Bright sparks ignite rural industry change | AgriFutures Australia

28.02.18 Source: AgriFutures Website

AgriFutures Australia has launched a new program to connect passionate rural leaders.

The AgriFutures™ Ignite Network is a program for anyone with a strong interest in shaping the future of agriculture to connect and share ideas and knowledge. Participants in the Network are rural leaders who are responsible for igniting the passion, revitalising the industry and introducing and encouraging the changes to make it happen.

Participants are tuned into trends, responsive to change, open to diversification and ready to tackle some of agriculture’s biggest challenges across the entire sector including farming, supply, service and research. They have diverse careers in a range of rural industries. They are farmers and graziers but they also work at desks, in laboratories, in banks, they talk to customers and they look for new and innovative solutions to longstanding problems.

AgriFutures Australia, Managing Director, John Harvey said the AgriFutures™ Ignite Network will capture new ideas and pave the way for the future of Australian agriculture.

“We are a forward-thinking organisation and we have now formed a forward-thinking network to help us seek new perspectives on old challenges and drive innovation to shape our rural industries. Participants in the Network are our future agricultural leaders and they will solve our national rural issues with innovative solutions. We need to keep in touch with them and that’s why we’ve created this network,” he said.

The Ignite Network fits into the organisation’s People and leadership arena. Our goal is to support the people driving the future prosperity of Australian rural industries and regional communities by providing them with learning opportunities and experiences.

“Members of the Ignite Network will have access to a range of opportunities including capacity building opportunities, workshops and events. We have formed a Facebook group and we will also be forming an AgriFutures™ Ignite Advisory Panel. Successful applicants will ensure our work is meaningful and relevant and will help us identify future opportunities and challenges which may impact on our rural industries,” Mr Harvey said.

Passionate rural leaders are encouraged to join our Facebook group where more information about the AgriFutures™ Ignite Advisory Panel and how to apply will be revealed soon.


Source: Bright sparks ignite rural industry change | AgriFutures Australia

Program Development Officer – Agro Entreprise | Australian Volunteers for International Development | Nepal

Closes 21 March 2018


10545245, Agriculture/Veterinary


12 months


March 21, 2018

Early applications are encouraged and suitable applicants may be shortlisted for interview before the closing date.



• Assist the Dhulikhel Municipality to strengthen programs in the areas of economic and business development in agriculture.
• Help improve standards of living for locals who are primarily a farming based community.
• Live amongst the beautiful scenery of Dhulikhel.

Download the job description


For enquiries, contact Claire Hankinson on +61 3 9279 1752. All applications must be submitted online.


You must be available to attend a Pre-Departure Briefing in Melbourne on these dates: TBA.

Veterinary and Agriculture Assignments – Australian Volunteers International – FIJI/SAMOA/PNG/TONGA/BHUTAN/MYANMAR – Closing 21 March 2018

 For 7-12 month assignments starting July 2018 – CLOSING DATE 21 March 2018

 10535353: Veterinary Nurse/Medical Stock Manager


Work with Animals Fiji, the veterinary & animal welfare service for the northern and western provinces. • Enjoy a different pace living in Nadi. in this 9-12 month position. • Share your skills in developing the business and nursing, while immersing yourself in a new culture.
Strengthen the capacity of Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, by building capacity for designing robust disease surveillance strategies. • Embrace a different pace in Apia, Samoa. • Provide expert veterinary advice to mentor and support your colleagues.
Support the vital work of the PNG RSPCA. * Live, work and learn in the national capital of Australia’s nearest neighbour. * Apply your skills in veterinary science to the upskilling of vet nurses and to model and promote better treatment of domestic and production animals in PNG.
Strengthen the work of the Ministry of Agriculture. • Embrace a different pace in the city of Suva. • Share your experiences and skills with your colleagues to develop relevant policies to improve animal management, particularly sheep and goats.
Strengthen the capacity of the Department of Agriculture Marketing and Cooperatives to develop protocols for agricultural market research. • Train staff on how to analyse market research and turn it into useable information. • Live in the small and welcoming capital city of Thimpu, Bhutan.
Strengthen the work of Animals Fiji, the only veterinary & animal welfare service in the northern and western provinces. • Embrace a different pace in the city of Nadi in this 9-12 month role. • Share your skills while immersing yourself in a new culture.
Strengthen the research and livestock management work of the Ministry of Agriculture. • Embrace a different pace in the city of Suva. • Share your experiences and skills with your colleagues and farmers to improve sustainable agriculture in Fiji.

10535224: Agronomist


Work within Impact Terra, who provide farmers with advice and connect them with the digital ecosystem. • Based in Yangon. • Strengthen Impact Terra’s data and maize skills and knowledge, working with others in a collaborative and mentoring manner.
Strengthen the capacity of The Ministry of Fisheries to support the expanding pearl farming activities around the main island of Tongatapu. • Embrace a different pace in Sopu, Tonga. • Provide expert advice in aquaculture/marine biology to mentor and support your colleagues.

10539640: Veterinary Clinician 


Support the Faculty of Animal Science, Veterinary Science and Fisheries at the Agriculture and Forestry University by implementing the use of current global practices. • Assist in implementing plans to upgrade local veterinary hospitals. • Live in Chitwan district of Nepal, the major destination for higher education, health care and transportation in the region.

Source: Search Results

Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program for Women, Australian Agriculture

Australian agriculture has joined forces to forge a new pathway for women in ag leadership with the establishment of the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.

Women have been the backbone of farming since agriculture began in our nation.

However, the fact remains, female representation on farm is not matched in the senior ranks and around the board tables of our farm representative organisations and agribusinesses. And our industry is poorer for it.

When I take a look around the organisations advocating on behalf of farmers and agribusinesses servicing our industry, there is a distinct lack of female representation.

I believe this is out of step with actual farm businesses, the vast majority of which are family owned and where women absolutely play an equal role.

    – Fiona Simson, President, National Farmers’ Federation

About the Program

There are two main elements of the Diversity in Ag Leadership Program:

1)      An opportunity for agribusiness and ag-representative bodies to commit to auditing their gender diversity and to formally pledge to making meaningful change towards evening the gender ledger, and

2)      An opportunity for aspiring female leaders to benefit from one-on-one mentoring. Graduates of the program will go on to be a part of a valuable alumni of skilled female leaders with aspirations to apply their leadership skills across the agricultural sector.

Applications now open

Applications are now open for the Diversity in Ag Leadership Program.

  • Women over 25 years of age, who have already started their leadership journey, are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants are required to provide an up-to-date CV.
  • Applicants should address the required selection criteria (see below).
  • The names and contact details of three (3) referees are required.
  • Applicants must, except in approved exceptions, be available to travel to Canberra for two one-day events during May 2018 and October 2018 (dates to be confirmed) and commit to dedicating a cumulative additional 75 hours to the program.
  • The NFF will cover the approved costs of travel and associated expenses to a cap of $4500.
  • Applications must be submitted by 5pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) 12 April, 2018.


1. Describe your interest, skills and experience in agriculture and the industries that support it?
2. How would you describe ‘leadership’?
3. Outline your leadership aspirations and the steps you have taken to date to realise these aspirations.
4. Describe why you are interested in being a part of the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program?
5. Apart from the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program, what plans do you have to progress your leadership journey?
6. Outline your time availability to commit to the Program, should you be successful, keeping in mind the requirement is to dedicate a minimum of 75 hours to the program.
7. Do you believe your gender has constrained your leadership aspirations to date? Are there any other factors that have been restrictive? (your answer to this question won’t be assessed as part of your application – we’re just interested to know!)

Click here to apply.

More about the mentoring program

With their mentor, each mentoree will be required to establish ‘leadership goals’, outline steps to achieving these goals and, and put in place steps to measure progress towards these goals.

The 2018 Program will culminate in a Graduation at the NFF’s National Congress during October and the establishment of the DiALP Alumni.


Source: Diversity in Agriculture Leadership

Where have all the vets gone? – Vet Practice Magazine

In researching for a proposal I have come across this great article by Vet Practice Magazine’s Merran White  – it outlines some of the issues our profession must find new solutions for really well. Notably quoting the very competent and knowledgeable Debbie Neutze, AVA who has focused on the profession and created the AVA Workforce Data since 2012. Great work – Vet Practice Magazine! (DrM)

Despite a steady supply of new vet graduates, practices across Australia are finding it hard to fill job vacancies. What is going on and what can be done about it? Merran White investigates

In the past decade, the number of Australian universities offering veterinary courses has jumped from four to seven; collectively, they churn out an estimated 500-550 graduates a year.

Even accounting for the fact that some are overseas students who return home post-graduation, you would think there would be enough vets to go around. Yet many practices are having trouble attracting suitable candidates to veterinary jobs.

For Dr Debbie Delahunty, owner and head vet of Horsham Veterinary Hospital in regional Victoria, recruiting vets to her small-animal practice was never an issue—until last year. And she is not alone; at the 2016 Australian Veterinary Business Association (AVBA) conference, where she hosted dozens of delegates at roundtables on recruitment, Dr Delahunty was “really surprised” at the number of city practice owners expressing similar problems.

“While [most] seeking new graduates have few issues filling positions, employers in some regional areas in SA, the ACT, Perth and outer Sydney metropolitan areas have reported difficulties finding suitable veterinarians with three to five years’ clinical experience seeking full-time employment,” confirms AVA policy manager Dr Debbie Neutze.

What’s causing the vet drought?

Several potential contributing factors have been proposed to explain the recent recruitment squeeze in regional and, increasingly, some urban practices. They include:agriculture,

l changing industry demographics—notably, more women entering the profession, which likely means more vets seeking work in city-based small-animal private practices; taking time off for child rearing (typically five to 10 years post-graduation), then transitioning to part-time/flexible hours;

  • a desire for better work/life balance, with vets less prepared to work long and irregular hours;
  • an ongoing dearth of vets with five-plus years’ experience working in regional (mixed and production-animal) practice, despite demand;
  • vets jettisoning clinical practice for more lucrative industry roles in pharmaceuticals, or pet food—or exiting the profession entirely.

Changing demographics and career paths

Since the 1990s, the gender make-up of the profession has shifted dramatically. The ‘Australian veterinary workforce review report’ (June 2013, AVA) estimates that the proportion of female vet graduates nationwide will likely “remain at above 70 per cent for the foreseeable future”; by 2022, the report predicts, female vets will comprise more than 60 per cent of Australia’s veterinary workforce.

“The effect of this on the pool of vets available for full-time practice will depend on the rate at which female vets enter the life stage where they have small children, the hours they are then willing to work, and for how long they remain unavailable for full-time practice,” states the AVA report.

Some researchers contend the influx of women could lead to an oversupply of vets in city small-animal practices and a corresponding undersupply of vets in non-metropolitan areas, “[based on] the assumption that female vets will be more likely to spend part of their career not working or working part-time [and] the belief that female vets are (partly as a result of anticipating childcare responsibilities) less interested in rural and production animal practice”.

The quest for work/life balance

The new generation of (predominantly female) vet grads is less likely to prioritise work over family time, leisure and sleep.

“The long, irregular hours many veterinarians work has long been an issue,” says Dr Neutze. “[But] where previously the veterinarian was the primary income earner, this now is often not the case. Many more recently graduated veterinarians are looking for more balance.”

Vets’ career paths are also shifting, notes Dr Neutze. “Previously, after three to five years as an employee in clinical practice, the next career step was to become a practice owner. [Now] more practices are owned by corporates and fewer graduates are interested in being tied to owning
a practice.

“This means more veterinarians […] will remain employees throughout their careers. They will be seeking higher financial returns, as employees, compared with those of the past. They’ll want to work in practices that offer these and other benefits, or—as a significant number are now deciding [to do]—leave clinical practice altogether.”

“Many more recently graduated veterinarians are looking for more balance.”—Dr Debbie Neutze, AVA policy manager

Vets who do stay will likely be seeking jobs that offer better work-life balance; proximity to urban centres; opportunities for specialist training/mentorship and career advancement; and—if larger paychecks aren’t forthcoming—compensatory perks (parking spots, paid study/family leave).

The issue of salary

Tegan McPherson, head of People and Culture at RSPCA Victoria, thinks money is the root cause of many recruitment problems.

“Our experience is that veterinarians with greater levels of experience, five years-plus, are more difficult to recruit,” she says. “We believe it’s a pay issue. [According to Australian taxation statistics], the average total income for veterinarians in 2012-13 was $79,152, compared to those with similar degrees, such as dentists, at $144,749, and medical GPs at $153,7003.”

Veterinarian remuneration is a key component of AVA’s five strategic priorities to ensure the profession’s economic sustainability, she adds.

“It probably is about the money—and other perks,” concurs AVA’s Dr Neutze. “If practices are to attract and keep experienced veterinarians, it may be that they’ll need to review what is being offered.”

Regional cringe

Retaining experienced vets in rural, particularly production-animal practices, is an ongoing challenge.

Charles Sturt University (CSU) academics, J. Pratley and K. Abbott, cited in the AVA’s workforce review report, concluded in their own study that despite an oversupply of vets that is set to increase in coming years, rural mixed and production-animal practices are under-serviced. They further found that “job advertisements for rural vets, continued pressure from livestock industries seeking an increase in supply, and the experience of Charles Sturt University’s graduates converge to confirm that there is a shortage of rural vets willing to undertake practice with production animals.”

It is hoped that initiatives aimed at boosting the number of vets seeking rural and ag-based careers—such as CSU vet school’s preferential intake of students with farming and country backgrounds—will help redress regional shortages and take advantage of the reported demand for vet services in production-animal areas, notably intensive-livestock operations such as dairy farms.

While some contend more female vets will exacerbate the regional vet drought, CSU says its female vet graduates are as keen on production-animal work as the guys.

Only time (and follow-up data) will tell whether this new crop of ‘true-blue’ vets stays in regional practice beyond the first few years.

To read more please continue at….. Where have all the vets gone? – Vet Practice Magazine