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.

Leanne Kruss
Phone: 0431 743 633

Leanne covers the Cassowary Coast to the Northern Peninsula area and west to the Mount Isa region (view 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.

Julia Wheway
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 (view 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.

Peter Albertson
Phone: 0457 201 927

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

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

Peter is hosted by CANEGROWERS Mackay, which represents a large number of cane growers in the region. His goals are to identify and reduce current and future labour shortages across the agricultural industries. Peter has experience in conducting and managing research projects in forestry, macadamia, sugar cane and the biofuel industries.

Meg McCosker
Phone: 0419 137 998

Meg McCosker is the Queensland Agriculture Workforce Officer based at CHRRUP Limited in Emerald where she works to support the agricultural industry and rural job growth across the Central Highlands and Central West regions (view map).

Meg was born and raised in Emerald and continues to be involved with her family on a mixed cropping and livestock operation east of town. Upon graduating high school, Meg went on to complete her Bachelor of Agriculture (majoring in Crop Science and Agribusiness) at CQUniversity. Prior to the Agriculture Workforce role Meg was an agronomist working across the Central Highlands region.

Meg looks forward to working closely with industry bodies and producers from around Central Highlands and the Central West by providing agribusinesses with advice and guidance on workforce attraction, recruitment and development.

Kylie Jackson
Phone: 0488 533 801

Kylie covers the area from Gladstone to Gympie and west to the Banana Shire (view 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.

Kym Wessling
Phone: 0499 833 868

Kym covers the Southern Queensland region of the Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley west to Bulloo and Quilpie (view map).

Kym has extensive experience in agricultural and horticulture vocational education and training and workforce development initiatives which she honed while working in senior management positions within the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges. Kym is passionate about working with employers, employees, schools, training providers, government agencies and job service agencies to form connections that will assist in building a strong workforce for the future of the agricultural sector.

Kym is hosted by Growcom, Queensland's peak horticulture industry body and works with  all agriculture industries, including, feedlots, poultry and pork production as well as horticulture

Blair Brown
Phone: 0456 639 098

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

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.

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