Legislative Council: Tuesday, February 07, 2023


AgriFutures Rural Women's Award

The Hon. I. PNEVMATIKOS (15:11): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Will the minister please inform the chamber about SA's 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award finalists?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:11): I thank the honourable member for her question. The AgriFutures Rural Women's Award is Australia's leading award that acknowledges the vital role women play across our regional communities, industries and businesses. The winner in each state receives a $15,000 grant which goes towards supporting a project, business or program, as well as receiving professional development opportunities and access to incredible experiences through the awards alumni networks.

State winners go on to the national competitions where all state and territory winners participate in selection panel interviews. The winner and runner-up will receive additional grant funds from Westpac to go towards their project. These projects can be commercial or non-commercial but must align with AgriFutures' strategic priorities.

It is clearly an amazing opportunity to highlight, celebrate and further the work of some incredible women who are changing our regions for the better. I have been fortunate to cross paths on a number of occasions with last year's winner, Robyn Verrall, and I note the great work she has continued to do since winning the award in 2022.

The AgriFutures Rural Women's Award finalists for 2023 have been announced, and I take this opportunity to highlight the incredible women that have been selected this year. I congratulate Ali Paulett of Clare, managing director at Paulett Wines; Bridget Johns of Alford, founder of Be Simply Free; Emily Riggs of Burra, who launched fashion brand Iris and Wool; Kerri Cliff of Kimba, co-founder of Eyre Business; and Lindsey Jackson of Moonta, CEO and co-founder of agtech business Platfarm.

Each of the finalists is achieving incredible things. Their areas of interest and businesses span across creating a unique sensory garden with a focus on Indigenous Australian native produce; helping rural women to prioritise, organise, communicate and delegate to reduce their mental load; promoting the use of Australian produce and products; creating improved employment opportunities for rural women; and developing agtech that will inspire future generations to be more involved in our ag industries.

I am incredibly pleased for each of the finalists in achieving recognition for their work. I believe that each of them would make very worthy winners. They will be able to represent South Australia just as Robyn Verrall has done over the past year. I truly look forward to being involved in the announcement of the winner in May this year.