Opportunity Knocks for Rural Women 01 Aug 2011

The peak national award that recognises Australia’s most inspirational rural women is now open to applications.

The 2012 RIRDC Rural Women’s Award provides financial assistance, mentoring and access to a nation-wide network of business and community leaders for the selected winners. Winners are selected for each state and a national winner is also chosen.

Each applicant is asked to submit a proposal, or vision, that will improve Australia’s rural communities and State and Territory winners will receive a $10,000 financial bursary to implement that vision. The State and Territory winners and runners up will also have the opportunity to undertake the AICD Company Directors Course and be supported with 12 months of facilitated individual strategic leadership support.

The aim of the Award is to support women with demonstrated leadership capabilities who have the desire and commitment to make an even greater contribution to their industries and communities.

Rural women are encouraged to enter themselves or to nominate someone they think is making, or could make, a real difference to their community.

The RIRDC Rural Women’s Award 2011 winner, Caroline Robinson has been amazed by the power of the Award.

“The Award has generated huge exposure for my business, the WA Wheatbelt Business Network. It has given me new leadership skills and experiences, introduced me to a network of remarkable rural women and provided new opportunities to help rural women get into important conversations about the future of their industries and communities,” Caroline said.
RIRDC Managing Director, Craig Burns said the Award is increasing rural women’s leadership effectiveness and contribution to industries and communities.

“Our 2010 national winner, Sue Middleton has recently been appointed to the WA Royalties for Regions Advisory Trust Board, our 2010 Victorian runner up Claire Penniceard will be keynote speaker at this year’s SEGRA conference, while our 2010 Tasmanian winner, Gabbi Bresnehan, has had a huge impact in utilising the bursary to support rural women in crisis from the impacts of drought, just to name a few examples,” Mr Burns said.

These women are our future rural leaders and the Award has supported them to take the next step in their leadership journey.”

The Award is open to all women involved in primary industries, including broad-acre farming, intensive livestock, cropping, horticulture, fisheries, forestry, new and emerging plant and animal enterprises, indigenous rural enterprises, natural resource management and related service industries.

The Award is an initiative of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, in partnership with the state and territory agencies responsible for agriculture, primary industries and resources.
RIRDC acknowledges the support of the Award’s national partner: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Award’s sponsors: Westpac Banking Corporation, ABC Radio and Rural Press Ltd.
Applications can be also downloaded and submitted online from the RIRDC website:

Applications close on World Rural Women’s Day-15th October 2011.

Media inquiries:
RIRDC Rural Women’s Award National Coordinator – Edwina Clowes 0417 727 544 
Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award 2011 Winner & WA Winner –Caroline Robinson (Woolocutty) 08 9880 8035
Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award 2011 Runner Up & Qld Winner – Barbara Grey (Mungindi) 0427 448 712 
RWA 2011 NSW Winner – Karen Hutchinson (Hanwood) 02 6962 0207 
RWA 2011 Victorian Winner – Angela Betheras (Darnum) 03 5627 8121 
RWA 2011 South Australian Winner – Kim Blenkiron (Strathalbyn) 08 8536 8258 
RWA 2011 Tasmanian Winner – Jackie Brown (Brighton) 03 6268 1972