Rural Women, champions of change 01 Aug 2016

Applications open for Australia’s prestigious rural women’s award

The Rural Industries R&D Corporation’s (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s pre-eminent Award celebrating exceptional rural women. We invite you to join this celebration – either by nominating yourself or someone you know. Applications close 31 October 2016.

It is a life-changing opportunity for women who are passionate, courageous and aspire to lead positive rural industry and community change. For more than two decades the Award has championed women from Australia’s diverse industries and communities, giving them a platform to become part of the national conversation.

Susan Bower, Head of Westpac Agribusiness, said Westpac was again proud to be the Rural Women’s Award Platinum Partner. “The award is the highest recognition for rural women in Australia. It is more than simply acknowledgement of a smart idea, product or service. It provides women a platform to play a vital and pivotal leadership role across business and industry, bring about innovative change and build resilient rural communities.”

All state and territory winners receive a bursary of $10,000 to bring to life an idea benefiting rural Australia. They also participate in leadership development and gain access to a nation-wide network of Award alumni. The national winner and runner-up, selected from the state winners, receive a further $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.

John Harvey, RIRDC’s Managing Director, encourages industry and the community to get involved and nominate emerging rural leaders.

“More than 200 women have already been recognised as industry advocates through this Award – people from diverse backgrounds around the nation who contribute in many different ways. They’re community volunteers, farmers, business leaders and industry representatives.”

“Tapping women on the shoulder and encouraging them to apply for the Award is vitally important – it is our rural organisations, businesses and industries who know the people doing great things,” said
Mr Harvey.

Award winners and finalists join a vibrant Alumni of like-minded women helping to build stronger and more productive rural communities across Australia.

Last year’s South Australian and National Award winner, Sarah Powell, said “the Award has been a game changer; it’s linked me with people I never thought I'd get to meet and given me a voice to pursue my passion for building a generation of local leaders to sustain our regions.”

Ms Powell urges anyone who wanted to make a difference to apply. “The Award isn’t just about the $10,000 bursary. It introduces you to influential industry advocates and importantly it gives you a voice, a platform to talk about the issues that matter most to you.”   

The Award is presented in partnership with state and territory agencies responsible for agriculture, primary industries and resources. The Award is proudly supported by Platinum Sponsor, Westpac Agribusiness and the Award’s Media Partners, RM Williams OUTBACK Magazine, ABC Radio and Fairfax Agricultural Media.

Applications close 31 October 2016. The application form can be downloaded from the RIRDC website:


For more information or to interview a RIRDC Rural Women’s Award alumni, please contact:
Jennifer Medway, RIRDC: 02 6271 4132 / 0458 785 905