Alumni connect October

The monthly column from our Alumni Engagement Manager.

With our 30th Anniversary Gala dinner on our doorstep, we are deep in the detail of bringing this event together. It’s starting to feel very real and very exciting after many months of preparation! 

We are thrilled to have two ARLP Fellows helping us emcee the event – Sally Branson and Mena Waller, plus there’ll also be alumni on stage as part of a panel discussion. And we’ve got The Hon Kristy McBain MP launching our Impact Report, Managing Director of AgriFutures John Harvey, speaking on behalf of our major sponsorship partner, and of course, our keynote speaker Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner of Resilience NSW. 

As we plan to celebrate 30 years of leadership, I think about the collective energy of those in the room on the night of October 26th. The many and varied fabulous people who’ll join us in Canberra from all corners of the country from differing industries, business and organisations but who all have a connection to the Foundation – in some way, shape or form. And remember how important it is to bring people together who have helped forge the organisation we know and love today. 

In any case, there are still a few tickets for sale so if you’re keen to join us on this special night be sure to book to secure your place.  And then get your frock and dancing shoes sorted!  ARLF Gala Tickets Website 

Applications for the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award 2023 closes soon 

This highly prestigious award recognises female leaders who create impact, innovate and make a difference in rural and regional Australia. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, don’t delay. Applications for the 2023 award close next week. Check out their website for information about previous winners and how to apply.  Rural Women’s Award | AgriFutures Australia  

evokeAG Conference, Feb 2023 – Down to Earth  

I was prompted by ARLP Fellow Lisa Anderson, who is currently on the Steering Committee for next year’s evokeAG Conference, to remind alumni of this premier agrifood tech event. Held in Adelaide from 21-22 Februuary, this conference attracts farmers, innovators, researchers, corporates, government and investors to one location to connect and collaborate.  The 2023 theme ‘Down to Earth’ will explore how farming, tech, science and people collectively have the power to bring innovative ideas to life. Here’s the link for more information and to book tickets Event 2023 – evokeAG. 

If you’re organised and already booked to go to evokeAG, please let me know. I’m sure there’ll be a contingent of ARLF alumni in attendance and we may look to hosting a pre-dinner/pre-conference get together etc.  So stay tuned.  

Alumni Spotlight – Diana Gibbs (ARLP Course 5)   

Matt recently received an email from ARLP Fellow Diana Gibbs who commented on how much she loved to read about what other alumni were up to (with a particular interest in her cohort) and so she thought she would reciprocate and let us know about a recent appointment of hers.   

Diana has been recently appointed Chair of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), the lobbying organisation that represents the forest and wood products sector nationally.  A major focus for AFPA is to demonstrate the important role of the industry in assisting Australia to achieve the 43 per cent emissions reduction target, and so moving to ‘net zero’ by 2050.  There’s a short video produced by AFPA which can be found here  Australia, we need a tree change

Photosynthesis is the best carbon AND capture technology yet invented, and trees do it all for free! Expansion of the plantation estate will not only contribute to a reduction in CO2 levels but also contribute essential and sustainable products which are in short supply. The industry is also a major driver of regional economic growth, delivering jobs and value-adding in regional areas. 

A really exciting result of AFPA’s climate-associated focus is that Diana will be attending COP27 in Egypt next month where AFPA is involved in two side events to be hosted in the Australian Pavilion – one jointly with the NFF (another organisation currently led by a rural woman!) to focus on climate smart farming and climate smart forestry, and the other in conjunction with forestry agencies from around the world on sustainable re-afforestation. Diana will also be participating in the invitation offered at the UN General Assembly for COP27 to form a ‘Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership’ to ensure forestry-related aspirations pledged at COP26 in Glasgow are delivered in reality. 

She signed off her email saying “Lessons learnt as a result of the ARLP are standing me in good stead right now.  A lesson learnt well lasts a lifetime!” 

If you have news about something you’re involved with, a new appointment or anything that the broader ARLF should know about, please reach out. This is the network in action. 

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