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A new group of rural young Australians to advise Government.

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DAFF07/054SL - 20 August 2007

A new group of rural young Australians to advise Government

A group of the best and brightest young Australians have been chosen to advise government and provide a youth perspective on issues facing rural Australia.

Sussan Ley, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, today announced the members of the Rural Industries Youth Advisory Group.

Ms Ley said that the Advisory Group is a powerful way for young people to help shape Government policy for rural Australia.

“The Advisory Group brings together young people from agriculture, fishing and forest industries to help develop solutions to some of the big issues facing Australian industries,” Ms Ley said.

“Young people make up over a third of our rural workforce and are a driving force for its future. Their involvement and unique perspectives will provide valuable input to government and industry direction and decision-making.

“The first Advisory Group, known as the National Council of Young Farmers, focussed on the National Water Initiative and succession planning within industry organisations. The Australian Government acted on the first group’s recommendations by holding a successful industry succession planning workshop. I expect the incoming group to have a similar impact.”

The new members come from a diverse range of industries including wool, wine, natural resource management, aquaculture, agri-finance and forestry.

“Being a member of the Advisory Group is a unique opportunity — the Group’s members will help secure a prosperous and sustainable future for agriculture and they will also gain new skills, knowledge and networks that will strengthen their position as potential rural and regional leaders,” Ms Ley said.

The Rural Industries Youth Advisory Group will provide advice to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, to his Parliamentary Secretary, Sussan Ley, and to the Australian Government. Their one-year term will commence in September.

The new Rural Industries Youth Advisory Group members are:

Ms Shannon Barraclough — Mingenew, Western Australia Mr Andrew Broad — Bridgewater, Victoria Ms Kelly Dowling — Dalton, New South Wales

Mr Stephen Lee — Burnside, South Australia Ms Victoria Leeke — Ararat, Victoria Ms Sarah Parker — Undera, Victoria Mr Shane Ridley — Toowoomba, Queensland Mr Ben Shepherd — Moree, New South Wales Ms Julia Telford — Goondiwindi, Queensland Ms Abby Ward — Dover, Tasmania Ms Jessica Wurf — Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Rural Industries Youth Advisory Group member profiles

Ms Shannon Barraclough Broadacre Cropping WA Ms Barraclough is an agronomist with Summit Fertilisers at Mingenew. She is involved with the Network for Rural, Remote and Regional Women in WA and the Foundation of Australian Agricultural Women. She has previously worked in real estate, as a journalist at the Farm Weekly newspaper, as an aquaculture advisor and as a farmhand. Shannon holds a Bachelor of Agribusiness Marketing.

Mr Andrew Broad Broadacre Cropping/Livestock VIC Mr Broad bought his first property at age 22 and is the owner/manager of a mixed farming business at Bridgewater involving canola, prime lambs, lucerne, wool and wheat. Andrew is a Future Farmers Network board member and former Nuffield Scholar through which he studied the economics of growing genetically modified canola varieties. He received an Australia Day Award at age 23 for services to the community.

Ms Kelly Dowling Livestock NSW Ms Dowling is a partner in her family’s superfine wool business at Dalton. She is an Australian Wool Innovation Next Generation Participant, an ambassador for Merino 200 Celebrations 2007, a local landcare group committee member and a NSW Young Rural Achiever. Before returning to the family property, Kelly was an officer in training for the Australian Army, a wool valuer, special projects officer at the Corporate Research Centre for Premium Quality Wool and a market operator for Computer Aided Livestock Marketing (CALM). Kelly holds a Bachelor of Economics and Management and a Master of Applied Science in risk management and rural marketing.

Mr Stephen Lee Research and Development SA Mr Lee is technical officer with an animal science technology provider in Adelaide. He has strong links with the Murray Grey youth group and was a former South Australian representative on the Murray Grey National Council. Stephen is currently the deputy chair of the South Australian Minister’s Youth Council and a member of Rotary Youth. Stephen has worked in beef, wool and broadacre cropping operations, as a stud manager and at a plant breeding facility. He holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science.

Ms Victoria Leeke Viticulture VIC Ms Leeke is a vineyard supervisor at Ararat. Victoria managed the McLaren Vale pilot of the Australian Wine Industry Stewardship Programme, is on the Grampians Wines marketing and viticulture sub-committees, and is involved with the Young Professionals Alliance and the Victorian Young Professionals Alliance. She initiated the local young farmer network, Raising Dust, and is a steering group member of Great Western Landcare. Victoria has worked as a grower liaison officer, vineyard hand and cellar

hand. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Viticulture and a Bachelor of Business.

Ms Sarah Parker Livestock/ Education VIC Ms Parker is a dairy farmer at Undera and is also a projects and development officer at

the University of Melbourne, Dookie Campus. Sarah is the United Dairy Farmers of Victoria (UDV) Tatura branch president and is a district council advisory representative on both the UDV State Young Farmers Advisory Group and the Young Agricultural Professionals subcommittee of the Victoria Farmers’ Federation (VFF). She co-chairs the VFF/UDV Developing Dairy Communities project state advisory committee and is also involved with the Shepparton and District Careers Teachers Association. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Leisure Management and a Master of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Mr Shane Ridley Human Resources QLD Mr Ridley is based in Toowoomba and is the founder and Managing Director of the Park Consulting Group which specialises in providing human resource services to regional

Australia, focussing on agriculture and horticulture. Shane is actively involved with the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and the Entrepreneurs Organisation. Prior to starting his own business, Shane was the national business development manager for Diamond Recruitment’s agribusiness unit. He also worked for Beefworkers Australia specialising in abattoir labour, and for Outsource Personnel which provided labour hire services to the food industry and agriculture.

Mr Ben Shepherd Agri-Finance/Broadacre Cropping NSW Mr Shepherd manages a mixed cropping and beef property, which he purchased with his wife, and is the manager of the Moree branch of the Suncorp Metway Bank. He coordinates a local project with the National Heritage Trust and is the chairman of Sports Moree. Ben holds a Bachelor of Economics and has previously worked in commodity marketing and agronomy. Ben has deferred his Churchill Fellowship, which will examine start-up capital problems facing young farmers.

Ms Julia Telford Natural Resource Management/Livestock QLD Ms Telford is a natural resource management facilitator and catchment coordinator with the Queensland Murray Darling Committee and is involved in goat production at Goondoowindi. Julia is a committee member for the Goondoowindi Training and Technology Centre, a member of the Future Farmers Network, the Weed Society of Queensland and the AgForce Young Members Network. She is a former member of the Booringa Youth Council and the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Forestry Young People in Rural Industries Liaison Group. Julia has held natural resource management positions, was an industry development officer with the Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Growers and has worked for her family’s beef cattle property. She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Management.

Ms Abby Ward Fisheries TAS Ms Ward is the national marketing and promotions coordinator for Huon Aquaculture at Dover. She is the Tasmanian director of the Women’s Industry Network Seafood Community, a member of the Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association committee and a member of both the Australian Marketing Institute and Brand Tasmania. Prior to working with Huon Aquiculture, Abby worked in sales, logistics and tourism. Abby holds

a Bachelor of Tourism majoring in International Business and Marketing.

Ms Jessica Wurf Forestry ACT Ms Wurf is the communications officer with the Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council in Canberra. Ms Wurf is on the steering committee for the extended producer responsibility strategy for waste timber under the Advancing Agricultural Industries Programme. She is also involved with the ACT Public Relations Network. Ms Wurf has previously worked in the Federal Office for Women at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the former Department of Families and Community Services. She holds a Bachelor of Communications/Public Relations.

Further media inquiries:

Ms Ley's office: Verity Williams 02 6277 4503 or 0428 213 264