6 MAY - 12 MAY 2018


Beef Connections 2018


Westpac Logo

Applications are now closed – successful participants will be notified shortly.

The Graeme Acton Beef Connections program is about developing the skills of young beef producers by providing training and personal development opportunities and a mentor to help them achieve their goals and participate in Beef Australia 2018.

The inaugural Beef Connections program was a new initiative of Beef Australia 2015 and is back for 2018 and still proudly supported by Westpac Agribusiness.  Applications are now OPEN, please have a completed form in by the 18th April 2017 to be considered for this prestigious program.

Beef Connections was named in honour of the late Graeme Acton, who was a leading Queensland beef industry figure renowned for supporting young people in entering the sector, and sharing with them his extensive knowledge.

In 2015 I was lucky enough to be selected to participate in the inaugural Graeme Acton Beef Connections program. The program not only connected me with a group of likeminded individuals, but also with some of the wisest and most experienced minds in the industry.  Going into the program, I had a lot of big ideas, but I did not possess the patience or skills to be able to break them down into achievable attributes. Through working with my mentor Charlie and the programs facilitator, Barb, I learnt how to strategically plan and execute my ideas, setting myself up to be able to achieve them, regardless how ambitious they originally seemed. The skills I learnt from participating in the program have allowed me to relocate to Boston, Massachusetts, where I now live, fulfilling my big idea of selling Australian beef, lamb and mutton in the United States. Sarah Cameron, 2015 participant

Having access to a mentor in a structured program was an integral part of our family’s move into property ownership in 2016. The experience & wealth of knowledge that my mentor Philip bought to the table was invaluable in regards to navigating our way through this process. Our relationship has continued since the program ended & we now regard he & his family as good friends. In addition to this my participation in the program has opened all sorts of doors so I would encourage anyone considering applying to have a go.” Adam Coffey, 2015 participant

Please find attached the 2018 Beef Connections application, if you have any questions or require any information please contact our office.

Beef Connections Application Form 2018 V3


Meet the Beef Australia 2015 Alumni

Beef Australia 2018 - Blythe Calnan - Live Export

Blythe Calnan - Live Export

Western Australia

Blythe is from a pastoral cattle station back ground in the North West of WA. Now based on her property in South West WA, she and her partner run a small beef trading and boer goat operation.

Blythe has worked with the Live Export Program for five years as a consultant. She has worked across the Middle East and in Russia, as well as co-ordinating shipboard stockmen training in Australia and undertaking voyages.

In 2013 Blythe was awarded the Cattle Councils Rising Champion which has seen her represent live export and the Australian beef industry at events from Canberra to Texas.

In November 2014 Blythe has taken up a role with Allflex Livestock Identification as the Western Australia Area Sales Manager.

Beef Australia 2018 - Adam Coffey - Producer

Adam Coffey - Producer

Northern Territory

Adam is originally from the southern farming environment. He completed and Advanced Dip in Ag Management at Marcus Oldham College in 2005.

He and his wife moved to WA after being given the opportunity to work on a corporate-owned cattle station in the Kimberley. He now runs Stapleton Station, west of Katherine.

He also runs 1000 head of his own cattle and has developed an agistment and hay making enterprise.

Adam has two young children, Will and Sam.

Beef Australia 2018 - Kenrick Cross - Producer

Kenrick Cross - Producer

New South Wales

Kenrick grew up on various properties in the Warren area of NSW.

In 2002 headed north to Canobie to join the stock camp and for the next 8 years worked for AACo on Kalmeta, Wondoola, Lawn Hill, and Canobie.

He is currently the assistant manager at Oxley Station, owned by Paraway Pastoral Company.

He is married with two daughters and is proud to call Oxley home.

Beef Australia 2018 - Donald Hook - Education

Donald Hook - Education

Western Australia

Donald’s family background is in farming.

He graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Agribusiness (Farm Management), and was employed by Murdoch University as an assistant farm manager.

Donald is currently teaching agriculture at Morawa Ag School and would love to one day own and manage his own property.

Beef Australia 2018 - Rachel Hoolihan - Agribusiness

Rachel Hoolihan - Agribusiness


Born, raised and educated in Longreach, Rachel is a keen sportsperson with a passion for horse sports.

Rachel thoroughly enjoys working with new technologies and innovations in the beef industry.

She is currently employed by as a graduate with AACo and counts herself lucky to be able to live, work and socialise in a lifestyle that she loves.

Beef Australia 2018 - Ashley Kirk - Producer

Ashley Kirk - Producer


Ashley lives at “Ungarra”, a cattle property 30km west of Moura, Central Qld.

He works as part of a family-owned business running a Red Brahman Stud and commercial operations with a focus on selling to EU.

A third generation cattleman, his family has been breeding Red Brahmans for 60 years.

His current focus is on injecting quality genetics into the Brahman stud herd using IVF.

Ashley has a passion for rugby union, having played for 13 years and represented Queensland Country.

Beef Australia 2018 - Amanda Moohen - Producer

Amanda Moohen - Producer


Amanda grew up on a beef grazing property north of Toowoomba.

She completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at UNE, Armidale, majoring in Animal Production and Genetics.

Her career has focussed on the beef supply chain and she is currently employed by Camm Agricultural Group as office manager.

Beef Australia 2018 - Joanna Robertson - Government (DAFFQ)

Joanna Robertson - Government (DAFFQ)


Joanna grew up on her family’s mixed farming property in Central West NSW.

She was heavily involved in cattle showing and judging, and has since completed a Bachelor of Livestock Science from UNE.

Joanna is currently employed by DAFF Queensland as a Beef Extension Officer focussing on Grazing BMP and production of e-learning programs.

Beef Australia 2018 - Sarah Rutledge - Marketing

Sarah Rutledge - Marketing


Sarah was raised on a sheep and cattle station in South West Queensland.

She has since worked on Brunette Downs and various NT cattle stations, including Rockhampton Downs, Gunbalayna, Kirkimbie and Tipperary.

In 2012 she enrolled in Agribusiness at UNE majoring in marketing and would one day like to work in assisting producers to successfully market their products.