Introducing AgriFutures Carbon Conversations: Shaping a Sustainable Future for Australian Rural Industries


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As we embrace the ambitious goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, it’s crucial that we explore the opportunities and challenges facing our rural industries.  

AgriFutures Australia Chair, Cathy McGowan AO and Managing Director, John Harvey are hosting AgriFutures Carbon Conversations to listening to the opportunities, challenges and solutions Australians have experienced as they strive towards a Net Zero Future.

“The AgriFutures Carbon Conversations offers a unique platform to discuss your insights on solutions like growing renewables, increasing electrification and energy efficiency, and developing a robust carbon capture, utilization and storage industry,” explained AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, John Harvey.

“We want to engage with a broad range of Australians to gather an understanding of what strategies are working and what needs to be improved.

“This information is truly valuable to AgriFutures Australia as it will help to refine and develop targeted support strategies that address the specific needs of our vital rural industries,” said Mr Harvey.

AgriFutures Carbon Conversations are interactive sessions that will stimulate dynamic discussions to garner attendees perspectives and opinions on how Australian agricultural industries can achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“The AgriFutures Carbon Conversations are a part of our commitment to drive positive change and provide targeted support where it’s needed most,” said AgriFutures Australia’s new Chair, Cathy McGowan OA.

“To be able to do this effectively, we need to have thought-provoking conversations and harness the collective knowledge and expertise of our stakeholders who are on-the-ground.

“If you’re passionate about building a sustainable future for Australian agriculture, we encourage you to engage in one of these conversations,” said Ms McGowan.

AgriFutures Carbon Conversations are happening in various cities around Australia between June and August 2023.

To make sure your voice is heard, secure your spot at a session near you – see the dates below.

To register for an event, visit:

Please note: registrations (including waitlists) for each session will close one week before the event date.

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Monday, 19 June 2023
9am – 12:30 pm AEST

Hobart, TAS

The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel
1 Macquarie St, Hobart

Tuesday, 20 June 2023
9am -12:30 pm AEST

Melbourne, VIC

Westpac Building
150 Collins St, Melbourne VIC

Tuesday, 20 June 2023
1:30 – 5:00pm AEST

Melbourne, VIC

Westpac Building
150 Collins St, Melbourne VIC

Monday, 26 June 2023
1:30pm – 5:00pm AEST

Sydney, NSW

Westpac Building
Tower Two, 200 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo NSW

Tuesday, 27 June 2023
9am -12:30 pm AEST

Sydney, NSW

Westpac Building
Tower Two, 200 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo NSW

Thursday, 29 June 2023
9am -12:30 pm ACST

Darwin, NT

Darwin Innovation Hub
48-50 Smith St (Level1), Darwin

Wednesday, 5 July 2023
9am -12:30 pm ACST

Adelaide, SA

Marion Hotel and Cellars
849 Marion Rd, Mitchell Park

Thursday, 6 July 2023
9am -12:30 pm AWST

Perth, WA

Brookfield Place, Tower 2, Westpac Level 4, 123 St Georges Terrace, Perth

Monday, 10 July 2023
9am-12:30 pm AEST

Wagga Wagga, NSW

The Mantra Pavilion Hotel
22-30 Kincaid St, Wagga

Monday, 10 July 2023
1:30-5pm AEST

Wagga Wagga, NSW

The Mantra Pavilion Hotel
22-30 Kincaid St, Wagga

Thursday, 10 August 2023
9am -12:30 pm AEST

Brisbane, QLD

Royal on the Park
152 Alice Street, Brisbane

Friday, 11 August 2023
9am -12:30 pm AEST

Toowoomba, QLD

Oaks Conference Centre
25 Annand St, Toowoomba

Monday, 4 September 2023
9am -12:30 pm AEST

Canberra, ACT

Hotel Kurrajong
8 National Circuit, Barton

If registrations are exhausted for any of the event locations above, please add yourself to the waiting list so we can plan for venue increases or additional events.

If you have a suggestion for a regional location or any other questions regarding the AgriFutures Carbon Conversations, please email

Hosting AgriFutures Carbon Conversations 

Cathy McGowan AO 
AgriFutures Australia Chair

Cathy is an experienced company director with an extensive career in business, agricultural research, development, extension and politics.

As a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program, Cathy committed to the vision of a “prosperous caring rural Australia alive with opportunities for everyone”.  She believes Agrifutures Australia is the premier national organisation for delivering on her commitment, particularly helping build a nation with effective rural policies based on prosperous and caring industries.

Prior to her role at AgriFutures Australia, her career highlights include representing the rural electorate of Indi in Parliament from 2013- 2019, president of the peak national organisation Australian Women in Agriculture, Chair of national Regional Women’s Advisory Council and a community representative at the 4th Ministerial meeting of the WTO in Doha.

Cathy lives in the Indigo Valley, Dudwroa & Dhargal country where the community groups play a vital role enhancing sustainability within the Murray Darling system.

BA., Dip Ed., Ma Ag and Rural Development, The Australian Rural Leadership Program- Graduate C 3, Churchill Fellow 1990, Doctor of letters (honoris causa) Western Sydney University, Officer in the Order of Australia 2004, Vice Chancellor’s Fellow La Trobe University

John Harvey 
AgriFutures Australia Executive Director and Managing Director

John Harvey joined AgriFutures Australia (formally RIRDC) in May 2016 as Managing Director. He accepted the challenge to set a new, more commercial direction for the organisation.

John aims to make AgriFutures Australia a change agent for transforming existing industries with new technologies and seeding new, high value industries that ensure Australian agriculture continues to grow.

Prior to this appointment, John held various positions at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) spanning 18 years, including five years as Managing Director.

A graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, John was a Director of Australian Crop Accreditation System Limited and a Director of the Value Added Wheat Cooperative Research Centre.

He has served on the boards of Pulse Breeding Australia, Barley Breeding Australia and the National Soybean Breeding Program. He was also a member of the Australian Winter Cereals Pre-Breeding Alliance and the CRC for Plant Based Management of Dryland Salinity.

BSc (Rural) Hons (University of New England), Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register?

Click here to register for your preferred session

Please note that registrations (including waitlists) will close one week before the date of each individual session listed above.

If you are unable to attend but are interested in receiving outputs from the conversations (i.e. reports, follow-up events), or if you encounter any difficulties with the registration process, please contact:

Anna Maskus
Coordinator, Corporate Communications
(02) 6923 6900

Will there be virtual/online sessions/will it be recorded?

At this stage there is no plan to host an online session. This is an opportunity for us to listen, and to do it effectively we think we need to do it in person, harnessing the collective knowledge and expertise of our stakeholders who are on-the-ground.

Will there be more sessions added?

We are currently assessing the demand and have established a waitlist for the events that have reached capacity. We encourage you to register and get onto the waitlist if your session is exhausted.

Why aren’t you going to more rural areas?

At this stage we don’t have any plans to go to more rural areas. We might look at adding further sessions depending on demand and will update our communications to reflect this.

We want to reassure you that your voice is important to us. If you are unable to attend but would like to share your thoughts and ideas on what you believe is working and what needs to be improved, please send us an email and it will be captured in the conversations we are collecting.

Please contact:

Anna Maskus
Coordinator, Corporate Communications

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