A Leg Up

More than Mentoring

‘A Leg Up’ will provide workforce mentor support for current and/or aspiring red meat Research, Development & Adoption (RD&A) professionals by pairing them with an experienced industry professional. This project will facilitate effective communication, enable skill transfer, and build a professional network to assist RD&A entrants to set goals and achieve them.

The knowledge and experience required to understand likely avenues of productive research, advise farmer clients and manage projects is a mixture of science, economics, and best business practice, inter-meshed with a measure of gut feel and intuition which comes from experience.

Career management, including self-management requires continual monitoring and adjustment. Thought processes such as: Am I heading in the right direction at an acceptable pace? If not, what are the alternatives and how do I choose the most appropriate one? Can be best answered by a mentor.

The reduction in employment in traditional training grounds such as Rural Development Corporations (RDC’s) and government has delivered a gap in on-ground RD&A professionals supported by a broad team. More than coaching, this project offers the benefits of both mentoring and an intern or cadetship. New entrants will be paired with established professional’s to encourage, nurture and give them a leg up in their chosen career by developing guiding relationships. Able to be applied to all Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) RD&A activities, each participant will be paired with a mentor who will also act as a coach and powerful advocate.

Project aims are:

  1. To assist in filling the gap that has arisen through the drastic reduction in the number of positions available for RD&A professionals.
  2. To provide a supportive and structured program for the engagement and support of young and new entrants, who are tertiary qualified, and working in the sheep meat and grassfed beef industries and the RD&A network.
  3. To engage a minimum of 20 new industry entrants (mentees) and partner them with 20 established industry participants (mentors) for 12 months to facilitate knowledge transfer and skill development through a group workshop carried out at the beginning of the program, on-going contact through the 12 month period, and to reach agreed expectations of the program over the 12 months.
  4. To deliver a structured program to foster, manage and ensure a professional network between mentors and mentees that has a macro view of the industry and focuses on the individual skills of each participant through 8 structured and monitored points of contact during the program and a pre and post program expectations audit.
  5. The program will benefit the industry by encouraging and supporting new and aspiring entrants, who are in the work force (or workforce ready) to enter and remain in the sheepmeat, grassfed beef and RD&A industries.

The project is being guided and shaped by an industry Steering Committee, representing a cross section of the Australian Red Meat Industry. The Steering Committee members are:

  • Susan Wakeford, Singleton, NSW.
  • Sally Martin, Young, NSW.
  • Ardie Lord, Richmond, QLD.
  • Bruce Allworth, Wagga Wagga, NSW.
  • Elizabeth McClymont, Goondiwindi, QLD.
  • Jim Rothwell, Sydney, NSW.

For more information or to discuss please contact Project Manager, Ben Reeve:

Phone: 03 5341 61005 –  Email: breeve@meridian-ag.com.au

ALU Project Summary