Country to Canberra was launched in 2014 to help identify and bolster the growth of female leaders from rural, regional and remote Australia through a new program that helps connect the emerging talent to political representatives in the nation’s capital.
That venture included the girls who made the program’s final stage meeting up with the likes of Deputy Liberal Leader and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, gaining some words of wisdom and encouragement, at Parliament House in Canberra.
This week the growing initiative took another positive step on its journey, unveiling Project Empower which is a national ‘workshop road-trip’ that aims to upskill and provide free leadership training to young regional and remote women.
Country to Canberra CEO Hannah Wandel said the award-winning not-for-profit organisation would drive over 14,000 kilometres to every state and territory to run the “uplifting” workshops in rural high schools.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said.
“From May to August, our volunteer team will be jumping in a ute and hitting the red dirt to drive change.”
Ms Wandel said her organisation was now calling on country communities to find out where they should run the workshops.
“We want to hear from people in rural Australia so we can decide where to visit, so thousands of students can benefit,” she said.
“It’s really simple.
“Anyone can jump on our website to fill out the short Expression of Interest form and apply for us to visit your school or sports club.
“It’s all free, and can make a huge difference for local girls.
“We’re also looking for people who want to volunteer and give back.”
Country to Canberra has run its Power Trip program since 2014 to connect rural girls with political leaders like Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Ms Bishop and won Holden’s first-ever ‘What Drives You’ grant, to establish Project Empower.
Hannah Worsley from Nullamanna in NSW said Country to Canberra changed her life.
“I cannot praise this organisation enough,” she said.
“I’d encourage everyone to apply to have Project Empower visit you.
“I’m a better leader because of Country to Canberra.”
Ms Wandel grew up in rural South Australia and said she appreciated the support that country communities provided.
“Country towns are the lifeblood of Australia and the best part is how rural people band together,” she said.
“We want to ensure no matter where you’re from or what gender you are, you have the tools to succeed, and we’re bringing these opportunities directly to the school gate.”
Country to Canberra Website:
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