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4 remarkable women in agriculture

28 February 2019
Celebrating women in agriculture
Four University of Sydney agriculture alumni share their inspiration, career journey and advice ahead of the 2019 RD Watt Lecture: Women in Agriculture.
Lucinda Corrigan

Lucinda Corrigan

Lucinda Corrigan (BScAgr (Hons), ’81) has forged an inspiring career as a leader in public, industry and private sector innovation across livestock industries.


“I was lucky enough to be brought up on a merino station in the western Riverina, which led me to studying agriculture at university.

“My career came from that, then settling on the land in the Murray Valley near Holbrook and building on my professional background with many different roles in addition to growing a large family genetics business.”

Career highlight

“I was awarded the Helen Newton Turner Medal for my contribution to Animal Breeding and Genetics in 2007 – I was the first woman to have that recognition and always admired Helen in my earlier life.

“More recently it has been seeing my daughter Ruth take over the running of the Rennylea herd and make her contribution to the livestock industries.”

Advice for female leaders

“I missed an understanding of different career pathways when I was young. Having a strategic view based on sound thinking about making it happen early in your career can assist mid-career and later choices.

“Identify some experienced people who have gone on different journeys and get their advice.”

Evie Murdoch

Evie Murdoch

Evie Murdoch (BScAgr (Hons), ’16) has worked across the agribusiness sector, striving to create meaningful and innovative change. Evie currently works at KPMG as a Senior Agribusiness Consultant.

Career highlight

“Working in my current role is completely dynamic and challenging. I can now say I have new knowledge in trade, supply chain, internet of things, agtech and more - you name it, I am learning it or living it.”

“I get to be at the forefront of a forward-focussed, consumer-centric, topical industry. I get to help shape change and drive growth.”

Future of agriculture

More people are starting to question where their food has come from - where and how it was grown, what’s in it, how it was processed, how it got to them.

“Soon, as an industry, we are going to be challenged to evidence this throughout the supply chain in real-time and free of charge to the end consumer as a matter of basic social licence to operate.”

Advice for female leaders

“I believe, possibly somewhat controversially, that the playing field is only as level as we've made it. Don't be dictated too and don't ever think that your sex defines you, limits you or shapes you.

“You are equal to everyone in a room and they to you. Lead as a leader - your sex aside. Empower others to think the same.”

Caroline Wardrop

Caroline Wardrop

Caroline Wardrop (BScAgr  (Hons), ’03) is an agricultural policy specialist who has worked for the Australian Government for the majority of her career. Caroline is currently seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to review the Australian Public Service.


“As a child, my family would spend our Easter holidays at a farm stay in Central West NSW. I learnt to ride horses, catch yabbies and muster cattle - it was always a highlight of my year. This gave me a taste for rural Australia and ignited my passion for agriculture.”

Career path

“I knew I wanted a career that involved animals in some way and agriculture seemed like a good degree choice for me. Unlike studying a pure science, it provided me with direction and a clear career path to follow.”

Future of Agriculture

“I think there is huge potential for the sector to build its competitiveness through innovation. There are plenty of ideas floating around - the real challenge will be to make them stick.

“To convince the farmer they’re worthwhile, to demonstrate they will deliver real returns and to make the products easy to use and cost effective.”

Dr Angela Pattison

Angela Pattison

Dr Angela Pattison (BScAgr (Hons) ’06, PhD ’12) is a plant breeder and agricultural scientist based at the University’s Narrabri Campus. Angela is working on projects to improve the performance of chickpeas in hot and dry environments.


“I was a city girl who always felt drawn to nature. I used to go jogging from my house in the suburbs to the edge of the national park to just look and listen.

“After studying agriculture at school and doing a bit of travel, I decided I wanted to help make more food for people in the world.”

Future of agriculture

“I believe the linkages between good land management and good food will become increasingly important.

“Price signals from consumers will also allow growers to better balance producing large quantities of an edible commodity with producing the features in our food that we all want to eat.”

Advice for female leaders

“Be strong, know what your values are and do not be ashamed to find the balance between family and work which is right for your own situation.”

Annual RD Watt Memorial Lecture

Join us to celebrate the contributions of women and hear more from our four alumni at our 2019 RD Watt Lecture: Women in Agriculture on Thursday 7 March at 6.00pm. Register to attend.

Listen to the Women in Agriculture lecture

The 2019 RD Watt Lecture, presented on 7 March 2019 in the Great Hall, the University of Sydney

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