Bridging the country-city divide

30 Jan, 2016 11:30 PM

BRIDGING the gap between agriculture and business in the city is high on the agenda, as AgConnectWA and Perth Young Professionals (PerthYP) have announced they will team up to deliver a 'Rural Roots to City Suits' event for young professionals in WA.

In a bid to bridge the gap, the two not-for-profit groups announced the launch of the joint event at last night's annual AgConnectWA Swan River Cruise in front of a crowd of more than 150 people.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder will feature as the keynote speaker for the 'Rural Roots to City Suits' event, on March, 31 in Perth.

Mr Goyder has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UWA and has completed the advanced management program at the Harvard Business School in 1998.

He joined Wesfarmers in 1993 after working in various commercial roles at Tubemakers of Australia Limited.

He has held a number of commercial positions in Wesfarmers' Business Development Department including general manager.

In 1999 Richard was managing director of Wesfarmers Dalgety Limited, which subsequently became Wesfarmers Landmark Limited, a position he retained until his appointment as finance director of Wesfarmers Limited in 2002.

He was then appointed deputy managing director and chief financial officer of Wesfarmers Limited in 2004 and assumed the role of managing director and CEO in July 2005, and has held a number of positions for key advisory bodies.

AgConnectWA secretary Wes Lefroy initiated the 'Rural Roots to City Suits' event and said the presentation would highlight the gap between rural and urban understandings of agriculture and how it translated into business.

"This event will give young professionals the opportunity to listen and learn from Mr Goyder's experience in business in WA and let them ask the questions that are important to them," Mr Lefroy said.

"AgConnectWA approached Mr Goyder as their keynote speaker, as he has a connection with the land and has used these skills to become successful in business.

"His extensive experience will provide invaluable insight into the opportunities of rural and city-based business working closer together.

"The two communities must embrace each other to ensure long term success."

PerthYP is a progressive and diverse not-for-profit association aimed at connecting and providing opportunities for like-minded young professionals to network, and has hosted over 20 events since founding in January 2012.

It comprises of more than 2000 business professionals under the age of 35 years.

AgConnectWA, formerly WA Young Farmers, was launched in April 2013.

With the new branding of 'AgConnectWA', the committee recognised that in addition to young farmers, there is a myriad of young people in rural, regional and metropolitan areas with a passion for agriculture and progressing rural communities and can interact with other like-minded young people.

The event will be held at 5.30pm on March 31, 2016 in Perth CBD, the venue details will soon be released.

To book your ticket, visit by 5pm on Friday March 25, 2016.

For more information contact Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or

Formalities will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity for attendees to network with like-minded individuals.

Jacinta Bolsenbroek

Jacinta Bolsenbroek

is a senior journalist at Farm Weekly


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