Mandy Walker wins Western Australian AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award

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Mandy Walker has been named the winner of the 2024 Western Australian AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for supporting regional businesses to diversify and flourish.

Mrs Walker accepted the Award last night at a ceremony presented by the Hon. Sandra Carr MLC, Member for Agricultural Region.

The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, supported by platinum sponsor 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 Western Australia.

Mrs Walker received 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. Mrs Walker will go on to represent Western Australia at the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement 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.

Mrs Walker co-owns Walkers Diesel Services in Wongan Hills, specialising in heavy-duty diesel repairs and maintenance across agricultural, transport, and mining sectors.

A passionate advocate for family business in regional areas, Mrs Walker has developed a game-changing business model for other Wheatbelt engineering enterprises. The model will assist businesses to collaboratively integrate into the defence industry’s existing supply chain and help future-proof them against the seasonal fluctuations of agriculture.

“Family businesses are the backbone of so many regional communities, and I want to keep building them up to ensure we have prosperous, resilient and vibrant communities for generations to come,” Mrs Walker said.

“This business model will not only help other regional and family businesses mitigate the impacts of different seasons we experience in the agriculture sector, but also allow them to take advantage of the Government’s investment in the defence industries over the next 25 years.”

The Hon. Jackie Jarvis MLC, Minister for Agriculture and Food, Forestry and Small Business, congratulated Mrs Walker and fellow finalists Jay Page and Nicola Kelliher for their contribution to regional communities in Western Australia.
“I congratulate Mandy, whose project has the potential to have a significant and clear impact on regional businesses and in turn regional communities,” Ms Jarvis said.
“All three finalists have demonstrated innovative thinking, strong community links and a passion for regional businesses.”

AgriFutures Australia Managing Director John Harvey said Mrs Walker’s project is the perfect example of regional women looking out for others.

“Regional businesses are a staple of so many bush communities, and they are exceptional at adapting and diversifying to meet changing demands to ensure their longevity,” Mr Harvey said.

“I’m so proud the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award provides women like Mandy with a platform, support and leadership to bring to life game-changing, inspiring and impactful change across rural and regional Australia.”

Pauline Gazzard, WA Regional General Manager, Regional & Agribusiness for platinum sponsor Westpac, also congratulated Mandy for being awarded the Western Australian State Winner.
“The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award is synonymous with visionary rural champions in our community and sectors. Intuitive change makers like Mandy represent the type of role models our communities and rural economies need in order to thrive well into the future – which is why Westpac continues to support important opportunities such as these Awards. Congratulations to Mandy,” said Pauline.

Congratulations to all the Western Australian finalists, including Jay Page and Nicola Kelliher.
For more information about the Awards, head to www.agrifutures.com.au/rwa

Media Enquiries:

Ella Smith | The Regional PR Co.
E: ella@regionalpr.com.au
M: 0432 801 446

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