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Local youth to attend national young rural leadership course.

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8 June 2001


Federal Member for Mallee, John Forrest MP, today congratulated Arron Wood from Mildura and David Jochinke from Murra Warra who have been chosen from more than 250 applicants to take part in Australia's first Young Rural Leaders Course being held this week in Canberra.

"The Young Rural Leaders Course is one of the key elements of the Government's recently launched Young People in Rural Industries Initiative," Mr Forrest said.

"The aim of the course is to encourage young people to become more involved in industry leadership and decision-making, and to also ensure their views on agricultural issues are heard by government.

"I congratulate Arron and David on their successful applications. They are true examples of the talented young people that represent the future of Australian agriculture and their rural communities.

Arron Wood, 25, has worked in community education and the environment since beginning his career in the Water Industry. Arron holds a degree in Forest Science and deals extensively with the interface between government and stakeholder objectives. He is an active participant in industry forums including Deputy Chair of the Victorian State Waterway Managers Forum; Board Member on the Sunraysia Area Consultative Committee; ambassador for National Youth Week 2001; and a Steering Committee Member Lead On Australia Program.

Arron was selected as young Australian of the Year - Environment Category in 2001. He is committed to bringing about a cultural change in the way we view our natural environment and continues to promote environmental management and the importance of our water resource, through his consultancy business.

David Jochinke, 24, grew up on the family farm in the Wimmera district. He manages the family grain and wool farm, while completing a degree in agriculture externally, through Melbourne University. He is an active and committed participant of industry and local issues. He is involved with the local Topcrop, Landcare, Country Fire Authority and is secretary /treasurer of the local Victorian Farmers' Federation branch. David has also been involved in the development and implementation of the Pulse Australia Quality Assurance Program and several research projects with GRDC.

David's vision for Australian agriculture is to strengthen our status as consistent, sustainable, producers of high quality products for both domestic and international markets. A process of this is to strengthen links between producers, industries, politicians and researchers to develop outcomes that benefit the whole industry. He believes that agriculture is both an art and a science of which each component is dependent on participants' attitudes and beliefs. He believes a strong industry will have the most outstanding pictures.

"Forty young people from across regional Australia will attend the two-day course which starts today.

"Course participants have a mix of experience, skills and industry involvement

and it's important to our communities that these young people have the opportunity to further develop their management, networking and leadership skills.

"The outstanding response by young people to the course shows a strong need to support and encourage rural youth. Even more pleasing, it demonstrates great enthusiasm from young people in rural areas wanting to develop their careers and make a contribution to their communities.

"The training over the two days will largely be hands-on and will cover media skills, policy development, Government process and effective communication.

"Young people are the most valuable resource our rural industries have, and their participation is essential if we are to ensure the sector remains vibrant and competitive.

"This government has a strong commitment to developing a pool of skilled young leaders with talent, vision and enthusiasm to build a stronger and more positive rural sector."

"I understand it was a very high calibre field of applicants and Arron and David deserve congratulations on being selected", Mr Forrest said.

Another course will be conducted later in the year.