Seven of Australia’s leading rural women are in the running to be announced as the national winner of the 2014 RIRDC Rural Women’s Award.
Each of the seven finalists – one from each state and the Northern Territory – were selected based on a project or “vision” they want to implement that will benefit rural people or rural industries. Each of the finalists will receive a $10,000 bursary to help make their project a reality.
The Award also provides the state winners and runners-up with personal and professional development opportunities, including access to a network of Award alumni mentors and a Company Directors course run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
The national winner will be announced on 24 September at the 2014 RIRDC Rural Women's Award National Celebratory Dinner, to be held at Parliament House in Canberra.
The 2014 RIRDC Rural Women’s Award state winners and their projects are:
Tasmania state winner – Annette Reid
Annette will undertake a study tour to western USA and Canada to explore successful niche market tomato and garlic enterprises. Annette plans to explore growing methods, best varieties for transport and sale, frost mitigation, extending growing season, marketing, value adding, packaging, consumer preferences and much more.
Victoria state winner – Julie Aldous
Julie will promote careers in primary industries and learning opportunities for high school students through local land management placements and the development of partnerships between schools and their rural communities.
Western Australia state winner – Jackie Jarvis
Jackie will create video postcards showcasing resettled refugees working in agriculture, following on from a program she is running that helps migrants find employment on farms.
South Australia state winner – Penny Schulz
Penny will run the National Dairy Challenge, a two day event attracting small teams from across the country to compete in a range of dairy related activities including pasture management, cattle judging, cheese/milk tasting, animal selection based on genetic breeding values and milk quality control.
Northern Territory winner – Dr Amelia Rentz
Amelia will develop a rural education program focusing on high risk diseases of animals which can infect humans, and how they relate to humans and animals in regional northern Australia.
Queensland state winner – Lauren Hewitt
Lauren will look at improving farm profitability through leasehold tenure and rent security - sharing knowledge and improving collaboration between leasehold jurisdictions.
New South Wales state winner – Pip Job
Pip will set up a rural women’s training program 'Positive Farming Footprints' to create a community of women who have the adaptive capacity to manage the challenges of rural life.
The 2014 RIRDC Rural Women’s Award state runners-up are:
Tasmania runner up - Sarah Hirst
Queensland runner up - Rhonda Sorenson
Western Australia runner-up - Jodie Lane
Victoria runner-up - Avril Hogan
South Australia runner-up - Susie Green
New South Wales runner-up - Edwina Beveridge
Northern territory runner-up - Bonnie Henderson
About the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award
The RIRDC Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s pre-eminent award for rural women. The Award was instigated by RIRDC in 2000 to support women with demonstrated leadership capabilities and a commitment to make an even greater contribution to their industries and communities.
The Award’s Platinum Sponsor is Westpac Agribusiness, its national partner is the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, and its media partners are OUTBACK magazine, ABC Radio and Fairfax Agricultural Media.