2006 Runners Up

2006 New South Wales Runner-Up - Mary Howard

Mary has been intrinsically involved in the commercial fishing industry since the mid 1970’s. At the time of the Award, Mary and her husband Graham jointly owned and operated two commercial prawn trawlers. She was an associate member of the Hawkesbury Trawl Association and a member of the Women’s Industry Network Seafood Community. She was also the Chairperson of the Wisemen’s Ferry Aged and Community Care Association.

Mary is committed to the environmental sustainability of the fishery within the Hawkesbury-Nepean River and recognizes the importance of the catchment’s environmental sustainability to the industry’s viability.

In 2001 the Seafood Industry Council asked Mary to represent Hawkesbury and Shoalhaven River fishermen on the Hawkesbury-Nepean River Management Forum, whose terms of reference included a review of the environmental flow requirements of the river system.

She submitted and presented papers to a number of forums including a paper focusing on making environment and social impact assessment count at the Coast to Coast conference and a paper titled ‘Canary in the Estuary’ to the Asia Pacific Conference. Mary was also appointed Director of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority.

Mary planned to produce and distribute tools that would make it easier for the women of the Hawkesbury trawl to promote their industry, within their community and to Government agencies. The tools were to include a brochure and a DVD detailing the fishery and its environmental track record along with a publication showcasing licensed fishers and their social, economic and environmental links to the river. The material would link in with material already available, including the Ocean Watch information trailer, in raising the profile and positive image of fishers and their sensitivity to their environment.

2006 New South Wales Runner-up - Catherine Ford

At the time of the Award, Catherine Ford was an organic farmer with 110 acres of macadamia nut and coffee trees on the North Coast of NSW. Originally from Sydney, Catherine left the city for a ‘sea change’, having no experience in rural industry.

Nine years after their move in 1997 Catherine and her husband were running a successful enterprise which continued to go from strength to strength.

Catherine’s Award project included providing a guide for fellow broad acre macadamia nut and coffee farmers to move from conventional farming to more sustainable practices.

With the bursary she hoped to develop a website and deliver workshops to female farmers as a way of showcasing successful commercial organic farming methods.

2006 Victoria Runner-up - Catherine Bell

At the time of the Award, Catherine had been intrinsically involved in the fishing industry for the previous 30 years, working in numerous capacities as a deckhand, boat builder, accounts clerk, process worker, export manager, logistics and human resources manager. In 1985 her business grew from a husband and wife outfit to a medium sized operation, specializing in carp products for both the domestic and export market. The business employed 18 staff in 2006.

Catherine’s commitment to the sustainable future of the fishing industry and to the role of rural women is evident in the numerous positions she has held, including Board Member of WINSC (Women’s Industry Network Seafood Community), Consolidated Fishermen Pty Ltd, Fisheries Co-Management Council and Seafood Industry Victoria. Her involvement with the Fisheries Co-Management Council is on the subcommittees for Water and WIPARB (Women in Primary Industry Advisory Board).

Catherine believes the fishing industry has become a leader in adopting and implementing food safety regulations and to support and assist her industry Catherine undertook an Associate Food Safety Auditor accreditation.  Her proposed activity involved further food safety study and practical experience to achieve full accreditation as a food safety auditory, so allowing her to move beyond the seafood industry to other agricultural sectors.

She believed through further accreditation she would become a role model for other women in the food industry, supporting them in gaining the skills and confidence to play a larger role in their businesses and in turn improving the reputation of their industries by raising the safety and quality standards.

2006 Queensland Runner-up - Ann Radke

At the time of the Award, Ann Radke and her husband Peter owned and operated Yuruga Nursery, a native plant nursery and one of the largest private employers on the Atherton Tablelands. The nursery was awarded the Nursery and Garden Industry of Queensland ‘Grower of the Year’ in 2002 and the Australian Institute of Management’s Rural & Remote Manager of the Year Award in 2005.

Integral to the nurseries success and expansion has been the establishment of the subsidiary company Clonal Solutions Australia, specializing in the mass production of high value clonal crops for agriculture and forestry plantations.

Yuruga Nursery has been a proactive member of the local community and the broader industry, conducting regular field days and actively partnering with RIRDC and the Queensland Department of Primary Industries to establish new cut foliage and bush tucker industries for the region

Ann’s vision for her industry is to see plant breeding and clonal technology provide the mechanism by which rural industries can maximize returns from limited arable land, while reducing pressure on Australia’s remaining native forests.

With Australia’s commitment to become self-sufficient in both hardwood and softwood timber production by 2020, she firmly believes that clonal forestry holds the key to a sustainable forestry industry. However while clonal forestry is now common practice in softwood pine plantations in Australia, its application to eucalypts hardwood plantations had been met with far less success.

Ann planned to undertake a study tour of South America to visit leading clonal forestry nurseries in Brazil, Chile and Uraguay, recognised as the world leaders in clonal propagation of forestry crops.

She believes the importance of clonal forestry to the sustainable growth of the forestry industry in Australia cannot be overestimated and she was committed to sharing her new learnings with industry through publications and field days.

2006 South Australia Runner-up - Roxanne Prime

At the time of the Award, Roxanne had lived and worked as a partner in a rural enterprise for the previous 24 years.

She has served her local rural community as President of the Wharminda branch of the Country Women’s Association, on numerous school, church and charitable organizations and on the Western Board of Country Arts S.A.

Roxanne is deeply concerned about the impact the failure to attract new and younger people is having on rural communities and the primary industries that support them. She believes that diminishing social prospects creates one of the biggest challenges for encouraging younger people into rural communities and country S.A.

Her proposed activity was an exhibition of paintings and multimedia works that profile rural women, validating their historical and contemporary contribution to agriculture and rural communities, so portraying a holistic image of rural communities to the broader audience.

Through her exhibition, to be titled “Feminising the Bush” she planned to encourage and incorporate other artists’ works in a traveling exhibition that would tour throughout South Australia.

2006 Western Australia Runner-up - Diana Holly

At the time of the Award, Diana Holly was co-principal of the Hidden Treasures of the Great Southern project. The project’s objective is to encourage economic growth and sustainability through rural tourism within the seven shires involved and their communities within the northern half of the Great Southern region.

Di’s story is one of successful diversification on their own family farm, from traditional sheep and grain production into aquaculture and specifically barramundi production, which was no small feat given their farm is situated in the south of the state and barramundi are a tropical water fish.

Di believes that rural diversification will become increasingly critical to the future viability of not only farming enterprises, but the broader rural community.

She points to research that shows that rural tourism will be the next boom industry for farming communities. In 2002 visitor numbers to the great Southern Region totalled around 400,000 with an average stay of three days, translating into $105 million spending within the region.

Di’s vision was to ensure that small rural communities also reap the benefits of tourism, by better utilizing the agriculture and resources available to them, by encouraging diversification into rural tourism and by forging rural community partnerships.

She was Chairperson of the Hidden Treasures Working Group. The group was successful in securing sufficient funding to begin implementing their five year rural tourism marketing plan, and they launched a major promotional brochure highlighting rural tourism points of interest along with trial drive maps that link the rural towns and communities together.

She was keen to attend the 2006 Tourism Australia Regional Tourism Convention to be held at Norfolk Island late in 2006, so she could gather the latest information on rural tourism along with new skills and valuable new contacts.

2006 Tasmania Runner-up - Cheryl McCartie

At the time of the Award, Cheryl was a partner in a dairy farming business, operating a milking herd of 600 cows on two properties at ‘Ringarooma.’ She and her husband Theo were finalists in the 2004 Agribusiness category of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards and received the Share Farmers Encouragement Award in 1999.

Cheryl was heavily involved in her local rural community and sat on a number of organizations including being the rural community representative on the University of Tasmania’s Academic Rural Health Advisory Group and member of the Dorset Women’s Retreat organizing Group. She also sat on the Executive Committee of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture and is the Chairperson of the 7th Women on Farms Gathering, which was expected to attract up to 250 rural women from Tasmania and interstate.

She is strongly committed to sustainable farming systems and her personal vision is to ensure agriculture remains an attractive vibrant industry that embraces innovations that enhance its sustainability and the management of its natural resources.

Her proposed activity involved investigating once-a-day milking systems as a strategy to improve farm productivity, sustainability, profitability and lifestyle. She believes once-a-day milking has a lot to offer industry in the current economic climate of increasing input costs and static farm gate prices, tighter environmental management requirements, and a skilled labour shortage and could prove to be more profitable and sustainable than twice daily milking.

There was substantial research underway and farmers trialing once-a-day milking in New Zealand. Cheryl planned to travel to New Zealand, visit farms and meet with a number of farmers willing to impart their knowledge and experience.

She believed that by researching and then applying once-a-day milking to their own business, she would be able to demonstrate positive outcomes that she could share with other dairy farms and the industry generally in Tasmania and nationally.

2006 Northern Territory Runner-up - Pippa Clarke

At the time of the Award, Pippa Clarke had five years experience in the Northern Territory pastoral industry.

She worked as Rangelands Officer and Stud Registrar at Newcastle Waters Station, where she was responsible for environmental planning and the development of strategic projects, such as reducing the impact of weed encroachment into riparian areas, as well as the recording and reporting of performance and fertility data for the Brahman stud.

She has also worked as a Technical Rangelands Officer to the Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries, where she was involved in grazing management projects focusing on the impact of natural phenomena, including fire and drought on stock and the rangelands.

Pippa opened her own agribusiness consultancy ‘Northern Pastoral Operations’ specializing in natural resource management planning for pastoral businesses and National Livestock Identification support and training for the cattle industry.

She has been an active member of the Barkly Landcare and Conservation Association, fostering support for projects involved in the preservation of the tablelands environment.

Pippa’s personal vision is vibrant successful rural communities within regional Australia and in particular the Northern Territory. She firmly believes the long term success of rural businesses is through strong economic management closely affiliated with environmental and social responsibility.

Pippa’s proposed activity involved further study into business and change management and further investigation of the successes of businesses in other industries. She planned to undertake the Macquarie Graduate School of Management’s Leading Change Program and travel to Alice Springs and East Gippsland to study the Environmental Management Systems adopted by their regional beef groups.

She planned to use her knowledge and skills gained to help pastoral and rural businesses improve their financial stability and success. She also planned to develop a pilot workshop, specifically designed for rural women within the pastoral industry, to engage them in discussion and new learning’s into property and catchment management planning, leadership and change management.