Advocating for a culture of equality and diversity in agribusiness

07 August 2023 | News

Arabella Dudfield is one of 25 amazing young women and non-binary people who have been chosen as this year’s YWCA Y25 cohort.

The Lincoln University student was selected for the honour in recognition of her mahi as LUSA’s Rainbow EDI (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) and Wellbeing rep, a role she has relished since being elected to the newly-established position in October 2022.

The Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing student is also Co-President of SPACE, Lincoln’s student-led LGBTQIA+ organisation focused on fostering inclusivity and support for rainbow students at LU.

The two roles are complementary, and demand an incumbent with “a very particular set of skills”. Arabella’s communication and organisational capabilities, willingness to challenge the status quo and stand up for the rights of the community she represents, coupled with her naturally warm and welcoming personality, make her the perfect fit for the dual responsibility.

I’m so proud to be the first Lincoln student to serve as EDI and Wellbeing rep. It’s been an incredible experience, and I’ve gained valuable insights into governance, networking and policies.

“My SPACE work, too, has been really enjoyable, and I’ve had the honour of contributing to the creation of Lincoln University’s first-ever Queer Ball, in 2022.”

Arabella Dudfield: "I'm so proud to be the first Lincoln student to serve as EDI and Wellbeing rep."

The Queer Ball was a resounding, sold-out success, and Arabella and the SPACE team are excited to host it again in 2023.

Furthermore, the passionate advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community played a central role in organising Lincoln’s Pride Walk, in commemoration of World Pride Month and to celebrate the University’s diversity and inclusiveness. This popular event, which marches past many of the campus hotspots, including its two rainbow crossings, has now become an annual tradition and will continue to be a recurring highlight.

Student advocacy work

Her student advocacy work has enabled Arabella to pursue some of her most cherished causes.

“I am deeply committed to advocating for the visibility and rights of the LGBTQIA+ community on campus.

“By engaging in various advocacy efforts, I strive to ensure that LGBTQIA+ students are seen, heard and supported throughout their academic journey at Lincoln University.”

On graduating from Lincoln, Arabella hopes to extend this important mahi out into the wider community, with a special focus on the land-based sector.

“My passion for this endeavour stems from my strong desire to promote equality within the primary industries. I believe it’s crucial for individuals to have diverse role models who they can look up to and relate to within their industry.

“To achieve this, I believe that education will play a significant role in enlightening people about the various roles and opportunities that exist within the sector.

“By providing a better understanding and awareness, we can foster a more inclusive and representative environment in the primary industries.”

Career aspirations

Arabella’s major at Lincoln University is Supply Chain Management, and in 2024 she will be pursuing a Masters in Global Business and Marketing.

Once her studies are completed, a career in supply chain management beckons, but at this point she is still hedging her bets: “I have multiple career aspirations. At the moment, my primary goal is to seek a career in supply chain consultancy, where I can make a meaningful impact by assisting businesses in optimising their supply chain processes for greater efficiency.

“Alternatively, I also have a strong desire to become an entrepreneur and build my own business.

“I am open to exploring different opportunities and paths that may present themselves.

“I believe that my journey will lead me to exciting and fulfilling experiences in whichever direction my career takes me.”

One thing is certain: wherever she goes and whatever she does, Arabella will be a trailblazer and role model, as well as a strident advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Read about Arabella Dudfield and the other awesomeY25 wāhine and irarere on the Y25 website.

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The Y25 cohort for 2023