Local women share passion for sustainable agriculture

12 September 2016

Sixteen women, all passionate about sustainable agriculture, had the opportunity to develop their leadership and communication skills at a two day workshop held in Olinda last week.

The workshop was the first stage in a capacity-building program being offered by the Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA) through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Spanning two years, the program is being offered to women keen to take a leading role in promoting sustainable agriculture in and around the Western Port region.

Participants were selected on the basis of a written application outlining their experience and goals in the area of sustainable agriculture and food production. They included farmers, consultants and educators, and represent a variety of agricultural industries and interests, from beef, fruit and vegetable production through to permaculture and the equine industry.

The workshop worked on developing communication skills, with freelance writer Jillian Staton sharing strategies for effective writing skills. Facilitator Jenny O’Sullivan then guided the group on goal setting and personal action plans, as well as confident and effective public speaking.

The workshop also included a presentation by performance coach, Michelle Landy, which focused on developing self-leadership skills, communication and building confidence.

PPWCMA’s Sustainable Land Management Coordinator, Sarah Halligan says “the program will continue to support participants over the next two years to develop and carry out action plans to achieve their goals.

“Several more initiatives are being considered by the group, including field days, farm walks and additional workshops to build their skills and networks. The group will also be exploring ways to engage with each other and the broader community”.

For more information on the program, contact PPWCMA’s Sarah Halligan (Phone: 03 8781 7908, email: sarah.halligan@ppwcma.vic.gov.au) or Linking Environment, Agriculture and People’s Jenny O’Sullivan (Phone: 0419 153 377, email: osulliva@dcsi.net.au).