Spotlight on South Australia's women in forestry

Monday 4 December 2017

The important role women play in agribusiness is being highlighted once again with four women from South Australia’s forestry industry profiled to help champion female participation and leadership in the sector.

The four women join the State Government’s Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions Strategy, which aims to grow the capacity of women in agribusiness sectors across the state by partnering with industry and the community.

The four women from the forestry industry are:

  • Josie Jackson, Farmer and Revegetator – runs a native tree revegetation business in the South East, manages the stock side of the family farm and organises and hosts horse schools.
  • Sheryl Vickery, Harvesting Forester – manages crews contracted to harvest timber and build roads for a Mount Gambier-based forest management company.
  • Wendy Fennell, Company Owner – manages and co-owns Fennell Forestry, one of the biggest timber harvest and transport companies in South Australia’s Green Triangle.
  • Amy McMurren, Forestry Project Manager in PIRSA – manages the South East Forestry Partnerships Program, which supports the development of innovative products and technologies, and is helping to co-ordinate the submission of South Australian data for the next national State of the Forests Report.

The women from forestry join an existing group of 20 women in agribusiness and regions, which includes influential female leaders such as Kris Lloyd, Penny Schultz, Catherine Sayer, Susie Green and Ulli Spranz.


The Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions Strategy was developed through a partnership between women in industry, community and Primary Industries and Regions SA.

Over the past year Piper Alderman has worked with the State Government to deliver a series of Agri Master Classes, designed to help industry participants develop their skills and grow their capacity as leaders in the sector.

The strategy aims to meet three core outcomes:

  • women occupy an increasing number of diverse roles in agribusiness
  • women are skilled, capable and confident influencers and decision-makers in the agribusiness sector
  • the barriers which currently hinder women in agribusiness are understood and addressed.

Be inspired by South Australia’s women in agribusiness and regions and read their profiles at

Quotes attributable to Forests Minister Leon Bignell

It’s more important than ever we continue to encourage women to enter careers in agribusiness across our state.

The State Government’s Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions Strategy highlights the remarkable contribution women make in agribusiness and regions and promotes career pathways and opportunities for women to aspire toward.

South Australia’s agriculture, food, wine and fibre industries are a vital part of the state’s economy, our largest export sector and a major employer.

In 2015-16 our agribusiness sector, which includes food, wine and forestry, generated $22.5 billion in revenue for the state.

Equally, our regions are crucial to the state’s prosperity and are an integral part of our state’s identity –contributing around $25.4 billion to the state’s economy.

These four women in forestry demonstrate the diversity of roles in the industry and will hopefully be an inspiration to encourage greater female participation in this sector.

Quotes attributable to Company Owner Fennell Forestry Wendy Fennell

I was flattered to be part of the Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions Strategy, and it highlighted to me also how many interesting careers that are in the primary industry sector.

It’s a career that is continually evolving through innovation. When combined with challenges of the natural environments you are dealing with on a daily basis, this equates to a diverse platform that women can launch themselves off.

Quotes attributable to Farmer and Revegetator Josie Jackson

The best part of being a woman living on the land is the opportunity of being able to take your children to work and teach them about the environment and farming.

I have been able to run a revegetation business alongside our farming partnership and still bring up children in a happy, healthy environment.

With our clean and green image, I think South Australian agriculture is on the cusp of something great, especially with respect to good, long-term prospects for exports.

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  • Regional Development, Fisheries & Aquaculture and Forestry Phone: 0477 359 248
  • Agriculture, Food & Wine, Biosecurity and SARDI Phone: 0455 091 908

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