By John Gladigau - Executive Director at Bulla Burra Operations Pty Ltd
Okay – I am going to level with you. I’m not very smart – at least that is what society tells me.
I left school after Year 10 when I was 15 years old and came home onto the family farm which I ran for many years before it became part of the much larger Bulla Burra.
I must admit that one of my great life regrets is that I did not complete high school. I feel this most when I am in conversations around world history, classic literature, chemistry and higher level arithmetic -and I can fully feel the gaps in my education from not going that bit further in those early years. As someone who hungers for knowledge, I wish I had that time over again. My Year 12 daughter revels in ribbing that she is more educated than her father!
But having said that, I have since become a Nuffield Farming Scholar, I am a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, I am one of only about 10 Aussie farmers to have been invited to participate in a high level farm management course called TEPAP run by Texas A&M University in Austin, TX, I am a graduate of the WCF ‘Challenge of Rural Leadership’ Course run by Duchy College in UK, have been a member of the Agribusiness Advisory Board of the University of Adelaide and have been a director of at least eight different companies or industry bodies. I have also completed dozens of courses related to chemicals, safety and compliance. Along with that I am a partner in a large-scale collaborative farm which I helped put together, and get asked to present at conferences and gatherings on the subject all over the world.
It could be argued that I have done okay.
And yet, when I am asked to fill in a government or industry form or survey – there is also that one seemingly important question that I always linger on, which embarrasses and hurts me.