Leadership Development Program

Kate empowering future ‘aggies’ to dream big

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024

Bringing her experience and passion for agriculture to the classroom, Kate Strong hopes her students will gain the sense that they can “dream bigger than just their backyard”.

Growing up on a cattle property in south-east Queensland, Kate went on to study her Bachelor of Agriculture and Bachelor of Business before working as an agricultural consultant.

Recognising the pivotal role education plays in shaping the future of agriculture, Kate decided to embark on a teaching career through our Leadership Development Program.

She is teaching at the Western Australian College of Agriculture in Cunderdin while gaining her Master of Teaching and supported by wrap-around coaching and mentoring during our two-year program.

“What appealed to me about the Leadership Development Program, right from that first discussion about TFA, was the ability to get experience while studying,” she said.

“It can be very daunting to be thrown in the deep end while studying and still learning the ropes, but from my previous working experience, you learn the most when you are on the job actively practising what you are learning. To come out after two years of study and work with real life experience is invaluable.

“The TFA team have been incredible in their support along the journey so far. I truly feel like there is a team of people batting for me, with my best interests at heart, helping me in my journey of teaching.”

Inspiring young ‘aggies’

Kate is teaching animal production, plant production and maths and said that teaching at an agricultural school “really ticked all the boxes”.

“Agriculture is not only an industry that I have experience in, but it’s also a passion of mine that I want to share with everyone,” she said.

“Throughout the journey, what has been one of the things that has kept me consistently excited and looking forward to my role is being able to talk agriculture with fellow future young aggies! From my background, I feel I have a lot of similarities with my students and can find ways to relate the classroom content to their interests.

“I hope to bring to my students the sense that they can dream bigger than just their backyard. Agriculture is an industry that spans the world, and students have the opportunity to share their knowledge and learn new skills wherever they want to go.”

Connecting communities

Kate line danced around Australia to raise funds for charities with her friend, Claire Harris, in an initiative called Hoedowns for Country Towns – which was even featured on ABC’s Backroads.

She hopes to continue to find ways to use line dancing as a tool for community connection, whether that be at school or within the broader community.

“I know line dancing isn’t for everyone, but within the classroom I’d like to have the occasional line dancing brain break with my students and again share with them that they can make their dreams come true. It doesn’t matter how big or small they are!

“There were a lot of elements to the line dancing venture, as there is to any business, so I plan to share some of those business skills with my students for whatever they hope to achieve post-school.”

About our program

Passionate career changers – like Kate – bring valuable experience, specialist knowledge and unique perspectives to classrooms in disadvantaged communities across Australia through our Leadership Development Program.

Our Associates work in schools teaching subjects directly related to their previous studies while they undertake a Master of Teaching (Secondary) (Leading Learning) with our academic partner Australian Catholic University (ACU).

During the two-year program, Associates receive one-on-one coaching and mentoring and earn a full salary – approximately $62,000-$65,000 base salary, depending on the placement location.

We are grateful to Rokt for supporting STEM teachers like Kate in the 2024 LDP cohort.

  • Professionals – change careers without giving up your income by joining our Leadership Development Program.
  • The employment-based pathway means you’ll earn a full salary while undertaking your Master of Teaching over the two years.
  • Make a difference for students in the classroom while kickstarting a meaningful new career.
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