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Land of opportunities

Susan Bower, Head of Agribusiness for Westpac, is working to ensure a bright future for Australian agriculture.

What is your background?

I've been associated with agriculture my entire life as I grew up on my family's beef cattle property in the Hunter Valley, NSW. I developed a passion for the industry from a very young age and knew I wanted to be hands-on in agriculture in my career. I studied agribusiness and animal science at university and have worked for 15 years in banking and financial services. I'm now in a fortunate position working for Westpac Agribusiness where I can be instrumental in developing strategies to support Australian agriculture.

What is your vision for the future of Australian agriculture?

I'm extremely bullish about the future of Australian agriculture, and that future looks very bright. We hold an enviable position on the global agriculture stage, with a strong reputation for high-quality, clean, green and consistent products. We are leaders in technology, innovation, and research and development (R&D), but we need to ensure we remain focused on all areas of production to continue to strengthen our position.

In what ways does your role with Westpac allow you to support Australian agribusiness?

I work closely with industry to look at new and improved ideas to ensure we support Australian agriculture to be more profitable and sustainable and to have longevity for generations to come. Access to timely information and specialists is critical to ensuring our customers and industries are supported so they can be responsive to opportunities.

What opportunities do you see in the near future for the growth of R&D in Australia?

The biggest opportunity for Australian agriculture is looking at how we continue to create greater production efficiencies across all industries. This will require continued investment in R&D to ensure improvements and discoveries can be mobilised and embedded.

What Australian agribusiness events are must-dos on your calendar?

Every year is different and all industries hold events that are really valuable. I always try to get to the annual ABARES Outlook conference to receive comprehensive forecasts and outlooks for all industries. Everyone should lock Beef Australia 2015 in Rockhampton into their diaries for next year. This is the pre-eminent event for the beef industry and is extremely well regarded domestically and globally.

What do you think are the reasons for your success?

I'm a firm believer that you create your own opportunities and luck in life. When I look at my career, I've put my heart and soul into everything I've done. If I had to put it down to a reason, it would be my hard work, drive and passion that have got me to where I am today.