CEO Update Article

Drinking water from the fire hose !

   Monday 29th July, 2019

The first few months of any new role can sometimes feel like drinking water from a fire hose, with new people to meet every day, a huge ongoing download of information, connections to make and relationships to build, as well as a to-do list that grows by the hour. And I am loving it!

The food and fibre sector truly is a fantastic space to be working in, and I have an even deeper appreciation for that after our team planning day last week.

In a small but dynamic operations team, we have a very committed group of individuals applying an impressive spectrum of knowledge, experience and insights to everything they do – with all of it woven into a genuine passion for businesses and communities of all types and sizes to be successful and for people to prosper.

With the team working in a virtual office environment, in that we are all spread out across Gippsland, it was great to get together in the one place for the day, and almost every topic we covered opened up another new way for a project, or in most cases, a number of projects, to be potentially interconnected and leveraged to deepen its impact and widen its spread.

Just as the region and the sector is complex and diverse, so are the projects we are delivering, however the long-lasting positive impacts of those projects across Gippsland already is or will be significant. As each project reaches milestones, we will continue to share and explain the benefits and outcomes on both an individual and business level, whilst also explaining what it is delivering back to the sector as a whole.

The diversity and quality of projects and initiatives that the organisation has in place is rock solid, thanks to the strategic foundations laid by Dr. Nicola Watts and her support network of team members and collaborators in the many years leading up to the amalgamation.

And the team is growing!

We have interviewed some very strong candidates for the important role of leading the Gippsland Connect program that will be helping a number of Gippsland food and fibre SME’s to build their capacity to export. We’ll be announcing the successful applicant in August, followed by the first round of Gippsland businesses participating in the program.

We describe Food & Fibre Gippsland the collaborative force, and as we filled up whiteboards with information and ideas at our planning day, I certainly saw this force in action.

We are proud to be an industry led, membership driven organisation, and one of the many aspects that attracted me to this role is the need to be out and about every day, meeting with industry partners as well as connecting with existing and new members. I've been able to connect with a few already and plan to keep my diary very full as I get to know more and more people and businesses throughout the sector.

Our goal is to continue to deliver value to members whilst stewarding ongoing development and delivery of relevant and timely opportunities to share knowledge, share problems and work together for the greater good of the sector.

Our Excellence in Agribusiness Awards Gala Presentation is coming up on Friday the 16th of August, with an impressive lineup of finalists in each category. Nights like this are a great opportunity to meet new people, and enjoy learning about how businesses are being innovative and reaping the rewards of being drivers of change, and I encourage everyone to secure their tickets to the event asap !

The Awards have received tremendous support from the region, with engaged group of sponsors including Agriculture Victoria, Baw Baw Shire Council, Dyers, Federation University, Latrobe City Council, Wellington Shire Council, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Southern Rural Water, along with prize sponsors KPMG and The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

We are looking forward to seeing you on the 16th of August for a collaborative celebration.

Until next week.

CEO - Food & Fibre Gippsland

Drinking from the fire-hose - a fun description of what the first few months can be like in a new job !