Western Australian finalists for the prestigious 2019 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award have been announced.
The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award acknowledges and supports the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Director General Ralph Addis congratulated the four finalists for their passion and commitment to regional industries and communities.
“This award provides opportunities to further women’s leadership, make a difference and inspire others,” Mr Addis said.
The finalists are:
• Leah Boucher, Kambalda – Based in the Goldfields, Leah’s passion for equity and 20 years’ experience in information technology and project management birthed Data Divas’ innovative business model, offering primary carers, remote and young people a sustainable work/life balance, career continuity and development, and a pathway into the information and communications technology industry.
• Juliet Grist, Denmark – Juliet works across rural and regional Western Australia through professional roles including executive officer of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Wheatbelt, business consultant to the agricultural sector and various banking and finance roles. Her aspiration is for rural and regional communities to be enabled to be co-creators and co-investors in solutions that work for them.
• Tanya Kitto, Geraldton – A passionate lupin grower based in the Mid West, Tanya wants to make incorporating lupins into people’s everyday eating easier. Her love for food, farming and family led to a family business selling lupin flour and products. She’s on a journey to change people’s perceptions of lupins as a food source and create opportunities for regional women by learning how to seize on value-adding opportunities.
• Belinda Lay, Esperance – Belinda is based on a grain and sheep farming enterprise. Her project is based around Internet of Things, a trial of sheep collars and how data collected can be used. Her aspirations are to change the way livestock and technology is viewed, which has mainly concentrated around manual handling. Humans have adopted ‘fitbits’ to monitor bodies in real time – could the same be done for livestock?
The WA winner will receive a $10,000 business development award to help develop their project and will compete in the national awards.
She will follow in the footsteps of 2018 WA award winner Darrylin Gordon, a Jaru woman from Lamboo Station in the Kimberley, who is focused on development of a holistic on-station community training and empowerment program for land management and cattle production.
The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Awards in Western Australia are supported by the department, Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network of WA, CBH Group and Westpac.
The WA winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Perth on Thursday 7 March.