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Victoria Taylor
Canberra, Australia
Providing communications, positioning and policy advice to clients involved in primary industries, science and natural resource management.
Recent Activity
Richard Stanton 1965 - 2015 Richard Stanton, the National Secretary of Australian Forestry Standard Ltd, died in a tragic accident just over a week ago. I didn’t know Richard long. I met him in 2012 and had been providing him with ad hoc communications services since 2013. So how do... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2015 at FlourishFiles
I've already blogged about what I think agriculture can learn from Coca-Cola. But what other lessons can we learn from US brands? Let me share some more ideas picked up at Ragan Communication's Social Media for Corporate Communications and Public Relations Conference, in Florida earlier this month. Celebrate diversity –... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2014 at FlourishFiles
When you visit the Coca-Cola (US) website, you don’t get an ordinary, company website. Instead you find yourself at Coke “Journey” which looks and feels like a lifestyle magazine. And that’s the point. This is no bland, corporate site. This is brand journalism. Coca-Cola is a 120 year old company... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2014 at FlourishFiles
Today I attended an Australian Farm Institute (AFI) seminar to hear the results of their research underpinning the report “Opportunities to Improve the Effectiveness of Australian Farmers’ Advocacy Groups – a Comparative Approach.” The central theme was that unless farmer advocacy groups change, they will die. This conclusion won’t surprise... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at FlourishFiles
While the number of farmers using social media has been steadily increasing over the last few years, I think last year was when their collective voice started to have an impact. Many farmers tell me that Twitter, in particular; Enables them to communicate with farmers in other parts of the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2014 at FlourishFiles
Some have said that since Craig Knowles was appointed Chairman of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), there has been a subtle shift in the way they do business. He presented a strident case for that himself at a talk given at the University of Canberra, at the invitation of MDBFutures.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2013 at FlourishFiles
When thinking about how to build audiences and engage consumers, what better sector to study than the Arts? They live or die based on community buy-in to their products. They’re often maligned when seeking government assistance and the community has strong ideas about how “art” should be made, even with... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2013 at FlourishFiles
In politics there’s a saying: “every generation is up for grabs.” While some adults may write young people off as "radicals" or "immature," smart political parties know that by winning the hearts and minds of young people they can create strong brand loyalty, which may last for decades. Of course,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2013 at FlourishFiles
When I joined the Ricegrowers' Association of Australia (RGA) in 2005, the decision had already been taken to stop attending the Sydney Royal Easter Show. This was a budget decision mostly, as the drought was starting to bite and priorities (and funds) were reallocated to maintaining the industry's base. It... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2013 at FlourishFiles
You’ve been feeling crook for two days…. At least, you think it’s been two days.The waves of nausea, smacking headaches and crazy hallucinations followed by long periods of semi-consciousness mean it could have been longer. You’re not feeling any better, in fact if anything, you’re feeling worse. Maybe, you’re thinking,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2013 at FlourishFiles
You're very welcome, glad you found it useful!
The highlight of my week (so far!) has been attending a presentation by REAL Twitter employees – complete with American accents – here in Canberra. It was part of a series of Gov 2.0 events facilitated by Pia Waugh (@PiaWaugh) from AGIMO and held at the swanky new DEEWR offices... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2013 at FlourishFiles
I'm so glad you found this post helpful. Enjoy your adventures in leadership!
Today I attended the first day of National Rural Women’s Coalition Conference at the National Convention Centre in Canberra. Me (L) with Viv Thomson, a finalist in the NSW RIRDC Rural Women's Award 2013 catching up before Conference (photo: Georgie Somerset) Approximately 400 women, from all over Australia gathered to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2013 at FlourishFiles
I had the pleasure of running a session for a selection of Art4Agriculture Young Farming Champions and Young Eco Champions this week. Art4Agriculture does an amazing job of training young people in the agricultural and natural resource management sectors to speak and engage with confidence, particularly with urban audiences. I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2013 at FlourishFiles
This week I got along to the NFF's Congress in Canberra where around 300 delegates were discussing the Food and Fibre Boom - what is it? And how can Australia grab a piece of the action? The day started with welcomes from NFF President Jock Laurie, Ngambri elder Shane Mortimer,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2012 at FlourishFiles
The Prime Minister kicked off day two of the NFF Congress, immediately followed by the Leader of the Opposition. Was this a highlight? Well, political speeches don't excite me too much these days. (If you're interested, you can read the speeches here and here). But it was great to see... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2012 at FlourishFiles
Thank you Clayton! My life is so full of colour, movement and chatter I was definitely looking for an office that would allow my mind to be at peace...that said, I do have a small red lacquer table in the office now, which maybe adds some life to the space.
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2012 on New Year - New Office at FlourishFiles
Nothing makes people run for the hills faster than an invitation to a strategic planning workshop. Why do we hate strategic planning? Probably because we hate time-wasting meetings, right? And what is strategic planning but a time wasting, mega meeting, right? Wrong! Strategic planning is only a waste of time... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2012 at FlourishFiles
Gillian Kirkup (photo from SunRice Annual Report) As an 18-year-old computer programmer at Ricegrowers’ Cooperative in Leeton, Gillian Kirkup received a valuable piece of advice. The only female in a team of 13, it was the tea lady who told her “always be yourself; don’t try to be one of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2012 at FlourishFiles
Thank you for your comment Madeleine. You will see I've tweeted a quote from it as I thought it was so powerful and perfectly, in one sentence, articulated the core of the issue! We can't grow as a sector unless we engage students with the exciting and diverse opportunities that exist for AgSci graduates. If we don't, then we can't complain when young people choose to study something else for fear of the issues you raise.
Toggle Commented Jun 4, 2012 on What do young people want? at FlourishFiles
Thank you for commenting on my post Russell. What an important point you make about the role of students in research! I think as industry we tend to focus on the agricultural careers / food producer shortages, but we won't have an industry without the innovation our research sector delivers. I know many researchers are concerned about the low number of post-graduate students coming through in agriculture and related sciences as a large chunk of agricultural scientists cruise towards retirement. But the issue you raise about students doing the hands-on research NOW that industry needs I think is a risk we have overlooked in our quest to attract young people to our sector. I agree with the three points you make in determining how we could better engage industry with students. To be honest I have only had about 2 industry representatives (out of about 50 I've contacted) say they are too busy to engage with students. So that is really heartening! The issue as you say is not adding another layer of engagement for either party as a barrier to participation. This can be tricky, because many students I meet are reticent about making connections and then worry about "bothering" the industry people too much with their questions. Where we have a formal process for engagement, they feel empowered to make contact. This process also means the industry representative can plan their participation as well. In other words, they know a student is ringing in two weeks so they can put it in their diary. They know a student is coming this summer for 2 weeks so they have a few months to think about a work plan / itinerary. This helps them manage their time commitment, although I concede it is still a time commitment! I also think that many employers recognise the problem, but don't always know how to address their own shortages. It is a fairly long-term investment of time (and resources) to get involved when their potential future workforce is still at university. And of course, those companies that do take on university students in internships or for work experience cannot be guaranteed they will seek employment with them when they graduate. So the return on investment is not always considered worth it. Although, as you say there are benefits of having young people around your business, not just for the extra pair of hands during peak times. One business owner I know says it keeps him on his toes because he is constantly having to explain why he does things a certain way which forces him to think about his business practices in a whole new light. I think there are already many industry professionals out there who are "making it happen" in their own way, mostly through family or alumni connections in my experience. It just makes me cringe when I hear commentators say we need more AgSci scholarships, because that is only part of the story, in my opinion... Thanks so much for commenting on my post, it was great to hear from you!
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2012 on What do young people want? at FlourishFiles
Thank you for your comment Lisa. A few initiatives have been brought to my attention lately that encourage the linking of students and industry in a semi-relaxed atmosphere. They tend to be alumni association events, but even then I noticed that the student places were full but tickets were still available to industry representatives. Everyone is busy, I know. Even the students are busy and to be honest not all of the students I know who are given an opportunity to meet with industry professionals take up the offer regularly. Students not having an understanding of career paths is not an issue particular to agriculture, it's just we in agriculture are always linking graduate numbers to the future success of our sector, which always makes me roll my eyes a little when I see the realities of low engagement everyday. As for those students interested in promoting agriculture to urban communities, I tend to put them straight in touch with Art4Agriculture and I'm pleased to see a few of them on the list of school visitors this year! But I think they'd be a great resource for State Farming Organisations or other industry associations to utilise when doing education programs. I absolutely agree that there is a role for current Ag Sci students in inspiring and mentoring high school students with an interest in agriculture. I know a few students visit their old schools to speak about their studies/career. But I'd love to see an environment where older and younger students form links that will last long into their careers. And as you'd appreciate, the mentors get as much out of these partnerships as the mentees! Have you had any luck finding students at your local university to assist your students? I'm not sure where your school is located, but feel free to email me on [email protected] and I can think about whether I know anyone appropriate to assist. Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment on my post!
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2012 on What do young people want? at FlourishFiles
Thank you for your comments Eve! I agree that Shows, while about showcasing agriculture, in the end are all about the people. And what great people we have in our sector. I have put the Hurlstone Fair in my diary and will do my best to get there. It's a great school.
Toggle Commented May 1, 2012 on Sydney Royal Easter Show at FlourishFiles
I’m falling in love with agricultural shows all over again. A mainstay of my youth, where frantic weeks were spent in the lead up to the Perth Royal Show doing additional chores to earn money for showbags; I lost interest in my 20s. Then, working in agriculture meant I spent... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2012 at FlourishFiles