Beef 2015

Beef Australia names nine young mentors

Beef Central, 21/11/2014

(From left) Successful applicants presented to the Young Beef Producers Forum in Roma included Amanda Moohan, Qld; Rachel Hoolihan, Qld; Barb Bishop, director of Barbara Bishop & Associates, who will be delivering the personal development program; Blythe Calnan, WA; and Joanna Robertson, Qld.

Nine of the beef industry’s best and brightest young minds are a step closer to pursuing their dreams after being selected to be participate in the inaugural Graeme Acton Beef Connections Mentor Program.

The successful candidates, all aged between 25 and 35, were announced last night at the Roma Young Beef Producers Forum and will now have access to mentoring from experienced beef industry leaders, as well as formal personal development training.

Beef Connections is a new initiative of the Beef Australia 2015 Next Generation committee and is being supported by Westpac Agribusiness to assist in the acquisition and retention of talented young people in the beef industry.

“The quality of the 49 applications received was outstanding across the board, and so tough was the task of separating candidates for the eight spots on offer, that we have provided an additional ninth position to cater for another worthy recipient,” Beef Australia Chairman Blair Angus said.

“A core goal of Beef Australia is to act as a platform to build the capacity of the national beef industry, so it is particularly pleasing that the successful applicants are from all parts of the country and currently have roles at various points along the length of the beef supply chain.”

The Graeme Acton Beef Connections Mentor Program participants are:

  • Adam Coffey, producer, NT
  • Amanda Moohen, producer, Qld
  • Ashley Kirk, producer, Qld
  • Blythe Calnan, live export industry, WA
  • Donald Hook, ag education, WA
  • Joanna Robertson, DAFF employee, Qld
  • Kenrick Cross, producer, NSW
  • Rachel Hoolihan, agribusiness, Qld
  • Sarah Rutledge, marketing, Qld

The Beef Connections program was named in honour of the late Graeme Acton, who was renowned for supporting young people in entering the sector and generously sharing with them his extensive knowledge.

“The program is a great opportunity for this group of young people to develop their skills and knowledge, which will enable them to become more effective in their current role in the beef industry,” General Manager Westpac Agribusiness Steve Hannan said.

“We believe this will also pay dividends for the beef industry in the longer term as these young people take on new positions and become leaders in the beef industry.”

The successful candidates will now be paired with a mentor who has proven leadership skills in agricultural industry and will support participants to achieve their personal development aspirations.

Mentors will be selected during December and introduced to the participants in January 2015, ahead of the Building Your Future Conference to be held in Brisbane in February 2015.

Mentors and protégés will meet again at Beef Australia 2015.


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  1. Donald brown, 25/11/2014

    Good to see our Longreach girl in the thick of it
    Go Rachael

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