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2014 Rice Industry Leadership Development Program

2014 Rice Industry Leadership Development Program

The first session of the 2014 Rice Industry Leadership Development Program concluded earlier this month, with new Foundation facilitator Graham Smith running a stimulating week with 18 engaged participants from the rice industry.

The committed group enjoyed their time in the NSW Riverina region, which included a visit to the impressive rice mill in Leeton. This program, developed in partnership with the Ricegrowers' Association of Australia, is tailor-made for leaders in the rice industry. It develops capacity and equips leaders to meet the challenges and opportunities unique to this sector.

The group will reconvene at the end of July to discuss creative vision and strategy for their industry and sectors.

"They are a very creative group of strong communicators," facilitator Graham Smith said.

"Much of the program's value comes not just from the strategy and unique experiences involved, but the cohesion and support these leaders are able to provide for one another. It's a very valuable thing to bring together people for so many levels and branches of a shared sector."

For Helen Wislon, Manager of Land Services with Murray Local Land Services, the program has provided a chance to reflect and be much more confident in her own abilities.

"I came with an open mind, and I loved it," she said of the experience.

"The mix of activities, in terms of practical and theory, was very well balanced ... I wish to develop myself as a leader, as well as inspiring and engaging people to fulfill their potential."

And for Jeremy Morton, at Ricegrowers' Wakool branch, the final session in July will be a valuable way to bring together a lot of new knowledge absorbed in such a compressed timeframe.

"This program has been a great start, and there's so much more to leanr on this never-ending journey," he said.

"The highlight so far has been the new networks I have formed."

Katrina Marshall, with Rice Research Australia, agrees.

"The highlight of this program was that it was fun, engaging and a fantastic positive environment was created to learn in. It was a great foundation for some great networking and building different contacts in the industry," she said.

"Thank you for facilitating and running such a fantastic program, and for sharing your stories and experience to make such an engaging course. I think it will be the start of some fabulous journeys."

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