Sheep Producers Australia (SPA) has a significant focus on building leadership capability in the sheep industry for its continued growth and success. The need to develop leadership skills to support the industry was identified in the Sheep Industry Strategic Plan 2015-2020, developed on behalf of industry by SPA.
The plan outlines the need to:
- Build capability and capacity in leadership, policy and strategy development and succession planning for leadership roles.
- Ensure the sheep industry has a strong, united voice to government and service providers.
- Establish strategies to promote and support career paths and implement professional and skills development capability
In addition, SPA identified that in order to meet the future need for leaders in the industry, there needed to be development in core skills and leadership knowledge and experience; leaders needed to be supported with efficient and complete systems and processes, and there needed to be formal succession planning and mentoring of future leaders. With support from Meat and Livestock Australia, SPA initiated a joint leadership project, Building leadership capability for the sheep industry. The project is designed to ensure the Australian sheep industry attracts, develops and retains people with the right leadership skills to contribute to the long-term viability of the industry. Since 2016, the project has developed a number of leadership programs to further increase the skills and expertise of the industry’s current and future leaders. The first round of the project is drawing to a close in June and has supported participants into a number of leadership positions.
Two of the flagship programs involved leadership and governance training. The Sheep Industry Leadership Program champion leaders in the industry and upskill them to take on greater roles in the future. The program is being delivered by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and featured two intakes. The final program finished in Canberra this week with 27 participants receiving specialist leadership training.
The Sheep Industry Governance Scholarship initiative aims to develop sheep producers’ capacity in the area of corporate governance. To do this, SPA and MLA offered sheep producers an opportunity to complete the Company Directors Course, run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors. SPA recently received funds through the Australian Government’s Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund. Programs will roll out over the next two years.