Finalists announced for Rural Women’s Award

Published Friday, 09 February, 2024 at 02:30 PM

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

Four Queensland women making positive contributions to rural and regional communities are in the running for the 2024 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award.

This year’s winner will receive a $15,000 Westpac grant and represent Queensland at the National Announcement in September where they have the chance to win an additional $20,000 Westpac grant.

Finalists who are not named the state winner will receive a $2,000 grant from State sponsor the Queensland Country Women’s Association.

Kylie Hollonds from Toowoomba manufactures and specialises in supplying products (mainly oats/oat-based) for people with food allergies or specialty diets.

Natasha Kocks from Gladstone runs a charity that provides immediate help to farmers and farming communities when and however they need it through financial support, mental health support, support to families, disaster relief and farm visits.

Kate Lamason from Cairns has a sustainable and preserved tuna business that sells Australian-caught and canned tuna. It is the first tuna business to be established since all other tuna canning went off-shore.

Louise Nicholas from Townsville is creating an engagement and networking initiative to educate and attract high school students into the agriculture sector, while developing industry incentives through recognition of students through awards and bursaries.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 13 March 2024.

Another two Queenslanders, Emily McNair from Quilpie and Belinda Pooley from Eumundi, have been named as two of seven national recipients of the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant.

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Quotes attributable to Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner:

“The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award has a rich heritage of promoting the wonderful contribution Australian women make to rural industries, businesses and communities, and inspiring them to further develop their skills,” Mr Furner said.

“This year’s finalists join a more than 300-strong alumni dedicated to advancing the work of women in regional and rural Australia and providing a supportive network for future endeavours.

“Queensland’s 2024 Rural Women’s Award Winner will follow in the footsteps of 2023 winner business entrepreneur Emma-Louise Gibbons.

“Being nominated as a finalist represents due recognition for initiative and dedication, and I congratulate all of the 2024 finalists and wish them well for the future.

“Emily and Belinda have each been awarded a $7,000 learning and development bursary for their innovative work in the beef cattle industry and bee industry respectively.

“The grant is a sister program to the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award and aims to foster the professional growth of women in rural and emerging industries, businesses and communities.” 

Quotes attributable to AgriFutures Australia Managing Director John Harvey:

“It was fantastic to see the 2024 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award state finalists already making such a positive influence in their industries and communities with their initiatives,” Mr Harvey said.

“We’re excited to provide these women with a platform to build on their leadership skills to drive change in rural and regional Australia.”


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