CBH trade support co-ordinator Tessa Bevilacqua selected for Grain Trade Australia’s Five Under 30 program

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CBH trade support officer Tessa Bevilacqua.
Camera IconCBH trade support officer Tessa Bevilacqua. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The Countryman

One of CBH Group’s youngest grain traders has been hand-picked for a national leadership program after being recognised for her work and potential to further the industry.

Tessa Bevilacqua was among a group of five this month selected for Grain Trade Australia’s inaugural Five Under 30 program, which aims to upskill and nurture the potential of up-and-coming leaders in the industry.

Ms Bevilacqua, 27, has worked as a trade support co-ordinator at CBH Group since January 2023, working at the canola, lupins, oats and proteins desk.

She started her career with Australia’s biggest grain marketer and exporter in 2019, starting off in in the Grower Service Centre before landing a role with Marketing and Trading last year.

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While she grew up in the city, Ms Bevilacqua regards herself as lucky to have had the “best of both worlds” after spending her school holidays on her grandparents’ chicken farm in Gingin.

“I loved being up there and would help my Pa every day doing all sorts of jobs around the property,” she said.

“I have always been very outdoorsy so going into ag felt like a logical step.

“I’ve always liked fast-paced jobs, and I do my best work under pressure.”

CBH trade support officer Tessa Bevilacqua.
Camera IconCBH trade support officer Tessa Bevilacqua. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The Countryman

When asked what her favourite parts of the job were, Ms Bevilacqua was quick to answer.

“I like how every day is different — a new strategy, a new event and a new customer,” she said.

“The constant change, things happen overnight ... and it’s a whole new ball game.

“There is also so much to learn, I always have a new challenge and something different to overcome.”

Grain Trade Australia chief executive Pat O’Shannassy said the year-long program was designed to engage and nurture future leaders.

Each year, GTA will select five future leaders and give them additional opportunities including mentorship and guidance for a year.

The program was open to those aged under 30 who worked at Grain Trade Australia member organisations.

Each application was reviewed by a Grain Trade Australia’s membership committee and the board, with candidates selected based on merit, gender, background, experience and geographic diversity.

Program participants hail from a range of businesses from four different States.

Other participants selected included Fletchers International Exports grain accumulation officer Cooper Vinci, of NSW, and CHS Broadbent grain merchant Jess Kirkpatrick, of Victoria.

The two South Australian representatives included Viterra quality services manager Edwina Cockburn and AgriDigital customer success relationship manager Michael Shanahan.

Ms Bevilacqua said she was attracted to the program for both the personal development and networking aspects.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity to learn more about how the grain trade industry operates across Australia, and meet people with different experiences in the trade,” she said.

“There’s a lot more behind the scenes and to the supply chain than what a lot of people might think.

“So hopefully (the program) creating new pathways can make it easier for new people in the business to find their feet.

“I am only just getting started in this industry, so I’m really looking forward to hearing other companies’ perspectives.”

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