Congratulations to Narrabri local Fiona Mead who has been named as a finalist in the 2016 NSW-ACT Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women's Award.
Fiona Mead has been recognised for her dedication to improving our primary industries and rural communities, and named as a finalist in this year’s Rural Women’s Award, each applicant submitted a project initiative as part of the award, aiming to drive regional communities and primary industries’ growth and prosperity.
Fiona’s project ‘Rural New Generation Project’ aims to introduce younger farmers onto the land by providing ideas on innovative pathways into farming.
“It will assist emerging farmers to acquire knowledge that will ensure they have the tools and skills required to move into agricultural enterprises.
“The award identifies and supports emerging women leaders who have the desire, commitment and leadership potential to make a greater contribution to our local area.
The overall four finalists for 2016 are Sophie Hansen from Orange, Fiona Mead from Narrabri, Aimee Snowden from Tocumwal and Hannah Wandel from Kingston ACT.
The winner will be announced in 8 March at Parliament House in Sydney, and will receive a bursary of $10,000 and participate in an Australian Institute of Company Directors’ course.
The three finalists will receive a $1000 NSW Department of Primary Industries Leadership Bursary for skills and leadership development.
The award provides financial assistance, mentoring, resources and peer support via a nation-wide network of dynamic business and community leaders through the award alumni.
The NSW-ACT winner will compete for the National RIRDC Rural Women’s Award on 12 October at Parliament House, Canberra.
The Projects for each candidate.
Sophie Hansen, Orange
Sophie’s project, ‘My Open Kitchen’, focuses on providing an innovative, self-paced online, social media learning course for Australian farmers and farming communities. It will give them the skills they need to take advantage of free social media channels, and through these tell their stories, promote their produce and make new and valuable connections. ‘My Open Kitchen’ will assist anyone involved in primary industries use social media channels to build social and professional capital, which in turn will deliver transparency, engagement, trust and ultimately financial returns.
Fiona Mead, Narrabri
Fiona’s ‘Rural New Generation Project’ will introduce younger farmers onto the land by providing ideas on innovative pathways into farming. Her project will assist emerging farmers to acquire knowledge that will ensure they have the tools and skills required to move into agricultural enterprises. This will strengthen rural communities by encouraging a new generation onto the land and provide a legacy for the older generation of farmers as they transition out of agriculture.
Aimee Snowden, Tocumwal
Aimee’s award ambition is to increase agricultural literacy in Australian primary school aged children using LEGO® bricks as a key story telling tool. Her aim is to tell a positive story about agriculture in an engaging way to children. Aimee hopes to leverage and grow the momentum she has created from a small visual ‘hobby’ into a far reaching project that educates and creates an impact. She wants to positively promote Australian agriculture to the next generation, ensuring we continue to have the brightest and most creative, young minds entering and staying in primary industries.
Hannah Wandel, Kingston ACT
Hannah’s project, ‘Project Empower’, aims to develop and implement a pilot leadership program for Year 9-10 girls in rural secondary schools. This motivational program will build skills, boost self-confidence and help develop strategies for taking on leadership and decision making roles in primary industries. Project Empower will empower girls to reach their potential and overcome gender and geographical barriers to success.