2023 Victorian AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award winner and finalists

Congratulations to 2023 AgriFutures Australia Rural Women's Award National Winner - Nikki Davey

Photo shows AgrFutures Australia award winner Nikki Davey carrying a large bunch of red flowers.

Victorian tech entrepreneur Nikki Davey was announced the 2023 Rural Women’s Award National Winner at a Gala event at Parliament House in Canberra on 12 September 2023. View the announcement on the AgriFutures Australia website.

Nikki is a co-founder of Grown Not Flown - a digital platform that connects consumers with their local flower growers. A budding flower farmer based in Glenmore in Central Victoria, she is passionate about sustainable and regenerative agriculture.

Identifying a need for technologies dedicated to small-scale growers, Nikki put her skills in business and digital product development into developing a solution that reduces ‘flower miles’ and supports the local cut flower industry bloom. Since 2021, Grown Not Flown has grown to more than 3,500 users in 30 countries.

Along with the title, Nikki receives a $20,000 prize from Award Sponsor Westpac. These funds will support her to develop a Grown Not Flown knowledge hub so that flower growers can tap into tips, tools and best practices.

Accepting the Award from Commonwealth Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt, Nikki acknowledged that she brings unique skills to the agriculture sector.

“I am not a natural farmer, I don’t know how to fix a fence, and I would prefer to stay indoors when it is windy outside," she said. “What I am good at is problem solving, working with technology and data, and believing that we can change the world with our ideas."

Nikki was selected from a group of five incredible women from across the state to be named the 2023 Victorian State Winner in April this year, receiving a $15,000 Westpac Grant. (See more about them below.) She was previously a Victorian State Finalist in 2022.

This is the second successive year Victorian women have been acknowledged in the National honours, with Bendigo woman Kimberley Furness named the 2022 National Runner Up for her efforts to profile and celebrate female-led businesses through her work as founder and publisher of OAK Magazine.

2023 Victorian Rural Women’s Award Winner

Photo of Grace Larson

Nikki Davey, Glenmore

Glenmore resident and flower farmer Nikki Davey was announced as the Victorian Rural Women’s Award winner at an event at Parliament House Melbourne in April.

Nikki is using her skills in digital product development and analytics management to transform the flower industry with her project Grown Not Flown, a digital platform and marketplace dedicated to promoting and selling locally grown flowers and produce.

Leveraging technology to aggregate and share industry insights and best practices, Grown Not Flown aims to empower micro and small-scale growers to collect and manage their farm data, streamline business operations, and easily connect with consumers.

As the Victorian State Winner, Nikki looks forward to using the $15,000 grant from program sponsor Westpac to establish an online knowledge hub where new growers can build industry knowledge and consumers can understand the impact of their dollar on the planet and the state.

Nikki will now join winners from other states in competing for the title of 2023 National Rural Women’s Award and further funding from Westpac. The announcement will take place at a Gala event in Canberra in September.

Nikki was selected from a group of five finalists from across the state. Find out more about them below.

2023 Victorian AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award finalists

Finalists for the 2023 Victorian Rural Women’s Award were announced on 8 March 2023, coinciding with International Women’s Day.

Find out more about these remarkable women and their projects below and view the finalist announcement here.

Find out more about the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award including past Victorian Finalists.

Grace Larson, KynetonPhoto of Grace Larson

Through her 15 years’ experience working as paediatric intensive care nurse, Grace knows how important timely access to services is on mortality rates of children experiencing traumatic injuries.

Grace recognized that patients who received CPR or First Aid had better outcomes than those who did not and identified first aid training as particularly critical to children in rural areas.

Grace formed The Sisterhood Project to mitigate the barriers of distance and affordability for parents and carers in rural areas, providing free access to essential paediatric first aid training for vulnerable groups, particularly in rural Australia.

She hopes this will have a significant impact on child mortality rates in rural Australia.

Neha Samar, SheppartonPhoto of Grace Larson

Neha founded non-profit The Flamingo Project to connect women in regional Victoria from various backgrounds and stages of life to women who can help them grow personally and professionally.

Through her own experiences as a migrant to Australia, Neha recognized that opportunities are often down to who you know, not what you know.

This disadvantage is even more acute for women living in regional areas. Bridging the gap between those looking to grow and those willing to help them succeed, The Flamingo Project is a community of women helping women.

Knowing that asking for support may not always be easy for women, the program has no barriers to entry and is free of charge. Neha hopes to further develop The Flamingo Project to grow its scale and impact.

Michelle Daga, Macarthur

Photo of Michelle DagaMichelle is a birth worker aiming to end birth trauma and improve birth and postpartum outcomes for rural families.

Informed by her own experiences and her background as a nutritionist, Michelle is a birth educator and post-partum nutrition coach and certified doula.

Recognising the importance of access to a range of birth supports, Michelle founded Better Birth in the Bush to make empowering birth education and happy and healthy birth and postpartum outcomes more accessible for all rural Australians.

Specifically designed for rural people by rural educators, the platform will offer a self-paced online learning program for parents as well as group classes and a certified training program for birth workers.

Sarah Duncanson, GreendalePhoto of Grace Larson

Sarah is a paediatric critical care nurse at the Royal Children’s Hospital and has cared for some of Australia’s most critically injured children. She has cared for many children with complex medical needs whose parents navigate the medical world from home every single day.

With rural families especially have difficulties accessing specialised paediatric care, Sarah’s company PAEDS education provides hybrid and online paediatric carer training and education which is accessible regardless of postcode.

Sarah knows the impact of their children’s injuries or the complexity of their congenital conditions often changing families forever and hopes greater access to specialized training will improve support, reduce the burden of care, and improve the outcomes of children and their community.

Page last updated: 18 Mar 2024