Old Collegian Appointed First Female CEO of WARAS

The WA Royal Agricultural Society (WARAS) has appointed PLC Old Collegian, Robyn Sermon (1990) as its first female Chief Executive Officer.

This historic appointment will see her become the first women to take the reins at the society, which formed in 1831.

According to Robyn, agriculture is a dynamic, innovative industry, that requires smart, educated individuals seeking a challenge. And there’s no shortage of diverse individuals interested in working in agriculture.

“It is a great privilege to be appointed to lead an organisation that has been working to promote agriculture in WA for 191 years,” Robyn said.

“Women have always played an integral role in the agriculture sector, and I am looking forward to recognising and celebrating all diversity, across this incredible sector.”

When it came to entering the agriculture field, she said her childhood was the catalyst behind her career choice.

“Being from the Wheatbelt region and with farming in my blood, it seemed like a natural fit to combine my passion for regional economic development with my experience in business leadership,” Robyn said.

She added that her strong involvement with the PLC community, stemming in part from her role of Senior Boarder in 1990, has made a large contribution to her success and should not go unrecognised.

“Never underestimate the strength of your PLC network and friends. It has been an important – and fun – part of my career and life journey!” Robyn said.

She plans to use this career opportunity, in her role as WARAS CEO, to strengthen the future of agriculture across Western Australia.

“The WARAS council has done an enormous amount of work looking to the future of the Society and I am looking forward to bringing this work to fruition,” Robyn said.

“This includes navigating COVID-19 and delivering the Royal Show in 2022, the longer-term redevelopment of the Claremont Showgrounds and growing the promotion of WA agricultural sector through the development of the Royal Show Food Awards.”

Drawing on her strong focus to work with rural communities, Robyn encourages all students to stay open to working in a regional location, when finding their passion.

“You don’t have to map out a career pathway as things never go quite to plan and some of the best advice I received is to keep your options open. It can help to pursue your interests, even if they change over time and grab opportunities as they come your way,” Robyn said.

“I am always a big advocate for people in any career to work in a regional location as it gives you a unique experience, and usually learn a lot more skills in a much shorter time frame.”

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