Emerging female leaders from across the country are encouraged to apply for Australia’s leading Award in acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural and regional businesses, industries and communities.
With just two weeks to go until applications close on Sunday, 29 October, John Harvey, AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, says anyone who wants to innovate and make a difference, or contribute to enhancing the prosperity of rural and regional Australia should apply.
“The Award provides a life-changing opportunity for women to use and develop their skills to make a difference and benefit their industries and communities,” Mr Harvey says.
The Award, formerly the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award, has been renamed and adapted to align with AgriFutures Australia’s new strategic direction on the changing face of Agriculture, where technology is transforming the sector and successful and impactful leaders are skilled, professional, dynamic, entrepreneurial, commercially savvy and connected.
“Over the past two decades, the Rural Women’s Award has provided more than 200 women with significant professional development opportunities and importantly the opportunity to achieve positive change for rural and regional Australia. Award winners have delivered diverse and innovative projects relating to rural and regional industries, and the communities and businesses that rely on, and support them,” Mr Harvey says.
To align with AgriFutures Australia’s new strategic direction and to ensure the Rural Women’s Award continues to identify, celebrate and empower women, a number of changes have been made to the Award criteria for 2018.
“It is an exciting time ahead and the changes to the Rural Women’s Award is just one of many AgriFutures Australia initiatives ensuring rural and regional industries prosper now and into the future,” says Mr Harvey.
“One of the important changes to the 2018 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award is that projects or initiatives can be commercially focused, providing they still align with AgriFutures Australia’s strategic priorities of innovation, creativity, community sustainability, education, productivity, agribusiness, regional development and technology.”
“As has been the case in previous years, location is also no barrier – applicants can live in rural and regional Australia, or in the city – their applications will be measured on the impact and benefits to rural and regional Australia.”
Another important change to the Award criteria is applicants are not required to have a specific project to be considered eligible, although projects are still welcomed. This year, applications can be submitted based on an idea, an identified problem, or opportunity the applicant wants to focus on. Applicants may be in the early stages of working through how they want to contribute, or they may be well down the road in making their contribution.