Thursday, November 19 2020, 7-8pm

Speakers: Diana Fear, Ken Drummond, Niki Curtis

Building community knowledge and support networks

Building a community of farmers takes effort and commitment and may not always fit the picture of what you had planned. The three guest speakers in this webinar are very familiar with the process and have achieved just that, they have galvanised their hidden strengths. The importance of having a strong team, an engaged board and a passion for all things collaboration is discussed. The challenges of lack of resourcing and the move to online meetings during Covid-19 is explored.

Topics include:

  • Who are Central West Farming Systems?
  • How to build strong and cohesive communities through collaboration and extension?
  • How do you develop partnerships that are meaningful and productive?
  • Who can be involved in collaborations?
  • How can collaboration work to build communities at a local and state level?

Transcript: Galvanising Hidden Strengths Webinar


Diana Fear

Diana Fear is CEO of Central West Farming Systems (CWFS) which is an independent, not-for-profit, farmer driven organisation based at Condobolin, NSW. CWFS operates in an area covering 14 million hectares in the lower rainfall, mixed farming regions of Central West NSW (350-500mm rainfall). Formed in 1998, the group has over 300 members made up primarily of farmers but also private and public sector advisers, researchers and stakeholders. Diana is a Board Member of Regional Development Australia Central West (RDA CW) and is passionate about increasing the economic, environmental and social opportunities in rural and regional Australia. On top of this, Diana has been chosen as one of 12 outstanding women with skills and a vision for agriculture that have been selected for the National Farmers’ Federation’s 2020 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.

Ken Drummond

Ken Drummond was on the original steering committee to form Stirlings to Coast farmers in 2009. Since then, membership has grown to over 200 members, representing 83 farming businesses, and the group continues to enjoy strong support from an increasing number of sponsors and corporate members. In 2018, SCF initiated it’s Student Connect Future Farmers project, with 19 new student members from the WA College of Agriculture – Denmark.  The project expanded in 2019 to other local schools with an Agriculture focus, Mt Barker Community College and Great Southern Grammar, and continues in to 2020 with over 60 students now involved in lectures, demonstrations and work experience. SCF works with a number of research partners to conduct paddock scale trials each year, as well as coordinating canola disease surveys and herbicide resistance testing.   In recent years there has been an increased focus on trials and projects looking at the value chain and post-farm gate value-adding.

Niki Curtis

Niki (Nicole) Curtis has been working in the Agricultural industry for most of her career. Born and bred in Esperance on a cattle farm, she began her career as a journalist at the Countryman and then moved to general news reporting at WA Newspapers. She has been Executive Officer for Farmsafe WA; Communications officer for the Department of Agriculture (8 years) based in Esperance and then Executive Officer for South East Premium Wheat Growers’ Association (SEPWA) for nine years prior to joining the GGA in September 2020. Niki has lived overseas in Chile, South America and Capetown, South Africa and has four children. Niki graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) program in 2019 and the Leadership Western Australia Signature program in 2018.