​Media release

Celebrating the achievements of our rural women leaders

15 October 2018​

The outstanding contribution rural women make to Australia’s rural industries and communities will be celebrated tonight at the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Awards.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the annual awards had for nearly twenty years recognised and celebrated the achievements of rural women – vital in driving change.

“Women are farmers and leaders and always have been,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award celebrates the talent, leadership and essential role of women in agriculture and rural enterprise.

“The awards provide financial assistance and mentoring via its nation-wide network of business and community leaders for selected state winners.

“Previous award winners include Georgie Somerset who is now a Director at the ABC and the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Danica Leys, now CEO of the CWA.”

This year’s finalists are:
  • Linda Blackwood, NT
  • Alex Thomas, SA
  • Krista Watkins, QLD
  • Melissa Connors, VIC
  • Jillian Kilby, NSW/ACT
  • Darrylin Gordon, WA
  • Allison Clark, TAS
​“The finalists were chosen from a highly competitive field and are incredible women who are leaders at work, at home and in their communities,” Minister Littleproud said.

“I want to congratulate all female leaders who put themselves forward.

“I also congratulate AgriFutures on setting a culture in which both genders can thrive. I congratulate it on appointing great female leaders within the organisation. I congratulate it on being a trailblazer in terms of recognising and celebrating the achievements of rural women - investments which have already paid huge dividends to our nation.”

Fast facts:
  • The Rural Women’s Award provides seven women a year with opportunities to develop the skills, resources and networks to help turn their visions into reality.
  • The Australian Government also provides support to the National Farmers’ Federation Diversity in Agricultural Leadership Program. 
    • ​The programme aims to promote greater gender diversity in Australian agribusiness leadership and representation, including through a mentoring program for aspiring female leaders with a passion for agriculture.​