Wooling to change things

Yass' Kathleen Allan was recently selected as one of 20 rural leaders from across Australia to be involved in the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP).

Ms Allan will be sponsored by the Australian Wool Innovation company and will partake in 59 days of activities spread over an 18 month period.

Her first trip, in March, will be to the Kununurra  in WA where she will stay for 12 days with the 19 other successful applicants and those in charge of running the program.

Here she will learn a lot about self awareness, emotional intelligence, problem solving, comunication, team engagement and leadership styles through a number of challenge-based activities.

"I am really excited about visiting WA...  [it] is well-known as a progressive agricultural community and I am looking forward to learning more about that.

"I am also really interested in learning more about my own leadership style and in particular emotional intelligence and self-awareness." she told the Tribune.

"Also if I can get an understanding of modern best practice leadership that i can then apply in my life in the future that would be great."

Kathleen works part-time in the public service in Canberra as well as balancing life as a mum, wife, farmer and daughter.

Kathleen said being selected in this program meant the world to her.

"I was really surpised to be been chosen... Participating in the ARLP will provide me with the platform to take the next step professionally and in my role as an industry advocate."

Kathleen is also excited to make a difference as a woman in the agricultural industry.

"It would be great if I could do something to smash down the stereotypes that the industry is full of middle-aged men.

"If I  somehow be an inspiration to help young women take up a career in agriculture that's great. That's a bonus."

Kathleen was born in Cootamundra and studied a Bachelor of Rural Science degree in Armidale. Kathleen and her husband, David Jarratt, and  two daughters Bella and Molly live on the family farm 'Bindaree’ on Laverstock Road.  Kathleen's mother, Jane Southwell, also lives at the farm and manages the superfine wool merino grazing business.

"Mum has definitely been an inspiration for me. I have learnt so much working with mum  and together we have gained such an insight into consumer understanding of Australian agriculture."

During the next 18 months, the program will take the 20 participants to the Kimberleys, Adelaide, Sydney and also an overseas destination.

Kathleen said she's motivated and simply wants to make a difference.

"I'd love to one day be considered a champion for the Australian agricultural industry, in particular around the issues of promoting the unique attributes of our great wool industry."

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