First of its kind agriculture degree leads to semi-final spot
LORRAINE GORDON has been recognised for her outstanding achievements in agriculture by being named a semi-finalist in the 2020 NSW/ACT Regional Achievement and Community Awards.
Ms Gordon was nominated after a whirlwind three-year period which saw her lead Southern Cross University in developing a Bachelor of Science majoring in Regenerative Agriculture, the only one of its kind worldwide.
Ms Gordon said the degree, which is set to include a graduate certificate and masters option from 2021, was as much a testament to her team as to her.
"It's great for me but understand that behind all these people who are put forward for these awards there is usually a really cohesive team of performing people and in my case, I surround myself with a bunch of very capable, outward looking, can-do people."
Ms Gordon said the degree, the largest agriculture degree in Australia, provided fresh thinking to one of Australia's cornerstone industries.
"I just felt that the agricultural degrees haven't really changed in the last thirty years or even in the last fifty years, there was such a focus on (agricultural technology) as the solution rather than as a tool."
"I just felt we needed to get back to the basics of understanding ecology and understanding our landscape and the very complex combination of issues going on around climate change and if we were going to be resilient we need to be able to teach students how to read a landscape, how to recognise that it needed to have a holistic approach and that it is a complex system."
Alongside the creation of the degree, Ms Gordon has also established of the Regenerative Ag Alliance, with 60-plus member groups and the Friends of Parliament bipartisan group.
Ms Gordon says her strong work ethic was born out of her desire to leave a legacy for generations to come.
"I am a legacy builder, I like to leave a mark, I like to think that all my work eventuated in doing something good for society … particularly for rural Australia and regional Australia."