2012 Runners Up

2012 Western Australian Runner-up – Lucinda Giblett

Lucinda’s Award ambition was to create a not-for-profit organisation, to be called Stellar Violets, to honour and share the wisdom of her rural women fore-mothers, to celebrate sustainable food and to help dissolve the urban-rural divide.

Lucinda Giblett is a third generation pome and stone fruit grower from Manjimup in the state’s south-west  Lucinda travelled the world extensively before returning home to lead the family farm, the Newton Brothers Orchards, recruitment and marketing programs and to establish a small organic orchard to compliment the farms more traditional operations.

Lucinda is passionate about sustainable food and rural communities and committed to dissolving the urban – rural divide and the disconnect from the land.

As a community connector, she is actively involved in her local community, as an organiser of the Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival, a volunteer for the Southern Forests Regional Food Council and a volunteer committee member for Slow Food Southern Forests, which runs a monthly food education stall at the Manjimup Farmers’ Markets.

Lucinda sees Stellar Violet’s as a vehicle to promote sustainable food production, to  demonstrate sustainable land stewardship and encourage healthier environments and diverse cultural landscapes.

Stellar Violets would connect learners of all ages with passionate teachers, through workshops, courses and events, and with online resources, on simple sustainable ways to live, growing and making your own food and consuming only what you need.

2012 South Australian Runner-up – Krysteen McElroy

Krysteen’s Award ambition was to support Australian farmers to be climate ready by scoping out new high value irrigated crops to support their future productivity and sustainability. Krysteen McElroy and her husband, Bradley, are progressive and climate change ready farmers. They have worked on the family’s mixed farming enterprise at Pathway in South Australia’s south-east since the mid 1980’s.

The McElroy’s climate change strategy is to be the most efficient they can, by focusing on sustainability, producing a quality product and through continuous improvement, involving the adoption of new technologies and innovative marketing strategies.

Krysteen’s commitment to agriculture extends beyond the farm. She is Executive Officer for the Mackellar Farm Management Group, a regionally based producer network committed to innovative and sustainable farm management practices, and is one of 34 farmers involved in the Climate Champions program, committed to advancing climate change knowledge and supporting farmers in the wise use of resources.

She is also a graduate of the South Australian Rural Leadership Program.

Krysteen’s Award ambition was to support Australian farmers to be climate ready, by researching new high value and water efficient crops that will increase productivity and sustainability. She planned to meet with leading Australian and international irrigators and document their innovations and experiences, with the end product a simple practical guide on new cropping options and opportunities available to farmers.

2012 Victorian Runner-up – Elise Wenden

Elise’s Award ambition was to demystify the role of soil biology in sustainable farming by providing unique farmer friendly resources to land managers.

At the time of the Award, Elise Wenden ran her own business Fruition Nutrition, where she provides consulting services, educational material, workshops and short courses related to soil health and sustainability.

Since 2009 Elise has engaged, with her partner and his family, in mixed farming, including dryland and irrigated cereal and oilseed crops, and merino sheep for wool and cross-bred sheep for prime lamb production, outside Charlton in northern Victoria.

In addition, Elise teaches sustainable farming and gardening workshops and short courses at neighbourhood centres around her region and works as a facilitator for community gardens in each Wimmera.

As a young woman working in regional Victoria, Elise is passionate about sustainable agriculture and about supporting the next generation of farmers, both men and women in rural communities.
Her Award ambition is to further develop her knowledge and expertise of biological farming as a source of re-invigoration for rural communities.

She believes biological farming offers answers to some of farming’s big problems including rising financial and environmental costs and ever depreciating margins.
Her ambition is to partner with renowned Australian mycologist (soil fungi expert) Dr Mary Cole, to expand her knowledge and experience of soil microbiology. The knowledge will be captured in a farm friendly handbook on soil health and biological farming, so encouraging farmers to adapt their management practices towards biological systems.

Elise planned to travel to rural communities throughout Australia, promoting the role of biological farming. She hopes to inspire rural women and re invigorate enthusiasm for farming and regional communities into the next generation.

2012 Northern Territory Runner-up – Dr Samantha McMahon

Samantha’s Award ambition was to improve animal husbandry programs and services for remote indigenous communities throughout the Northern Territory.

Dr Samantha McMahon is an international leader in the field of veterinary practices in remote indigenous communities. She has operated veterinary practices in Katherine Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek and Howard Springs since 1995.

Samantha established Aboriginal Community Veterinary Services, a service dedicated to providing veterinary programs and education and consulting services to remote and indigenous communities through the Territory and Asia Pacific regions.

Samantha is actively involved in the leadership of her broader industry, as Executive Member and past President of the NT branch of the Australian Veterinary Association for over ten years, as Member and incoming President of the Australian Association of Cattle Veterinarians and as founding member of the Australian Veterinary Reserve, dedicated to participating in emergency animal disease outbreaks, both within Australia and internationally.

Samantha’s Award ambition is to undertake a study tour to specific communities within North America and Canada, who face similar issues of indigenous people, remote and harsh locations and inadequate animal management.

Samantha believes that in order to achieve better outcomes for the Territory she needs to gain some outside experience to improve the practices and services she provides.

She believes that one of the keys to achieving excellent animal welfare is to provide animal management and veterinary programs that are sustainable. She believes that the long term sustainability of these programs will not be based on government funding, but rather on making these programs valued and valuable to indigenous communities.

2012 Tasmanian Runner-up – Gina Butler

Gina’s Award ambition was to investigate the goat dairy industry and farm house cheese production in the United Kingdom, France and Italy, to grow the dairy goat industry as a new emerging industry in Tasmania.

Gina Butler is a leader in the Tasmanian goat cheese industry and the Principal of Yondover Goat Farmhouse Cheeses, having established the 380 head goat diary, cheese factory and farm gate cheese shop outside Tunnel in Tasmania’s north east in 2004.

Yondover Farmhouse Cheeses was recently recognised with a number of medals from the Melbourne Royal Show and the Hobart Fine Food Awards.

Gina also holds a senior leadership position within the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services.

With demand for goat milk in Tasmania outstripping supply and demand for goat cheese continuing to grow, Gina believes goat dairying is a viable alternative for other smaller farms within Tasmania and a viable new industry to redefine and reinvigorate the north east of Tasmania.

Gina’s Award ambition was to travel to the United Kingdom, France and Italy, to broaden her knowledge of the production of farmhouse cheeses and identify avenues for growth of the Tasmanian goat dairy industry.

2012 Queensland Runner-up – Michelle Deshong

Michelle’s Award ambition was to develop a model for community engagement for indigenous and rural women.

Michelle Deshong is facilitator and mediator with 20 years experience working in indigenous affairs and more recently in rural women’s leadership development.

Michelle is a strong advocate for human rights and women’s rights and has just returned from the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York.

She has contributed to the development of rural women’s leadership, as Chairperson of the local Midtha Goothilans Indigenous Women’s Group and as a facilitator to the National Rural Women’s Coalition and the Queensland Rural Women’s Network in recent years. Michelle is also a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program.

Michelle’s Award ambition was to develop a model for cross cultural dialogue and community engagement between indigenous and rural women, to support and build engagement in rural and regional areas.

She planned to travel to the United States, to meet with networks including the First Nations Institute and the Udall Foundation, to examine effective international working models for indigenous and rural engagement.

On return Michelle planned to host a two day symposium, bringing together stakeholders from across rural and indigenous communities, to share best practice examples and discuss and develop engagement models on how to bring indigenous and rural women together and help develop sustainable approaches to rural and regional engagement.

2012 New South Wales Runner-up – Corinne Annetts

Corinne’s Award ambition is to support rural women in business enterprises and the expansion of the dairy goat industry in New South Wales

Corinne Annett’s is a dairy goat farmer and Principal of Sunhill Skin Essentials, which produces and a range of goat milk based skin care products and moisturisers, she markets to clients both within   Australia and overseas. Corinne is a teacher by trade, but her family have been farming for the past ten years, initially in Tasmania before moving to the New England in 2004.

Corinne believes the dairy goat industry has a strong future, given the strong demand for goat milk and cheeses, both domestically and overseas. She believes the industry offers new enterprise opportunities to farmers and new value adding opportunities for regional NSW.

Corinne’s Award ambition was to expand her business from cosmetics to goat cheeses and to be become a quality supplier of a comprehensive range of dairy goat products.

She planned to travel to New Zealand to increase her knowledge and understanding of the dairy goat industry, in  particular cheese making, to grow her business, to support and mentor rural women in business enterprise and support the expansion of the dairy goat industry in New South Wales.