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People Research

PEOPLE RESEARCH

Capable and connected people driving the cotton industry.

The success of the Australian cotton industry is driven by its people. Their skills, knowledge, attitudes, innovations, commitment and capacity to adapt are the fundamental and often intangible elements of the industry’s success. Investment in people and the activities that bring them together is critical for long term sustainability, fostering continuous improvement and creating opportunities for innovation. The People program is a key integrating element of the Plan, focusing on Workforce Capacity, Networks and Communication as the three approaches through which the people who drive the Australian cotton industry will be supported.

Theme 4.1 Workforce Capacity

The demand for skilled and capable people in regional Australia is growing as people choose to live in more urban areas and the resources boom creates greater competition for labour. As a regionally based sector, the Australian cotton industry is being affected by labour shortages. The challenge for the industry is two-fold. Firstly, how to continue developing and supporting its current workforce so it continues to be an attractive industry in which to be employed. Secondly, how to develop and attract a future workforce which brings the energy, commitment and innovation that underpins the long term sustainability of the industry.

Theme 4.2 Networks

Over the last five years Australian cotton production has fluctuated dramatically. The industry’s capacity to respond to these rapid and extreme fluctuations is largely attributable to the strength of its people, their networks and the effectiveness of these relationships. Trusted relationships and networks have been the basis for industry innovation, collaboration and effective change and are of critical importance as the industry continues to grow and new people enter the industry. Vital to the industry’s on-going success in a future of increasing complexity and uncertainty are strong and durable networks, both throughout the industry and with other sectors. This theme creates opportunities for these relationships to be developed and continue being supported.

Theme 4.3 Communication

Under this Plan, communication is more than just sending information. It is a two-way process which creates demand for information delivery, is responsive to audience needs, and provides content in a way which is timely, relevant and understandable to target audiences. Consequently, effective, responsive and efficient communication in this Plan is fundamental to supporting the adoption of RD&E and meeting stakeholder's reporting and information needs.

The People research program is managed by CRDC’s R&D Program Manager, Ian Taylor.

A skilled, educated and progressive industry workforce.

The demand for skilled and capable people in regional Australia is growing as people choose to live in more urban areas and the resources boom creates greater competition for labour. As regionally based sector, the Australian cotton industry is being affected by labour shortages. The challenge for the industry is two-fold. Firstly, how to continue developing and supporting its current workforce so it continues to be an attractive industry in which to be employed. Secondly, how to develop and attract a future workforce which brings the energy, commitment and innovation that underpins the long term sustainability of the industry.

We will achieve this by:

  • Investigating effective strategies for attracting, developing and retaining people in the cotton industry.
  • Supporting initiatives which lead to the continuous improvement of human resource management including on-farm Workplace Health and Safety.
  • Understanding opportunities for greater Aboriginal participation in cotton and partnering with organisations to support the development of a culturally aware cotton workforce.
  • Supporting educational opportunities which increase the skills and knowledge of current workforces and will meet the needs of future workforces.
  • Creating opportunities for, and supporting the development of leadership skills.

Measures of Success:

Opportunities for learning are demanded by industry

  • A 10 fold increase in school visits to promote careers in cotton by 2018.
  • A student gap year internship program.
  • 50 horizon students by 2018.
  • 30 completed summer scholarships by 2018.
  • 300 students having completed the UNE Cotton Course by 2018.


Opportunities for workforce development are demanded by industry

  • 60 Ginners trained.
  • 25 Industry representatives having completed the Field to Fabric Course.
  • 50 cotton farmers awarded a new Diploma in Human Resources by 2018.
  • A 10 percent reduction in cotton farm related injuries by 2018.
  • On-farm skill development.
  • Participation in leadership programs. 


The Workforce capacity theme is managed by CRDC’s R&D Program Manager, Ian Taylor. For more information, contact us.

An industry connected by dynamic networks.

Over the last five years Australian cotton production has fluctuated dramatically. The industry’s capacity to respond to these rapid and extreme fluctuations is largely attributable to the strength of its people, their networks and the effectiveness of these relationships. Trusted relationships and networks have been the basis for industry innovation, collaboration and effective change and are of critical importance as the industry continues to grow and new people enter the industry. Vital to the industry’s on-going success in a future of increasing complexity and uncertainty are strong and durable networks, both throughout the industry and with other sectors. This theme creates opportunities for these relationships to be developed and continue being supported.

We will achieve this by:

  • Establishing and empowering creative forums and initiatives which build relationships.
  • Supporting and participating in collaborative cross sectoral RD&E initiatives.
  • Creating and facilitating opportunities for national and international RD&E exchange.
  • Facilitating engagement with stakeholders for prioritising and capturing advice on RD&E issues.
  • Honing research expertise and the application of science from core research disciplines.

Measures of success:

People and industry are connected through effective networks

  • 10 conferences and forums are coordinated which promote industry, cross sectoral and community knowledge sharing.
  • CRDC is an active member of key industry and government initiatives.
  • Primary Industry Standing Committee (PISC) cotton and cross sectoral RD&E strategies.
  • 50 travel scholarships are supported.
  • The cotton industry has effective collaborative structures for prioritising RD&E.


The Networks theme is managed by CRDC’s R&D Program Manager, Ian Taylor. For more information, contact us.

Stakeholder information needs are met.

Under this Plan, communication is more than just sending information. It is a two-way process which creates demand for information delivery, is responsive to audience needs, and provides content in a way which is timely, relevant and understandable to target audiences. Consequently, effective, responsive and efficient communication in this Plan is fundamental to supporting the adoption of RD&E and meeting CRDCs stakeholders reporting and information needs.

We will achieve this by:

  • Providing information for demand driven communication strategies and performance reporting.
  • Applying innovative communication methods. 

Measures of success:

  • People have ready access to industry information.
  • Communication systems for all CRDC stakeholders are meeting their communication needs.
  • The information and services derived from CRDC investments are in demand and the technologies are adopted.


The Communication theme is managed by CRDC’s R&D Program Manager,  Ian Taylor. For more information, contact us.