Legislative Council: Tuesday, September 06, 2022


AgriFutures Rural Women's Award

The Hon. I. PNEVMATIKOS (14:48): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Will the minister update the chamber on the AgriFutures Rural Women's Award, which promotes the contribution of women leaders in the primary industries sector?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:48): I am delighted to be able to update the chamber on this very important topic. The 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award opens for applications tomorrow, 7 September. This is Australia's leading award in acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural businesses, industries and communities, and provides a platform to recognise emerging leaders who have the drive, commitment and ability to make great contributions to these regional communities.

The award supports women to bring a project or initiative to life that benefits rural industries and communities. Each of the seven female finalists from each state or territory will receive a $15,000 grant, with the national winner awarded an additional $20,000, and national runner-up an additional $15,000. Tonight is a big night for our South Australian finalist, Robyn Verrall, who will be attending the gala dinner and national winner announcement in Canberra at Parliament House. I am sure that you, Mr President, and hopefully all here present will join me in wishing Robyn the very, very best of luck.

Robyn was awarded the South Australian Rural Women's Award title for her work as the director and founder of Kere to Country ('kere' meaning 'food from animals' in Arrernte), an Aboriginal-owned and operated food supply company bringing high-quality and affordable meat into First Nations communities in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Robyn is driven to improve healthy food security and affordability in rural and remote First Nations communities. She describes herself as fearless and passionate about the meat industry, agriculture, farming, First Nations people and culture.

We are incredibly proud of all three of our 2022 AgriFutures South Australian finalists, which include Stephanie Lunn and Lukina Lukin, who were both just pipped for the title by Robyn. Lukina Lukin from Port Lincoln is the managing director of the Lukin Group of companies and is currently working towards opening a pathway for her business, Dinko Tuna, and the Australian southern bluefin tuna industry to grow globally and to move into emerging export markets across Asia, the Middle East and the US. Stephanie Lunn from Jamestown is an expert in agricultural research and development, as well as director for not-for-profit venture TrialSafe.

The South Australian finalists this past year span diverse industries, from food security to opening up global seafood markets to work safety. Overall, this award program demonstrates that there really is enormous potential for us to benefit even more from female industry participation and leadership across the agribusiness sector. I am keen to see this great momentum build and carry on long into the future.

So, please, I encourage everyone to encourage rural female leaders whom they know to consider applying, from tomorrow, for the 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award. In regard to the national announcement tonight, I say good luck to Robyn Verrall—we all have our fingers crossed for you.