Course 26 of the ARLP has kicked off, and the cotton industry is supporting two candidates, Chantal Corish and Rod Gordon.
Chantal is a cotton farmer near Goondiwindi in Queensland, where she also runs a coaching business that focuses on the wellness of employees and community groups in rural Australia.
“Getting into the program was something I really wanted to achieve as I think it has a very good reputation for being the foremost leadership program for rural and regional Australia,” she said.
“I feel so fortunate to have the support and am taking every opportunity the ARLP is offering to hone my understanding of what it is to be a leader; and what ‘making a difference’ actually looks like.
Being a psychologist and a cotton farmer, Chantal see this as a prime opportunity to bridge knowledge gaps between farmer mental health and her profession.
“The ARLP program will help to ensure that the path I take is effective, in that from what I have experienced so far, the program is designed to promote self-discipline, provide pertinent networking opportunities, and enable the ‘shoulders to stand on’ to give me a broader perspective of the industries and government structures in which I am working.”
Chantal already runs a women’s wellbeing and mindfulness program called Flourish in her region, and has just launched a similar project for men – The Man Box Challenge – which is designed to help men and their partners understand the pressures put on them by male stereotyping and the effect this has on their mental health and suicidality, particularly in times of drought.
“I’m also having lots of fun with couples when delivering the Love in the Age of Drought topic of these workshops, which I hope will help rural couples sustain their relationships through the hardship of drought.”
Chantal is supported by CRDC, Auscott Limited, Cotton Australia and Prime Super.
Rod brings very broad experience in many sectors of the cotton industry to his ARLP scholarship.
He has recently taken on a role as Central Regional Manager at Hancock Farmland Services’ irrigated cotton and broadacre investments. For the past 15 years Rod has worked in research, extension and management roles in cotton and broadacre cropping, largely based in the Gwydir Valley around Moree in North West NSW.
“My passion is in delivering outstanding service and striving to continuously achieve benchmarks,” he said.
“I always aim to identify and diagnose root cause issues, and develop and implement creative solutions that generate efficiencies and drive performance improvement.
“In any industry or business, customer service focus and strong stakeholder engagement and relationship management skills are key and I like to work collaboratively with others to achieve business objectives.”
Passionate and dedicated, Rod thrives in a competitive and challenging environment that requires critical reasoning, strategic planning and an outcome focus.
“I’d define success as finding a way to create value in every interaction with customers, staff and key stakeholders.”
Rod is a passionate and driven agribusiness professional with a strong research background, holding a Bachelor of Applied Science in Crops and Rangelands and a Masters of Business Administration and Marketing. He’s a qualified USDA cotton classer and a graduate of the ACSA International Cotton School.
“I’m passionate about developing effective and lasting relationships between farm managers and key stakeholders throughout the production process,” he said.
“I’m thankful and honoured to be supported by Hancock Farmland Services Australia and Hancock Natural Resource Group to participate in the program, and my industry sponsors CRDC, Cotton Australia and Auscott Limited.”