The AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award

2020 NSW-ACT Award winner announced

Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall has announced Southern Highlands dairy farmer Cressida Cains the winner of the 2020 NSW-ACT AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award. Cressida won the award for her work in promoting a profitable and secure future for Australian dairy farmers. She will use the bursary to create an online platform and support hub that will assist dairy farmers to develop and produce their own unique branded products. Runner-up is Tammy Galvin from Narrandera. Her project was to bring together women, businesses and services through face-to-face networking events, a website and business directory, and online forums. More about our 2020 NSW-ACT Award finalists.

A life changing experience - how to apply

If you're looking for an Award to help you drive change in your community or industry and you would like to develop your leadership skills and broaden your networks, why not apply for the Rural Women's Award.

The AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award identifies and supports women's contribution to primary industries and rural communities by providing financial assistance, mentoring, resources and support via its nation-wide network of business and community leaders for selected state winners.

It is a life-changing opportunity for women who are passionate, courageous and aspire to lead positive rural industry and community change. For more than two decades the Award has championed women from Australia’s diverse industries and communities, giving them a platform to become part of the national conversation.

“The award is the highest recognition for rural women in Australia. It is more than simply acknowledgement of a smart idea, product or service. It provides women a platform to play a vital and pivotal leadership role across business and industry, bring about innovative change and build resilient rural communities.” STEPHEN HANNAN, GENERAL MANAGER, WESTPAC AGRIBUSINESS

All state and territory winners receive a $10,000 Westpac bursary to bring to life an idea benefiting rural Australia. They also participate in leadership development and gain access to a nation-wide network of Award alumni. The national winner and runner-up, selected from the state winners, receive a further $10,000 and $5000 respectively.

Award winners and finalists join a vibrant Alumni of like-minded women helping to build stronger and more productive rural communities across Australia.


Next round of applications will open September 2021 for the 2022 program.

Due to the uncertain environment with COVID-19 and the ongoing social distancing protocol AgriFutures Australia made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement that was due to be held in September 2020. The 2020 State and Territory winners remain as State and Territory winners until September 2021 when the National Winner and Runner-Up of this cohort will be announced. This means that the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award will not open applications in September 2020 for the 2021 program. Applications will open again, directly following the gala event in September 2021 for the 2022 program.

The Rural Women's Award is open to all women involved in rural industries, rural and regional businesses and rural and regional communities. Location is no barrier. If you want to create impact, innovate and make a difference and/or contribute to enhancing the prosperity of rural and regional Australia, then we want to hear from you. Women must be over the age of 18. No formal qualifications are required. View the detailed award guidelines.

If you are in NSW-ACT and would like access to our NSW-ACT Rural Women's Award Alumni to mentor you through the Award process, please contact Allison Priest on 02 6391 3620 or email:

Further information, including how to apply for the Award, is available on the AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award website.

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The NSW-ACT RWA is made possible through the generous support of our State sponsors:

Is your agency interested in sponsoring this high profile event? Contact the Rural Women's Network ( for more information.

The Award is an initiative of AgriFutures Australia* in partnership with the state and territory agencies responsible for agriculture, primary industries and natural resources. It is proudly sponsored by Westpac (Platinum sponsor) and supported by RM Williams Outback, ABC Rural, and Australian Community Media.