In the spotlight
Robyn Cadzow: Business entrepreneur: Monitoring and infrastructure mapping  

Having recently left a government department role as Rangeland Monitoring Officer to start a private business in land management, Robyn Cadzow is excited about drawing on the teachings and experiences of the Colloquium program.


What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging aspect of my job will be dealing with the many differing personality types and professions within the rangeland human population. In any one day I could interact with scientists, government personnel, pastoralists (male, female, aboriginal or European), Stock & Station agents, governesses, managers/owners and/or their respective wives/husbands … and the list goes on.

How would you describe what you do to someone at a dinner party?

My passion is helping to care for the arid rangelands of central Australia. It has been mentioned I am a ‘khaki’, which means I am a little bit ‘greenie (conservationist)’ and a little bit ‘brown (pastoralist)’ which I feel is a very practical ‘colour’ in the current climate! The sustainability of pastoral industry (as well as the conservation of the natural resource) requires the maintenance of perennial (and annual), palatable and productive plants to flourish.

My job entails monitoring the physical condition of the land and vegetation (e.g. grass species) as well as the pastoral properties infrastructure (roads, tracks, fence lines) etcetera.

In my opinion my job also includes assessing the physical condition/wellness of the livestock as they are able to visit areas on the property I cannot. I also feel an important aspect of land condition is the presence of native animals and all the little bugs and birds etcetera as they all play a role in the ultimate condition of the soil we all depend on for sustenance.

What experiences are you really proud of?

During the course of work I have met some incredible individuals. Having grown up and worked on a pastoral property, I am quite proud of my ability to see what is happening on a property when I visit it for monitoring purposes. I also appreciate being able to talk to the property lessee/manager about what I see as I drive around and what the possible causes of any problems could be and how they might be rectified. I am very proud of being able to go out into quite remote situations and work safely on my own.

I am also proud to have had the opportunity to attend an Applied Management Colloquium, especially as I have wanted to for at least two years.

In your career, what do you feel you’d do differently if you had a second chance?

This is a difficult question as our experiences shape the individuals we become, but prior to attending the Management Colloquium – and if it really were possible to turn back the clock – perhaps I would be less trusting of people.

At work, what makes you feel it’s worth the effort?

Even after experiencing some difficult situations, it all gets forgotten when individuals say they come to me for information and mapping products because they know I deliver as promised.

What has changed your life?

Other than having a son and very soon-to-be daughter-in-law, I am extremely proud of what I have done with my life, meeting and experiencing different people, and the knowledge I have gained from them all.

One of the most significant changes in my life, and I can say this with complete honesty, is being able to experience and learn from the Applied Management Colloquium, our facilitator, Mike, and the supporting staff at Workplace Training Advisory Australia.

What professional hurdles were you facing before the Colloquium program?

Some recent hurdles have been obtaining my tertiary qualifications amidst some pretty turbulent and trying times whilst keeping my values intact. Probably the highest hurdle was reconnecting with my self with the Colloquium’s assistance.

What key learnings did you attain from the Colloquium program?

The Colloquium has taught me a massive amount, not just about management techniques but about myself and the way I handled (read ‘mishandled’) some situations in the past. The program has allowed access to another realm of information, techniques and thought processes. Positive coaching and support from both Mike Walsh and other Colloquium members has helped guide me toward a very constructive phase of my career.

How has the Colloquium changed your thinking about leadership?

Attending the Colloquium was quite liberating as I found I was not alone in the journey towards better management and leadership. Personally, I believe I have always tried to lead by example as leadership involves helping others be the best they can be whilst at the same time learning the way myself.

What do you do differently now that you’ve completed the Colloquium program?

I have learned there are others out there experiencing similar things to me, therefore we are not alone. I have learned to be positive, not to be afraid of asking the ‘silly question’ and to ask for help instead of trying to do it all myself.

Where do you now see your career heading?

I have had a major shift in my working career. I am now on the brink of a new business venture and if all goes to plan, I may need to draw on the teachings and experiences of the Colloquium. I find this thought quite exciting.

What advice would you give someone thinking about commencing the Colloquium program?

If you are already thinking of attending the Colloquium program, then go with what your gut is telling you … you are at the right place in time to do this. You will not regret the time and money spent on this program. Attending the Colloquium will help you make positive changes to your management style, which will in turn create a positive and liberating environment for both you and your staff.

What professional challenges are off in the horizon for you?

Since deciding to start my own land management business, I see the most challenging aspect will be dealing with the NT Government Department I have just left. Pushing aside past differences to create a more positive environment and outcomes for my clients will be paramount. I am also studying for my Masters degree, so will need to be very focussed if I am to complete this study as well as work a new business. ●


Back to November 2011 Bulletin

Robyn Cadzow