2017 Rural Women’s Award

Published: 5 Apr 2017

Emerging women leaders from across rural NSW and the ACT have been acknowledged at the 2017 NSW-ACT Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award.


The Rural Women’s Award identifies and supports women who have a desire, commitment, and leadership potential to make a greater contribution to primary industries and rural communities.

This year’s winner of the Rural Women’s Award is Sandra Ireson, who received a bursary of $10,000.

Mrs Ireson started the Hay Inc. Rural Education Program, which provides hands-on training, mentoring and networking for young people starting out in primary industries.

“The program has already delivered substantial benefits to Hay, including raising the profile of the local agricultural industry, enhancing tourism and a greater recognition and understanding of the importance of food and fibre production,” said Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair.

The three finalists Rebecca Barnes, Emma Doyle and Hayley Purbrick received $1000 NSW DPI Leadership Bursary for skills and leadership development.

Mrs Ireson will now go on to compete for the National RIRDC Rural Women’s Award later this year at Parliament House, Canberra.


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