Member Spotlight with Dalene Wray
We caught up with Dalene Wray who is the Managing Director of OBE Organic.
I’m the Managing Director of OBE Organic, a family-owned, certified organic beef exporter founded in the pure heart of Australia. I grew up in the outback Queensland town of Birdsville. I started her career as a radiographer in regional Australian hospitals and in hospitals in the United Kingdom before spending three seasons in Europe as a tour guide. Between 2009 and 2015 I gained invaluable international business experience whilst living in Beijing and then Hong Kong, driving business opportunities for OBE Organic in Asia and the Middle East. I work hard to improve the sustainability of Australian agriculture by driving change, innovation and digital adoption. I’m a strong advocate of causes, such as mental health, indigenous reconciliation, diversity & inclusion.
What would you say your top strength or superpower is and how has it helped you in your career and personal life?
I’m a linguist and have studied Spanish, Chinese and French abroad. I have lived, worked or studied overseas for half my working life which gives me a great understanding and appreciation of other cultures.
Who has lit the way for you and supported you in your career so far?
Georgie Somerset has lit the way for me. Georgie is an experienced director and consultant working in agribusiness, regional development and marketing.
She has experience with Government, not for profit and private boards, regional engagement, business and governance.
In your opinion, what’s the one thing we should do to create an empowered and inclusive environment for all genders in the meat industry?
In order for the voices of women and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to be considered in the meat industry, we need a seat at the table. So often we see Governance Boards, Industry Councils and Working Groups filled with people who no doubt bring a wealth of experience to the table, but which lack diversity. We can achieve better results when our decision-making bodies more closely represent the societies we operate in.
Your best piece of advice?
I believe that confidence is built through sustained practise. I was advised early in my career to ‘turn up’. I started to attend events and listen quietly from the back of the room. Then I was reminded that I couldn’t just ‘turn up’, I had to ‘say something’. It’s some of the advice I’ve ever received. ‘Turn up & say something’ isn’t as easy as it sounds as you have to overcome nerves and imposter syndrome, but the more often you do it, the easier it gets.
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