Ris­ing cham­pion

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News - AN­DREA DAVY An­drea.davy@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

AUS­TRALIAN Agri­cul­tural Com­pany chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, Anna Speer, has been recog­nised as a trail­blazer in the food and agribusi­ness sec­tor.

Ms Speer was awarded the 2018 trans-Tas­man Rabobank Emerg­ing Leader Award, which recog­nises ex­cep­tional up-and-com­ing lead­er­ship in Aus­tralia and New Zealand’s food, bev­er­age and agribusi­ness sec­tors, at a din­ner in Sydney. Rabobank Aus­tralia and New Zealand group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Peter Knoblanche, who pre­sented the award, said Ms Speer was a dy­namic leader.

“At 36 years of age, Anna has al­ready well and truly made her mark, not only in the live­stock in­dus­try but the wider agribusi­ness sec­tor, as an early adopter of tech­nol­ogy,” Mr Knoblanche said.

“And as one not daunted by change, but rather some­one who in­vites and em­braces it, Anna has been at the fore­front of much of the in­no­va­tion and trans­for­ma­tion we have seen in the live­stock sup­ply chain.”

Ms Speer has gone from work­ing as a ringer in stock camps to now over­see­ing AACo’s 21 pas­toral sta­tions and farms in just eight years.

Ap­pointed to AACo in Au­gust this year after trans­form­ing Auc­tion­sPlus dur­ing her time as chief ex­ec­u­tive, Ms Speer said, “The peo­ple in the stock camps en­joy hav­ing some­one who was do­ing what they did eight years ago, it demon­strates to them that you can go any­where with the right at­ti­tude. I also re­mind them that I need them as much as they need me”.

On ac­cept­ing the award, Ms Speer said it inspired her to con­tinue to be brave and do great things in the in­dus­try.

“I spend a lot of time work­ing with peo­ple, push­ing them to think about how they can evolve and stretch,” she said. “A good leader must fo­cus on up­skilling and em­pow­er­ing their teams.”

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of Nuffield In­ter­na­tional Jim Geltch was awarded the 2018 Rabobank Lead­er­ship Award. Mr Geltch was ap­pointed in­au­gu­ral chief ex­ec­u­tive of Nuffield In­ter­na­tional in 2016 fol­low­ing more than a decade lead­ing the agri­cul­tural ca­pac­ity-build­ing pro­gram’s Aus­tralian op­er­a­tions. Mr Knoblanche said Mr Geltch has had a huge im­pact on the sec­tor and “done great good by fos­ter­ing and de­vel­op­ing lead­er­ship in oth­ers”.

Dur­ing Mr Geltch’s time at Nuffield Aus­tralia he was in­stru­men­tal in guid­ing the pro­gram through a sig­nif­i­cant growth pe­riod, with the num­ber of schol­ar­ships awarded grow­ing from 10 to 25 per year. Ac­cept­ing his award by video, Mr Geltch said one of the most re­ward­ing as­pects of his role head­ing Nuffield was wit­ness­ing the growth and devel­op­ment of young peo­ple com­ing through the schol­ar­ship pro­gram, and the im­pact it was hav­ing.

❝Anna has been at the fore­front of much of the in­no­va­tion and trans­for­ma­tion we have seen in the live­stock sup­ply chain.

— Peter Knoblanche

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

IN­DUS­TRY LEADER: Aus­tralian Agri­cul­tural Com­pany (AACo) chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Anna Speer has been awarded the trans-Tas­man Rabobank Emerg­ing Leader Award.

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