The seven national finalists were announced at events in capital cities across Australia over the last three months, after a highly competitive selection process.
Women from all over Australia were encouraged to apply with a project, business or program having a positive impact on rural and emerging industries, businesses, and communities.
Each of the seven female leaders will receive a $15,000 Westpac grant to help boost, expand or elevate their work, with the National Winner awarded an additional $20,000 and National Runner Up, an additional $15,000. AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, John Harvey says he’s thrilled with the diverse and innovative projects that were submitted this year.
“It’s an exciting year for the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award with our seven national finalists already making such a positive influence in their industries and communities with their initiatives.
“We’re excited to provide these women with a platform to not only build on their leadership skills to drive change in rural and regional Australia, but also inspire and support other women whilst doing so,” said Mr Harvey.
The 2022 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award National Finalists:
NT – Kylie Jones, Alice Springs
Kylie is working to improve the educational support for families living in remote and isolated areas. Kylie gave up her stable job as a teacher to found RAISE Education, a not-for-profit organisation which provides individualised learning support by fostering connection and belonging for geographically isolated children, home tutors and parents.
TAS – Stephanie Trethewey, Dunkeld
Stephanie created Australia’s first personalised online rural mothers’ group. Motherland Village provides greater opportunities for rural mums across the country to find connection and support, regardless of their location.
VIC – Kimberly Furness, Strathfieldsaye
Kimberly is connecting regional and rural women through her magazine, OAK Magazine. The proudly independent print publication is dedicated to female entrepreneurs and women in business across regional and rural Australia.
WA – Louise O’Neill, Denmark
Louise is committed to improving the mental and physical wellbeing of rural communities Her business, Farm Life Fitness, aims to overcome the constraints of long distances in rural areas to deliver one-on-one coaching and live online group fitness workouts.
NSW/ACT – Josie Clarke, Bellimbopinni
Josie is passionate about inclusivity in the agriculture industry, particularly giving a voice to those with a disability. She developed Ability Agriculture to raise awareness and provide opportunities for those with disabilities through the provision of an online platform and community on Facebook and Instagram that shares the stories of those with a disability in Agriculture.
SA – Robyn Verrall, McCallum
Robyn’s goal is to reduce food insecurity and increase food affordability in rural, regional and First Nations communities in Australia. She is a director, founder and business advisor of Kere to Country, an Aboriginal owned-and-operated food supply company bringing high quality and affordable meat into First Nations communities in South Australia and the Northern Territory.
QLD – Rebecca Bradshaw, Jackson
Rebecca established the first private, child health nurse-led service to be delivered online in Queensland. Through the Award, she hopes to expand the reach of her service to more rural communities.
The seven inspiring women will represent their state or territory at the 2022 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement on Tuesday, 6 September 2022 at the Great Hall in Parliament House, where the National Winner and National Runner Up will be announced.
The Award’s Platinum Sponsor, Westpac Agribusiness congratulated all the state/territory finalists on their win and for being selected to represent their state at the national awards later this year.
“This award is one of the most prestigious acknowledgements of rural women and Westpac applauds all the state/territory finalists on their achievements. These leaders are turning projects and businesses into opportunities that benefit rural industries and communities.
“Westpac has been a long-term supporter of Australian rural industries and we’re committed to advancing the growth of women in business,” said Stephen Hannan, National General Manager, Agribusiness, Westpac Group.
Tickets are now on sale to the public for the 2022 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement and can be purchased here.
The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award has gained a significant profile, growing in prestige and popularity and is recognised as a program of influence among parliamentarians, industry, media and Award Alumni.
Each national finalist receives a $15,000 grant for their project, business or program, access to professional development opportunities and alumni networks.
The Award provides a platform to inspire and support Australian women to use and develop their skills to benefit their industries and communities.
AgriFutures Australia is committed to the future growth and advancement of the Award as a means of identifying, celebrating and empowering women. The Rural Women’s Award is one of many AgriFutures Australia initiatives ensuring our rural industries prosper now, and into the future.
• Platinum sponsor – Westpac
• Media partners – ABC Rural, RM Williams OUTBACK Magazine and Australian Community Media – Agricultural Publishing & Events