Finalists chosen for 2020 Rising Champions Initiative

Beef Central, 26/07/2019

WITH a focus on developing the leadership, negotiation and business skills of emerging beef industry leaders, the Cattle Council of Australia and National Australia Bank have announced seven state finalists for the 2020 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion Initiative.

The program is designed to develop and support young, passionate members of the Australian beef industry.

The 2020 finalists are:

  • John Cunnington, Perth, Western Australia
  • Elisha Parker, Clermont, Queensland
  • Bianca Tarrant, Casino, New South Wales
  • Chelsea Rayner, Sheffield, Tasmania
  • Elle Moyle, Hamilton, Victoria
  • Grayson Webster, Darwin, Northern Territory
  • Emily Buddle, Eudunda, South Australia

Growing the next crop of beef industry leaders

Cattle Council president, Tony Hegarty, said the program was an important avenue for young industry participants to strengthen their skills and take the next step in their careers.

“Many of this year’s finalists are already actively involved in the beef industry, and the Rising Champions program is a wonderful springboard for them to really take this involvement to the next level,” Mr Hegarty said.

“Boosting the sustainability of the beef industry is a key objective of ours, and we see development of our young industry participants as being critical to this achieving this.”

NAB Agribusiness customer executive, Neil Findlay, said the bank was proud to be supporting the program for the tenth consecutive year.

“NAB is a firm believer in the importance of developing the skills and networks of young professionals in our rural and regional areas, and we’re delighted to once again be supporting the Rising Champions program,” Mr Findlay said.

“Congratulations to the 2020 state finalists. The calibre of candidates that the Rising Champions program continues to attract is outstanding and bodes well for the future of the Australian beef industry.”

The seven state finalists will attend an intensive three-day leadership development workshop in Canberra in August, where they will meet with politicians, network with departmental staff, and learn a range of leadership and communication techniques.

The national 2020 NAB Agribusiness Beef Industry Rising Champion will be announced at the annual NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion Gala Dinner in Canberra on 14 August 2019.

The program is supported by NAB Agribusiness and McDonalds as well as Cattle Council’s state farming organisations members.

John Cunnington, Western Australia

John is the Director and Business Development Manager of Halleen Australasian Livestock Traders, a Perth based cattle exporter supplying livestock to South East Asia.

He is also Chair of the WA Livestock Exporters Association and a Director on the Australian Livestock Exporters Council.

He is passionate about transparency in the livestock sector, and the importance of future proofing the Australian beef industry.


Elisha Parker, Queensland

From Clermont, Queensland, Elisha is a co-founder and director of Cattlesales Pty Ltd, an online cattle sales platform that also provides marketing tools and technology to livestock agents.

She is also a founder and director of the agricultural advocacy group, QLD Food Future Inc, which works to educate consumers and change common misconceptions about the agriculture industry. Elisha has a keen interest in the role that young industry participants will play in shaping the future of the beef sector.

Bianca Tarrant, New South Wales

At the age of 23, Bianca and her partner purchased their first cattle property in the NSW Northern Rivers. Originally from a non-farming background, Bianca had to deal with drought and bushfires in her first two years as a producer and is now passionate about the importance of resilience and mental well-being for young farmers.

Today, she is the co-founder and general manager of Our Cow, a paddock to plate business which supplies quality, affordable beef direct to the consumer.

Chelsea Rayner, Tasmania

Chelsea is a 21-year-old Simmental breeder based near Sheffield, Tasmania. Having been around beef cattle all her life, she has always been interested in commercial beef production, and was actively involved in cattle handling programs in secondary school.

Chelsea is planning to become a livestock agent, specialising in stud stock.





Elle Moyle, Victoria

Elle grew up on her family’s sheep and beef properties in South Australia and Victoria, before purchasing a small grazing property near Hamilton, Victoria, where she runs a 900 head composite ewe flock and 30 head of stud Angus females.

Currently working as a District Veterinarian for Agriculture Victoria, she has a passion for Angus seedstock production and improving the productivity of animals by optimising animal health and welfare.

Grayson Webster, Northern Territory

Growing up as part of a pastoral family in the Northern Territory, Grayson’s interest in the beef industry started at an early age and led her to be involved in agribusiness including station operations, export depots, beef cattle backgrounding operations and meat processing.

She has a keen interest in cattle genetics, nutrition and the sustainability of Australian agriculture, and currently works as a Livestock Administration Officer for South East Asian Livestock Services Pty Ltd, a live export business based in Darwin.

Emily Buddle, South Australia

Emily holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences (Honours) degree and recently completed a PhD researching consumer understanding of farm animal welfare in Australia.

Passionate about developing the capability of young people in the agriculture industry, Emily has been involved in several committees including the South Australian Beef Industry Blueprint Working Group and as a coach on the University of Adelaide’s Intercollegiate Meat Judging team.

She is currently working for the Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA), and helps manage a beef, sheep and cropping enterprise with her husband.


Source: CCA


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