Simone Kain of Penola and Louise Stock from Lucindale are among four impressive finalists in the running to win the 2015 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Women’s Award for South Australia.
This award recognises emerging women leaders who have the desire, commitment and leadership potential to make a greater contribution to primary industries and rural communities.
The state finalists are Alexandra Thomas from Port Lincoln, Sarah Powell from Wharminda on the Eyre Peninsula, Simone Kain from Penola and Louise Stock from Lucindale.
Minister for the Status of Women Gail Gago said the finalists had a range of backgrounds and were all passionate about the industries and areas they want to further develop.
“These women from rural South Australia are an inspiration to us all, as they represent the highest of values and qualities and aspire to make a difference to their communities,” Ms Gago said.
“To be nominated for this award is an achievement in itself. I congratulate these four women and urge them to continue making a tangible difference and inspiring others.”
Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell said the finalists had shown their dedication to improving the industries they care about.
“These women are keen to make a meaningful contribution to their sectors, which include work, health and safety, educating children about farming, building resilience in the community and inspiring future leaders.
“The Government is pleased to support this award as it aligns with our strategic priority of Premium Food and Wine from our Clean Environment by supporting workforce development and growth.
“It also reinforces PIRSA’s Women Influencing Agribusiness and Regions Strategy by supporting women with leadership potential and the desire and commitment to make a greater contribution to their industries and communities,” Mr Bignell said.
Now in its 18th year, the award provides rural women the opportunity to realise their visions for primary industries and to meet a network of equally passionate and innovative peers.
The winner will receive a $10,000 bursary provided by the RIRDC to implement a vision for their industry as well as a one-week residential Australian Institute of Company Directors course to build their leadership capabilities.
Based in Penola in the South East, Simone comes from a farming background, and has an inherent passion for rural Australia. Simone wants to increase children’s knowledge of farming practices and food and fibre production. In July 2014, an educational children’s application that she wrote and co-created, George the Farmer, was launched.
Simone will use the bursary to further develop an educational tool based on George the Farmer, which will include a set of mini games aimed at one to eight year olds. The tool will teach children about farming and food and fibre production with activities such as shearing a sheep with their finger and then turning the wool into a jumper or scarf.
Louise is based in Lucindale in the South East. She started her career as a graduate with the former Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy. Her work over the past 20 years has ranged from the public sector, to farming organisations, educational institutions and business and community networks. She has been operating a grazing business partnership with her husband for the past 15 years as well as her consulting business, Focus Facilitation.
Louise’s vision is for a vibrant and resilient regional Australia, where wellbeing is a focus of everyday life. She will use the bursary to complete training in positive psychology and to scope a pilot project to undertake baseline wellbeing measurement and deliver a wellbeing and resilience program in regional SA in collaboration with the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre.
The 2015 South Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award will be announced on Sunday 22 March at the Adelaide Oval.
The State winner is then entered in the national award, presented in Canberra later in the year.
Source: Minister Gail Gago