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Australia’s Future Cotton Leaders announced (29 May 2018)

Cotton Australia today announced the 16 successful applicants who will participate in the 2018 Australian Future Cotton Leaders program.

The program, now in its sixth year and conducted in partnership with CRDC, identifies potential industry leaders and provides them with the necessary skills for future success.

Participants were selected by an industry panel, including graduates from past Australian Future Cotton Leaders Programs.

2018 program participants:

  • Greg Anthony, Baulkham Hills, NSW
  • Nicholas Beer, Spring Ridge, NSW
  • Dean Brookes, St Lucia, QLD
  • Georgia Brown, Boomi, NSW
  • Murray Connor, Moree, NSW
  • Alexandra Dalton, Trangie, NSW
  • Lachlan Danckert, Deniliquin, NSW
  • Andrew French, Theodore, QLD
  • Nathan Hamblin, Narrabri, NSW
  • Tristram Hertslet, Talwood, QLD
  • Sharna Holman, Emerald, QLD 
  • Rebecca Longworth, Mungindi, NSW
  • Fiona Norrie, Moree, NSW
  • Ngaire Roughley, Wee Waa, NSW
  • Jack Sharp, Couradda, NSW
  • Sam Simons, Gunnedah, NSW


During 2018, the Future Cotton Leaders program participants will undertake leadership training, meet with industry leaders and will be mentored by already-established and well-recognised cotton industry figures. Additionally, the participants will develop and implement a small leadership project which mutually benefits both the individual and the cotton industry.

Future Cotton Leaders program Director, Paul Sloman, says the selection committee spent up to 30 hours deciding on the final 16 participants. The final list of participants was drawn from an unprecedented number of high-quality applications, which were received from all sections of the cotton supply chain. 

“The high level of continued interest in the Future Cotton Leaders program demonstrates the value this level of training can provide to people who have chosen to make cotton their career, as they move towards leadership positions,” Mr Sloman says.

Cotton Australia CEO, Adam Kay, says thanks to the program, the 16 Future Leaders will have a tremendous opportunity to develop their leadership skills and directly contribute to industry decision making.

“This program is exceptionally valuable in bolstering the leadership ranks of Australia’s cotton industry,” Mr Kay says.

“For the participants, this is a unique opportunity to grow as people, and to develop innovative ideas which will continue driving our industry towards an even stronger future.”

CRDC Executive Director, Bruce Finney, says the Future Cotton Leaders program is one of a number of leadership and development programs available within cotton, demonstrating the commitment of the industry to developing its people.

“We recognise that people are our most important resource, which is why we as an industry invest so heavily in programs to help upskill and develop our people, and why we at CRDC have an investment program specifically around building adaptive capacity,” Mr Finney says.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with Cotton Australia in the Future Cotton Leaders program, ensuring that as an industry we have a strong cohort of innovative emerging leaders.”

Pictured: 2018 Future Cotton Leader and CottonInfo technical lead, Sharna Holman.