Tuesday, October 12, 2010

2011 Rural Women's Award

If you have a little dream...

A message from Deb Bain - 2007 Australian RIRDC Rural Women's Award Winner.

In 2006 the dream of FarmDay became reality... it was a little idea that I thought could have a positive impact on the rural-urban divide. It was something about which I was passionate - to help farmers explain their business to city families. My first year of getting the dream off the ground was fun and successful, but time consuming and somewhat blundering, as I really didn't have much knowledge of running an event, or a support network to help me launch the idea. It had also cost a bit of money in telephone calls, travel and internet use. So when a friend of mine suggested I apply for the RIRDC Women's Award Bursary - I was very keen - $10,000 dollars would be very useful! In a very rushed, last minute way, I filled out the documentation (three hours till closing) and really didn't give it a second thought until I received a phone call asking me to come for an interview. Nervously, I walked into a room with four people looking expectantly at me - I was sure they were going to grill me on everything I hadn't done properly, or cross examine me as to why I hadn't done things better...but I was very wrong - I was received warmly, and faced with a panel of genuinely interested people who questioned me in a very positive manner, and supported my ambitions.

Fortune smiled, and I was awarded the Victorian RIRDC Woman's Award - I was thrilled, and slightly overwhelmed at the lovely reception given to me by an unknown group of women I have now come to regard as friends, mentors and role models. As a state winner of the Woman's Award, I was then given the opportunity to be part of the National Award. The time between the two awards had shown me that the value of the RIRDC award is not really the bursary itself, but the opportunities that become available because of the award. The people with whom I came in contact as a direct, or indirect result, of the award would pave my way to a network of like minded individuals that have greatly enhanced my knowledge of agriculture across Australia, and piqued my interest in matters of governance. The Australian Institute of Company Directors Course was invaluable to me as I transformed my initial idea of FarmDay into a legal Not for Profit entity The staff at RIRDC have always given me support and encouragement to take myself, and FarmDay to new heights.

In winning the National title of RIRDC Australian Rural Woman of the Year in 2007, I was able to build on the skills, knowledge and networks that had come through the State award. Four years on, I still utilise and value the benefits of being involved in RIRDC.

Women I speak to are unsure about applying for the award “I don't have a project", "My ideas aren't good enough", " I don't know anything", "I could never be a leader", “I can't speak in public" etc. We all have reasons not to participate in things - women are particularly good at finding reasons we are not "worthy". Very few of these reasons are valid when you compare them to what can be gained from putting your hand up! The application form is not difficult, and I, or any other woman involved in RIRDC would be happy to help you - but you do need to ask!

You do not need a "project", you need a dream, and a "desire to make a difference" in whatever field of rural womanhood you find yourself, or desire to become involved. Believe you can!

Apply for the 2011 Rural Women's Award.

Applications for the 2011 Award close this Friday 15 October 2010.

text taken from here

Apply Now

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