agriculture and what we now need is more people “doing” leadership. And she believes the YFC have the skills and salutes them for Turning Up, Speaking Up and Stepping Up to develop their courage muscle by practicing the knowledge and skills they learn in training by being the face of our in-school programs The Archibull Prize ( secondary schools) and Kreative Koalas ( primary schools )” she says.
The workshop was well received by the audience:
“I appreciate Cathy’s easy going, positive nature and her efforts to continually develop her skills. I enjoyed learning it’s okay not to know the exact right path to take, to step up to challenges, build resilience and have a go.” Steph Tabone
“Time budgeting is such an effective tool, particularly making time for exercise and other important tasks that may not be labelled as “work” but are essential in creating a successful, balanced life.” Elizabeth Argue
“I appreciate that Cathy has put herself out there to achieve all that she has so far, and from the workshop I realise we need to do the work and find a team to do the work with.” Dione Howard
“I appreciate the openness with which Cathy has shared her story so that we can all learn from her experience. I found Cathy sharing her story of leadership versus stepping up as a visible leader particularly helpful.” Jo Newton
The Zoom recording of Cathy’s three tips for being an effective leaders can be found here
The zoom recording of the panel session will be loaded here shortly. Watch this space
Today’s guest blog post is by Young Farming Champion. agroecologist, farmer, author, keynote speaker, climate warrior and Climate Wise Agriculture founder Anika Molesworth
Being involved in the agricultural sector has given me a front row seat to food production. I have stood in fields surrounded by millions of tiny corn plants, filled with awe at the fragility and possibility of this new life. I have seen hour-old lambs wobble to their feet for the first time, cheering on those first steps as it finds its mothers teat. I have felt the sense of pride of being a farmer and growing food with the knowledge that this is going to be enjoyed by someone and nourish them.
Ronni is CEO and Founder of OzHarvest. She is the yellow truck driving, dumpster-diving, food waste fighter who has recently released her memoir, “A Repurposed Life.”
Ronni and the incredible team at OzHarvest Education are doing fantastic work on stopping society’s dysfunctional food waste behaviour. Their goal is to adhttps://ozharvest.org/vocate, inspire and influence the community in order to halve food waste by 2030. It is so fantastic to see this work being done because no farmer wants to see their food end up in landfill. This is because it’s not only the food that gets wasted – it’s also all the time, labour, water, nutrients that went into producing it. Precious human and natural resources that need to be cherished, not dumped.
One of the most exciting questions to ask regarding food waste, I think, is
“How do we design waste out of the system?”
This is one of the principles of a circular economy – not just how do we recycle better – but how do we actually create systems where waste doesn’t exist?
Where can we put processes and technologies in place, that an output from one user/sector is immediately utilised as a valuable resource by another.
With one in five shopping bags in Australia ending up in the bin, there is huge room for improvement.
Ronni has a radiating smile as she talks about all the opportunities we have to fix the system and feed people properly. She definitely had me motivated to do more by the end of our conversation! Learning about their objective to collaborate with people right along the food system was particularly uplifting. The OzHarvest team is working with supermarkets, distributors, students and farmers to solve this problem.
We all need to play our part in reducing food waste – from the paddock to the plate – and by doing so, we will
In this episode of Leadership is Language Dr Anika Molesworth sits down with OzHarvest CEO Ronni Kahn to discuss food waste and how we can all play a part in reducing it.
We must change our relationship to food
The beautiful thing is, we’re all part of the solution
Never say its somebody else’s problem. It is our problem.
“My vision for the future is that good food is valued, respected, protected, grown locally, and looked after, and not wasted. So, I want to minimize food waste, upskill people on the value of food, and make sure that nobody goes hungry.”
Ronni Kahn AO is a social entrepreneur and founder of food rescue charity OzHarvest. Ronni is a passionate advocate and activist renowned for disrupting the food waste landscape in Australia. She appears regularly in national media, serves in an advisory capacity to government and is a sought after keynote speaker. Her mission to fight food waste and feed hungry people is supported by some of the world’s finest chefs. Ronni is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and was named Australian Local Hero of the Year. Her journey is the subject of a feature film, Food Fighter and her memoir, A Repurposed Life has recently been published.
Dr Anika Molesworth is the founder of Climate Wise Agriculture. She lives in the Far West of NSW Australia, where her family raises sheep and goats. It was the decade-long Millennium drought that spurred Anika’s interest in climate change, and how to ensure sustainable and vibrant farming landscapes into the future. Anika is a recognised thought-leader of agro-ecological systems resilience, she is an agricultural science researcher, communicator and works in international agricultural development.
In this episode of Leadership is Language ALISON PENFOLD and CATHERINE MARRIOTT explore Anticipatory leadership – what is it and how can we use it to take responsibility and protect agriculture and what do Dad and Dave have to do with it all?
Catherine Marriott sits down with Alison Penfold to find out.
Leadership takes curiosity, bravery and courage
Be proactive rather than reactive
Call out your own risks and change the narrative
Influence isn’t just going to be what you say, but it’s how you behave. That’s part of telling the story.
“…. over time, what I’ve come to see and [what] I think is really critical, particularly in agriculture, is anticipatory leadership. It’s really about being able to use strategic foresight to identify issues and opportunities, risks and opportunities and get ahead of the curve…….we need to get on the front foot and collectively work together to get ahead, so that we’re in control of managing the risk.”
Alison Penfold is a director of Future Eye. She has a forensic understanding of, and first-hand experience in, community engagement, risk and issues management, policy development, advocacy and political and bureaucratic processes. Her 20 years’ experience includes: Chief of Staff to a Federal Cabinet Minister, policy and political adviser to a range of State and Federal Ministers, CEO of a national agriculture sector industry body, Government Relations Manager for a major retailer and a range of senior policy, campaign and strategic advisory roles. Alison is a change agent promoting the need for business and industry to call out, act on and get ahead of social license risks.
Over the last 15 years, Catherine has worked in management, strategic and leadership roles in the agricultural, research and regional development sectors in Australia and internationally. During this time, she has become a proven business leader, communicator and entrepreneur, focused mostly on leadership development, advocacy and delivering innovative solutions for the industries in which she works. Catherine has always worked in rural and regional Australia and is inspired by the potential of our regions. She is passionate about the people side of agriculture, learning from and sharing with others. Mentoring is a role she plays with enthusiasm as she learns just as much from her mentees as she shares. She uses her Rural Science degree to understand the technical aspects of agriculture, while her experience in business helps her connect with people and maximise opportunities for others. Catherine has worked as a consultant, an entrepreneur, developed a start-up member-based organisation for the northern beef industry and plays a role on a number of private and public boards both in Australia and internationally. She is UNE’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and was the 2012 WA Rural Women of the Year.
In this episode of Leadership is Language Dione Howard continues her conversation with Austral Fisheries CEO David Carter as he reflects on a tragedy that reformed safety procedures for his company and provided valuable lessons for both the fishing and agricultural industries.
It is possible to create a legacy from an impossible moment
Near-miss incidents are gifts that can prevent a tragedy
Incidents become part of your story – it is up to you how to shape that story
“Our advice was to lawyer up and go and find the best legal defence you can and defend it to the hilt but that didn’t sit too well with me. We could have gone to court, pleaded guilty, paid the fine and moved on, and Ryan’s legacy would be his name on a dust-collecting file in the bottom of a drawer somewhere, or we could look to make right from wrong.”
David Carter has worked his entire career at Austral Fisheries and its predecessors. Graduating from Melbourne University in 1978 with a degree in Marine Science, David saw an opportunity to enter the fishing industry and began working as a deckhand on a prawn trawler off the coast of Darwin. This was the beginning of what has been a 40-year career in the fishing industry.
In 2016, David led Austral in taking the next step along its sustainability journey, with Austral Fisheries becoming the first seafood company in the world to achieve carbon neutral certification under the Australian Government Carbon Neutral Program.
David was inducted into the National Seafood Industry Hall of Fame in 2012 in recognition of his significant contribution to the Australian seafood industry, and in 2020 David received the Marine Stewardship Council’s Lifetime Achievement award.
Dione is a District Veterinarian with Riverina Local Land Services based in Wagga Wagga, NSW. She has been an active member of the Youth Voices Leadership Team since its inception in 2018; holding the position of Mentor Leader and Innovation Leader. In 2020 she took the step in her leadership journey on the Executive of YVLT as Vice Chair.
Dione’s seat on the YVLT Executive and the Picture You in Agriculture Board is enhanced by her completion of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Directors Course, which she undertook in conjunction with her role as Wool Producer’s Youth Ambassador in 2019.
We encourage them to be life-long learners and provide them with ongoing opportunities to be critical and creative thinkers and informed and active citizens of the communities the work, live and play in.
They see everyday as a new opportunity to enhance those skills.
One way we did this during COVID was to develop the Leadership is Language webinar series where Young Farming Champions have the opportunity to host a webinar and interview some of the world’s foremost thought leaders on communicating how we can show leadership by the language and communication styles we use.
Our guests challenge us to change the way we talk as leaders by learning the language of creativity, collaboration and commitment. They illustrate the powerful intersection of communication and leadership and offer simple steps to transform your thinking, your influence and the lives in your span of care and how we can reinvent our leadership style to meet the evolving demands of the new marketplace.
With such a star-studded list of guests how did our YFC prepare for their interviews and how did they find the experience? What have they learnt that will help them (and others) in the future?
Lucy Collingridge was thrown in the deep end as the opening act for Leadership is Language when she spoke with Nicole McDonald, and she followed this up with the internationally acclaimed Michael Bungay Stanier in Series 2.
“I have done a bit of microphone commentary/interview work at shows and our Cootamundra Hereford Heifer Show but this rewarding experience threw me well out of my comfort zone.
Before my interview I listened to Brene Brown’s podcast about FFT’s (effing first times). She speaks about naming the new thing, normalising it and embracing the suck – that it will be hard, I will feel nervous and intimidated but it won’t last forever. I needed to deal with the nerves to get to the good part.
In my first interview with Nicole I was able to catch up with her prior to our interview however I didn’t have this with Michael. I honestly didn’t know who he was so I did my research and learnt who he is and what he has accomplished. Speaking to such an amazing human with so much knowledge was daunting but Michael is such an engaging and open person.
I thoroughly enjoyed our chat, especially as he has no background in agriculture so he was a set of fresh eyes to the issues we face in the industry. I can’t wait to listen back to our chat another 10 times to keep getting things from it!”
Anika Molesworth, already an accomplished speaker, presenter and interviewer, sat down for a chat with Francesca Earl and found you can learn something from every experience.
“It was fantastic to have a chat with the inspiring Franny Earp, who has such depth of knowledge on communicating in different socio-cultural settings. It was hard not to get lost in her adventurous stories from working in South Africa to Laos. I was excited to learn from her and hear how she overcame challenges in communication that comes with doing international agricultural work. My questions came from a personal curiosity and that helped the conversation to flow seamlessly… it was difficult to end it because I was enjoying our chat so much!”
Emma Ayliffe was both interviewer (when she spoke with succession planner Sally Murfett) and interviewee (when she spoke about her new app Yacker).
“The Leadership is Language series has been exciting, fun, inspiring and challenging, but also a great opportunity to gain confidence and practices skills in interviewing, questioning and recording.
It was quite daunting to be at the helm of creating a conversation with Sally that was going to be interesting and relevant for a topic that can be controversial and difficult to breach (succession planning) but tapping into her expertise was phenomenal.
Preparation for the interview took the form of reading and researching Sally and her role in agriculture and talking to my partner and his family about their burning succession questions. From there Sally and I had a quick zoom to meeting to discuss what we were going to go through and I watched a few interviews on YouTube to see what I liked in an interviewer.
The bigger concerns I had were ensuring we captured the key points and ideas …. and hoping that the internet held up! I felt the nerves when we started but being a recording we reminded ourselves we had the ability to cut and change where needed.
The best part for me was talking to an amazing person about a topic that was extremely relevant to me.”
Here is a wrap of Leadership is Language – Series 1.
Our very first Leadership is Language conversation opened with YFC Lucy Collingridge talking with social science researcher Dr Nicole McDonald. Nicole spoke about how she found agriculture through psychology and how communication is a key tool to uniting this diverse industry.
“…..communication is how we connect and understand each other. Words are absolutely important, but then it’s also your tone of voice, it’s your volume, it’s your self-expression; it’s what you’re wearing. All of these things send messages about who you are, what you’re trying to convey. Communication is much bigger than just text or words…”
For the second conversation we engaged friends of the YFC Kirsty White and Rebel Black. Human agronomist Rebel spoke about what leadership means to her and why she thinks, at the end of the day, life is a game to be played.
“…..I think leadership, great leadership requires a high level of personal responsibility, and that’s a very challenging thing to do. It’s much easier for us to blame the outside world for the things that are going on in our lives or in the lives of the people that we care about. True leadership, I believe is a hundred percent self-responsibility, which then enables you to navigate through life in a more easeful way,….”
Third up was Youth Voices Leadership Team chair Emma Ayliffe speaking with Sally Murfett about the power of positive communication in succession planning.
“…. nothing happens without relationship and communication. If you can’t get this part right, nothing else is going to happen along the way. So invest in this process. Invest in yourself so that you can sit at the table and have these conversations that are going to get great outcomes for yourself and great outcomes for the family.”
Then it was time for YFC Hannah Hawker to sit down with Graham Smith, the Australian Rural Leadership Program Mentor, who discussed the importance of throwing out stereotypes and misconceptions.
“….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.”
YFC Anika Molesworth chatted with Francesca Earp about her research work in Laos and why actively listening to your people it the most important tool to understanding them.
“…..have proper conversations with farmers about why they’re doing things and what’s influencing those decisions … tailor ag extensions to why farmers are making those decisions.”
Internationally acclaimed leadership coach Dave Stachowiak was the guest of YFC Dione Howard for the sixth instalment of the series. Together they spoke about how to build ally relationships between consumers and farmers.
“…..we can come back at look at ourselves and say, “Okay, now that we’ve figured out what’s important, or at least some indicators of what may be important, where do we have some common alignment?” That’s a great starting point then for that relationship.”
Rounding off Series 1 of Leadership is Language was PYiA journalist Mandy McKeesick getting the lowdown on the new conversation app Yacker, developed by YFC Emma Ayliffe.
“It’s particularly important to be empathetic in difficult conversations. It’s important to do the work before you go into those conversations, so that you can see things through their eyes and prepare yourself for what the potential reactions could be, and think about the best way to craft the conversation.”
Series 1 has been a remarkable success and we look forward to the next series with a diverse range of guests involved with coaching, communication, stakeholder engagement, collective impact and action, worker health and safety, fishing, water, food recycling and much more.
We are excited to have our Youth Voices Leadership team chair Emma Ayliffe, co-founder of Summit Agriculture sits down with our wonderful journalist Mandy McKeesick to chat about the new conversation starting app Yacker, and why it is important to understand your audience.
Leadership is about understanding your client or customer
Being empathetic to the other person’s views
Never underestimating who is watching or listening to you
Avoiding speaking in frustration or anger
“It’s particularly important to be sympathetic and empathetic in difficult conversations. It’s important to do the work before you go into those conversations, so that you can see things through their eyes and prepare yourself for what the potential reactions could be, and think about the best way to craft the conversation.”
Emma Ayliffe is an award-winning agronomist and successful businesswoman. She is co-founder of agricultural consultancy Summit Ag, co-owner of a 1700-acre cropping property and an in-demand public speaker. In 2018 she was runner-up in the Adama Young Agronomist of the Year awards and has taken the stage at PIEFA Conference, the Australia Cotton Conference and the Australian Summer Grains Conference
Emma believes in the importance of agricultural sustainability and the role that young people play in the industry. She has been a Young Farming Champion since 2015, is the current chair for the Youth Voices Leadership Team and established Tulli Young Farmers to better support young people in her region.
Mandy is an Australian writer and photographer who shares stories for, and about, the bush. She has worked with the Picture You in Agriculture team for five years, sharing stories of Young Farming Champions far and wide, and regularly contributes to R.M Williams Outback magazine.
Summit Ag delivers interdependent agronomic and farming systems advice for irrigated cropping with a strong focus on cotton agronomy and research. It covers all areas in the Southern Valleys working with established and dryland growers with the aim of increasing productivity, profitability and overcoming challenges and soil constraints. www.summitag.com.au
Yacker was initially developed to assist Summit Ag clients connect and share information, and has now expanded to service the entire agricultural industry.
Want to know more?
Visit the Yacker website (www.yacker.com.au) and download the app for free on any iPhone or android device.
In this episode of Leadership is Language internationally-acclaimed leadership coach Michael Bungay Stanier sits down with Young Farming Champion Lucy Collingridge to discuss drama triangles, sheep and the power of curiosity.
When you ask a question be genuinely interested in the answer
Beware of the dysfunctional Dreaded Drama Triangle
Narrow the problem down – you can’t boil the ocean
“What happens with your expertise? It cloaks curiosity, ….. I know a whole bunch of stuff, but what if I didn’t, what if I was naïve to this, if I had to start again?”
Michael Bungay Stanier is an internationally recognised leadership coach with his book The Coaching Habit selling over 700,000 copies and receiving over 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. In 2019, he was named the #1 thought leader in coaching, and was shortlisted for the coaching prize by Thinkers50, the “Oscars of management”.
Michael is also the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations transform from advice-driven to curiosity-led. He left Australia nearly 30 years ago to be a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.
His latest book is The Advice Trap: Be Humble, Stay Curious & Change the Way You Lead Forever. ⠀
Lucy Collingridge is a biosecurity officer with the North West Local Land Services, based in Narrabri. She is primarily focused on vertebrate pest animal management and is involved in the implementation of the North West Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan, emergency management responses and assisting groups with funding applications.
Lucy is a passionate Young Farming Champion and has an extensive resume volunteering with community groups and agricultural shows.