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