If you are innovative, creative rural woman with a big idea you want to explore then check out this great opportunity

There’s just two weeks left to apply for the new-look 2018 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award. Emerging women leaders are encouraged to apply for Australia’s leading Award in acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural and regional businesses, industries and communities.

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If you’re a woman who wants to innovate and make a difference, or contribute to enhancing the prosperity of rural and regional Australia you should apply for this life-changing opportunity.

The Award, formerly the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award, has been renamed and adapted to align with AgriFutures Australia’s new strategic direction on the changing face of Agriculture, where technology is transforming the sector and successful and impactful leaders are skilled, professional, dynamic, entrepreneurial, commercially savvy and connected.

“Over the past two decades, the Rural Women’s Award has provided more than 200 women with significant professional development opportunities and importantly the opportunity to achieve positive change for rural and regional Australia. Award winners have delivered diverse and innovative projects relating to rural and regional industries, and the communities and businesses that rely on, and support them,” John Harvey, AgriFutures Australia Managing Director said.

To align with AgriFutures Australia’s new strategic direction and to ensure the Rural Women’s Award continues to identify, celebrate and empower women, a number of changes have been made to the Award criteria for 2018.

One important change to the Award is that projects or initiatives can be commercially focused, providing they still align with AgriFutures Australia’s strategic priorities of innovation, creativity, community sustainability, education, productivity, agribusiness, regional development and technology.

Location is also no barrier – applicants can live in rural and regional Australia, or in the city – their applications will be measured on the impact and benefits to rural and regional Australia.

Another important change to the Award criteria is that applicants are not required to have a specific project to be considered eligible, although projects are still welcomed. This year, applications can be submitted based on an idea, an identified problem, or an opportunity the applicant wants to focus on. Applicants may be in the early stages of working through how they want to contribute, or they may be well down the road in making their contribution.

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2017 NSW/ACT AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Winner and National Finalist and co-founder of Hay Inc Rural Education Program Sandra Ireson says, “Sometimes it’s too easy to sit on an idea and not make it happen. The Rural Women’s Award is a great motivator, and it allows you to draw on the skills and capacities of others to see your project come to fruition. The benefit you gain from that is enormous.”

Each state and territory winner receives a $10,000 bursary provided by Platinum sponsor Westpac, to bring their idea or project to life, access to professional development opportunities and national Alumni networks. The 2018 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award National Winner and Runner Up, selected from the state and territory winners, and announced at a Gala event at Parliament House in Canberra in September 2018, will receive a further $10,000 and $5000 respectively.

Applications for the AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award are open now and close Sunday, 29 October 2017 at 9pm AEDT. 

For more information and to apply, visit the website here 

If you are a resident of NSW-ACT and would like to discuss your idea, or you would like to access a mentor who can guide you through the application process, please contact NSW-ACT Award Coordinator, Allison Priest on 02 6391 3620 or email allison.priest@dpi.nsw.gov.au

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