PEOPLE needed to remember agribusiness and natural resource management leaders resided on both sides of the Great Dividing Range, according to NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodgkinson.
Ms Hodgkinson made the comment when launching the the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation Rural Women's Award. The award has been running for 13 years and celebrates the often quiet achievements of rural leaders, businesswomen and primary producers.
"The RIRDC Rural Women's Award celebrates women who are trailblazers in our primary industries sector, whether they drive a tractor or a computer, or both," Ms Hodgkinson said.
"The 2012 winner for NSW/ACT was Danica Leys, a Sydney-based lawyer who won the award for her use of 'AgChatOz' social media channels to advocate for Australian agriculture.
"Previous winners have used the award as a launching pad to further their career and find new opportunities to make a difference in the community."
The winner gets a $10,000 bursary; participates in the RIRDC Australian Institute of Company Directors course; is supported to implement a 12-month leadership plan; and becomes a member of the Rural Women's Award Alumni.
Minister for Women Pru Goward said the RIRDC Rural Women's Award was a great opportunity for rural women to gain recognition for their often unsung efforts.
"It is important that we support women who are working in trades or careers that are traditionally dominated by men," Ms Goward said.
"We have always known women are central to rural communities, however we need to celebrate these women as their economic participation is vital to the long term viability of their communities."
Ms Hodgkinson said the awards were open to women in NSW and the ACT who are involved in agriculture, primary industries or resource development.
The RIRDC Rural Women's Award is coordinated by NSW Rural Women's Network through the NSW Department of Primary Industries and is sponsored by the Office of Environment & Heritage and TAFE NSW.
To apply or nominate a rural woman visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/rwn or call 02 6391 3620. Applications close 15 October 2012.
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