Dairy Plan – the current big idea

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I want to throw something out there to the business world for feedback.

If your business was in crisis for multiple reasons.

Many that were outside your control like:

  • market forces and terms of trade
  • climate
  • a campaign by supermarkets that devalued your life’s work and destroyed your morale

Would your solution be a national TV adverstising campaign that essentailly tells TV audiences what nice people you are

Would that be your smart business decision to turn your business around?


Are you watching The Hunting – its haunting

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Are you watching The Hunting? – its haunting. Lots of lessons on how not to parent. Lots of reminders of the dangers of peer pressure for young people. Its a scary world out there for young people who overshare on social media.  The series comes with its own How to Guide for Teachers and Parents

I am watching the parents’ reactions and thinking what would I have done.  As a former SnowPlow parent I say kudos to SBS for tackling this.  It aint easy being a parent nor a teacher and this program gives you insights from all sides.

One school’s answer to over zealous parents – have listen it will make you smile 

Modern teaching in Australia follows the How2Learn ethos – nicely explained by my local school here


I may have made a lot of mistakes as a parent but very proud to be part of a team of wonderful volunteers celebrating they have been designing and delivering world class How2Learn programs for 10 years. 

Under the skin, we are all flesh and blood with a miraculous beating heart, doing the best we can, every single day. The only kind of expectation we can really have is of ourselves. I am excited our schools are building resilient and responsible young people with the skills to thrive in the 21st century and I can just going skiing

Valuing fresh milk – lost in translation

Tonight I am staying in a hotel in Sydney CBD. I am a bit of a coffee freak so prefer to stay in hotels that provide a Nespresso Machine or equivalent. These day most hotels ask your preferences and mine is always is to ask for a minumum of 250mls of fresh milk ( not UHT in my fridge) and I bring my own milk frother just in case one is not provided


Tonight’s hotel apparrently asks for customer requests and then ignores them.


So I make the call.

Me: “Please send me up more coffee pods and 250ml of fresh milk.”

Housekeeping: “Madam are you aware there will be a charge of $5 for the fresh milk?”

Me: “You must be kidding. There is a Woolies around the corner I will get my milk there? How much for the extra coffee pods?”


Housekeeping: “No charge Madam”

This 6th generation dairy farmer is flabbergasted. $5 for 250ml of fresh milk. Please dont tell the cows

Great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar

Its almost two months since I put fingers to the keyboard for my personal blog.  To be honest I have been embarrassed by the discourse between farmers and farmers on social media. I also see a lack of leadership by industry in encouraging respectful conversations between farmers and the community and it saddens me.

‘Great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.’

This post is a special shout out to the team at Bulla Burra for continuously showing great leadership. You can see the full post on Facebook here

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Last week I had the pleasure, courtesy of Wingecarribee Shire Council of being on the panel post the showing of the 2040 Film.  The film has some confronting things to say about some of our current agricultural systems. Its also uses very inclusive language to invite everyone to work together and use the film as a launch pad for bold visions 

This will require respectful conversations between everyone – thank you Bulla Burra for showing us how it is done.

John concludes his letter by saying

The main point of this letter is to say that agriculture is a professional, thriving industry – but we are not very good at talking about it. We tend to live in our own little farming bubble and talk and whinge amongst ourselves. We get frustrated when we see something on “Sunrise” or “The Project” which affects us, and we go off half cocked on FB or Twitter – mainly to people within our own industry. And when we do get to talk to you we are usually being reactive or do a poor job of articulating our argument. We are sorry about that.

From our perspective we also need to do a far better job of listening. You rightly have questions and concerns about what we do, as the results of our efforts ends up feeding and clothing your families. How can you not be rattled by what you see on social media about GMO’s and Roundup, especially if we don’t have meaningful conversations with you about what we do and why. Of course those of you who love animals will be furious (as we are) when you see examples of animal cruelty. And yes, the whole idea of climate change is scary for us all.

Make no mistake, farmers are some of the most intelligent, educated, climatically aware, hardworking people on the planet – and focused on developing new, innovative and environmentally sustainable ways to continue to feed, clothe and fuel us all. As farmers, we don’t always get to have meaningful conversations with people outside of own agricultural bubble, so please feel free to pass this letter on to your friends both within and outside of ag. It is only by listening to each other that we create understanding, empathy and stronger communities.

With respect

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Success is a journey and the Pygmalion Effect is a powerful motivator





Who do you vote for when it is clear there is a dire shortage of Jacinda Ardern’s on your ballot paper?

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A few weeks ago it was suggested I write an opinion piece on what the Australian voter is looking for in a politician.  It has become clearer and clearer that like the rest of the world Australian voters want politicians like Jacinda Arden. 

Today I will cast my vote in the NSW State Elections. In the lower house my sitting member belongs to a party who for the last 20 years has fought elections at national level on race to the bottom on who can spread the most fear, paranoia and disunity. A party with a coalition partner that is dogged by issues of  public trust, personal integrity, respect for women, policy failure over water, live export and drought as well as support for mining over farming. 

The Labor candidate texted me ( and the rest of the electorate) to tell me hospitals and schools are at the top of his agenda. Yet he belongs to a party that let another very serious incident showing disrespect for women give rise to grave concerns about the behavior they walk past.  With a clearly not ready new Labor party leader thrown in the bear pit of fear, paranoia and disunity

And the Greens. Well I feel very much like First Dog on the Moon on this one. Its hard to support a party whose policies too often alienate the people who look after more than 50% of Australia’s landscape. Its hard to support a party whose core pillar is being green when I am not confident they understand what being green is.

We all want leaders who can run the country and keep us in the black and be green at the same time.  What we also are screaming out for VERY LOUDLY is that those people have principles we are proud of.

I have no idea at this point in time what I will do with my lower house vote. What I will do is follow Jane Caro’s lead and do what our Prime Minister wont commit to. I will put the extremists in One Nation or elsewhere last on my ballot paper.




My favourite books

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What do you do to relax ?

What does peaceful and calm look like to you.?

I can guarantee I never look peaceful and calm.  I know insomnia is my best inspiration.  I do enjoy reading and so do my friends. I love to hear what other people enjoy reading.

I am going to regularly update this post with books that have left a memorable impression on me this year with the most memorable being the first five in my list and the others, books I enjoyed.

I would love to know what you enjoy reading.

  1. Leaders Who Ask by Corrinne Armour –  I am a strong believer in the Growth mindset  which is the belief that talents and abilities can be developed over time; that there is a potential to foster new skills in yourself and others. This book has done wonders for my soul and helped me say piss off to my inner critic who previously sucked far too much of my oxygen. This book has increased my drive to surround myself with people who can help me grow and pay it forward
  2. Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee  totally agree with this review ‘Brutal, brave and utterly compelling . . . I can’t remember a book I devoured with such intensity, nor one that moved me so profoundly’ Rebecca Starford. I  strongly recommend that John Howard and Tony Abbott read it
  3.  The Rosie Result  –  by ​Graeme Simsion This review sums up the book perfectly for me ‘The Rosie Result is a handbook for those who believe the world can be organised by rationality. It is, above all, sensible. Simsion indexes many of the fads currently piercing the stately fabric woven by Team Enlightenment. Homeopathy, non-vaccinaters, mouthy sports parents, 25-year-olds with psychology degrees let loose on the public, junk food, veganism, teachers and others who unthinkingly label, education in general, all get a run. And men.’
  4. Tin Man by Sarah Winman. I learnt alot about myself reading this book.
  5. Rusted Off by Gabrielle Chan. This book gave the whole concept of a rural/urban divide genuine perspective for me and how out of touch so many of our career politicians are


Ideas for Careers Media Wall


6. The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan – I like this genre and I loved Dervla’s debut novel  The Ruin which I read last year. Dervla McTiernan is a lawyer from Galway, who moved  Western Australia following the global financial crisis of 2008.

Resilience starts with having the right people in your circle

This morning the Young Farming Champions Network posted this thank you on Facebook to their leadership team 

Over the last 12 months the Youth Voices Leadership Team (YVLT) has transformed a vision into a reality.

As the team behind Picture You in Agriculture, @YouthVoicesYFC and the youth voice of theArt4Agriculture Young Farming Champions, their vision was to support young people to take the next step from leadership development to leadership practice and continue connecting agricultural and urban communities with a youth lead voice.

The YVLT have overcome many obstacles, volunteered countless hours and have continuously gone above and beyond what was expected of them. Their dedication is a testament and an inspiration to young people working in the agricultural sector.

On behalf of the entire YFC team (and future YFCs) we would like to say a massive THANK YOU to them for their dedication to a better future for our youth.

Today our Young Farming Champions Network hosts its inaugural AGM. Congratulations on reaching this important milestone and we look forward to a wonderful year ahead with the 2019 YVLT committee.

#YouthinAg #YouthVoices18 #YouthVoices19


This post is tell them how grateful I am they have come into my life and put their hands up to be my succession plan

I have been on many committees and worked with a lot of people trying to do good in my lifetime. These young women are exceptional. I salute them. Tonight at their AGM their chair Dr Jo Newton will give her annual report I look forward to sharing this with you tomorrow. You will be as proud of them and all the #YouthinAgVoices that they are collaborating with as I am

Love this infographic – Source