The National Farmers Federation has named 12 women for this year’s Diversity in Leadership Program with four of them coming from New South Wales.
Janice Liu, an international trade supply chain expert with China Marketing Services, from Gosford in NSW was among the winners, along with Anna Harrison from Mungindi, Brei Montgomery from Winmalee and Lucy Staughton from Gunnedah.
Ms Liu specialises in horticulture exports, with a focus on stone fruits, from Australia to China.
“I was surprised to win. For me I want to know more about this industry and know more people, especially these young ladies who have so much experience in their field,” Ms Liu told The Muster.
“I realise I am the only one who is a specialist in horticulture export and the others are experts in beef, wine and these types of industries. The principle is quite similar you understand your products, your markets and you have logistics to help you. I am looking forward to learning from their experiences as well, it will be very good.”Janice Liu – international trade supply chain expert with China Marketing Services
There were over 100 applicants for the program with winners coming from diverse fields including station management, animal science and international trade.
The women will soon embark on an intensive one-on-one mentoring program to assist them to determine their leadership goals and the role they want to play in Australian agriculture.
Diversity in Leadership: fourth year running
National Farmers Federation President, Fiona Simson, says the program, now in its fourth year, is continuing to resonate with women across Australia.
“The success of Australian agriculture to date has hinged on men and women working together on farm. However, providing a pathway for women to transcend to leadership positions has not materialised as fast as it should have,” Ms Simson said.
Ms Simson said in 2021, the Program was making a difference, creating the pathways and networks needed to ensure gender parity in the roles that would shape the agriculture of tomorrow.
She added that Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program graduates have gone on to hold industry board positions and to be changemakers within their sectors and communities.
“Our Partners publicly pledge to make meaningful change towards gender diversity and to report on the steps taken towards this goal,” Ms Simson said.
“The targets, plans and innovations our Partners continue to put in place to ensure female and male voices are heard equally are making a difference: from introducing designated breast-feeding rooms; and more flexible work arrangements to doing more to encourage and incentivise men to take parental leave.”
The group of women will travel to Canberra later this month for an introductory retreat where they will be able to meet each other, their mentors and hear from speakers.
The group will complete their mentoring and graduate at the NFF’s National Conference in September.
“Like in previous years, the Program attracted a high volume of very high calibre applicants and I am left in no doubt that the future of our sector’s leadership is bright, if as an industry we continue to foster the development of our people,” Ms Simson said.
“I congratulate this year’s group and I look forward to getting to know these 12 outstanding women and supporting them on their leadership journey.”