A Conversation with Leanne Pridham

A Conversation with Leanne Pridham

Leanne grew up on a livestock farm on Kangaroo Island, raising beef and sheep for wool. She became a PIRSA Animal Health Officer, but quit her day job to become a full time cropping farmer with her husband on the Yorke Peninsula in Kadina. Together they have three young boys.

Leanne has been active in her professional development since 2011 when she attended a Field Day event, which at that time was run by Partners in Grain (later becoming WoTL). In 2017, she revitalised the group, which then became the WoTL group.   As Co-ordinator since then, Leanne has organised many events, including workshops on farm safety, a crop walk, women’s health and yoga classes, and mindfulness through art.

Leanne is confident in speaking of the benefits of the WoTL group, having participated in short courses on office efficiency, finance, and resilience. “Next year we’re looking to continue wellbeing as well as marketing. Sometimes women underestimate their role in a farming business. So a real mix of technical and lifestyle and empowerment training (is required).”

Leanne says when she initially considered joining the SITL program, she was hoping to make connections with other women and expand her network. “The content of the course is awesome, but the conversations and connections even more so. I think everybody has days where you think ‘Oh how am I going to manage?’, but through your connections or through a post on Facebook you can reach out, and know that others are going through similar to what you are. And you can ask questions or provide support.”

Leanne has also gained skills in goal setting, purpose, and managing demanding and often competing schedules as a mother, farmer, wife, and business owner. “The WoTL group have helped me manage with time management skills and keeping systems in place. I’m only a part of the way through SITL, but already I’ve got lots of skills in goal settings and (knowing) where you’re spending your time.”

The structure of the SITL program also holds appeal. “It was great to meet the other participants straight up, that way you get to know who you’re talking to.   And because we’re across the whole state, webinar is perfect for that. It’s a safe learning environment. There’s lots of connections. And there is lots to be gained out of it.

Watch the full interview below:

A Conversation with Toni Duka

A Conversation with Toni Duka

Toni Duka grew up on a farming property that ran sheep on Kangaroo Island. She now lives in Millicent, enjoys living in an agricultural community and still works with the sector. “While I’m not involved in growing or production anymore, I love that sense of community that we have in the rural sector.”

Toni’s connection with WoTL goes back some years, when she heard about the Stepping in to Leadership program from some colleagues and a mentor. “The timing was perfect. I was ready to be re-inspired in my leadership journey. It gave me confidence in who I am and made me re-see my skills, and the networks I formed during the program were fantastic. The shared experiences with the other women, and now being part of the alumni is just amazing.”

Toni says she felt safe that WoTL provided a confidential environment, which allowed her and the group the opportunity to really open up. “That is absolutely the setting that is brought to the table in this program. And you get to engage with women from a broad range of sectors with a broad range of life experiences, and everybody got something different out of the program, and equally benefited.”

Since the program finished, Toni has become even more involved with WoTL. “Things have come at me very fast. I’ve been involved with the organising committee for the Thriving Women Conference 2020, which is exciting. And while I was already on (my children’s) school board, I’m hoping to step up and take the role of Chair soon.”

Toni set a precedent for others, when she found out she was the first person to buy a ticket for the inaugural TWC in 2018. “Yes! And I was not disappointed. I was rapt with the content of last year’s conference, and now I’m on the committee, so I think that speaks for itself.”

Toni is active in encouraging other women who may be considering applying to SITL. “Do it. Don’t wait. You will meet an amazing network of women. You’ll be mentored and led, and no matter where you are in your leadership journey, you’ll find some treasures in that program. It’s fantastic.”