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National Farmers' Federation

Empowering people.
Elevating agriculture.

The Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program supports women in agriculture to elevate their leadership through mentorship, networking, and industry partnerships. 

Applications for the 2024 intake have now closed.

Be a part of change.

Designed to support the NFF’s goal to double the number of women in agriculture’s leadership ranks and to make agriculture an inclusive industry for all by 2030, this program offers unique opportunities and new experiences for women who are looking to take their leadership to the next level. 

For more information please contact Program Manager Bec Wilde (e) rwilde@nff.org.au (p) 6269 5627.

Key dates

Diversity.

The NFF recognises that diversity is more than gender. Diversity includes ethnicity, cultural identity, religion, disability, gender expression and identity, sexual orientation, education, socioeconomic background and more. We encourage women of all backgrounds to apply for the program. 

2024 Partners

This program wouldn’t be possible without the support of partners and their commitment to making meaningful change in representation across Australian agriculture. The NFF celebrates the most recent pledges and progress reports from partners here 

Meet your 2024 Cohort

Meet the Patron

Fiona Simson is a visionary leader shaping the future of agriculture. A farmer from the Liverpool Plains, Fiona was elected in 2016 as the first female President of the National Farmers’ Federation in it’s 40 year history. 

Driven by a passion to create more opportunities for women in agriculture, Fiona spearheaded the launch of the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program in 2018 with a vision to double the number of women in agriculture’s leadership ranks. 

In 2022, Fiona stepped into the role of Patron. In this capacity, she provides strategic guidance to the program and is a champion for inclusion and diversity in agriculture. 

Fiona represents Australian farmers on the global stage as Director of the World Farmers’ Organisation for Oceania. She is also the Chair of the Commission for International Agricultural Research.

The Alumni

The NFF’s Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program is building an alumni of skilled female leaders from across the country. The alumni consists of individuals with diverse backgrounds and skills sets, all with one thing in common – a vision for agriculture and a commitment to being a part of the sector’s growth. Graduates of the program have called the experience ‘life changing’. Explore the vibrant alumni community below. 

2023 Alumni

Amanda Moohen - Condamine, QLD

Amanda hails from the Darling Downs, Queensland, being raised on a beef grazing farm. Her passion for agriculture and in particular the beef industry was engrained with her from the beginning. Since embarking on her mentoring journey, Amanda has gone back to her roots and joined Condabri Beef as their Chief Operating Officer. Her active leadership in the industry also includes serving as a Director (2019), Treasurer (2021) and is currently a councillor at the Australian Lot Feeding Association.

Amanda Moohen

Dr Georgina Pengilley - Leeton, NSW

Dr Georgina Pengilley has 23 years’ experience in agricultural research, development, and extension. Originally from a mixed farming operation in Tasmania, Georgina is passionate about agriculture and the regional communities it supports. Given her strong understanding of the needs of growers and producers, Georgina is able to bring a unique perspective of understanding both on-farm needs whilst being able to apply science to investment in solutions that deliver on the ground.

Dr Georgina Pengilley

Jessica Knight - Stratford, VIC

Jessica Knight is a first-generation dairy farm owner, wife, and mother of three young boys living near Stratford, Gippsland. She is a member of the GippsDairy Board and East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority Board. She enjoys the privilege of living and raising her children in a rural community and having the ability to give back and represent the agriculture sector in leadership and governance roles. She has a passion for the agriculture industry, especially its promotion and accessibility to young farmers and women.

Jessica Knight

Lucy Knight - Gunning, NSW

Lucy Knight is a woolgrower and former rural journalist and has spent most of her life living on the land and working in agriculture. She is married with three children. Lucy is a passionate advocate of agriculture, and in particular Australia’s wool industry, and part of the large volunteer army helping her small town of Gunning thrive. Lucy is keen to draw the attention of Australia’s lawmakers to the many land access and productivity issues facing Australian farmers in the transition to renewable energy and Australia’s low carbon economy over the next decade.

Lucy Knight

Meridie Jackson - Dixons Creek, VIC

Meridie is a beef producer in Central Victoria who has previously worked in Agribusiness and Finance organisations around Australia and in the US. She also a regional Chair of the Southern Australian Livestock Research Council. Meridie’s farming operation supplies beef directly to local premium butchers under the grass-fed beef brand, Smith and Jackson. Meridie is a passionate advocate for the positive contribution the agricultural industry makes to the Australian economy, the health and wellbeing of people who work in and benefit from it and the environment.

Meridie Jackson

Stephanie Terry - Exton, TAS

Stephanie Terry is a lawyer and together with her husband Andrew, is a director of their family-owned business, Tasmanian Berries. The business operates over two sites in Central Northern Tasmania and in 2023, they expanded their operations to the Bundaberg Region in Queensland (trading as Sunshine Berries). They employ a workforce of over 500 employees and are Approved Employers of the PALM Scheme. Stephanie is the President of Primary Employers Tasmania, which brings together her skills as a lawyer and an employer of a primary industry business.

Stephanie Terry

Bron Christensen - Theodore, QLD

Bron is a fourth-generation grazier who runs a beef breeding enterprise with her husband in Theodore in Central Queensland. Bron has recently been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association following successful roles as Executive Officer with The Leucaena Network, Secretariat of the North Australia Beef Research Council and Company Secretary with Theodore Water Pty Ltd. Bron holds several Board and Committee positions including as Chair of the NFF Economic Policy and Farm Business Committee.

Bron Christensen

Jaime Manning - Frenchville, QLD

Jaime is a researcher and educator that generates innovative solutions to address real-world agricultural challenges. Her interdisciplinary research and strong industry partnerships support the adoption of AgTech systems and tools, contributing significantly to the digital transformation of the agricultural landscape. She serves as a critical bridge between scientific research and technology development to support the current and next generation agricultural workforce to improve practical outcomes for the agricultural industry. She has extensive experience in national cattle advocacy organisations.

Jaime Manning

Kathleen Johns - Thurgoona, NSW

Kathleen is passionate about promoting biologicals as a sustainable solution in agricultural practices. Starting her career as a microbiologist, she has over 15 years’ experience across commercial operations, quality control, quality assurance and regulatory compliance. As part of the leadership team at New Edge Microbials, Kathleen is the General Manager of Operations, combining technical expertise and leadership skills to oversee supply chain, laboratory, fermentation, and production activities.

Kathleen Johns

Majella Nolan - Brisbane, QLD

Majella is passionate about using digital technology for the sustainable production of food and fibre and supporting the development of young people in agriculture. She is the Australia & New Zealand Strategy Lead for John Deere and a Non-Executive Director of the Future Farmers Network. Prior to joining John Deere Majella held a number of positions across the agricultural value chain including Strategy Analyst and Product Owner for Ruralco Holdings (now Nutrien Ag Solutions).

Majella Nolan

Naomi Wilson - Wagaman, NT

Naomi is the Head of Environment and Sustainability for Australia’s largest integrated beef producer and with 25 years’ experience in environmental management and sustainable agriculture, is taking a leading role in bringing a Nature Positive approach to beef production in northern Australia. A creative thinker with a degree in Environmental Science, Naomi has supported food producers to elevate their land manage practices throughout her career and is passionate about crafting high integrity solutions for a prosperous future for our planet and the people on it.

Naomi Wilson

Zarmeen Hassan - Melbourne, VIC

Zarmeen believes that privilege comes with accountability and brings that ethos to all aspects of her life! A driving force for in supporting industry best practice on farm for the vegetable, potato, and onion industries. Leading AUSVEG’s Engagement and Extension team, she works to build a resilient industry capable of facing challenges like plant health, food safety, and sustainability. Zarmeen’s advocacy extends to industry representation on panels like SIAP and EPPRD, promoting R&D adoption and best practices.

Zarmeen Hassan