Australian Future Cotton Leaders Program participants announced

The participants in the latest edition of the Australian cotton industry’s premier leadership initiative – the Australian Future Cotton Leaders Program (AFCLP) – have been announced.

The leadership program, delivered by Cotton Australia and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC), is run every two years, with this year’s program being the seventh time it has been staged.

The program is best suited to emerging leaders actively working in the Australian cotton industry who want to progress their leadership skills.

Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay said a combination of growers and researchers had been selected for this year’s AFCLP.

“The applicants we had for this year’s program were the strongest we have ever observed, which highlights the depth of leadership potential we are fortunate to have within our industry,” Mr Kay said.

“Our selection panel had the challenge of choosing just 15 participants, and I am confident the AFCLP will help shape those people in their work guiding the Australian cotton industry through the decades ahead.

“I thank everyone who applied to be involved, and I congratulate those who have been selected and wish them well on this journey.”

Mr Kay said the AFCLP will provide the cohort of participants with the opportunity to grow as individuals and as a group.

“One of the great things about this flagship program is it empowers each individual participant to flex their leadership muscle in a way tailored to their strengths, while also binding the group of participants in a collegial, constructive way where they become a powerhouse of ideas for our industry,” he said.

“We immensely value our industry’s people, and I’m extremely confident this group of emerging leaders will help shine a light for the entire cotton industry for years to come.”

CRDC Executive Director, Dr Ian Taylor, said the Australian Future Cotton Leaders Program would take on extra importance in 2021.

“Last year’s pandemic and crises highlighted to us the value of good leadership, and how when our leaders bind together in the face of adversity and share ideas in an agile and positive way, the hurdles we all need to climb become just that bit smaller,” Dr Taylor said.

“I believe this program, with its face-to-face forums, an interactive online discussion forum, one-on-one coaching, an individual project, and integration with industry activities, will empower our emerging leaders to dream big and strive for greater success.

“I wish them well on their leadership journey and look forward to working with them as we build a stronger Australian cotton industry.”

Australian Future Cotton Leaders Program 2021 participants:

  • Nicole McDonald, Melbourne, VIC
  • Joe Briggs, Coleambally, NSW
  • Sally Ceeney, Warren, NSW
  • Patrick Fillipi, Sydney, NSW
  • Jess Lehmann, Canberra, ACT
  • James Traill, Moree, NSW
  • Richard Gray, Moree, NSW
  • Charlie Clark, Goondiwindi, QLD
  • Alexandria Galea, Emerald, QLD
  • Will Jackman, Moree, NSW
  • Chris Hutchinson, Moura, QLD
  • Matthew Anning, Springsure, QLD
  • Rob Weinthal, Gunnedah, NSW
  • Melinda Swift, Warren, NSW
  • Kimberley Fawkes, Dalby, QLD