Monday, April 22, 2024

Zanda McDonald 2024 crowns trans-Tasman pair

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New Zealander Nancy Crawshaw and Australian Tessa Chartres take out top honours.
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Two exceptional young women have been crowned 2024 winners of the Zanda McDonald Award at a special 10-year celebration evening. 

New Zealander Nancy Crawshaw and Australian Tessa Chartres have taken out the top honours with the award, which recognises and supports future leaders in the primary sector.

Crawshaw, 27, is an extension officer for Angus Australia based in New Zealand. She uses knowledge of the beef supply chain to facilitate engaging field days, youth programmes and workshops for primary producers, which adds value to their businesses.

Chartres, 32, based in Deniliquin in New South Wales, is the general manager of business development at Murray Irrigation, where she is responsible for the delivery of Commonwealth funded projects, water policy, ICT transformation and commercial business contracts.

The Zanda McDonald Award provides an opportunity to accelerate the careers of young people in ag through mentorship and education. 

Finalists included Caitlin McConnel, 33, an agribusiness lawyer at Clayton Utz, chair of the Future Farmer Network and a farmer based in South East Queensland; Nick Dunsdon, 33, manager of Coban Pastoral Co and a rural property agent at GDL based in Cunnamulla, southwest Queensland; Carla Muller, 31, agricultural economist and principal consultant for Perrin Ag and former president of the NZ Institute of Primary Industry Management, based in Whakatane; and Tim Dangen, 31, beef farmer in Muriwai West Auckland, and 2022 recipient of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Award.

Award chair Shane McManaway said the judges were extremely impressed with both Crawshaw and Chartres’s achievements to date, and the remarkable contributions they’re already making to agriculture.

“They both embrace the values that hold true to the award, and are extremely worthy recipients. Nancy is thoughtful and sincere, and has an in-depth knowledge of the industry from pasture to production,” McManaway said. 

“She has a wide network across the trans-Tasman, and is passionate about the industry. Her strong interest in the Angus breed is evident through her actions, and she has a clear pathway on how she plans to deliver impact to the industry.

“Tessa is smart, driven and collaborative, finding solutions to complex challenges that affect the whole food and fibre supply chain. She strives for a balance between agriculture, the environment and her community, and is passionate about their wellbeing, and considerate of all stakeholders impacted by water regulation.” 

Reflecting on the award having reached its 10th year, McManaway paid tribute to the supporters who have contributed to its enduring success. 

“We are fortunate to have an amazing network of 15 partners and over 250 mentors who are the lifeblood of this award, providing their time, knowledge and financial support. It is this combined support that underpins our unmatched mentoring programme and enables us to help propel the next generation in agriculture to new heights.”

As part of the prize package, Crawshaw and Chartres each receive a personal development package, including a fully personalised mentoring trip in both countries, $10,000 worth of tailored education or further training, media coaching and ongoing networking opportunities. 

Finalists also get rewarded, becoming part of the award alumni, and receiving ongoing access to mentoring, networking opportunities and support. The winners were announced at the annual Impact Summit in Queenstown, during a special celebratory evening with industry leaders, alumni and award partners.

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