Media Release

Recognising women in rural Australia

4 April 2014

The commitment and innovation of women working to improve life in rural Australia has been recognised across the country with seven finalists in the running for the 2014 RIRDC Rural Women's Award.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, congratulated the nominees—one from each state and the Northern Territory—and welcomed their chance to make a tangible difference to the economic and social development of rural communities.

"Australia is lucky to have so many strong and dedicated women who are leaders in their communities and inspire others by demonstrating a real passion to implement their visions for our primary industries," Minister Joyce said.

"The projects put forward by this year's finalists tackle some of the biggest issues facing rural women and their communities, including finding ways to influence farm profitability, promoting careers in primary industries and land management, encouraging more rural women to pursue careers in business and a range of education programmes for landholders."

This year's finalists are:

  • Tasmania state winner – Annette Reed
  • Victoria state winner – Julie Aldous
  • Western Australia state winner – Jackie Jarvis
  • South Australia state winner – Penny Schulz
  • Northern Territory winner – Dr Amelia Rentz
  • Queensland state winner – Lauren Hewitt
  • New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory state winner – Pip Job

"As Australia's top prize for rural women, this award also presents a unique opportunity for primary industries and rural communities to embrace diversity in leadership to successfully navigate future challenges," Minister Joyce said.

The awards provide emerging leaders with financial and professional support, access to a network of mentors and development opportunities. Finalists in the awards are selected based on both their commitment to rural Australia and a project or "vision" they want to implement that will benefit rural people and or rural industries and communities.

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.

For more on the RIRDC Rural Women’s Awards and the state finalists visit www.rirdc.gov.au/rural-women's-award.