26 May 2010
The Rudd Government has announced more than $150,000 in funding to support women in rural communities.
The funding will give women the chance to come together to share knowledge and their experiences in ‘women’s gatherings’ that are vital in building stronger communities.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke announced the funding at last night’s 11th Australian Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Awards held at Parliament House in Canberra.
“The rural women’s gatherings have a long and proud history and play a critical role in strengthening community networks and building resilience,” said Mr Burke.
“This funding recognises the tireless work of women in our rural communities, exemplified by the finalists and winners at last night’s awards.
“I would like to congratulate Sue Middleton, winner of the 2010 Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award; the runner-up, Alana Johnson; and all the women nominated who are at the forefront of innovation in our rural communities.
“Sue’s work as a farmer, in the area of turning piggery waste into biogas, and Alana’s work to establish the Australian Agriculture Future Foundation, demonstrate the depth and diversity of the vital role women play in agriculture.
“The gatherings are an annual forum, held around the nation, and provide an opportunity for women
to meet, to share information, to build networks, to develop projects and to enrich their communities.
“Around 85,000 Australian women are employed in agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and countless more contribute to primary industries, whether it be working on the family farm, donating their time to women’s organisations or volunteering in their community.
“The government is working hard to ensure this talent is reflected and recognised in decision making and I am proud to say that representation of women directors to our research and development corporations has increased from around 19 per cent to more than
40 per cent since November 2007,” Mr Burke said.
Through its Recognising Women Farmers grants program, the Rudd Government has provided more than $3.5 million in grants to build the leadership and representative capacity of rural women.