Building the Capacity of the North

The Northern Hub is dedicated to improving the agricultural sector across the north of Australia. Our focus is on working with industry bodies to build the capacity of the north and support projects that help producers better plan for climate variation and adopt technology that improves production outcomes.

We fund a range of positions across the Northern Hub, including node managers, adoption and extension officers and soil coordinators, who work closely with industry bodies and other stakeholders to identify and support projects that deliver practical outcomes for the agricultural sector in the north. In addition to providing employment opportunities with our Node Members, our partners at Value Creators ran a series of Farm Resilience workshops that gave business owners the skills to more successfully manage operations through periods of greater climate variability.

  • Node Managers
  • Adoption and Extension Officers
  • Soil Coordinators
  • Climate Project Officer
  • Farm Resilience Training

Node Managers

Within each of our eight node member organisations sits a Node Manager. The Node Manager is responsible for managing the Hub’s core membership within that region, responding to all hub-related inquiries, and aiding the hub research manager when required. The hub manager reports on activities related to the drought hub on a quarterly basis, and participates in bi-weekly meetings with the hub. Additionally, Node Managers attend annual face-to-face meeting with the hub team, hub board, and other node managers, and provide assistance to the hub in delivering all hub-related activities through coordination and provision of contacts and networks. The hub manager plays a key role in advocating for the drought hub through presentations and networking opportunities and works with industry and partners to develop potential hub funding opportunities.

Adoption and Extension Officers

Extension and Adoption Officers work with producers and their communities to disseminate information about the Future Drought Fund and the support provided by the Northern Hub, and drive uptake of new innovations for improved drought resilience. Extension and Adoption Officers day-to-day operations include aiding in the dissemination of information, supporting farmers to use the tools developed through the FDF, guiding farmers to relevant knowledge, providing feedback to the Northern Hub, identifying and engaging with hard-to-reach cohorts, participating in monthly and annual meetings with the Hub, and assisting the hub in delivery of all hub-related activities. Additionally, they advocate for the Hub through presentations and networking opportunities and work with industry and partners to develop potential Hub funding opportunities.

Regional Soil Coordinators

The Northern Hub funds two part-time Soil Coordinator roles in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The coordinators help farmers in Northern Australia’s savannah regions improve their soil quality. One of the soil specialist’s roles is to help farmers build capacity to test and evaluate soil, and to build and fill gaps in knowledge about improving soils in Northern Australia. The regional soil coordinators will work with Soil Science Australia to form a National Community of Practice. The Soil Coordinators are working with Territory NRM and Rangelands NRM to carry out education and teach producers how to identify and control erosion, implement practices to minimise carbon loss, prevent surface crusting and sealing, and measure and reduce soil acidification.

Climate Mates – Climate Project Officer

Climate Mates are responsible for training node managers, adoption and extension officers, and producers to achieve Key Performance Indicator targets, including delivering awareness change in knowledge, attitude, skills, aspirations and change in practice. They achieve awareness through passive engagement by providing information, such as through quick presentations, newsletters, websites and tools, and change in practice necessitates active engagement with tailored and targeted discussions and focused relationships, often through face-to-face interaction with individual producers. Climate Mates are supported by the University of Southern Queensland and researchers from the Bureau of Meteorology to deliver a climate service to the Northern Hub region and improve weather and climate knowledge, awareness, skills and attitudes, and provide support and confidence to use this in decision-making and deliver practice change to reduce climate risk and drive positive financial, environmental and social outcomes.

Project titleproject lead and partnerssummaryprogress
Farm Business Resilience ProgramValue Creators (Lead) and NT Dept of Industry, Tourism and TradeBased on eight-week, cohort program approach where businesses come together to work on their long-term strategic farm business plan. Once registered for a program, the first step is a detailed on-line Farm Business Health Check, followed by two blocks of in-person workshops (two days each) with virtual mentoring in between blocks. The mentoring is focused on assisting each business complete their plan. The final step is a resilience checklist of the plan.