Karensa Menzies – Careers Advisory Panel Ambassador

‘I am the type of person who likes exploring new things. I like things keeping interesting, and agriculture offers that and you can tailor it to your want. It allows me to travel, explore new places, to enrich people’s lives.’

Karensa grew up in rural Victoria, and from an early age, she developed a love for farming and the entire chain of production. She has always wanted to know more about the industry and to find the gaps where she could make the greatest impact.

After several years of study and a PhD in Dairy Science, Karensa continued to find a gap within agribusiness. Post education, Karensa went into research and later moved into industry development. She had questions about how an ecosystem of an agriculture system works and how we can join the dots through stakeholder and international engagement.

‘I had a lot of questions around the need for connections and cultural understanding.’

Through travel and a personal passion, she noticed many missed opportunities for engagement and international connections, ‘I went out on my own because I saw a gap, because I was frustrated with organisational cultures. I wanted to understand more of the value chains. We shouldn’t put all our eggs in one basket when we have the fastest-growing diaspora in Australia.’

Karensa describes her business as ‘agricultural advisory’, working across the ecosystem as a value chain: ‘from the grassroots with producers on business development, helping them navigate planning and business cases as much as working with industries like dairy Australia.’ She says, ‘my relationship with producers is valuable to my role of sitting around the table discussing industry programs or priorities and vice versa.’

‘A lot of my influences have been because of people that I have had conversations with that have inspired me’ Karensa wants to engage with people looking at a career in food and fibre: to help answer the questions, break down the barriers and find what inspires people to choose a career in agriculture.