The Australian Cane Farmers Association (ACFA) has today confirmed that inspirational athlete and business man John Eales and iconic funny man, Sam Kekovich will attend and speak at its Next Gen Step UP! 2013 conference.
The conference is being delivered as part of the ACFA’s Next Gen program which encourages young farmers to take the reins in their industry
The program also facilitates intergenerational knowledge transfer with more established farmers.
Don Murday, Chairman of the Next Gen Program is calling for farmers, young and old, to join him at Sea World Resort at the Gold Coast to Step UP! 2013 and speak with some of the cane industry’s leading brands and services.
“I’m really excited at the line-up already as we’ve just secured Sam Kekovich and John Eales as the two main speakers.
“John Eales is one of Australia’s all-time rugby greats. He took part in two successful World Cup campaigns; captained the Wallabies in memorable victories including the 1999 World Cup; led Australia through four successive Bledisloe Cup wins and two successful seasons of Tri-Nations fixtures. He also led the Wallabies to the first-ever defeat of the British and Irish Lions.
“In 2004 John attended the Athens Olympics as an Athlete Liaison Officer for the Australian Team. He repeated the role at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
“John Eales is a man whose outstanding qualities extend much further than his exceptional skill on the football field. He is an inspirational leader and business man through both his actions and his relentless determination
John will be addressing the conference at 11am on Tuesday 26 November and then joining the conference attendees for an informal lunch.
Funny man and AFL legend, slammin’ Sam Kekovic will lead the event’s gala dinner on Wednesday evening, 27 November.
“A naturally gifted entertainer, Sam brings a wonderfully satirical, irreverent and hard-hitting brand of humour to any occasion.
“His lively presentations draw on all his experiences and the characters he has encountered over the last 30 plus years of his involvement in football, and life,” Mr Murday said.
The ACFA is also lining up industry professionals and experts from around the world to speak at the exciting industry event.
“The way we’ve set up the conference will mean that farmers can chat with the speakers and also get some useful advice from industry leaders.
“We’ll have four break-out rooms which will seat 20-30 people at any given time running sessions simultaneously throughout the day.
“These rooms will have advisors from leading accountancy, financial, legal and insurance brands.
“Farmers can ask these guys questions and get answers from industry experts on the spot.
Murday said that he was committed to delivering a world class conference as the cane farming industry hasn’t seen an event of this caliber for some time.
“It’s time we celebrated what we do and this conference will be the perfect opportunity for young and mature farmers to step up and do just that.
“We’ve chosen the date and location in a bid to entice farmers to bring their families along and make a holiday of it!
“The inaugural conference will be held from the Tuesday 26 to Thursday 28 March 2012 with the theme of Step UP!
“Our main aim is to encourage young farmers to step up and take the reins in their industry whilst facilitating intergenerational knowledge transfer with the more established farmers.
“We’ll be using the conference to facilitate a conversation about profitability, sustainability and innovation in the cane farming industry.”
The ACFA is currently inviting applications from young cane farmers in each key sugar region to become the local Next Gen representative.
In addition, they are calling for local businesses to sponsor a farmer to get them to the event.
“It’s been a tough year for some of our farmers, but we want to make sure they come along to this event and use it as an opportunity to get reinvigorated about their industry,” Murday said.
For more details about the conference, sponsorship opportunities and registration details visit www.nextgenfarmer.com
For more information or photos of Sam Kekovich or John Eales please contact Jane Hammond on 0400 993 090