Sheep Industry Leadership Program 2022

Building leaders ready for the future.


Are you ready to take your leadership skills to the next level?

Sheep Producers Australia and the Leadersheep Network are pleased to open applications for the 2022 Sheep Industry Leadership Program.

The Sheep Industry Leadership Program will run over six sessions from 8th to 29th of  June 2022, with live sessions delivered via Zoom each week.


Develop your leadership skills and experience

Make connections with other industry leaders

Explore industry policy and strategic thinking

Create your personal leadership development plan

(Applications for this round is already full. But feel free to submit your application for the next round of the program)


8-29 June 2022 (6 Sessions)


LIVE Online

Program Themes

Authentic Leadership

Strategic Thinking and Planning

Sheep Industry Policy

Connecting and Networking in a way that works

     Leadership Pathways and Progress

      Here’s What You Get At This Powerful Program

      Authentic Leadership

      • Develop your skills in leadership of self and others.
      • Understand what drives and influences your decision making
      • How values and beliefs are driving actions and behaviour’s.

      Strategic Thinking and Planning

      • Defining the Purpose
      • The What, Where, Who, How and When
      • Strategic planning and action planning 

      Sheep Industry Policy

      • Behind the scenes at SPA
      • Decision making processes in the sheep industry
      • Current industry priorities

      Connecting and Networking in a way that works

      • Building depth and breadth of connections
      • What’s the difference between networking and connecting?
      • How genuine authentic connection can help drive outcomes

      Leadership Pathways and Progress

      • Helping you get clear on who you are,
      • What you want toBE and HAVE, and
      • What you need toDO to work toward making that a reality.


      Who Is This Program For?

      If you are passion for the sheep industry, have industry experience and are seeking to enhance your leadership skills, this is the professional development program for you.

       If you are…

      • Passionate about the sheep industry?
      • Want to take the next steps in your career, business or industry?
      • Want to become a better leader?
      • Curious to learn more about yourself?

      … this program is for you.


      This program will help you:

      • Develop your leadership skills and experience
      • Explore sheep industry leadership priorities
      • Make connections with other industry leaders
      • Strengthen your career, business, or sheep industry leadership role.

      Applicants must be:

      • Australian sheep producers or people working in the sheep industry.
      • Able to demonstrate at least five years’ experience in the sheep or agricultural industry
      • Ready to take the next step in a developing your leadership skills

      Scholarship Requirements:

      • Able to commit to attend each session of the course.
      • Selected applicants will be required to submit a summary of what they learned from the course and how they plan to implement the learnings.

      (Applications for this round is already full. But feel free to submit your application for the next round of the program)

      Meet Your Trainers

      The program will give you exposure to a range of experienced deliverers with years of experience in providing training programs in rural leadership and the agriculture sector.

      Nathan Carkeek

      Minds on Purpose

      Nathan is a coach, connector, author and artist.

      He spent much of his professional career leading and developing people and teams across Agribusiness and Banking sectors. He spent 17 years with ANZ, 10 of those leading large geographically spread business and agribusiness teams.

      In early 2020 after a 2 year string of health issues, Nathan left banking and focused on his health and connecting back to his passions, before co-founding Minds on Purpose in late 2020, a business passionate about helping people authentically navigate and take ownership of their life, careers and wellness.

      His path has seen him become incredibly aware of the effects of stress and anxiety and the importance of drilling down and focusing on the things that are REALLY important in life. Living and working more authentically aligned, Nathan released his first book “words of light to awaken the silent soul” in 2020 and his artwork has been featured as part of the 2021 shepparton festival.

      Matt Gaffney


      Prior to establishing Enindico in 2010, Matt had over 20 years of international professional services firm experience working with high-achieving colleagues, clients and other advisers. Most recently, this was with EY (including five years as a Partner in the Transaction Advisory Services division) and, early in his career, in the Business Services team of Price Waterhouse (a predecessor firm to PwC). Matt was a Commercial Manager in industry between those roles with EY and Price Waterhouse.

      Given Matt’s earlier career focus on business advisory, then commercial and corporate finance roles, his initial qualifications were a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Melbourne and then a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia.

      Matt has also completed the Future Focus Group Business Leadership Program of Committee for Melbourne – a Program that Matt now leads as part of the Enindico portfolio. Matt also undertook the Authentic Conversations Development Coaching Program of EY in 2009. He was an Associate of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand for 25 years until retiring that membership in 2017.

      Matt has had structured community roles since 2003. Currently, he is one of two formal Ambassadors for Fitted for Work (see the ‘Giving back’ page) as part of his community to gender equality and real inclusion. Past roles have included being a Director of Fitted for Work and a member of the Finance and Human Resources Committee of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. Matt was also Co-Founder of the Chances Melbourne Tertiary Mentoring Program established in 2006 for Chances for Children of Mildura, and Melbourne-based Patron of annual Programs between 2006 and 2015.

      Bonnie Skinner


      Bonnie joined SPA as Product Integrity Policy Manager in July 2018.

      She previously worked as Manager of Biosecurity & Extension for the Livestock Biosecurity Network (LBN) in NSW, encouraging red meat producers and supply chain participants to understand their role in disease surveillance and management of endemic diseases and promoting on-farm practices that support food safety and traceability.

      Prior to joining LBN, Bonnie worked at Animal Health Australia coordinating delivery of several national livestock surveillance programs and projects such as the National Animal Health Information System and the National Arbovirus Monitoring Program. Her background also includes time working as a Territory Manager for Jurox, as a large animal Research Assistant, and Office Manager of a thoroughbred breeding property.

      Bonnie holds a Bachelor of Equine Science, Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons 1) and a Graduate Certificate in Agriculture majoring in agricultural consulting.

      Bonnie was appointed as CEO in March 2022.

      Melissa Neal


      Melissa coordinates leadership training and development for the sheep industry through her role as Industry Leadership Manager at SPA.

      She has launched the SPA Leadersheep Network to accelerate the development of current and future leaders to ensure strong leadership for the long-term success of the Australian sheep industry. Melissa also works closely with SPA staff, board and policy committees to provide opportunities to enhance the leadership capability of the organisation.

      Melissa is an experienced agribusiness and community development professional, having delivered training and events for over 15 years. Before joining SPA in April 2018, her main projects were in leadership, community development and engagement, as well as ag-finance and agricultural research, development and adoption.

      She began her career as a Red Meat Industry Development Officer at the Department of Primary Industries in Bendigo, Victoria, delivering educational activities to producers and supply chains in the southern beef and sheep industries. She also led state and national development projects to improve productivity, profitability and quality for the red meat industry and consumers.

      Melissa is inspired to influence and empower rural and regional leaders through challenging people to grow and develop themselves, their community and their business.


      Program Investment

      Sheep Producers Australia and Meat & Livestock Australia are proud to offer this full scholarship opportunity to build leadership capability for the sheep industry. 

      What is the agenda for the program?

      The Sheep Industry Leadership Program will run over six sessions from 8th to 29th of  June 2022, with live sessions delivered via Zoom each week.

      Date Program Speaker Time (AEST) Program  Speaker Time (AEST)
      8 June 2022 (Wed) Introduction and Sheep Industry Policy Melissa Neal; Bonnie Skinner 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
      15 June 2022 (Wed)

      Authentic Leadership

      (Part 1)

      Nathan Carkeek 9:00 AM – 12:00 NN

      Authentic Leadership

      (Part 2)

      Nathan Carkeek 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
      22 June 2022 (Wed) Connecting and Networking Energetically Matt Gaffney 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Strategic Thinking and Planning  Matt Gaffney 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
      29 June 2022 (Wed)

      Leadership Pathways and Next Steps 

      Nathan Carkeek 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM    


      The program will cover topics such as:

      1. Authentic Leadership
      2. Strategic Thinking and Planning
      3. Sheep Industry Policy
      4. Connecting and Networking Energetically
      5. Leadership Pathways and Next Steps

      A complete agenda will be confirmed with successful applicants.

      There is also the opportunity to undertake a mentoring program for 6 months with mentors in the agricultural industry.

      Program Outcomes

      • Lead with confidence and humility
      • Understand and leverage your leadership strengths
      • Identify and overcome your own barriers to change
      • Have greater self-awareness and resilience
      • Raise your own and your team’s performance
      • Build positive and effective relationships
      • Leverage your new strategic leadership network
      • Create your personal leadership development plan

      For More Information, contact:

      Melissa Neal

      Industry Leadership Manager

      Sheep Producers Australia

      T +61 437 846 605

      E [email protected]

      The content you learn in this program has helped leaders, businesses, and producers, so why not you?
      The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get results.

      © 2022 Sheep Producers Australia