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Nuffield WA welcomes 2021 scholar Kathryn Fleay as chair as new committee takes the stage

Olivia FordCountryman
2021 Nuffield Scholar Kathryn Fleay is Nuffield Australia WA’s new chair.
Camera Icon2021 Nuffield Scholar Kathryn Fleay is Nuffield Australia WA’s new chair. Credit: Nuffield Australia/Nuffield Australia

York local and 2021 Nuffield Scholar Kathryn Fleay is taking the baton as Nuffield Australia WA’s chair after Andrew Slade’s departure from the role.

Mr Slade stepped down as chair and welcomed Ms Fleay as his successor at this year’s Nuffield sponsors luncheon held on February 16, where he wished everyone in the new committee the best of luck, and put his faith in Ms Fleay’s knowledge and expertise.

“Kathryn brings a lot of experience and industry background to the role so I think she will do a fantastic job,” he said.

Ms Fleay is the operations and agronomy manager at Living Farm, a private research, development and consulting company which provides agronomic consulting and contract research to Wheatbelt agribusinesses.

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She said she was excited to be the new chair and to carry on with Nuffield Australia WA’s work in supporting producers, their businesses and rural communities.

“I think it will be great to continue on the work that Andrew and the past committee have done . . . I think everyone’s been doing an awesome job and I hope I an continue to maintain that,” Ms Fleay said.

“I’m looking forward to continuing on with the work done with sponsors and growers, and continuing to support and benefit WA and Australian agriculture.”

Ms Fleay, with the support of CSBP Fertilisers, explored post secondary agricultural education options as part of her scholarship research, and looked into how the agriculture industry can attract and support people from non-agricultural backgrounds.

“In 2021, around four thousand one hundred agricultural graduates were needed for agriculture and agribusiness-related roles in Australia. That includes farm managers, agronomists, consultants, and anything you could think of involving agriculture,” she said.

“That’s led me to my topic of focus, which was agriculture education — encouraging and supporting young people into careers in agriculture.”

Nuffield Australia WA outgoing chair Andrew Slade, secretary Paula Pownall, treasurer Rob Bell, deputy chair James Dempster, chair Kathryn Fleay and outgoing treasurer Dylan Hirsch.
Camera IconNuffield Australia WA outgoing chair Andrew Slade, secretary Paula Pownall, treasurer Rob Bell, deputy chair James Dempster, chair Kathryn Fleay and outgoing treasurer Dylan Hirsch. Credit: Olivia Ford

Ms Fleay said she is also looking forward to seeing what new and fresh ideas are brought to the table by the prospective 2025 Nuffield scholars, with the applications opening up in March.

“There’s a lot of exciting opportunities in agriculture at the moment and I’m really excited to see some of the scholars apply and to see the innovation and ideas that come forth with the new applications,” she said.

“We’re in a really good space at the moment with agricultural innovation and tech, and there’s a lot of young people with some fantastic ideas.

“It will be great to see what comes out of the applicant interviews.”

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