FFN Opinion: International Week of Women

Future Farmers Network directors regularly give their opinion on the latest news, events and issues in agriculture for an article for Australian Community Media. Here’s the most recent yarn from FFN Vice Chair Oliver Le Lievre.

Last week we celebrated International Womens Day, and a chance to acknowledge and celebrate the pivotal role that women play in shaping who we are and the world we live in. It's especially important for Australian agriculture, to acknowledge the progress we are making as an industry and the enormous contribution being made by individuals such as National Farmers' Federation (NFF) President Fiona Simson.

In 2018, I was fortunate to be part of the NFF 2030 Leaders Program. The program was run by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and brought together a diverse group. The experience highlighted the opportunity for us as an industry to promote diversity in all its forms if we want to succeed in breaking down stereotypes and challenge the norms to enable us all to be more aware of how we can all contribute to our communities and workplaces.

More recently, through Humans of Agriculture, I've had the chance to have a conversation with over fifty women who are all making significant and valuable contributions right across the industry. They shared their stories, experiences and optimism for the future on topics that included Food Security, Live export, Mental Health, Men's Health, Nutrition, Indigenous Foods, Plant and Animal Proteins, Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and so much more.

Here at Future Farmers Network, four of our current directors are women and are all extremely talented in their respective fields. When we look at where some of our previous directors are today, they are having considerable impact in shaping agribusiness in Australia; Georgie Aley - National Food & Agribusiness Lead at KPMG; Anna Speer - COO at Australian Agricultural Company, Catherine Marriot - CEO at Riverine Plains, Sarah Nolet - CEO at AgThentic and co-founder of Tenacious Ventures.

I am proud to be involved in organisations that champion diversity and equality because it will provide the greatest opportunity for progress by building a platform for success on which we must all continue to challenge the status quo. If we are to capitalise on the opportunities as we head towards becoming a $100Bn industry it will largely be thanks to all the Women in Australian agriculture and our rural communities who have challenged, inspired and motivated us to become more than we were yesterday.

2018 NFF 2030 Leaders Program
2018 NFF 2030 Leaders Program