Rachael James – Careers Advisory Panel Ambassador

The farming sector helps connect Australians. Both in rural areas and the city, so it doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are.’

There’s a place for everybody in agriculture. You don’t need to have a farming background or grow up in the area, ‘that is one of the cool parts of ag’, Rachael explains.

After her studies and trying her hand in different areas of agriculture, Rachael felt she wasn’t getting the full picture, so she moved out of the city and took a cadetship. During this time, she was trained in multiple sectors and gained invaluable experience—both personally and professionally—‘they trained us in lots of other little courses and gave us the confidence we needed.’

Through her cadetship, Rachael met people in the industry and ended up travelling overseas, working on all types of farms and learning about the industry from another perspective

‘When you’re in ag, you have the confidence to go out of your comfort zone and do those sorts of things in different countries. It gives you the opportunity to travel.’

Rachael is now an agribusiness manager at Westpac. She finds that the finance sector allows her to see that fuller picture. Without any official accounting qualification, she wasn’t sure she would find a position, but after reaching out to others in the business, she found that her skill set was valuable, ‘It is all sort of interrelated in ag. The bank is supportive and has a clear path for you if you want to take it.’

‘It is a really diverse field. Farming and ag embrace everyone. It is very much a team approach. It is a rare sector, and there is just such an opportunity and a push for us to grow, and we need people both directly and indirectly.’