A boost for regional economies: NT AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Winner announced

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The winner of the 2023 Northern Territory AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award has been named as Business Strategist Eileen Breen, for her “SustainAbility” project to implement sustainable initiatives for regional and remote businesses.

Ms Breen accepted the Award last night at a ceremony hosted by Hon Paul Kirby, Minister for Business, Jobs and Training and Agribusiness and Fisheries.

The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, supported for the past decade by Westpac, is Australia’s leading award in acknowledging and supporting the critical role women play in rural and regional businesses, industries and communities. It is an opportunity to celebrate the forward thinking, courageous leaders who come from industries that represent some of the most vast and remote areas of the Northern Territory.

Ms Breen was selected for her work developing and implementing sustainable initiatives to help build resilience and profitability for regional businesses while also contributing to positive impacts for local communities and the environment.

She receives a $15,000 grant from Westpac to further support her project as well as the opportunity to undertake a professional development course of her choosing. Ms Breen will go on to represent the Northern Territory at the National AgriFutures Awards in Canberra later in the year where the National Winner will be awarded an additional $20,000 Westpac grant and the National Runner Up, an additional $15,000.

“Being involved in these awards is a fantastic opportunity to learn, grow and meet other inspiring rural women from across Australia.  I feel honoured to have been awarded the NT winner and look forward to representing the Territory in a national setting”, said Ms Breen.

Minister Kirby congratulated Ms Breen and fellow finalists Nicole Brown and Simone Cameron for their innovation and ongoing contributions to the Northern Territory.

“On the same week as International Women’s Day, it’s fantastic to see three strong women thriving in their industry. I’d like to extend my congratulations to Eileen. Her project is a testament to how this award provides a chance to recognise and celebrate the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities”, Minister Kirby said.

“The rural sector is a critical part of growing the Territory’s economy to $40 billion by 2030, supporting these awards helps foster and encourage future leaders of the Sector,” he said.

All three women will now join a 300-strong alumni that advocates for women in regional and rural Australia and provides a network to support their future endeavours.

AgriFutures Managing Director, John Harvey hopes Ms Breen’s achievements will inspire other young, determined and forward-thinking female leaders working in rural, regional and remote communities across the Territory for years to come.

“The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award provides these women a platform to build on their leadership skills to drive change in rural and regional Australia,” Mr Harvey explained.

“It’s exciting to see Eileen already making such a positive influence in her industry and community”, he said.

Supporting these sentiments, Westpac’s Regional General Manager for SA & NT Brad Higgins also commended Ms Breen for being awarded the title of Territory winner.

“Congratulations to Eileen for being awarded a Territory winner title for this year’s AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award. Like the many AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award winners and alumni before her, she represents a new generation of industry pioneers whose knowledge and expertise give life to new opportunities for business and local rural communities,” Mr Higgins said.

The Rural Women’s Award is proudly supported by the Northern Territory Government in conjunction with AgriFutures Australia and Westpac.

Find out more about the Award

Media contact:
Georgie Robertson | The Regional PR Co.
georgie@regionalpr.com.au
0417 217 869

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