Joy Coulson thinks it is vitally important that people with a range of job titles, from varying backgrounds and with differing personalities pursue leadership roles.

“Our dairy industry needs industry-experienced people from many and varied backgrounds to bring their unique experience and perspective to leadership; capable leaders can effectively relate to and engage with a range of industry members.”

As a Farm Services Advisor, and in her numerous community roles in the Barwon South West region of Victoria, Joy is on a journey to further develop her own leadership capability.

“I’d spoken to a couple of colleagues who had done the Leadership Great South Coast (LGSC) Program and everybody raved about it. For some, it was life-changing,” she said.

“I don’t think we have enough women putting their hand up to be leaders, so I applied for the 2020 program because I’d heard such great things about it.”

Sponsored by Gardiner Dairy Foundation, Joy started the 10-month program in February, shortly before COVID-19 struck, resulting in their fortnightly workshops and presentations moving to a video conference format.

Each year Gardiner funds two places in each of five Victorian Regional Community Leadership Programs that cover dairying areas.

The leadership programs are once again calling for applications for their 2021 programs.