Seven exceptional women have been recognised for their contribution to Australia's rural and emerging industries, businesses and communities by being named national finalists of the 2022 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award.
The seven national finalists were announced at events in capital cities across Australia over the last three months, after a highly competitive selection process.
Each of the seven leaders will receive a $15,000 Westpac grant to help boost, expand or elevate their work, with the winner awarded an additional $20,000 and runner up an additional $15,000.
The seven women will represent their state or territory at the 2022 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement on September 6 at the Great Hall in Parliament House, where the National winner and runner up will be announced.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA - ROBYN VERRALL, MCCALLUM
Ms Verrall's goal is to reduce food insecurity and increase food affordability in rural, regional and First Nations communities in Australia.
She is a director, founder and business advisor of Kere to Country, an Aboriginal owned-and-operated food supply company bringing high quality and affordable meat into First Nations communities in SA and the NT.
NORTHERN TERRITORY - KYLIE JONES, ALICE SPRINGS
Ms Jones is working to improve the educational support for families living in remote and isolated areas.
Ms Jones gave up her stable job as a teacher to found RAISE Education, a not-for-profit organisation which provides individualised learning support by fostering connection and belonging for geographically isolated children, home tutors and parents.
TASMANIA - STEPHANIE TRETHEWEY, DUNKELD
Ms Trethewey from Tasmania created Australia's first personalised online rural mothers' group.
Motherland Village provides greater opportunities for rural mums across the country to find connection and support, regardless of their location.
VICTORIA - KIMBERLY FURNESS, STRATHFIELDSAYE
Representing Victoria, Ms Furness is connecting regional and rural women through her magazine, OAK Magazine.
The proudly independent print publication is dedicated to female entrepreneurs and women in business across regional and rural Australia.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA - LOUISE O'NEILL, DENMARK
Ms O'Neill is committed to improving the mental and physical wellbeing of rural communities.
Her business, Farm Life Fitness, aims to overcome the constraints of long distances in rural areas to deliver one-on-one coaching and live online group fitness workouts.
NSW/ACT - JOSIE CLARKE, BELLIMBOPINNI
Representing NSW/ACT, Mr Clarke is passionate about inclusivity in the agriculture industry, particularly giving a voice to those with a disability.
She developed Ability Agriculture to raise awareness and provide opportunities for those with disabilities through the provision of an online platform and community on Facebook and Instagram that shares the stories of those with a disability in Agriculture.
QUEENSLAND - REBECCA BRADSHAW, JACKSON
From Queensland, Ms Bradshaw established the first private, child health nurse-led service to be delivered online in her state.
Through the award, she hopes to expand the reach of her service to more rural communities.
A platform for change
AgriFutures Australia managing director John Harvey said he was thrilled with the diverse and innovative projects that were submitted this year.
"We're excited to provide these women with a platform to not only build on their leadership skills to drive change in rural and regional Australia, but also inspire and support other women whilst doing so."