WA Young Achiever Awards Agriculture Award finalist Guy Coleman believes Australia’s agriculture industry is desperate for new students and graduates, and would encourage an improved connection and better understanding between consumers and producers to support this goal.
Originally hailing from New South Wales, Guy (23) from Mosman Park said his most significant contribution to the agricultural community, in addition to his volunteering and workplace experience plus tertiary studies and thesis, was the establishment of AgriEducate – an agricultural educational platform.
“The driving desire was to target the ever growing gap between the urban consumer and producers predominantly located beyond the reach of most Australians,” he said.
“The program benefits not only consumers, in improving their understanding of food and perhaps improving choices at the supermarket but farmers and the interactions between urban and agricultural people.
“Whilst in its early days, the vision is to reduce the divisiveness of issues such as live export, organic agriculture, or GMOs that has stemmed from a severe disconnect between urban and rural Australians.
“The us-versus-them mentality from both sides would do well with an improved connection and better understanding of each others’ viewpoints.
“I hope to continue growing AgriEducate, encouraging more students to see the light and the incredible opportunities awaiting them within the industry.”
Choosing to pursue a career in agriculture over an assured place in medicine, Guy said it was a significant decision but was also the right choice.
“Seeing the inherent surprise and incredulity that people display at the decision reinforced in my mind the need to change the stereotype surrounding the agricultural industry and really show the job diversity and importance,” he said.
Since choosing his path into agriculture, Guy has received five agricultural awards from UWA including the Royal Society of WA Student Medal, first-class Honours from the University of Sydney, and was one of the first Rhodes Scholarship finalists to be selected with an agricultural ambition.
The achievements of Guy and the remaining three individuals will be acknowledged at the presentation dinner on Friday 12 May, with the category winner to be announced that night.
One of the eight category winners will then be selected as the Western Australian Young Achiever of the Year and will win an additional $2,000 and a state trophy.
Tickets to the presentation dinner in the Golden Ballroom at the Pan Pacific Perth are available here, and must be purchased by 28 April.