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Agriculture workforce assistance

The Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network (QAWN) has dedicated officers who provide advice on workforce services and initiatives to all Queensland agribusinesses, regardless of commodity or organisation membership.

This is a free service available to agribusinesses with operations in Queensland.

These services and initiatives include:

  • workforce planning advice
  • sourcing labour and skilled workers
  • recruitment
  • induction requirements
  • funded training opportunities.

Agriculture workforce officers have links with employment and training service providers across Queensland. They can help agribusinesses understand available options and strategies to identify and meet future workforce needs.

There are currently 7 agriculture workforce officers in Queensland. Learn more about the officer for your region and see how to contact them.

Far North Queensland

Leanne Kruss
Email: leannefnqagriculture@gmail.com
Phone: 0431 743 633

Leanne covers the Cassowary Coast to the Northern Peninsula area and west to the Mount Isa region (see map). The area is rich and diverse, capturing most commodities including:

  • livestock
  • horticulture
  • aquaculture
  • sugar
  • broadacre.

Leanne has extensive agribusiness skills and facilitates development opportunities for rural areas to be competitive, responsive and focused on sustainable growth. She is passionate about innovative workforce development and supporting the next generation of leaders.

North Queensland

Julia Wheway
Email: workforce@bowengumlugrowers.com.au
Phone: 0427 009 929

The region that Julia covers as an agriculture workforce officer, is the area from Proserpine—taking in the large fruit and vegetable production area in Bowen—up to Ingham and out west to Cloncurry (see map).

Julia is hosted by the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association, which represents a large number of horticultural producers, with a yearly production value of $500 million.

Julia's work focuses on assisting growers to navigate the workforce, employment, and training space, and to enable agribusinesses to make informed decisions about their business strategies.

Central Queensland

Lorelle Stables
Email: lorelle_stables@canegrowers.com.au
Phone: 0423 370 368

Lorelle covers the Central Queensland region, which spans from Proserpine to Rockhampton (see map). Central Queensland is a food bowl with produce such as:

  • pineapples
  • macadamias
  • sugar cane
  • citrus
  • cattle
  • prawns.

Lorelle's biggest project is getting agriculture training back into schools after the closure of the agricultural colleges in 2019. Lorelle is working with industry to ensure courses, that suit the needs of the industry, are being designed and delivered.

Central Highlands and Central West

Isabella Fanning
Email: isabella@chrrup.org.au
Phone: 07 4982 2996

Isabella covers the Central Highlands region, which spans from Emerald through the central west to the Queensland/Northern Territory border (see map).

Isabella seeks to further drive industry growth and rural jobs within the local community by providing advice and guidance on workforce attraction, recruitment, and development.

Wide Bay Burnett

Kylie Jackson
Email: kylie.jackson@bfvg.com.au
Phone: 0488 533 801

Kylie covers the area from Gladstone to Gympie and west to the Banana Shire (see map).

Kylie has a background in career development and training, and has strong connections with training organisations and jobseeker providers, the Office of Industrial Relations, and the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Kylie is passionate about educating the local workforce about agricultural career opportunities and working one-on-one with businesses to address their workforce needs.

Southern Queensland

Blair Brown
Email: brown@growcom.com.au
Phone: 0456 639 098

Blair covers the southern Queensland region of the Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley west to Bulloo and Quilpie (see map).

Blair has years of senior management experience in workforce operations and vocational education and training. Blair is determined to work with agribusiness to create sustainable workforce strategies to gear them for a connected, agile and reliable future.

Blair is employed by Growcom, Queensland's peak horticulture industry body, and works with all agriculture industries, including, feedlots, poultry, pork production.

South East Queensland

Craig Dillon
Email: cdillon@growcom.com.au
Phone: 0499 833 868

Craig covers the area from Noosa to the Gold Coast and west to Ipswich and Kilcoy (see map). This area has many strawberry and pineapple farms, as well as a variety of other fruit and vegetable farms.

Craig works closely with growers and training providers to ensure local workers have the right training options to secure long-term work in the horticulture industry.

Craig is employed by Growcom, Queensland's peak horticulture industry body, but works with all agriculture industries.

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