GGA Year in Review: 2016

2016 has been a big year for the GGA project, with some changes taking place and a number of key activities delivering real benefit to grower groups in WA. In January the project welcomed new Project Officer, Sarah Houston, and in August we said farewell to long-standing Chair Clancy Michael. Kelly Pearce was nominated as incoming Chair, and brings with her a wealth of experience and passion for the industry and grower groups.

Governance training was delivered at a packed out workshop in Geraldton, made possible through our partnership with CBH and facilitated by AICD. The next training workshop focused on time management and team leadership to enhance grower groups through effective leadership and management of self, others and time.

The GGA project provides services and support to many groups through its various activities, and this year it has been fantastic to see so many groups interested in taking up our Strategic Planning support. The support can either be delivered through financial assistance to go towards paying a facilitator, or alternatively GGA staff can develop and deliver a strategic planning workshop for groups. This year has seen four groups provided with support, and others in the pipeline to support in the new year.

In August, the GGA Annual Forum was a huge success, particularly with the new format of being open to all stakeholders in the grower group network. The Forum focused on collaboration enabling successful grower groups and creating value for their members, partners and funders. Over 100 people were in attendance, and the inaugural Grower Group Excellence Award was presented to Yuna Farm Improvement Group.

The GGA has spent a lot of time in 2016 consulting with groups and industry as to the future of the GGA project and how this will look. This process continues and we look forward to working with all our stakeholders over the coming 2 years to develop a sustainable and valuable plan for the future GGA.

There have been a number of opportunities for the GGA to promote and showcase the role of grower groups in the RD&E landscape here in WA and on a national level. This has included meeting with key people from government and funding organisations, as well as presenting at state and national conferences, and being at the table to discuss national initiatives to increase the profile of grower groups nationally.

Finally, we say goodbye to Project Leader, Rebecca Wallis, who has been with the project now for five years. We wish Rebecca all the best with her future endeavours and thank her for all your hard work within the GGA during her time here. We look forward to a new team member joining us in 2017 and to working with all our stakeholders in the new year to continue helping support the WA grower group network.