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Posted on Jul 12, 2015

On the week of June 28-July 3, two members of the Rural Youth Organisation of Tasmania attended Marcus Oldham Agricultural College in Geelong for an intense week of self-learning and personal development as part of Rural Youths commitment to the self-development of its members.

Phillipa Green, 26 of Acton Park and Breeanna House, 23 of Howden were the 2015 attendees.

Each year a member of Rural Youth’s State Council is elected to attend the training whilst a second member from any of the state’s fifteen clubs can nominate to attend. Ms Green, the 2015 Senior Vice President of the Organisation was elected to attend as the Council Representative. Whilst Ms House, recently voted onto the Agfest Executive Committee and 2014-15 Promotions Director, was granted the opportunity to attend through State Government Funding secured in March.

This funding was delivered to the Organisation in March by Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff and was part of a Liberal State Government funding package aimed at increasing productivity in the State’s Agricultural sector by improving relationships between stakeholders across the total sector. As part of this funding, Rural Youth made a commitment to send an additional member to Marcus Oldham College for the next four years.

Marcus Oldham College is the only privately ran and independent Agricultural College in Australia and has built a reputation both nationally and internationally for preparing business leaders to pursue successful careers across the whole agricultural sector. Marcus’ Leadership Program is one of the longest running courses of its type in the country, having started in 1992.

State President Prue Dennis, who herself attended the training in 2013 comments on the positive outcomes for members gained through the new funding deal and her experiences during the leadership training,

                “State Government funding has made Marcus Oldham more accessible for the broader members of Rural Youth in Tasmania, we have the ability to help benefit our members grow and become future leaders…the conference gave me solid foundations to extend my leadership beyond a club level”

During an intense week of training the ladies completed many activities during the day including workshops in leadership, teaching styles, communication, negotiation and public speaking. During the evenings both formal and informal dinners were held where key notes speakers introduced debate topics. Speakers included Dr Dawn Casey, chair of Indigenous Business Australia and Roger Gaudion, Head of Asia Desk & Portfolio Management.

The final evening culminated in an Agribusiness Industry Dinner where representatives from the corporate world including bankers from NAB and a wide range of Company Directors. This was a chance for course participants to show the skills gained throughout the week and network with key figures in the Agribusiness sector, whilst advertising the organisations that they are representing.

Of the week at Marcus, Ms House states,

                “An amazing week where participants were given the opportunity to gain and improve skills that are applicable to any industry. I would encourage any young leader to apply for this course, the networking opportunities are unrivalled and it will set you apart in a competitive industry”

Whilst Ms Green commented on meeting other participants from across the country,   

                “I learnt a lot about myself and it was a great opportunity to meet other like-minded young people in rural leadership”        

Further to this, she adds,

“Many skills I’ve learnt can be applied to improving Rural Youth”

Ms Green has been a member of Rural Youth since 2012 as part of the Sorell Club. She has sat on Rural Youth’s State Council since 2014. She has completed a degree in Agriculture and is currently completing a further degree in Nursing at UTAS. She was recently awarded a 2016 exchange to Canada as part of the Rural Youth Study Tours program. She will jet set next May for a period of up to three months.

Ms House has been a member of Rural Youth since 2012 as part of the Kingborough-Huon Club. She has sat on the Agfest Committee in positions including Equine Director, Public Announcements and Promotions. Ms House is in her final year of a Business Degree at the University of Tasmania.