A number of the recognised regional Queensland faces that have been leading the way in community development are smiling this week, following the announcement of the finalists for the Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women’s Network’s annual Strong Women Leadership Awards.
They feature women of all ages from throughout the state, including Townsville-based photographer and blogger, Fiona Lake, fellow north Queenslander, Kylie Stretton, and Brisbane’s Genevieve McAuley, well-known in agricultural communications circles.
QRRRWN president, Alison Mobbs said each of the entrants deserved recognition and acknowledgement for their contribution.
“Our communities and our regions are greatly enriched from their efforts, whether in business, community endeavours, professional, volunteering or telling our stories,” she said. “We especially applaud the entrants and finalists in the Younger Women categories.”
Two of them, Anekah Hinchliff from Wattle Camp near Kingaroy, and Emily Akers of Dalby, are already winners.
- Woman of the Year – Kristine Arnold (Longreach), Sarah Grayson (Charleville)
Celebrates the achievements of a woman who has made a significant contribution to high priority issue in Queensland. This woman is resilient, she inspires others to achieve their goals, she shows strong leadership and is consistently striving to improve, grow and nurture RRR communities.
- Small Business Owner of the Year – Kylie Stretton (Charters Towers), Julia Telford (Goondiwindi)
Recognises a woman who through her hard work has built or maintained a small business that promotes a RRR community and/or benefits RRR women.
- Professional - Liz Alexander (Emerald), Sarah Grayson (Charleville)
Recognises a woman who through the course of her work has influenced significant change to improve services to RRR women/ improve outcomes for women and their communities or the rural industry.
- Leadership - Donna Audas (Townsville), Genevieve McCauley (Brisbane)
Recognises a person, who through their work within a community or government organisation has made a significant contribution to policy, programs or services that have promoted, supported or improved services for RRR women in a high priority area.
- Volunteer – Jacqui Armstrong (Biloela), Brigid Price (Injune)
Celebrates an exceptional volunteer in a non-paid position who continually supports or promotes the needs of people in RRR communities.
- Story Teller – Chrissy Arthur (Rockhampton), Fiona Lake (Townsville)
Celebrates a person who has, through their story-telling, promotes women in RRR areas. Nominees may include women whose story is told through writing, song, dance, journalism or another art form who ‘tells a story’ promoting RRR women.
- Inspirational Woman 65 plus - Lillian Lever (Coowonga), Alison Ray (Emerald)
This special award celebrates an inspirational woman who has paved the way for future generations. They will have made a significant contribution to RRR communities.
- Young Woman with a Vision – Anekah Hinchliff (Wattle Camp)
Celebrates the achievements of a young woman (under 16) who has already made a significant contribution to her community and has a vision for the future.
- Young Woman with a Plan – Emily Akers (Dalby)
Open to nominees aged between 16 and 19 years who are inspiring leaders and have a clear plan on how they will achieve their goals. They will have demonstrated their leadership through their community.
- Young Rural Woman – Laura Babington (Warwick), Rebecca Clapperton (Tarong), Lisel Dingley (Chinchilla)
Open to nominees between 20 – 30 years who are inspiring leaders.
Ms Mobbs said the judges still had quite a challenge ahead of them, referring to the final stages of the program.
Winners in each category will be announced at the 2017 QRRRWN conference taking place in Emerald on October 19-21.