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Born in Launceston, Gwendolyn Adams attended Broadland House Church of England Girls Grammar School. Gwendolyn first married in 1962 and worked for 15 years as a secretary.
In 1969, she took over the running of the family property ‘Leighlands’, near Perth. With the assistance of her husband, Viv, Gwendolyn has successfully built the business while also becoming a strong advocate of environmental management. She has focussed on whole farm planning and has endeavoured to plant 1000 trees a year for the past two decades.
Gwendolyn is widely regarded as a role model and mentor for women in agriculture. She was named a regional winner of the ABC Rural Woman of the Year for Tasmania in 1995 and in 2001 received the Stock and Land Landcare Primary Producer Award. Gwendolyn has provided outstanding leadership as a founder of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture and as a mentor for women in agriculture, where she has a special interest in assisting women who have been widowed. In 2000, she was a member of the committee for the Fourth Women on Farms Gathering held at Poatina.
Gwendolyn works as an advocate for agriculture and land care through a wide range of community and industry groups. She is a committee member of the Tasmanian Landcare Association, the convenor of the Tasmanian Landcare Trust Fund, secretary/treasurer of the Perth and Evandale Rural Landcare Group Inc, coordinator of the Northern Midlands branch of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture, and a member of Greening Australia and Understorey Network. Gwendolyn is active in the Natural Heritage Trust Bushweb program and has worked with Green Corps volunteers. She is a past member of the National Parks and Wildlife Service Advisory Council.
From 1990 until 1996, Gwendolyn and her husband were members of the International Agricultural Exchange Association and hosted overseas students. In 1998, she received a bursary to attend the Second International Conference on Women in Agriculture in Washington DC and undertook a tour of Californian agricultural and livestock enterprises. She attended the National Community Networking Conference at Ballarat in 1999, delivering a paper on the Tasmanian Community Network.
Gwendolyn’s industry involvements include being a member of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Wool (TFGA) Council and TFGA Weed Committee and a member of the International Wool and Textile Organisation’s Social Committee.
Gwendolyn encourages young people to consider a career in farming. She participated in the Adopt A Farm program with students at Punchbowl Primary School for two years and has worked with the East Launceston Primary School for the past eight years. Gwendolyn is on the committee of the TFGA Working in Wool Program, which is delivered at Leighlands.
Gwendolyn has been a fundraiser for the Salvation Army for the past 30 years. In 2006 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the agricultural sector in Tasmania.