2002 Runners Up

2002 New South Wales Runner-up - Ruth Quigley

Ruth and her family run a mixed farming operation incorporating wheat and cotton, cattle and olives. At the time of the Award she also owned and operated her own information technology and web development business, servicing a number of rural clients, including the NSW Rural Counselling Service and the stud merino outfit Haddon Rig.

Ruth’s vision is for agriculture to continue to strive to improve in farming and in business and to promote its achievements through the sharing of information and knowledge.

Central to her proposed activity was the development of a website – Ozcotton.net – to enhance the sharing of information, ideas and even job opportunities within the cotton industry. The site had the potential to act as a portal for those who want to reach the Australian cotton industry and to showcase Australian cotton products to the world.

With the site up and running, Ruth sees its potential as a one stop information and networking shop for the whole cotton industry, its numerous organisations and growers.

2002 New South Runner-up - Sandra Doyle

Sandra and her husband own and operate a goat stud, comprising of 200 Boer full blood and cross bred goats.  At the time of the Award, they had spent the previous four years building up their herd and establishing a goat meat cooperative targeting the restaurant trade. Their professionalism was evidenced by their first place position at the 2000 Sydney Royal Easter Show in the Hoof and Hook Competition.

Sandra’s vision was to improve the quality and consistency of goat meat to a standard comparable to that of the sheep and beef industries and suitable for the high value restaurant trade.

Her proposed activity involved developing a training program encompassing the production of consistently high quality animals through to the effective marketing of the meat to the restaurant trade.  The project, Sandra believes, opens up huge opportunities for rural women to put to use their under- utilized skills and talents.

2002 Victorian Runner-up - Tracey Delbridge

Tracey’s career focus has been on sustainable resource management. She has facilitated and coordinated a number of natural resource management programs including Waterwatch, Junior Landcare and Coast Action.

At the time of the Award she owned and operated a small eco-tourism business, Moonbird Tours, which focused on interpretation of the natural environment, indigenous culture, ecology and education. She was also a field officer for Greening Australia for the south west region of Victoria. Her vision is for all to appreciate and value the natural resource and to actively take part in its management and sustainability.

She intended to undertake an internship at the Institute of Earth Education at Cedar Cove, Greenville in America and planned to facilitate a series of active community and industry workshops designed to enthuse, motivate and revitalise community and industry education programs.

She hoped to support the delivery of catchment education programs by offering innovative styles based on integrating ‘Earth Education’ ethics and current catchment education program goals. The purchase of a mobile education trailer would assist Moonbird Tours in the facilitation of the ‘river-sea-land’ program, a program designed to integrate catchment management issues through interactive education programs, that involved bringing living ecosystems to regionally isolated communities throughout the state.

2002 Victorian Runner-up - Joanne Butterworth-Gray

At the time of the Award Joanne and her husband owned and operated a fruit and berry farm that they value added into an epicuran centre complete with restaurant and accommodation.

She was a member of the Victorian Food Advisory Group and Gippsland Women in Business and a Board member and Marketing Chairperson for Gippsland Agribusiness.

Joanne established the Gippsland Epicurean Network and a dedicated website: www.tasteofgippsland.com.au. This followed a feasibility study that confirmed the significant opportunities for agribusiness in promoting and marketing produce through a regional network. The network and  website  promotes and facilitates sales of Gippsland’s specialty agriculture produce, while achieving economies of scale for its producers.

Joanne’s vision was to realise Gippsland as a sustainable agribusiness centre offering employment and business opportunities for rural women based on a regional food brand for its raw and value added products.

She planned to further develop the project, by identifying new agricultural producers and suppliers, stronger networking and marketing effort and investigations into new domestic and international sales outlets and markets.

2002 Queensland Runner-up - Sonya Maley

At the time of the Award, Sonya and her husband owned and operated a permaculture and bamboo farm in northern Queensland. Her farm was in part self-sufficient and fully self-sustaining through access to remote area power supply water from adjacent World Heritage listed forests.

Sonya’s vision is to grow the bamboo industry into an innovative and viable long term sustainable primary industry for northern Australia.

Bamboo is an extremely versatile crop. It is unique in its production of a vigorous and annually renewable source of biomass for fibre, fuel and food applications including renewable energy, standard building materials and can also be used in bioremediation applications and carbon credits.

Sonya undertook extensive research and on-farm trials of bamboo, and established a Steering Committee to investigate the future feasibility of the industry.

Her proposed activity focused on information transfer of simple bamboo farming techniques and future directions for the industry through a video production. The video would equip primary producers with the knowledge they need to consider bamboo as a viable alternative and give them the practical skills to undertake their new venture. The video would be produced as a result of a study tour of the east coast from northern NSW to far north Queensland.

2002 Queensland Runner-up - Suzanne Nation

Suzanne returned to the family farm, which she purchased, and diversified from its traditional livestock and cropping enterprises into wine grapes and olives.

In 2001 she signed contracts with Greening Australia and Land for Wildlife, effectively committing close to half the farm to nature conservation and integration with other land management practices.

Suzanne was Secretary of the Central Downs Branch of the Queensland Rural Women’s Network and an Executive Committee Member of the Queensland Vine Improvement Association.

Her vision was for a new agricultural industry in the establishment of a wine based herbal beverage from early stage reject wine grapes.

She believed there was the opportunity to develop a whole new niche industry from what is currently regarded as a waste product of the wine industry.

Suzanne planned as a first step to develop her skills and knowledge of the wine industry and its people, and experiment further with the potential of this new beverage.

2002 South Australia Runner-up - Susan Berlin

At the time of the Award, Susan and her husband owned and operated the largest sheep dairy in Australia, milking around 300 sheep and producing some 16 tonnes of cheese and 34 tonnes of yogurt a year.  The company, Island Pure, was involved in the total supply chain, from managing the sheep, to milking, right through to processing, packaging and marketing sheep cheese and yogurt throughout Australia.

At the time of the Award, Susan was Chair of Agriculture Kangaroo Island, a group committed to the future viability and sustainability of primary industries on the Island.

Susan’s vision is to expand the sheep dairy industry and its value added potential and provide employment opportunities and an alternate enterprise for rural Australia.

Her proposed activity was to gain much needed IT computer training with the intent of developing a computer program that will work on weighting the significant influencing parameters behind milk volume.

Her activity involved the collection of data on various performance indicators from each animal, assessment of those indicators for both economic influence and genetic heritability, and the development of a computer program ranking individual animals and their economic performance.

2002 South Australia Runner-up - Carol Johnson

At the time of the Award, Carol was manager of the Millicient Stock Saleyards and was the only female stock saleyard manager in Australia. Under her leadership, throughput at the saleyard increased by 28 percent, while prices commanded were the highest in South Australia.

Carol achieved major milestones for the yards, including accreditation for quality assurance under the National Saleyards Quality Assurance Ltd (one of only three yards nationally to achieve this status), accreditation for SLEPP (Saudi Livestock Export Preparation Procedures) and accreditation for the European Union, with the yards boasting a bull selling ring and nine buyers’ cattle delivery pens.

She was awarded the Notable Achievement for Excellence in Saleyard Management and Service, by the Livestock Transport Association of South Australia Inc.

Carol’s vision was to motivate other women to get involved in the industry and to lift the image of saleyards as a venue for livestock exchanges. She proposed to write a book, a warts-and-all account of her experiences as a Saleyard Manager, taking into account some of the momentus times for the industry and its people. The book, she hoped, would encourage other women to enter this field of work, while educating men on some of the difficulties women face in this industry.

2002 Western Australia Runner-up - Tracey Elbert

Tracey is a partner in a mixed farming operation, specialising in coarse grains, wool and prime lamb production. She spends a significant part of her time marketing their produce through markets such as wheat futures. At the time of the Award she was also Chair of the newly formed Fitzgerald Biosphere Marketing Association (FBMA).

Biospheres are defined as areas of unique biological diversity, where people work in harmony with their environment. They are internationally recognised within the framework of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere program.  The FBMA was established to develop a recognised regional brand to encourage the community to responsibly produce and market edge agricultural products. Tracey, on behalf of FBMA, was asked to present to the 5th International Fair of the Rural World, to be held in Sicily, Italy.

Tracey’s vision was to utilise the region’s greatest asset, its biosphere status and its great produce, to ensure the future viability of the region and its farming community. She also sees marketing and value adding opportunities for women through this initiative.

She proposed to undertake study tours to two successful biospheres, the Bookmark Biosphere in South Australia and the Rhon Biosphere in Germany, to learn from their experiences, setbacks and successes. The knowledge she acquired would then be fed back through a series of regional workshops and subsequent marketing and brand promotion.

2002 Western Australia Runner-up - Pamela Williamson

Pamela has been an active partner in a mixed farming operation for more than thirty years, during which time she has also had a heavy involvement with rural women and rural and remote education.

In 1997, Pamela was elected as a Councillor to the Shire of Kondinin and served as Deputy President. It was the first time a woman had held an Executive position in 75 years. As part of the Council role, Pamela was involved with the management of the Hyden-Karlgarin Landcare group and was inaugural President of the Shire of Kondinin Bush Heritage Committee.

Pamela’s vision was to overcome the odds of prices, seasonal fluctuations and the major environmental challenges of salinity and ensure the continued viability of the family farm.

Her proposed activity involved farming fish in a natural bush setting with the saline water being ponded and dried to become stock and table salt. The project she envisaged could be expanded to include rural tourism opportunities and demonstration sites incorporating solar and wind energy and recycled products.

She saw this project developing not only into an opportunity to solve one of the region’s major environmental problems, but as a major education tool, an alternate income source for rural women and the region’s farming families and as a major recreational site for those wishing to enjoy bush living at its best.

2002 Tasmanian Runner-up - Christine Mann

Christine is the first female to complete a Degree in Surveying at the University of Tasmania, complimented by a Graduate Diploma in Surveying Practice in Queensland. Following the completion of her degree, she developed a geographical information system for the Launceston City Council, an Australian Rural Youth Study Tour to Switzerland and held the position of Chief Surveyor for North Forest Products.

At the time of the Award, she had been operating her own business, providing expertise on Geographical Information Systems (GIS), aerial photography and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to a variety of industries, including her passion, agriculture.

Christine has been a very active member of Rural Youth Tasmania and has held a number of key positions at Agfest, Tasmania’s premier field day event. Her vision is for every Tasmanian farming enterprise to have access to a fully integrated land management system that allows farmers to make informed decisions using leading edge technology.

Her proposed activity involved developing and marketing low altitude aerial photography/computer mapping packages for agricultural enterprises, while undertaking a pilot project to demonstrate the benefits of global positioning technology to agriculture.

Christine believes this technology offers agriculture huge benefits, with accurate and relevant information allowing farmers to better embrace opportunities and increase productivity.

2002 Northern Territory Runner-up - Beverley Wilson

Beverley has been involved in the pastoral industry in the Northern Territory since the early 1980’s and works with her husband on the family property.  She is very interested in feral animal control and has been involved in buffalo control and management through the Brucellosis and Tuberculosis Eradication Campaign.

Beverley’s vision for agriculture is to utilise all of its resources including its feral animals, while preserving the biodiversity of the environment.

She is very concerned about the feral pig problem in the Territory and the resultant destruction of the environment. She sees opportunities in the pigmeat industry for rural women.

Beverley’s proposed activity was to coordinate the Territory’s pigmeat trade by setting up the physical infrastructure to collect, grow and slaughter pigs, coupled with a major marketing campaign to secure sales for the meat.