Earlier this month we held our inaugural Grower focus event at the beautiful Strathalbyn Racecourse. The day brought together growers from across the state to share their thoughts on the priorities of WGCSA for the coming 12 months.
Each of the WGCSA regional councillors were tasked with nominating impressive, influential and forward-thinking growers to attend the event and share their thoughts.
Ashley Ratcliff from Ricca Terra professionally moderated the day, brilliantly facilitating discussions and keeping everyone on track.
It was wonderful to see such genuine engagement from all attendees. I was particularly grateful that everyone was so generous with their time, had read the draft plan and questions sent out prior to the day and came prepared to share thoughts and knowledge, listen to others and collaborate on ideas. Growers also had the opportunity to hear from Toby Bekkers as he shared his Nuffield Scholarship learnings.
The two CEOs of our national advocacy bodies were also invited as guests. Anna Hooper from Australian Vignerons and Tony Battaglene from Winemakers' Federation of Australia attended as observers and gained a clear understanding of contemporary issues of interest and concerns to growers.
Throughout the day many new networks developed whilst others re-connected with past acquaintances. We were all reminded of the immense value in good relationships, effective and honest communications and having a strong workplace culture.
Feedback received has been extremely positive. Growers welcomed the engagement and the opportunity to be involved, many commenting on the need for days like this to be developed further and implemented annually.
Many thanks to all the growers, speakers, observers and council who attended and offered up such insight and honesty. I am so very, very grateful. It was without a doubt my absolute favourite workday since being in this position and one that has given me plenty to think about, investigate and act on.
For Growers who weren’t at this inaugural Grower focus day, there’s still plenty of opportunities to have input, here are some questions I’d love your thoughts on.