Being connected with fellow young dairy people, expanding networks and access to current key players are key to helping develop future leaders of the industry according to Mt Compass farmer Nick Brokenshire.
And the new Developing Dairy Leaders Program is bringing these elements together for Nick. He and fellow South Australian farmer Ty Maidment are part of a group of 17 men and women from across the country participating in the program, developed by Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) and Dairy Australia. It aims to build on the leadership skills of 18-30 year-olds committed to the dairy industry.
Nick said the pilot program, which is being delivered by National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDEA), builds on a previous leadership course he completed, helping his personal development.
“It’s a great opportunity to network with similar people, build relationships and contacts so you don’t get stuck in a box,” he said.
“This connection is what we need with the changes we are facing in the industry. Plus we have access to those you wouldn’t otherwise have access to and it opens the mind and helps you think from different points of view. So far I’ve been able to improve my communication skills and have a greater understanding of the roles of leaders.”
The group recently completed the first stage of the pilot program, which involved a four-day residential skills development program in Melbourne where participants interacted with current industry leaders from various state and national organisations.
Participants learn how to articulate, present and debate ideas, provide advocacy and representation, participate as a member of a board, participate in a media interview or presentation, lead and manage community or industry organisations and manage personal work priorities and professional development.
The next phase of the program will involve a regionally based project with the support of an industry-leading mentor. It will conclude with a two-day residential policy and media development program in Canberra in May. The end result being formal accreditation.
The program has been developed in response to the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) Dairy Leadership – An Industry Blueprint 2010-15, which identified 200 leadership roles are required across the industry – 40 new people each year.
ADF Vice President Adrian Drury said the Developing Dairy Leaders Program is a key activity in supporting the development of the dairy industry’s state level leaders.
“I have met the participants of the Developing Dairy Leaders Program and believe them to be a group of young people who are more than capable of responding to any challenge that is thrown at them, leading our industry and staying true to themselves,” Mr Drury said.
Dairy Australia managing director Ian Halliday said the course had attracted a group of enthusiastic and passionate young people from the industry.
“It is very encouraging to see a group of young people so keen to build on their dairy careers, which just goes to show the future of our industry is in extremely good hands,” Mr Halliday said.
“While the course has just started participants have taken hold of the opportunity to learn from current leaders with gusto and are already taking the necessary steps to become the next wave of dairy industry representatives as managers, presidents, directors and board members.”
The Developing Dairy Leaders Program is one of the many examples of the dairy service levy at work. Farmers receive a benefit of $3 for every $1 invested by Dairy Australia on their behalf. For more information on this and other levy investments visit www.dairyaustralia.com.au
Felicity Gallagher, Dairy Australia External Communications Manager
M: 0417 540 059