How opposing views became a united one on how to shape their region’s energy future

By Scott Reed, ARLF alum and graduate of the Shape Your Energy Future program

Earlier this year a group of individuals from different backgrounds and experiences with the transition to renewables came together for a leadership program.

It was aptly named Shape Your Energy Future (ShEF) and which was top of mind among those attending. Some knew each other and others arrived as strangers with pre-set prejudices – not against the person but the industry, or position, they came from.

With the Western Downs and South Burnett within the Southern Queensland Renewable Energy Zone, neither of us were strangers to the challenges related to the transition to renewables. And despite our differences, we had a question in common: how to go about shaping our energy future in the interest of our communities and industries.  

Through my former role with AgForce Queensland and my long connection to this community, I have seen both sides of the debate. As was the case with the pros and cons at the height of the CSG rollout, and impact. It was therefore important to go into the ShEF program with an open mind and understanding, with an end goal of supporting our landholders, whichever direction they take.  

I’ll admit my first day on program was spent putting myself very much in the front of people, followed by others as they found their voice. It was interesting to watch those with strong views on whatever side of the debate soften their outlook to understand those of others and work together across perceived boundaries.

The program included deep, thought-provoking sessions encouraging reflection on what’s happened and our learnings, and others designed to learn more about each other and different personalities. Residing together for four nights for the initial session gave us plenty of opportunity to get to know each other better and also digest and debrief on the day and how it contributes to the bigger picture, that is our community.

So, did the program help in supporting me to guide my community and the ag sector through this rapidly changing environment that we’re in? The short answer is yes. In addition to the reflections above, I have gained an understanding of how renewables decisions are made both on-farm as well as commercially; the process required for proposed developments; and a better understanding of what the landholder is facing around the negotiation process, and their rights.

These learning have not only come from the program but the conversations that have taken place and friendships formed. All of which have since guided my interactions with landholders and stakeholders with more confidence. Then there’s the ShEF alumni working together to drive the understanding and cooperation within all parties involved, and making the most of opportunities going forward.

Scott Reed is now the Business Development Manager for agricultural biotech company Multikraft Probiotic Solutions based in Toowoomba. He’s a graduate of the Shape Your Energy Future leadership program that was delivered by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation in partnership with the Queensland Conservation Council, and funded by Boundless Earth. Learn more about the program here.

Blog categories
Support rural leaders!

Help us deliver programs to more people in more places. Every donation makes a difference.

Upcoming events

Popular articles

01 May

Strong communities drive Julia Harpham’s desire to mentor
Teacher and cattle farmer Julia Harpham first came...

07 May

What’s new in the Alumni network this May Welcome to new cohorts & alum It’s...

18 Jun

AALP helped Reannan Schultz understand the gift of feedback
Having spent her childhood balancing time between her...

Sign up for our monthly newsletter

Verified by MonsterInsights