Speakers

We are celebrating producers from the greater Derwent Valley and Central Highlands region and the line-up is so exciting!

Our Keynote speaker

Dr Polly McGee

Dr Polly McGee is an author, digital strategist, leadership facilitator and disruptor-for-good. With over a decade working in innovation and commercialization in public, university and private sector roles and leadership program design and delivery for diverse businesses, Polly has a strong background in combining coaching, facilitating, teaching, curriculum design and content authoring to create the business cultures of the future.

Polly is a sought after speaker and MC, bringing her skills in interviewing and listening with empathy and humor to stages large and small. Author of ‘The Good Hustle’, a blueprint for building ethical, values driven, for purpose business models that are profitable and sustainable, Polly writes at the intersection of mind, leadership and spirituality. She is passionate about inspiring curious, resilient, well rounded humans through incorporating growth mindset, values, mindfulness, 21C skills and social, ethical and emotional learning into all aspects of our precious lives.


Meet our panel members!

Fiona Hume - Arundel Farm, Macquarie Plains

Fiona manages ‘Arundel’ with her 87-year old father Bill, and their Stockman Mat Bone. In addition to being a farmer, Fiona is also a Zoologist/ Ecologist and has worked in this field for 25 years. These days, she only manages a month a year doing field surveys on threatened birds such as the swift parrot but she does find extra time to pursue her passion for birds by studying a part-time Graduate Diploma of Ornithology. Another passion of Fiona’s is planting shelterbelts, which she convinced her dad to get started in 1989. Thirty years on, where there was once a vast open landscape, Fiona’s vision has created a network of ecologically functioning shelterbelts/ biodiversity corridors.

Fiona has also worked for Parks and Wildlife for 15 years as a Discovery Ranger and has spent considerable time in many National Parks and Reserves conducting Education / Interpretation Programs. Fiona is dedicated to building better relationships within communities to improve understanding of environmental issues.

In addition to running Cross-bred ewes for prime lamb production, and Cormo ewes for wool production, Fiona has Australia’s largest flock of heritage breed English Leicester sheep. She sells her English leicester lamb to the Dark Mofo Winter Feast as well as selling both English leicester and prime lamb direct to the public with her Lamb and Hogget Boxes. Fiona tans and sells English Leicester sheepskins.


Tim Parsons - Curringa Farm, Hamilton

Tim Parsons is a sixth generation Tasmanian farmer and co owner of Curringa Farm – a beautiful 750 acre sheep and cropping farm at Hamilton in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley.

In recent years Tim, and his wife Jane, have become significant players in the Tasmanian tourism industry, offering hosted accommodation and farm tours on this beautiful property. Success has led to Curringa Farm winning State Tourism Awards in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 with a gold award at the 2015 Australian Tourism Awards.

The Curringa Farm model showcases modern day practices to local and international visitors with very little knowledge about farming and conservation efforts. The food production story and caring for land.

As a struggling farm in the drought stricken nineties, it nearly collapsed under severe climatic, financial, social and ecological stress. Tim went off farm to work with Greening Australia for 6 years in vegetation management and landcare. He returned to purchase the farm from his parents in 2002 with the realisation that he had to focus on the ecological side of the land to generate a sustainable return from it. The message he was sending to local Tasmanians, although important, could go further with an international audience. Tim and Jane welcome you here to share over a third of a centuries efforts towards sustainable land management.


Jo Jones - Willowdene Dairies, Hamilton

Jo Jones farms with her husband David, and his parents Ann and John Jones, on their farm, Willowdene Dairies, in Hamilton. Alongside the dairy operation, Jo and David grow peony roses, which they export to Sydney flower market and supply Tasmanian company Hill Street Grocers. Jo works full time at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture at the University of Tasmania. At UTas, Jo is a lecturer and a researcher. Jo’s research interests centre around the wine and cider industries, and she contributes to the undergraduate teaching program in the areas of horticulture, viticulture, farm business management and extension, as well as supervises honours, masters and PhD candidates. She has considerable media experience, having worked in broadcast media for ABC Rural and print media with the Stock and Land newspaper. Jo is passionate about creating resilient rural communities, and  empowering the next generation of primary producers through education.


Bill Lark - Lark Distillery

 


Meet our Workshop facilitators

 

Derwent Catchment Project team - Eve & Josie

Farm biodiversity & resilience planning masterclass (click here to find out more about the workshop)

Eve

Eve has ten years of experience as a professional in the field of biodiversity conservation specialising in threatened species and weed management. One of her initial projects involved the establishment of effective data management systems which has evolved into the Natural Values Atlas of Tasmania. Eve has extensive remote area field experience, working on both private & protected areas in both Tasmanian and the Northern Territory. On private land she has worked with landowners to create both conservation and agricultural production outcomes.

 

Josie

Josie has specialist skills in monitoring and evaluation with a PhD in Environmental Management. Her thesis focused on evaluation of management effectiveness in protected areas, specifically looking at what was driving management effectiveness in Australian protected areas. Josie has lectured in Ecology, Integrated Landscape Management and Experimental Techniques. She has worked as a private consultant conducting botanical surveys, forest carbon assessments, vegetation and weed management, farm planning and providing technical advice and implementing monitoring and evaluation of biological resources.


Rural Alive and Well Tasmania

Resilience in you workshop

Rural Alive and Well Inc. (RAW) is a not-for-profit organisation formed to create resilience and capacity ofindividuals, families and the community to react to challenging life experiences with particular emphasis on suicide prevention, mental health and wellbeing.

The focus is providing outreach support to rural communities across Tasmania as well as working with these communities to undertake wellbeing initiates.

RAW is a very unique concept through the programs delivered, which contributes to its ongoing success. RAW outreach workers have high expertise in building rapport and trust with the community. RAW provides accessible and responsive outreach support services to all rural communities in Tasmania.

RAW’s outreach service is free and confidential, RAW also operates a 24/7 crisis line: 1300 HELP MATE (1300 4357 6283).

RAW is your mate in tough times. Nothing makes more of a difference than having a mate who is there alongside you in dark times, a mate who is down to earth, cares and CAN HELP


Collins SBA

Business resilience workshop