FOR most of her life Melanie Dunn never understood the agriculture industry and her last visit to a farm was as a 10-year-old.
That all changed two years ago after being appointed the media and communications officer at WAFarmers.
In 2012 Ms Dunn graduated from Notre Dame University with a bachelor of media and communications with a major in journalism.
After graduation Ms Dunn found herself working six months as a receptionist for an editing facility before moving into the corporate communications and marketing team at the Department of Education.
After seven months in that team, she spent the next two years as the marketing and communications officer at Intelife.
With considerable experience in the world of marketing and communications, but limited in agriculture, she was surprised to find herself working at WAFarmers.
“Not knowing much about agriculture, I was thrilled when I was offered the position as WAFarmers as I saw the role as a challenge and an opportunity to develop my skills in a new industry,” Ms Dunn said.
“I really enjoy the fast pace and excitement of this industry, as there is something always on the go.
“I also enjoy being in a role that facilitates real change and works towards a more viable, profitable and sustainable future for agriculture, which I’ve grown to appreciate very quickly.”
Ms Dunn sees promise in the agricultural industry with lots of career pathways available, particularly as people are always willing to teach and provide guidance.
“If you show a genuine interest in learning about the agricultural industries, people are more than happy to take the time to talk to you about it and to teach,” she said.
“These interactions are so valuable, and help me to understand both the nature of this industry and the day-to-day operations of farming businesses.”
AgConnectWA has proven beneficial for Ms Dunn as she meets other young people who are involved in or show a genuine interest in learning about agriculture.
“When you take on this role at WAFarmers you also take on the responsibility of media and communications for AgConnectWA, which is an added bonus,” Ms Dunn said.
“It’s been great to meet other young people in the industry and to see the variety of roles within agribusiness.”