Building industry capability

SPA’s focus is on building industry leadership capability by upskilling our industry groups and leaders throughout the supply chain. SPA operates a range of programs and ensures participants remain engaged in the organisation’s activities through the Leadersheep Network.


Building industry leadership capacity is a priority in the Sheep Industry Strategic Plan 2020 and SPA has a suite of activities to achieve the industry’s goals.


SPA’s objective is to develop sheep producers’ capacity in the areas of industry leadership and governance.


The long-term success of the sheep industry will depend on the skills of people that work along the supply chain.

Since 2016, Sheep Producers Australia’s focus has been to build leadership capability in the sheep industry. It is working with Meat & Livestock Australia on a joint leadership project, Building leadership capability for the sheep industry. The project will ensure the Australian sheep industry attracts, develops and retains people with the right leadership skills to contribute to the long-term viability of the industry.

In October 2017, SPA was successful in its bid to the Australian Government’s Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund. SPA’s application to the fund included development of an alumni designed to provide information, opportunities and leadership development through innovative platforms.

Building industry leadership capacity is a priority in the Sheep Industry Strategic Plan 2020. SPA’s supporting activities include:
  • Identifying young sheepmeat industry ambassadors to engage them with SPA and its activities.
  • Developing sheep producers’ capacity in the areas of industry leadership and corporate governance.
  • Mentoring and developing leaders to ensure succession planning for SPA and high level support for the industry.
  • Delivering the Sheepmeat Industry Leadership Program through the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.
  • Coordinating an industry-wide alumni to link all leadership program participants.
SPA operates a range of programs for sheep industry personnel including:
  • Sheep Industry Leadership Program. SPA wants to champion leaders in the industry and upskill them to take on greater roles in the future. The Sheep Industry Leadership Program is being delivered by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF) and features two intakes – in 2017 and 2018. Through involvement with SPA, participants will develop a greater understanding of leadership roles and responsibilities in the industry and the value of collaborations, advocacy and effective negotiation. Find more information at
  • Sheep Industry Governance Scholarship. Part of the ‘Building leadership capability for the sheep industry initiative’ is to develop sheep producers’ capacity in the area of corporate governance. To do this, SPA and MLA offer sheep producers an opportunity to complete the Company Directors Course, run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Find more information at
  • Sheep Industry Ambassador Award. The Sheep Industry Ambassador Award acknowledges the contributions of outstanding young sheep producers and their potential as future industry leaders. Ambassadors are required to work with SPA in the role for a two-year period. The award includes all-expenses paid domestic and international travel opportunities as well as a comprehensive professional development program and exposure to leading industry influencers. Find more information at
  • stockTAKE Photography Competition. The aim of the stockTAKE Photography Competition is to encourage sheep producers and industry supporters to get their cameras or smart phones out in the yards, paddocks or workplaces to capture the Australian sheep industry in action. There are three categories: Junior (photographer aged 5-17), Open (photographer aged 18 and over), and the People’s Choice Award. The People’s Choice Award will be voted on by delegates at LambEx 2018 in Perth WA. Find more information at 
  • The SPA Leadersheep Network. To ensure a strong future, SPA is investing in the development of its current and future leaders, building the capability, capacity and confidence of the industry. The Sheep Producers Australia Leadersheep Network aims to connect sheep producers and people working in the industry who share a common goal in seeing the industry grow and succeed. Find more information at

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