3rd Women in Agribusiness & Primary Industries Leadership Summit

Future-proof your leadership skills to navigate adversity

  • October 22nd - 25th, 2019
  • Mercure Sydney


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- Build resilience to navigate adversity
- Empower the next generation of Agribusiness leaders
- Leadership strategies for managing the impacts of climate change
- Discover your authentic leadership style


Krista Watkins

Krista Watkins is a leader in agricultural innovation and the co-founder and Managing Director of Natural Evolution, a company specializing in green banana and other waste produce products. She is an advocate for innovation and disruption, and passionate about reinvigorating the Australian Food manufacturing industry. Krista’s interest in reducing waste and finding uses for unsaleable produce led to the development of Natural Evolution in 2015. The business has experienced remarkable growth, expanding into international markets and winning sustainability and innovation awards in Australia and overseas.

Co-Founder & Managing Director / Rural Woman of the Year 2018
Natural Evolution

  • Nicole Lawler
    General Manager, Safety Health & Environment
  • Dr Lilly Lim-Camacho
    Research Group Leader, CSIRO Agriculture & Food
  • Lorraine Gordon
    Director, Strategic Projects & the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance
    Southern Cross University
  • April Cavanagh
    State Agribusiness Manager, QLD


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Weather the storm
Advocate for yourself
Plan for the future
Leadership in uncertain times
Attract & retain talent
Build an amazing team
Leadership lessons from the 2018 Rural Woman of the Year
Resilience through collaboration
Mitigate & adapt to the impacts of climate change
Navigate your path to leadership
Is work-life balance a myth?
Establish a positive workplace culture to drive productivity & engagement
The power & challenges of being authentic
Reflect & define next steps
Awaken your leadership potential
Summit Day 1

23 Oct

Case Study

The combination of drought and more extreme temperatures highlight the need for resilient leadership. Pip aims to enhance business and personal resilience in rural communities, and she'll tell you how best to lead with flexibility with the ability to bounce back.

- Adapt to changing environmental circumstances

- Be decisive in periods of turbulence

- Thrive under pressure

  • Pip Job Manager, Business Resilience Programs Department of Primary Industries NSW

Case Study

As an emerging female leader in a male-dominated industry, sometimes you have to advocate for yourself to communicate your value and raise your profile. As someone who has navigated traditionally male-led industries, Nicole will share how she has developed the self-confidence to back herself.

- Navigate your career as a strong female leader

- Develop positive self-talk habits

- Project confidence to set yourself up for success

  • Nicole Lawler General Manager, Safety Health & Environment GrainCorp

Case Study

To survive in an ever-changing industry, you need to know how to future-proof and take advantage of new opportunities. April will take you through her experiences dealing with the North Queensland floods of early 2019, and how important it is to plan for as many eventualities as possible. 

- Understand how outside influences can have an impact

- Identify and manage risks before they occur

- Plan to ensure viability, sustainability, and build resilience

  • April Cavanagh State Agribusiness Manager, QLD Suncorp

Expert Commentary

There's a lot that you can't control as a leader, but you can control the environment you create for yourself and your team. Join Kellie as she shares practical strategies to remain resilient and manage tough, uncertain times.

- Develop and maintain a positive mindset

- Remain resilient during uncertainty

- Make decisions confidently

  • Kellie Tomney Founder, Career & Leadership Mentor Kellie Tomney


One of the challenges in Agribusiness is the predominantly male-dominated and ageing workforce. The benefits of diversity of thought are widely recognised, so it's crucial to find new ways of enticing fresh talent. Our panel will discuss the best methods for recruiting and developing team members in the current industry climate.

- Best practice recruitment strategies

- Entice new talent

- Develop a dynamic and diverse team

  • Rebecca Milliken Group Human Resources Manager Delta Agribusiness

  • Kristina Hermanson Country Manager, ANZ FMC

  • Kate O'Callaghan General Manager Southern Cotton

  • Krista Watkins Co-Founder & Managing Director / Rural Woman of the Year 2018 Natural Evolution

Case Study

It’s one thing to lead a team, but first, you need to build one. Roberta reflects on her journey managing Sydney Seafood School since 1997, Australia's largest provider of hands-on cooking experiences. She will discuss the trial and error, the successes and failures, and her passion for her people.

- Empower and engage your team

- Use communication to foster collaboration

- Shift the paradigm from individual to team

  • Roberta Muir Manager, Sydney Seafood School Sydney Fish Market

Case Study

Food waste at the farm gate is an enormous issue for primary producers. Krista and her husband knew there must be a better way and discovered a solution when they stumbled upon 'green banana flour.' Krista will share their story of solving farm waste and building a successful business from the ground up.

- Bring innovative thinking to Agribusiness

- Expand your leadership toolkit

- Lessons learnt from a successful start-up

  • Krista Watkins Co-Founder & Managing Director / Rural Woman of the Year 2018 Natural Evolution

Summit Day 2

24 Oct

Case Study

Bringing people together is a great way to find solutions to agribusiness challenges and build community resilience. Lorraine will share her leadership lessons from the past two years working with 28,000 farmers, fishers and foresters as the director of the Farming Together initiative.

- Unite employees with a clear vision

- The fundamentals of regenerative agriculture

- Encourage collaboration for a sustainable future

  • Lorraine Gordon Director, Strategic Projects & the Regenerative Agriculture Alliance Southern Cross University

Case Study

You are on the Agribusiness frontline, battling the impacts of climate change. So how can you and your organisation thrive in our rapidly changing world? Lilly will share her evidence-based view of how you can future-proof.

- Understand, plan for and adapt to climate change

- Build value-chain resilience

- What does climate-smart agriculture look like?

  • Dr Lilly Lim-Camacho Research Group Leader, CSIRO Agriculture & Food CSIRO


On the nonlinear path to leadership, you will need to navigate obstacles, make strategic career moves, and step out of your comfort zone. Our diverse panel will take you through their leadership journeys and highlight the key lessons they have learnt along the way. 

- Create a career plan that aligns with your goals 

- Strategic career moves - up, down and sideways

- Use obstacles as stepping stones to new opportunities

  • Josie Zilm Regional Manager, Agribusiness, Southern Victoria Rural Bank

  • Josie Pane Chief Financial Officer HVP Plantations

  • Cynthia Jarratt Former Chief Marketing Officer Australian Wool Network

Case Study

Is it possible to integrate work and life to achieve a balance? Hear Jacqui’s story of juggling her family, passions, and work, then learn how she has encouraged flexibility within her organisation.

- Explore strategies for juggling personal and professional priorities

- Be pragmatic when prioritising your time

- Drive flexibility within your organisation

  • Jacqui Cannon Chief Development Officer Consolidated Pastoral Company

Case Study

A positive workplace culture improves teamwork, increases productivity, and enhances retention of the workforce. Kaylene understands the importance of nurturing a positive workplace culture and will share strategies for enhancing workplace culture.

- Drive employee engagement

- Create a culture of trust and motivation

- Understand whether engagement makes a difference at the individual and team level

  • Kaylene Little Head of People & Communities Tassal Group Limited

Expert Commentary

Being authentic is powerful, but it’s not without its complexities and challenges. In this practical session, Madeleine will help you navigate the challenges of finding your authentic self.

- Learn what authenticity is and isn't

- Know when to adapt and when to stay true to yourself

- Unlock the confidence to speak up


This interactive roundtable provides the opportunity to discuss challenges and collaborate with your new network. Find solutions to propel your leadership career and turn obstacles into opportunities.

- Share highlights and key takeaways

- Strategies for turning obstacles into opportunities 

- Create an action plan

Post-Summit Workshop

25 Oct


In this traditionally male-dominated field, it's vital to lead with confidence and clarity and communicate in ways that make people listen. Build a positive mindset for high performance and feel empowered for your next step.

Develop your leadership style

- Develop your individual leadership style

- Build on your strengths

- The 4 questions of reflective leadership


Develop your confidence and communication skills

- Strategies to build and emanate confidence

- Master the art of confident communication

- Express yourself and step up

Empower and influence others

- 7 personality differences to navigate

- Understand the 3 elements of influence

- Speak in ways that empower and influence

Lead your career with maximum success

- Mindset, attitude and success habits of leadership

- Seize opportunities for growth

- Build a plan for your leadership journey

  • Michelle Landy Executive Coach Michelle Landy Communications


Mercure Sydney

818-820 George Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia

9217 6666

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