AgriFutures Australia is a diamond sponsor of the Country to Canberra empowerment program which aims to inspire young rural women to reach their leadership potential and create their own impact in rural communities.
Country to Canberra program founder and AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award Alumni, Hannah Wandel established the initiative in 2014 to ensure rural and remote teenage girls have equal access to education and leadership opportunities.
“In Australia, we still have a 14.6% gender pay gap and women are significantly under-represented in leadership positions across politics, business and primary industries. Even more shockingly, research from Plan International shows that when girls are 10 years of age, 56% feel self-confident, but by the time they finish high school, just 27% feel confident within themselves.
“When combining geographical and gender issues, I saw a niche group of girls in rural Australia that needed additional support, so I created Country to Canberra,” said Ms Wandel.
The winners participated in a range of leadership development workshops including an AgriFutures Australia workshop facilitated by Jo Burston and Liz Jackson from startup.business who ran an enthralling session on seeing and thinking like an entrepreneur. Winners also had the opportunity to meet with prominent leaders including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, 2018 AgriFutures™ NSW/ACT Rural Women’s Award Winner Jillian Kilby and National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson.
The AgriFutures™ Ignite Network also offered two members the opportunity to attend components of the ‘Power Trip’; the personal perspectives panel discussion and the Powerful Women’s Breakfast.
Ignite Network member Jennifer Zappia valued the opportunity to connect with the Country to Canberra participants, influential leaders and mentors.
“Having grown up in a rural community, I not only understand but have experienced the challenges young women in rural communities face in accessing education and career development. I applaud Hannah Wandel’s inspiring efforts in providing young rural women with the opportunity to challenge their views and values in order to return to their community with the skillset to grow the long-term prosperity of Australian rural communities,” said Ms Zappia.