“I have just seen myself as ‘in agriculture’. Both men and women have empowered me to be part of the industry”. 

Amelia Nolan describes herself as a farmer/shearer’s daughter. She hails from Victoria and now calls WA home for the time being. Studying an Agricultural Science degree, Amelia, also warmly known as Milly, has utilised her people skills and networking as a direct link for her to head up the Program Manager role at The Livestock Collective. Stating that she is hugely passionate about agriculture, particularly livestock, and showcasing all the industry and regional Australia has to offer. “I have lived in many regional areas all over Australia and across many agricultural supply chains, which are experiences I truly value”. 

For those who may not be aware, The Livestock Collective is a non for profit organisation dedicated to growing public awareness and acceptance of livestock industries, with a particular focus on the live export industry. Their vision is for everyone to have a shared understanding and connection to agriculture. Born from a crisis, the collective has grown public trust in arguably one of agriculture’s most challenging topics: live export. Now expanding to the whole supply chain encompassing across livestock industries and the voice that fills the void of information. 

Milly’s role as the Program Manager is to oversee their national Livestock Leaders Program, which focuses on the cohesion of the supply chain participants by giving agriculture the confidence, skills and support network to talk about our industry. Her job also includes conducting stakeholder engagement and securing support in the form of partners, sponsors and their Subscription base. Milly has also been able to develop her role to become a public speaker and facilitator in agriculture, having spoken on both national and international platforms, including Global Sheep Forum & BeefUp (Broome).

Being a RRR woman is in the blood for Milly, admitting “I don’t seem to cope well in the city,” stating that regional communities are very special to her. “I have seen parts of regional Australia at their best after bumper seasons, and I have seen it at the worst, after bushfires and several years of drought.” As well as being in the blood, it is the bonds of mateship that have cemented Milly’s regional heart. “I am pretty proud to have mates all over the countryside doing incredible things, from a young woman managing 16,000 breeding ewes to those setting sail on live export vessels to look after livestock, delivering high-quality protein to people overseas.” Milly is exceptionally proud of how diverse regional Australia has grown to be, and enforcing mateship is a signature part of being an Australian, particularly in rural Australia.

On the back of the pandemic, there were a lot of lessons and flexible moments for Milly. “I am naturally a pretty optimistic person, and it almost suited my personality to have obstacles such as COVID-19 restrictions thrown at me consistently.” Noting that Milly is open to thinking on her feet to find solutions and make it work. One positive that came out of the pandemic for The Livestock Collective was expanding the Livestock Leaders Program from WA to the rest of Australia.

It is an exciting time in Agriculture, which Milly highlights—hoping for increased transparency and improved communication within our supply chains and the broader community. Milly also says, “I hope that women continue to be the integral parts of businesses across regional Australia as they have always been, but the tide has turned, and we are now being recognised.”. 

Being a woman in Agriculture is something Milly has never really seen herself. “I have just seen myself as ‘in agriculture’. Both men and women have empowered me to be part of the industry”. Milly believes that we have progressed to the stage where we no longer say that women are finding their feet in agriculture – we are here and making an impact. “I think the conversation should be – what can we achieve together? And how do we forge a compelling future for agriculture, not only for the people in the industry but also the receivers of our products?” Milly says to any women considering a career in agriculture to back themselves in and surround themselves with networks who value-add to you and their goals—stating that we are so lucky to be so connected these days that no opportunity is too far away.