AgriFutures Australia will offer $7000 grants to help leading rural women bring a new idea, cause or vision to life in a new program that aims to compliment the highly anticipated Rural Woman of the Year Awards.
The AgriFutures Rural Women's Acceleration Grant is designed to foster growth and development in women involved in Australia's rural and emerging industries, businesses and communities.
It will run separately to the Rural Women's Award and aims to provide a leadership and development opportunity to women who are not quite ready to apply for the award.
Seven Australian women per annum will be granted with a learning and development bursary of $7,000 to develop an "idea, cause or vision that benefits rural or emerging industries, businesses or communities".
The idea needs to have a community, collaboration or commercial focus and align to the values of the grant.
AgriFutures Australia managing director John Harvey said the grants would equip rural women with the tools to make a real and tangible impacts in their industry and community.
"The Rural Women's Acceleration Grant is an important program as it provides a vehicle for emerging leaders across the nation to realise their potential,"
"It will nurture the development of new and exciting ideas, with successful applicants encouraged to apply for the Rural Women's Award in the future."
Applications are also now open for the 2022 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award.
The award, which is proudly supported by the publisher of this masthead, Australian Community Media, has seen close to 300 women develop innovative projects.
The 2020 national finalists' projects range from empowering Indigenous communities and improving rural resilience, to food security production systems, bringing STEM to remote communities, solving issues for the cattle industry and a profitable pathway for dairy farmers.
The award has a revised and tightened criteria for 2022 which requires applicants to have an existing project, business or program which falls into a community, collaboration or commercial category.
"As an organisation dedicated to the long-term prosperity of our rural and emerging industries, the Rural Women's Award is just one of AgriFutures Australia's initiatives ensuring those working towards the same vision are identified, celebrated and empowered," Mr Harvey said.
"We know there are so many rural women doing amazing things in their industries and communities and we want to hear from them.
"If you know someone who is actively contributing to rural and regional Australia, tap them on the shoulder. We hear time and time again, that it is often the friendly encouragement from someone else, that gets applicants over the line to apply."
Each state and territory winner receives a $15,000 bursary provided by platinum sponsor Westpac, as well as access to professional development opportunities and national alumni networks.
Felicity Duffy, Head of Women's Market at Westpac, said Westpac was again proud to be the 2022 platinum sponsor.
"We are delighted to again sponsor the AgriFutures Rural Women's Award, a platform that acknowledges women as champions of change and innovation in rural and regional Australia.
"As a long-term sponsor of the AgriFutures Rural Women's Award, each year we look forward to shining a light on the achievements of women from our regional and rural communities.
It is a privilege to help celebrate their leadership and support their future success."
Applications for both the awards and grants are now open and close on Friday, 8 October 2021.
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