Continued funding for Rural Women’s Award will ensure strong future 27 Apr 2012

The peak national award that recognises Australia’s leading rural women has been given a boost following the announcement of $225,000 in Commonwealth funding over the next three years.

The funding, announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, will coincide with a number of initiatives that will revitalise the award and broaden its appeal and reach.

The Rural Industries R&D Corporation’s Managing Director, Craig Burns said the Award plays an important role in both promoting the role of rural women and helping to build their leadership capabilities.

“The Rural Women’s Award is the nation’s largest, most highly regarded and most prominent award for rural women,” Mr Burns said.

“The next few years will be a very exciting time for the Rural Women’s Award and the $75,000 in Commonwealth funding for each of the next three years will allow the Rural Industries R&D Corporation to further establish it as the peak Award for Australia’s rural women.

“We want as many Australian women to know about the Award and to get involved by either being nominated themselves or nominating someone else. In the next few years we’ll be actively going about making sure as many of Australia’s women are exposed to the Award in one way or another.

“We are excited about the future of the Award and despite its longevity there is great potential for the Award to develop and grow and become more contemporary and accessible to a wider number of Australian rural women.”

The Award’s state and territory winners receive a $10,000 financial bursary to implement their award vision.

Each state winner and runner-up also has the opportunity to participate in an Australian Institute of Company Directors learning program and is supported to develop an individual integrated leadership plan.

The Rural Women’s Award 2012 Celebratory Dinner, where the national winner is announced, will be held on 9 October at Parliament House in Canberra. Traditionally held in May, the national Award dinner has been moved to later in the year to allow for the state finalists to implement their award vision, which is funded by their bursaries, before the national winner is announced.

The RIRDC Rural Women’s Award is open to all women involved in primary industries and natural resource management and no formal qualifications are required.

The Award’s national partner is the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and its national sponsors are Westpac Banking Corporation, OUTBACK magazine, ABC Radio and Rural Press Ltd.

Media enquiries:
Damon Whittock – RIRDC Public Affairs Manager – 02 6271 4175 or 0458 215 604