The team are pretty excited ( to say the least) with Young Farming Champion and climate change campaigner Anika Molesworth just announced as a finalist in NSW Young Australian of the Year
Anika Molesworth bottom row 2nd from the left with fellow young farming champions and NSW Minster for Primary Industries The Hon Niall Blair
The awards celebrate the achievements of Australians who champion issues and ideas for the benefit of the whole nation. One NSW finalist will be selected in November to be in the running for Young Australian of the Year, with the national award to be announced on Australia Day 2017.
“From those who study life under microscopes to those who spend their days in dusty sheep yards, people who are involved in agriculture are inquisitive, innovative and committed to continual improvement,” Anika says. “It’s highly rewarding to work with people like this and fantastic that this award recognizes these people’s contribution.”
Anika, 28, may have grown up in suburban Melbourne but when her family purchased Rupee Station at Broken Hill in 2000 she found her niche in agriculture. 2000 was the start of the decade long Millennium drought and as she found her feet she grew to love not only the beauty of farming in an arid environment but the challenges it presented. “Last summer was one of the worst for us in the Far West,” she says, “but, never one to accept things will always be a certain way, I decided to hold a seminar bringing together famers, researchers and the local rural community of Broken Hill to discuss the changes and challenges occurring. The event was a huge success and I would like to take it to other rural communities, giving all stakeholders the opportunity to shape their future.”
Anika has a Bachelor of Science (Agribusiness), a Masters of Sustainable Agriculture and is currently studying a PhD looking at optimising soil fertility in water constrained environments and comparing Australian conditions to those found in Cambodia and Laos. She attended the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris last year, and her efforts to promote sustainable farming were recognised when she was awarded the 2015 Young Farmer of the Year.
Part of the selection criteria for the Australian of the Year awards is that the recipient must be an inspirational role model. Lynne Strong has worked with Anika as part of the Young Farming Champions and The Archibull Prize competition. “Anika has a clear set of values and she has the capacity to infect others with enthusiasm and help them understand the underlying values that motivate people to become advocates for social change and innovation,” she says. “She has a strong sense of community. To Anika there are no social barriers. She has the capacity to show everyone, everywhere that success is possible if you believe in yourself.”
More information on Anika’s work can be found on her website here