2018 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner & National Announcement confirmed for Monday, 15 October 2018


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Anticipation and excitement is building for the prominent annual AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner at Parliament House in Canberra. Tickets to the black tie event are now on sale.

The seven inspiring women recently announced as 2018 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award state and territory winners will gather in Canberra for the announcement of the National Winner and Runner Up during a gala dinner in the Great Hall, Parliament House on Monday, 15 October 2018.

The Gala Dinner & National Announcement will be hosted by 2017 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award National Winner Tanya Dupagne. The black tie event will be attended by alumni, industry and private sector leaders, government officials, parliamentarians and media. For the second year in a row, the event is open to the public to purchase tickets online.

AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, John Harvey says the event is a celebration of inspiring women who are contributing to rural and regional communities, businesses and industries, and AgriFutures Australia are looking to build on the success of the previous year’s event.

“We are looking forward to toasting the achievements and commitment of the 2018 national finalists and wider alumni at this year’s Gala Dinner & National Announcement. It will be a night full of celebration and appreciation for a committed network of community leaders who are dedicated to creating positive impact in rural and regional Australia,” said Mr Harvey.

The National Winner and Runner Up will be announced in front of an anticipated full house of 500 guests in the Great Hall, Parliament House. The National Winner will receive an additional $10,000 bursary from Platinum sponsor Westpac, and the National Runner Up an additional $5,000 bursary.

A Platinum sponsor for the past 7 years, Westpac’s General Manager for Agribusiness Steve Hannan said AgriFutures Australia have continually done an exceptional job in showcasing the incredible work of the many hard-working women in our communities.

“Westpac continues to sponsor these Awards because we know there are thousands of dynamic women in our rural communities who are both relatable role models and natural leaders.

“These women play a crucial role in bringing about change by creating, motivating and innovating in our communities and, in many instances, the personal life of others. We know this because we have a 200 year history of supporting regional and rural Australia and we see this through our relationships with our customers,” said Mr Hannan.

In addition to the Westpac bursary provided, Mr Hannan said the Award provides an important forum where women can talk about the challenges and issues that are most important to them, whilst providing them with an extended network of advocates who use their talents and abilities to benefit their local industries and communities.

The 2018 state and territory winners vying for the National title are:

  • Linda Blackwood, NT
  • Allison Clark, TAS
  • Melissa Connors, VIC
  • Darrylin Gordon, WA
  • Jillian Kilby, NSW/ACT
  • Alex Thomas, SA
  • Krista Watkins, QLD

In 2017, 481 guests attended the Gala Dinner, which was over 35% more attendees than in previous years.

Tickets to the 2018 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner are on sale until 5.00pm, Friday 28 September (unless sold out prior) at www.agrifutures.com.au.

Background Information

The AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award: Over the past two decades, the Award has gained a significant profile, and is recognised as a program of influence among parliamentarians, industry, media and Award alumni. Each state and territory winner receives a $10,000 bursary for innovative ideas and projects, access to professional development opportunities and alumni networks.

The Award provides a platform to inspire and support Australian women to use and develop their skills to benefit their industries and communities.

AgriFutures Australia is committed to the future growth and advancement of the Award as a means of identifying, celebrating and empowering women. The Rural Women’s Award is one of many AgriFutures Australia initiatives ensuring our rural industries prosper now, and into the future.


  • Platinum sponsor – Westpac
  • Media partners – ABC Rural and RM Williams OUTBACK Magazine

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