Developing skills and leadership

Guest Presenters

The project has identified a number of relevant guest presenters to present webinars on the topics listed on the Webinar Program page. The program also has the flexibility to allow the participants to suggest an alternate guest speaker if an important topic/issue arises as the project progresses.

Details about the Guest Presenters will be made available here prior to each webinar.

Webinar #10 Practical Tips for Women in Leadership Roles

Guest Presenter: Jeanette Long
Ag Consulting Co

Jeanette has been facilitating and training in rural industries for 20 years. She has a passion for developing the skills of rural and regional people. Along with her husband, Bill, she works in their consultancy business, Ag Consulting Co, which is based on the family farm at Ardrossan in South Australia. Her work focuses on facilitation and, workshop delivery including; leadership, communication, business and strategic planning, facilitation skills, mentoring and farm succession. Jeanette also facilitates business strategic planning and farm family succession planning meetings.
Click here to read more about Jeanette Long.

Webinar #9 Measuring the carbon footprint of your business

Guest Presenter: Dr Darren Oemcke
Arris / D.O. Consulting

Webinar #8 Understanding climate change and the impacts it will have on the Horticulture Industry

Guest Presenter: Dr Darren Oemcke
Arris / D.O. Consulting
Bachelor of Engineering (Agricultural) (Hons)
Masters of Engineering (Environmental)
PhD (Environmental Engineering)
Masters of Management
Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

More than 20 years experience in water and agricultural industries, environmental engineering and business management

  • Water, wastewater and reuse system management and process design
  • Performance benchmarking
  • Extensive experience in research and development, product development and application/implementation of new tools and knowledge
  • Supply chain and value chain management
  • Strategic planning, change management, business development
  • Project management and contract management
  • Technical and general writing
  • Communication and education

Webinar 7: Leadership Opportunities in the Horticulture Industry

Guest Presenter: Richard Bennett
Product Integrity and Training & Leadership Manager
Horticulture Australia

Richard Bennett is the Product Integrity and Training & Leadership Manager for Horticulture Australia Limited.  He is responsible for a portfolio of about 70 projects in training & leadership, quality, food safety, food security, best practice and supply chain, across all horticulture sectors. HAL is currently managing over 1,200 projects.

For 1-2 days per week, Richard is a HAL project, where his role is to protect consumer and market confidence in the safety of fresh and processed horticultural produce. This involves working with HAL members on preparing crisis management plans, working with members when there is an incident that could cause reputational harm, and addressing QA, food standards, traceability, food security and related areas. 

Richard has worked in the nursery, seed and fruit processing industries, and as an industry development officer, trainer, agronomist and executive officer for a number of fruit grower organisations. His formal qualifications include orchard management, agricultural science, agribusiness, training and food safety. He is based in Shepparton, Victoria.


Webinar 6: Soil Management

Guest Presenter: Jim Kelly,
Managing Director - Arris Pty Ltd

Jim has more than 40 years experience in primary production and agribusiness, sustainable use of recycled water, soil management, land capability assessment, environmental management systems and agripolitical policy development and representation. In 2000 he founded Arris to deliver a range of services and resources to horticultural and agricultural industries with a mission to improve the adoption of science and technology. This coupled with his environmental qualifications, communication and business skills has seen him become a leader in the engagement of key stakeholders for a wide range of projects including a number of sensitive recycled water projects.


Webinar 5: Understanding the economic environment the Australian Horticulture Industry is experiencing

Guest Presenter: Ian James

Ian James has a Master of Economics degree from Monash University in Melbourne and since graduating has had a varied experience as an economist working in academia, the federal public service, the financial markets and agriculture. For the last five years Ian has been involved in the Australian vegetable industry.  At present he is the principal of Industry Data Economic Analysis and is contracted through Horticulture Australia Limited to provide economic services to the vegetable industry. Ian’s background enables him to provide useful insights into developments in the economy and the impact that they will have on the vegetable industry as well as the application of business principles to vegetable growing.


Webinar 4: Water Use Efficiency

Guest Presenter: Noel Johnston
Senior Irrigation Consultant - Arris Pty Ltd

Senior Irrigation Consultant, Arris Pty Ltd
Diploma of Irrigation
Certified Irrigation Agronomist
Certificate IV: Assessment & Workplace Training
Accredited Soil Surveyor

25 years experience in the irrigation industry in a range of different capacities.

  • 10 years as the SA Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board’s co-ordinator of the Improving Irrigation Efficiency Project
  • 8 years experience in developing and delivering industry and irrigator training in the fields of soil salinity and irrigation management
  • Experienced in the fields of soil surveying for horticulture, soil moisture monitoring, irrigation scheduling and irrigation system audits
  • More than 25 years experience in irrigation installation, design, project management, sales and on-farm support
  • Member of Irrigation Australia Ltd: SA committee (2005 - )


Webinar 3: Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Guest Presenter: Dr Sandra McDougall
Industry Leader (Field Vegetables) - Science and Research, Biosecurity
NSW Department of Primary Industries

Dr Sandra McDougall was appointed to the Vegetable Entomology position at Yanco Agricultural Institute in 1997, and to the Technical Specialist (Vegetables) position in 1999. She became Industry Leader, Field Vegetables in 2006. Sandra has been the team leader for the National Vegetable Industry Centre at Yanco since 1999.
Sandra has been the project leader for a series of national Lettuce IPM projects since 1998. Her interest is in developing IPM tools and strategies that growers can adopt. She has contributed to IPM projects in processing tomatoes and sweet corn. Recently she led a review of vegetable IPM research and many of her recommendations have been adopted by industry. Her expertise in IPM development and adoption has been utilized by ACIAR projects in Tonga and Cambodia and an AUSAID project in Vietnam. She is also leading the Australian component of an ACIAR Improvement in Vegetable production in Cambodia and Australia. In 2008 she was recognized as the Bayer Crop Science Vegetable Researcher of the Year.


Webinar 2: Introduction to Horticulture Industry Research and Development

Guest Presenter: Will Gordon, Horticulture Australia
Industry Services Manager, Horticulture Australia Limited

I am the Industry Services Manager for the Vegetable Industry.  My role is to work with the industry, including the peak industry body (AUSVEG) and the various Industry Advisory Committees to ensure that a strategic and levy payer driven approach is taken towards the Research and Development program. Specifically my role entails the development, with industry, of a strategic 3-5yr investment plan for the investment of industry levies, an annual investment plan, and annual reporting to the industry and government. I am involved in the organisation and planning of the industry advisory process in conjunction with AUSVEG. Prior to working in horticulture I was employed with AWB (formerly the Australian Wheat Board) and I still have an interest in our family broadacre cropping and livestock farm which is located near Colac in the Western District of Victoria.


Webinar 1: Establishing a quality assurance and environmental assurance program on-farm.

Guest Presenter: Helena Whitman, Hort-Ag Consultancies

Helena Whitman is a food safety and environmental programs facilitator who has been working in horticulture since the mid 1980s. Helena has been delivering Freshcare training since the program’s inception in 2000 and has trained over 600 growers during this time. She was also the Environmental Manager for AUSVEG for 5 years and responsible for the EnviroVeg program. Helena has worked with various fruit and vegetable organisations during her time in horticulture and currently, beside delivering Freshcare training, works as the Victorian IDO for the vegetable industry covering western regions.