Rural Women's Award
AgriFutures Rural Women's Award
Celebrating and inspiring the next generation of female leaders across Australia.
An AgriFutures Australia initiative, brought to life by Agriculture Victoria.
The 2018 Victorian AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award finalists have been announced. Read the media release here.
Cara Hadzig, from Murra Warra, who wants to reduce farm work injuries by developing an application that provides farm safety inductions, alerts for maintenance requirements and a platform to log faults and issues around the farm.
Melissa Connors, from Kyneton, who wants to create stronger and more engaged communities by connecting tree changers with established and retired farmers who can pass on their invaluable local knowledge to motivated newcomers.
Jade Miles, from Stanley, who wants to share her learnings from developing a community owned regional food co-operative and build a social enterprise based model that can be rolled out in other regions.
The Victorian winner will be announced at a ceremony on 20 March 2018 at Melbourne Museum and will receive a bursary of $10,000 to implement their project vision.
About the award
The AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award is Australia's leading Award in acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities.
The Award provides a platform to inspire and support Australian women to use and develop their skills to benefit their industries and communities.
The Award can help you to secure funding for innovative ideas and projects, or open doors to professional development and Alumni networks.
Location is no barrier. If you want to create impact, innovate and make a difference and/or contribute to enhancing the prosperity of rural and regional Australia, then we want to hear from you.
Join a network more than 200 accomplished women who've been acknowledged for their contribution to rural industries and rural and regional Australia.
Agriculture Victoria is proud to sponsor the AgriFutures Victorian Rural Women's Award. Finalists are selected based on demonstration of their commitment to the future sustainability of primary industries, their potential to achieve and deliver benefits to their industry, and how they provide leadership and share their skills and knowledge with their communities.
This award comprises:
- A $10,000 bursary for leadership development
- The opportunity to participate in the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course
- Support to develop an individual integrated leadership plan.
The Victorian winner is considered in the AgriFutures Rural Women's Award.
2017 Victorian Rural Women's Award
The winner of the 2017 Victorian Rural Women's Award is Kirsten Abernethy.
Kirsten works in the Victorian seafood industry, and will use the award to give women in the industry a stronger voice.
She believes women in fishing are key to promoting local sustainable seafood available in Victoria and Australia, and for sharing the pride in our resources with communities.
'Women have different perspectives to offer, and I want them to be as much a voice for the industry as men are,' Kirsten says.
Kirsten will use the award to work with women to design a skills-based training platform to build capacity, confidence and leadership in women in fishing.
Read more about the award and Kirsten's project on the Premier's website.
Kirsten was selected alongside three other Victorian finalists, Cath Jenkins, Joelene Williams and Lisa Brassington.
FAQs for the AgriFutures™ Victorian Rural Women's Award:
What is the Rural Women's Award?
- The AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award is Australia's leading Award in acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities.
- The Award provides a platform to inspire and support Australian women to use and develop their skills to benefit their industries and communities.
- The Victorian finalists will be celebrated at a ceremony in March 2018, with the winner to receive a bursary of $10,000 to implement their project vision.
- The winner will also have the opportunity to complete a professional development training course, and will attend a three-day workshop with all other state/territory winners, to focus on further professional development skills and refinement of their winning idea, project or initiative
- All state/territory winners will participate in a separate National Selection Panel interview. The National Winner will be awarded an additional $10,000 bursary and National Runner Up, an additional $5,000. These additional funds can be used for the above-mentioned activities, plus may also be used to assist in meeting national commitments such as speaking engagements as the National Winner or Runner Up.
Am I eligible to apply for the Rural Women's Award?
- The Award is open to all women involved in rural industries, rural and regional businesses and rural and regional communities.
- Location is no barrier. If you want to create impact, innovate and make a difference and/or contribute to enhancing the prosperity of rural and regional Australia, then we want to hear from you.
- Women must be over the age of 18.
- No formal qualifications are required.
- When we refer to "rural industries" we mean agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
- You are not eligible to apply if you are:
- an employee of AgriFutures™ Australia, or executive employee of major sponsors and government agency partners, or an immediate family member of the above; or
- a previous National or state or territory winner of either the former ABC Radio Rural Woman of the Year, or RIRDC Rural Women's Award.
How do I apply?
- Online applications for the AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award open Thursday 14 September 2017 and close Sunday 29 October 2017 at 9pm AEDT.
- Applications must address all selection criteria and include contact details for two referees.
- Referees will only be contacted if your application makes it to the final round – i.e. face-to-face state/territory interviews.
Where do I go if I have questions about the application process?
- AgriFutures™ Australia will be hosting a free information webinar in late September for those interested in applying for the 2018 AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award. The webinar will cover the following:
- what is the Rural Women's Award and who should apply
- information on the selection criteria and what is important to address
- Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register for the webinar.
- We also encourage you to contact your State Coordinator who will guide you through the application process and provide feedback on your project, initiative or idea. Please contact Johanna Christensen on ph: 03 8392 7117 | e: email@example.com
What is the timeline for the selection process?
14 September: Applications Open
29 October: Applications close
November 2017 – February 2018
Applications reviewed and short-listed. Top 8-10 applicants for each state/territory participate in phone interviews with state/ territory Selection Panels.
March 2018 – April 2018
State/territory finalists participate in face-to-face interviews with the state/territory Selection Panel. State/territory winners announced.
June 2018 – July 2018
State/territory winners participate in a three-day workshop and National Selection Panel interviews.
AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement.
What can I use the bursary for?
- The $10,000 bursary is awarded to each state/territory winner, providing the financial resources to bring to life a project or initiative that will benefit rural industries, businesses and/or communities.
- The project or initiative may be commercially or non-commercially focused, and must align with AgriFutures™ Australia's strategic priorities such as:
- Community sustainability
- Regional development
- The bursary can be used for formal training in leadership and business management; overseas study tours; establishing business plans or pilot programs; developing educational or promotional campaigns; networking at forums and conferences to grow your knowledge of industries and markets; developing training programs; testing information technology initiatives; developing or testing a new business concept or innovation; and publishing books.
- The bursary cannot be used for buying capital equipment (without the explicit approval from AgriFutures™ Australia) or further tertiary education such as a Diploma, Masters or Doctorate degree.
What will be my responsibilities to AgriFutures?
- Rural Women's Award winners will be required to sign an agreement with AgriFutures™ Australia. Once winners have been formalised, they will be required to submit a detailed Project/Business Plan to AgriFutures™ Australia for review and approval.
- AgriFutures™ Australia will provide a template for the plan and will work with each state/territory winner to develop and formalise their plan. At the conclusion of the Award tenure, a final report must also be submitted, including information on how the bursary was used.
- AgriFutures™ Australia will seek reimbursement of the bursary if the report is not submitted.
- Rural Women's Award winners can expect to be interviewed by the media and where practical attend and speak at relevant public functions.
- AgriFutures™ Australia and relevant state and territory agencies reserve 'non-exclusive' rights to publish any material generated from successful applicants' involvement in the Award.
What happens if I can't complete my project due to illness or other?
This will be reviewed on a case by case basis. AgriFutures™ Australia will discuss and review your individual circumstances to decide next steps. An extension or exemption may be offered.
Do I have to pay GST on my bursary?