Annie Pfeffer (Baker) says she can pinpoint the day her life changed. Attending the Australian Rural Leadership Program, (ARLP) in Sydney in 2007, she recalled listening to former CEO of World Vision Australia and Baptist minister, Tim Costello AO.
“Tim challenged us to consider social issues in rural and regional Australia and that’s when the process really began for me,” said Annie.
“Before I could help others, I realised I had to sort out who I was, and trust myself to claim the person I really am. And that has taken me a bit longer to work through.”
Seven years before that, Annie was a corporate warrior on a mission to raise the profile of the mono-unsaturated sunflower oil industry and that’s where she became involved with RIRDC.
Her vision then, was to improve the prospects for the Australian sunflower industry and its growers, while improving the health of Australians, by encouraging them to use Australian grown mono-unsaturated sunflower oil.
After winning the Award, she received numerous public speaking invitations.
“The Award gave me a lot of confidence,” said Annie.
“My journey started with RIRDC and the opportunities that have followed have come as a result of being involved with the Award.”
Annie’s corporate work was extensive. Before winning RIRDC, she was on the board of Grain Co.
Later, she was invited to be a director of Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority and Regional Development Program and Condamine Alliance Director, as well as Chair of Pittsworth and District Hospital Friendly Society Ltd. In 2009 Annie joined the CSIRO Social Science Research Ethics Committee, a position she held for nine years.
At a personal level, she acquired new skills in media, marketing, public speaking, and report writing. And she used those skills to encourage others to become involved in the industry.