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2023 WA Rural Women’s Award finalists announced

Released on

Released on:
Tuesday, 20. December 2022 - 9:30

Western Australian finalists for the 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award have been announced.

The Award acknowledges and supports the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Director General Heather Brayford congratulated the three finalists, who bring a range of skills to benefit agriculture, education and wellbeing in regional Western Australia.

“This prestigious award celebrates the outstanding contribution and commitment these women have to their respective fields across rural and regional WA,” Ms Brayford said.

The WA winner will receive a $15,000 business development award to help develop their project and access to professional development opportunities and alumni networks.

The finalists and their projects are:

Kate Mitchell, Narrikup – aims to create first aid programs and resources (kindergarten to year 10) which are relevant to country life that teach young people to be confident when learning and administering first aid. To establish a rural paediatric health hub that parents and caregivers can access if they need support and information for a range of health topics, particularly for families that need support when a child has been newly diagnosed with a condition.

Michelle Moriarty, Eaton – reducing social isolation for widowed people by providing support groups that offer a safe and non-judgemental space where widows can have honest discussions about the harsh realities of widowhood. To bring a sense that ‘I am not alone, there are others like me and there is hope’. The project will develop the operational structure and expand both the current WA Young Widowed Support Group and the Grief Connect Over 55s Widowed Support Group. The project will develop online real-time interactive peer support groups and create events that promote physical wellbeing and mental health.

Joy Sherlock, Dongara – through the use of unique tools, increase the understanding of farmers’ individual property/paddock soil nutrient balance and associated factors and how this impacts on the uptake of nutrients by crops or pasture. The project will conduct a pilot project that can be used to leverage and add value to other projects. It seeks to illustrate the benefits and ease with which producers can be drought resilient and mitigate risk across all facets of their business.

The WA winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on 16 March 2023 and will go on to compete for the national award.

They will follow in the footsteps of 2022 WA award winner, Denmark-based farmer and business operator Louise O'Neill, who runs an online business overcoming the constraints of long distances out in the bush to deliver one-on-one coaching and live group fitness workouts.

The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Awards in Western Australia are supported by the department, Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network of WA, CBH Group and Westpac.

Kate Mitchell
Kate Mitchell
Michelle Moriarty
Michelle Moriarty
Joy Sherlock
Joy Sherlock

Media contacts:

Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3137/3937