Radley Woodcock is our next deserving recipient of one of 10 bursaries to attend the 2019 Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Based in Geraldton, Radley is a third-generation Western rock lobster fisherman who started working in the industry at the age of 15. Starting on deck and then progressing to become a Skipper, Radley has been running his own fishing company since 2009.
“Being a fisherman in the industry today and into the future, it is time to start playing a greater role, contributing to important changes in the industry and giving a voice to younger fishermen,” Radley said.
Radley has a number of marine based qualifications (MC4, MED1, etc) and is also currently completing a leadership course at TAFE. In addition, he has applied for a number of committees and was a participant at the 2018 DECK Program – WRL’s professional development and capacity building program.
Radley’s vision for the future of the industry is that the commercial and recreational sectors will be working in harmony towards a common goal of an accessible, environmentally sustainable and profitable (for government, industry and public) industry.
“I am committed and passionate about this industry today and into the future and I feel that to achieve my vision everyone needs to have a voice and help to make the changes needed to better our industry,” he said.
“I would also like there to be more opportunities for smaller operators and younger people entering the industry, as I feel like this would offer a broader outlook and allow for new ideas and innovations in the areas of efficiency, marketing and safety.”
Radley said his personal objectives for the future would be to continue to upskill himself through further TAFE courses and industry workshops that become available.
“I would like to pursue more leadership roles as I believe I have a lot to offer and I am extremely passionate and interested in not only the industry but also the environment, marketing and research,” he said.
“Pursuing more education in the areas of public speaking, business management and leadership will also provide me with confidence in these areas so I can be a better voice and representative for the industry.
“I also hope to continue running my small fishing operation as this is what makes me happy.”
Radley attended the Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congress in Tasmania in 2017 and said he really benefited from discussing with other fishermen some of the challenges they both face on a day to day basis.
He said attending the 2019 Congress will provide the same opportunities and there is always much to be learnt from other fishermen and fisheries worldwide.
“I came back from the 2017 congress inspired and with a new found respect for our Western rock lobster industry,” he said.
“I look forward to gaining more wisdom that I can then confidently implement into my own fishing operation.”
Radley believes that attending events like these breaks down barriers within the fishing community and leads to improved communications and relationships not only with the fishermen but the industry as a whole.
“As a fisherman I really enjoy learning about the other aspects that make up the industry such as processors, marketing, trade and research.
“I believe everyone should attend as it’s really beneficial to be meeting and talking to other people involved in the industry, but not necessarily in your sector.”
We look forward to working with Radley and his fellow bursary winners further and helping grow the positive impact our young future leaders will have on our State’s iconic Western rock lobster Industry.
The $3,000 bursaries provide professional development for future leaders of the Western rock lobster Industry and target skippers and crew members who are actively engaged in fishing operations. The bursaries have been funded by Western Rock Lobster through its Industry Partnership Agreement with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC).