Awards and Scholarships

The rice industry currently invests in a range of programs designed to provide professional development and networking opportunities in order to develop future industry leaders. These include offering a range of scholarships including Greg Graham Memorial Scholarship, Peter Conner book prize, Nuffield Scholarships, ARLP Scholarships. In addition, the rice industry runs an emerging leaders program which is developed and delivered by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.

More information about the awards and scholarships currently available can be found below.

Greg Graham Memorial Scholarship

Applications extended to Friday 8th February 2019.

This scholarship, sponsored by Rice Research Australia Pty Ltd and SunRice, supports the agricultural education of members of the RGA, or their family.

The Greg Graham Memorial Scholarship

The successful applicant receives a grant to the value of $10,000 to assist in studying a full-time, agriculture-based course at any Australian tertiary institution. 

Peter Connor Book Award

This award is delivered in conjunction with the Greg Graham Memorial Scholarship to the runner-up and will provide $3,000 for the purchase of books. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must be the child or grandchild of a current financial member of RGA; and/or the child or grandchild of a rice grower – a rice grower is defined as someone who has delivered a minimum of 200 tonne of rice over the past 2 years.period  (If not sure please ring the RGA Office on 02 6953 0433). 
  • Applicants must be in their second or successive year of studying an agricultural focused and/or industry related course at an Australian tertiary institution; and
  • Applicants need to demonstrate a commitment to the rice industry.

Successful applicants will be advised and interviews conducted in the week ending 15 February 2019.

The award winners will be announced Wednesday 20 February 2019 

Apply for the scholarship via this link.

For further information contact Belinda Lambert, Communications Manager RGA
on 0488 071 165 or 

Recent recipients of the Greg Graham Memorial Scholarship are:

  • 2018  Benjamin Seamer from Berrigan
  • 2017  Allister Clarke from Berriquin Branch
  • 2016  Jackson Byrnes from Hay Branch.
  • 2015  Charleton Glenn from Wakool Branch

Recent recipients of the Peter Connor Book Award are:

  • 2018  Dominic Morona from Deniliquin Branch
  • 2017  Benjamin Seamer from Berrigan Branch
  • 2016  Jack Hogan from Coleambally Branch
  • 2015  Daniel Andrezza from Mirrool Branch

Rice Industry Leadership Programs 2018-2020

The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) believes that developing strong and effective industry leaders is essential. These leaders will assist the rice industry to structurally adjust to the many drivers of change influencing the industry.  They will also allow the industry to continue its economic, environmental and innovation success.

Our vision is to establish a self-replenishing cohort of rice industry leaders who are diverse in knowledge and experience. They will be skilled, confident and self-aware to take on the leadership roles presented to them via the organisations associated with the industry.

Our Programs:

Introduction to the Rice Industry

Who is this program for?


This program is designed for new and/or inexperienced people with a passion and interest in the Rice Industry. This program will engage the next generation of leaders with the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture and gaining exposure to the industry and associated organisations.

This program will give participants an opportunity to discover the different paths in the industry and discover the path that is right for them.

Applications open 5th of November closing on the 5th of December 2018.

Program outline:

Two stage program, as follows:

Stage one:

Will be held in Deniliquin from the 18th-21st February 2019. This four day interactive residential program will focus on industry leadership development in R & D, policy, advocacy and sustainability of the Rice Industry. This course will give participants exposure to expert speakers and key industry leaders to build their networks and leadership skills. 

Stage two:

Four participants will be selected from Stage one to attend a two day workshop in Canberra, to meet with leaders in organisations such as Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, The National Farmers’ Federation, The National Irrigators’ Council and parliament. They will develop networking and advocating skills learned in stage one. 

Course outcomes:

Managing change in yourself: 

  • Self-awareness 
  • Time management 
  • Effective communication, including public speaking 
  • Networking 
  • Increased industry knowledge 

Operating skills: 

  • Meeting procedures 
  • Advocacy 
  • Working collaboratively 
  • Presentation Skills 
  • Understanding industry structure 
  • Introduction to organisational governance and financial management 

For more information and to apply click here.

Applications open 5th of November closing on the 5th of December 2018.

This is a fully funded program, included all meals and accommodation.

Contact – Ainsley Massina, Leadership Coordinator at 
               or 0428 859 214



The RGA Foundations of Leadership Program is an ambitious program which aims to develop a cohort of emerging leaders for:

  • Succession planning and strategic contributions on boards, committees and in the rice industry and communities as a whole;
  • To develop advocacy and governance capacity in the sector; and
  • To develop self-aware, forward thinking strategic leaders who can build the industry and the region into the future.

The RGA’s objective is to develop the leadership capacity and resilience of its sector.  The overall objectives of the leadership program are to assist participants to:

  • Deepen their understanding and appreciation of the need for flexible and responsive leadership;
  • Introduce the participants to foundational aspects and skills of effective leadership
  • Introduce the participants to the foundations of Corporate strategy, governance and finance
  • Develop greater self-awareness and adaptability in terms of behavioural responses, management style, and leadership approach;
  • Develop a structured pathway for future leadership development;
  • Foster ongoing relationships for peer support in the rice industry;
  • Engage in a larger national network of leaders through the ALRF’s Network of Fellows.

Developing the ability to influence others and to contribute to the future success of the rice industry and the board agricultural industry, involves individual leaders learning about themselves and how they can work collaboratively with others.  Participation in the Program will improve the participant’s confidence and skills, which will benefit not only the rice industry but the region as a whole.

Program Content

Leadership Development and Effective Teams

  • Experiential challenge activities
  • Self-awareness
  • Group Skills and engagement
  • Facilitating effective meetings
  • Conflict management – Having ‘real’ conversations
  • Leadership vs Management
  • 360 degree feedback
  • Development of personal learning plans.

Leadership Pathways

  • Meeting industry: RGA, LLS, irrigation companies, SunRice
  • Networking
  • Presentation skills

Post-Course Follow-up

  • Introduction to (and membership of) the Foundation’s Network of Fellows to expand contacts to provide an ongoing support base
  • Having fun as emerging leaders!

Time Commitment

There are two sessions – the first of five days (four nights) and the second of three days (three nights) which will be held in the rice growing region.

Session 1 – Monday 28 May to Friday 1 June 2018 inclusive at Deniliquin

Session 2 – Tuesday 3 to Thursday 5 July 2018 inclusive at Leeton

Who will attend?

The program is designed for a maximum of 18 participants these participants will be drawn from within each RGA branch, in addition, organisations who have sponsored the Leadership Development Program will also be invited to seek EOI from within their networks, and these include Sunrice, Rice Extension, AgriFutures and the Rice Marketing Board.  In addition organisations who support the rice industry including LLS, irrigation companies and the MDBA have also been invited to seek EOI in the program.

In the event we have greater EOI than available positions, the RGA will make the final decision on the attendees based on the EOI forms.

This program has be developed by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation in conjunction with the RGA.

Established Leaders Program


Who is the program for?

The Established Leaders Program is targeted at rice growers and industry representatives who have experience and ambitions to take up a position as a potential director of SunRice, the Rice Marketing Board or AgriFutures Australia. Participants must currently be contributing to the broader rice industry. 

What will you gain? 

The Established Leaders Program assists future directors by giving them the knowledge, practical experience and networks to thrive within the industry. In this program participants will work with The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Zoë Routh, Inner Compass Australia Pty Ltd, and SunRice Board and Executives.

When does the program take place?

The Established Leaders Program will run from October 2018 - March 2019.

Successful participants will commit 12 days over a 4 month period to complete all stages of the program.

When do applications close?

Application close on Friday, 7th September 2018 (5:00pm) - applications close. Late applications will not be considered.

View full program prospectus here. 

Nuffield Scholarships


Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships is a unique program that awards primary producers with a life-changing scholarship to travel overseas and study an agricultural topic of choice.

Nuffield has been selecting primary producers for over 60 years and it is the leading program for primary producers in Australia.

Scholars are selected annually on merit as people who are committed and passionate about farming or fishing, are at the leading edge of technology uptake and potential future leaders in the industry.

The rice industry currently sponsors a Nuffield Scholarship. For further information, including how to apply, visit the Nuffield Australia website.


AgriFutures Horizon Scholarships


A scholarship for those passionate about agriculture

The Horizon Scholarship has been developed to support the next generation of agricultural leaders, who will take up the challenge of farming for the future. AgriFutures is looking for young people who are passionate about agriculture, with a keen interest in the future of our industries and who are ready to expand their networks and learn new skills.

About the Horizon Scholarship

In partnership with industry sponsors, the AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship is an initiative supporting students enrolled in full time study at an Australian university by providing:

  • An bursary of $5,000 per year for the duration of their degree
  • Professional development workshops
  • Annual industry work placements that give students first-hand exposure to modern agricultural practices, and
  • Opportunities to network and gain knowledge at a range of industry events.
The 2018 AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship brochure contains further information on recent changes to the program, and the benefits students receive.


To be eligible for the Horizon Scholarship, students must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident enrolled full-time in their first year of an agriculture-related degree at an Australian university with a maximum two-year gap between high school and tertiary study.

IN ADDITION, in 2018 there are three additional and unique scholarships on offer, targeting students in their final two years of study within a financial services discipline with a keen interest in agriculture. This scholarship is known as the 2018 AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship, sponsored by Westpac. The application process and benefits remain the same for this scholarship.

Suitable degrees include, but are not limited to:

  • Agricultural Science
  • Rural Science
  • Livestock/Animal Science
  • Veterinary Science
  • Agribusiness
  • Plant Science
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Resource Management
  • Sustainability
  • Food Security
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) with major studies and subject selections relevant to, and aligned with, agriculture
  • If applying for the Westpac scholarship, suitable degrees included banking or financial planning disciplines

Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of their commitment to a career in agriculture, as well as their leadership potential and high school academic record.

Recipients will be required to attend the workshop (held in the first week of July in 2018), and complete two weeks of work placement each year of the scholarship. Reasonable costs associated with these activities are covered by the program.

How to apply:

Applications for the 2018 AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship open on Monday, 8 January 2018.

To apply for the scholarship, students must personally complete the online application form, which will be live on this website from 9.00am Monday, 8 January 2018. Applications close at 5.00pm AEDT, Friday 23 February 2018.

Before beginning the application process, applicants must read the AgriFutures Horizon Scholarship terms and conditions. You are not required to sign this document as part of your application, but please note that by submitting an application, you will be required to agree to these terms as part of the online application.

Please email for any scholarship queries. Any enquiries should be made personally by the applicant.

Following a review of all written applications, short-listed applicants will participate in a phone interview with representatives from AgriFutures Australia and Horizon Scholarship sponsors, after which the successful applicants will be selected.

Successful students will be notified in May.

Jan Cathcart Scholarship


Jan Cathcart was a 43-year contributor to the rice industry and sadly lost her battle with cancer in September 2014. The scholarship program recognises Jan’s high principles, commitment and contribution to the Australian rice industry, SunRice and their shareholders and growers. It is designed to support talented women who demonstrate a passion and commitment to the rice industry and who can contribute and play a critical part in shaping a positive future for the rice industry.

On 13 November 2014, SunRice launched the inaugural Jan Cathcart Scholarship Award; the scholarship is valued at $10,000 a year for up to three years of university study. The scholarship is designed to support a female employee, rice grower, shareholder, or a member of their extended family. The successful applicant will be chosen on: her commitment to a career in agriculture; her involvement in work experience and community service; leadership potential; and academic achievements.

To be eligible for the Jan Cathcart Memorial Scholarship, applicants must be female and be a SunRice Group employee, grower, shareholder or a relative of any of these groups. Ideally applicants’ tertiary study will align to positions in greater demand across regional Australia, including but not limited to agricultural science, engineering and finance / business. Priority will be given to applicants from regional Australia, preferably those from rice growing areas, however SunRice welcomes all suitable applications. Please note as a part of the program scholarship recipients will be offered career opportunities within the SunRice Group. 

The first scholarship will commence from Semester One, 2017. To apply, and for further information on the application process and eligibility guidelines, please visit the SunRice Careers page.

Australian Rural Leadership Program


Next Program:

Course 24, August 2017 - October 2018

54 days | Six sessions | 15 months - for established leaders

The Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) is rural Australia’s iconic leadership development program. It is a 59 day program, delivered in six sessions over 17 months. Five of these sessions take place in locations across Australia, and one component takes place overseas. Group size is 30 to 35 leaders.

The ARLP aims to produce a network of informed, capable and ethical leaders who are able to work collaboratively to advance the interests of their industries, businesses, communities and rural Australia in general.

The program works to improve the capacity of rural leaders to engage wherever a challenge is best addressed and wherever they can contribute most effectively. This may be within communities and industries, in the political arena or in team-based roles.

The ARLP is a scholarship-based program with a national, competitive selection process held each year.  A rice industry scholarship is available to eligible rice growers.

For further information, including how to apply, visit the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation website.

The rice industry has provided a scholarship for Jeremy Morton in Course 22 commencing in May 2015.

We also provided scholarships for two participants in Course 21 commencing in May 2014. They are Scott Hogan from Coleambally and Lachlan Bull from Conargo.