The Australian RIRDC Rural Women's Award
Develop your skills. Make a difference. Inspire others.
Enter the Award
Applications for the 2014 Award are now closed.
Applications for the 2015 Award will open 1 August and close 31 August 2014. Rural women are encouraged to give it a go or nominate someone they think is up to a new and exciting challenge. If you are considering applying, please contact RWN to register your interest.
For an information package and a list of past winners and finalists who have kindly offered to mentor women applying for the Award, contact Allison Priest or Emma Regan on 02 6391 3620 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ideas on how to prepare your application are available on the RIRDC Rural Womens' Award page.
About the Award
The RIRDC Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s pre-eminent Award for rural women. The Award identifies and supports emerging leaders and change agents who have the capability and resources to drive innovation, productivity and sustainability within primary industries, and build economic and social development within rural communities.
The Award acknowledges that women offer a unique approach to leadership, which involves connecting and collaborating to effect change and influence, often without the need for position or authority. The Award also encourages primary industries and rural communities to embrace diversity in leadership to successfully navigate future challenges.
The Award supports women with demonstrated leadership capabilities, or leadership potential and community contribution, who have the desire and commitment to make a greater contribution to their industries and communities. It provides women with financial and professional support to implement their visions for primary industries and enhance their leadership capabilities.
Each State and Territory winner will receive a $10,000 financial bursary to implement their Award vision. Each State and Territory winner and runner-up will have the opportunity to participate in the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Directors Course and will be supported to develop an individual integrated leadership plan.
The Award is an amazing opportunity to further your leadership development, make a tangible difference and inspire others. The Award is a life changing experience that will link recipients with a positive and powerful alumni network of like-minded women across the country who are passionate about primary industries and rural Australia.
Who can enter?
The Award is open to all women involved in primary industries and natural resource management. No formal qualifications are required. Don’t be shy about entering yourself or nominating someone. It is a great learning and development opportunity, so why not give it a go?
What is the bursary?
The $10,000 bursary is the major prize for each State and Territory winner to provide the resources to develop your vision into a project or initiative that will benefit primary industries and rural Australia.
The Award is a leadership and capacity building initiative, with a bursary to support your professional development and contribution to primary industries.
The bursary can be used for:
- formal training in leadership and business management;
- overseas study tours;
- establishing business plans or pilot programs;
- developing educational or promotional campaigns;
- networking at forums and conferences to grow your knowledge of industries and markets;
- developing training programs;
- testing information technology initiatives and publishing books.
The bursary cannot be used for buying capital equipment (without the explicit approval from RIRDC) or further education such as a Masters or Doctorate degree
What is the AICD Company Directors Course?
The Company Directors Course is a comprehensive and credible learning program relevant to board directors and business entrepreneurs.
The course provides a thorough knowledge of the role and duties of being a board member, and knowledge of organisational performance, strategy development, risk management and financial performance, which are all critical to operating any business enterprise.
What is the individual integrated leadership plan?
The plan will provide 12 months of facilitated individual strategic support for each Award winner and runner-up to enhance their leadership development, the implementation of their Award vision, along with networking, media and public relations opportunities.
How do I enter or nominate someone?
You need to complete the official entry form, addressing each of the selection criteria and include the name and details of two referees. Referees will only be contacted if your application makes it to the final round. Email, post or fax your entry to your State or Territory contact.
Download the Entry Form from the RIRDC Rural Women's Award page.
The application form for the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award is an interactive PDF - you can directly enter your details and answers into the application form.
It is recommended that you download and then immediately save the blank application form to your computer. That way you can make and save changes whenever you want.
If you are a NSW-ACT applicant please email your completed form or print and send your application to:
NSW Department of Primary Industries
Locked Bag 21, Orange NSW 2800
Phone: 02 6391 3620
What is the process and schedule?
Nominations for the RIRDC Rural Women's Award open annually on 1 August and closed 31 October.
Applicants are short-listed and interviewed in each state and territory - in NSW selection usually takes place during November/December. The successful applicants will be announced at formal state presentation events - in NSW the Minister for Primary Industries hosts a special Award Gala Dinner at Parliament House which is attended by up to 150 key representatives from industry, government and the community. The Dinner is usually held in March.
All state Award winners and runners-up will then be invited to attend the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course in Canberra.
All state and territory winners will be interviewed by a national selection panel for the title of the Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award winner and runner-up. The national Award winner and runner up will be announced at the Award’s national celebratory dinner in Canberra during the week of the Company Directors Course.
Your responsibilities to RIRDC
State and Territory Award winners will need to sign a contract with RIRDC and at the conclusion of their Award tenure will need to submit a report on their Award activities and achievements and how the bursary was used. RIRDC will seek reimbursement of the bursary if the report is not submitted.
State and Territory RIRDC Rural Women’s Award 2014 winners and runners-up can expect to be interviewed by the media and where practical attend and speak at relevant public functions.
The National winner and runner-up will each be given an additional $10,000 bursary to assist in meeting national commitments such as speaking engagements. RIRDC and relevant State/Territory agencies reserve ‘non exclusive’ rights to publish any material generated from successful applicants’ involvement in the Award.
Rural women interested in applying for the Award are strongly encouraged to contact previous NSW-ACT winners and finalists who have kindly agreed to support women applying for the Award. Our mentors are happy to speak with you to discuss your ideas and guide you through the Award process. For a list of mentors contact RWN.
Recent NSW-ACT RWA Recipients
2013 Award recipients:
- Isobel Knight, Loomberah - 2013 NSW-ACT winner
- Vivien Thomson, Muttama - 2013 NSW-ACT runner-up
- Video interviews with 2013 NSW-ACT Recipients (YouTube)
- 2013 National winners and runners-up
2012 Award recipients:
National success for NSW succession planner. 17 October. More
Inspirational NSW woman runner-up in national Rural Women's Award. 16 October. More
First NSW Rural Women's Award winner encourages NSW women to enter 2014 Award. More
Celebrating influential women in rural Australia. More
Rural Women's Award nominations open. More
Nominate a rural woman
If you would like to nominate someone for the Award please email your details including your full name, email address and best contact and the name and contact of the woman you wish to nominate so we can speak with her and provide her with an application package.
The 2014 NSW-ACT RWA is made possible through the generous support of our State sponsors:
- NSW Farmers - Growing the best (Gold sponsor)
- Office of Environment & Heritage (Gold sponsor)
- Country Women's Association of NSW (Silver sponsor)
Is your agency interested in sponsoring this high profile event Contact Rural Women's Network for more information.
The Award is an initiative of RIRDC in partnership with the state and territory agencies responsible for agriculture, primary industries and natural resources. It is proudly sponsored by Westpac Agribusiness (Platinum sponsor) and is supported by the Award’s national partners: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry, Rural Press Limited, ABC Radio and RM Williams OUTBACK Magazine.