Marriot takes on KCA's executive role

23 Sep, 2015 10:00 PM
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Kimberley Cattlemen's Association's newly appointed executive officer Catherine Marriott.
Kimberley Cattlemen's Association's newly appointed executive officer Catherine Marriott.

THE Kimberley Cattlemen's Association (KCA) has hired a new executive officer and could now move to change its name to incorporate the Pilbara region.

The KCA announced last week that Catherine Marriot was joining the group as the new EO.

Ms Marriott is well known as a passionate advocate for the pastoral and agricultural industry.

She developed the Influential Women group, which aims to inspire and empower rural and regional women.

Ms Marriott replaces Gill Stassen, who was released from his contract earlier this year.

"We thought it would be better to try to head-hunt a new EO," said KCA chairman Peter Camp.

"We wanted to have someone that has a proven track record and that we know.

"The executive decided to go with Catherine, she is a high profile person, she has a lot of contacts federally and overseas and she is very passionate about the position.

Mr Camp told Farm Weekly that in the first few months Ms Marriott will be discussing the wants and needs of industry, with a view to increasing the ambit of the development group from the Pilbara to the Kimberley.

"With those advantages and Catherine's energy, it will be interesting times ahead for us," he said.

Considering a new name to incorporate the Pilbara region, will be another positive step for the industry development group.

"The main aim of the KCA was always to combine the Pilbara and Kimberly, so it had a stronger voice as a industry development group," Mr Camp said.

"It has been discussed for some time, and we will do it.

"We have thrown a few names around but we have a consultant to look into that change.

"The Kimberley and the Pilbara are two major regions, it will be enough for one EO and possibly a small staff to manage and promote."

Ms Marriott, who starts work next Tuesday, said in the next few months she will be meeting with pastoralists to discuss a range of opportunities.

"The things that I am looking at exploring with producers are different collaborative models to improve value chain efficiencies and producers' bottom line and I would like to hear from them about different R&D ideas for their own station," she said.

"It is important that we are adding value for the members as well, and I would like to find out what that value looks like to the producers.

"I see my role as acting as a conduit to gather information and then feed that back to pastoralists and take action.

"My vision is to create a producer organisation, that genuinely represents producers and is one of the most effective in Australia at developing, protecting and promoting the Kimberly and Pilbara pastoralists.

"I see that the Kimberly and Pilbara are facing the same challenges and have the same opportunities, they have the same type of people who have a desire to work together to make the industry more sustainable."

Mr Camp stressed that the KCA was not a lobby group, and the role of the Pastoralists and Graziers Association and WAFarmers will continue, and that the KCA would work with the two groups.

Ms Marriott plans to work closely with the PGA and travel to Perth for executive meetings, to get the best outcome for northern beef producers.

Ms Marriott, originally from rural Victoria, studied a Bachelor of Rural Science at the University of New England.

Her career has taken her across Australia and overseas.

She has worked as a technical consultant for the Australian and Asian beef industries, as well as in rural communication in Australia and New Zealand.

She said she always supported producers forming a group.

"In May I decided I wanted to get back into the cattle industry and work to really add value to grassroots producers in the northern beef industry," she said.

"I wanted to use my skills in the beef and live export industries coupled with my communications, stakeholder engagement, project management, market access and branding to represent what producers want."

Ms Marriott said she has achieved what she had set out to do with Influential Women, conducting workshops and programs nationally and internationally.

"I am talking to a few people who want to continue on with aspects of Influential Women, such as the mentoring program that involves Indonesian and Australian farming women," she said.

"It may continue but I am not sure at this stage.

"The workshops will not be continuing though."

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