Legislative Council: Thursday, May 05, 2022


Rural Women's Awards

The Hon. J.E. HANSON (15:02): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. My question is: will the minister inform the house about the recent AgriFutures Rural Women's Awards?

Members interjecting:


The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:02): I thank the honourable member for his question. I was very proud to be able to take part in the recent AgriFutures Rural Women's Award ceremony that celebrated the achievements of three of our state's brilliant rural woman. The award has been in operation for 21 years and is highly regarded across rural communities and business. Winners from each state receive a $15,000 bursary to assist with progressing their project or business, and they also go on to compete for the national title in Canberra.

But it is far more than just an award. It is also a program that empowers rural woman to connect, to network, to seek advice, to collaborate and to achieve great things for their individual businesses or projects as well as for their rural communities. Each finalist from South Australia can use this national network of alumni to take their own ideas to the next level. The South Australian finalists were Stephanie Lunn of Jamestown, Lukina Lukin of Port Lincoln and Robyn Verrall of McCallum.

Ms Lukin is managing director of the Lukina Group of Companies and has dedicated herself to growing export markets for the southern bluefin tuna industry, having recognised opportunities to compete globally and to diversify the export markets that the industry traditionally relies on, to capture more of the potential in the Middle East, US and Asian markets.

Ms Lunn is an agricultural professional working in research and development and is also a director for not-for-profit venture, Trialsafe. Ms Lunn has dedicated herself to improving safety outcomes for workplaces in agricultural industries by providing a platform for industry participants through safety seminars and podcasts, sharing stories and experiences that provide learning opportunities across the agricultural sectors.

I was very pleased to be able to speak with Ms Verrall. She, of course, is from the Upper Limestone Coast, so I am going to claim her as one of my own in terms of location. Her goal is to reduce food insecurity and to assist with food affordability in First Nations communities. Those communities, of course, are in rural and regional areas. She is achieving her goals through work for Kere to Country, as a director, as a founder and as a business adviser. The organisation is an Aboriginal-owned and operated food supply company that provides quality and affordable meat into communities that have limited access in South Australia and in the Northern Territory.

All three women were extremely worthy of the award, but there could be only one winner. It was my great honour to announce at that ceremony that Robyn Verrall was the winner of the AgriFutures Rural Women's Award for 2022. Ms Verrall's story really is quite amazing and the work that she does in helping some of the most vulnerable people in our state overcome food insecurity is absolutely to be commended. Her passion for her project is truly admirable and I can't wait to see the progress that she makes and she continues to make in reducing food insecurity, an issue that is so important to so many people within our community.

I also look forward to seeing Ms Verrall do well—I certainly hope she does extremely well—on the national stage in representing South Australia. I wish all the finalists the very best for the future and I know that they will continue to achieve great things in the regional communities that they represent.

The PRESIDENT: Before I call the Hon. Mr Pangallo: minister, you have a notice of motion—I think it is No. 11—that, without pre-empting, I suspect most things you have just covered will be part of that notice of motion. When we are asking questions in the future, can you just be mindful of what's coming up on the Notice Paper like that.