The AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s leading award acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities. The Award provides a platform to inspire and support Australian women to use and develop their skills to benefit their industries and communities.


Over the past two decades, the Award has gained a significant profile, and is recognised as a program of influence among parliamentarians, industry, media and Award alumni. Each state and territory winner receives a $10,000 bursary for innovative ideas and projects, access to professional development opportunities and alumni networks.

AgriFutures Australia is committed to the future growth and advancement of the Award as a means of identifying, celebrating and empowering women. The Rural Women’s Award is one of many AgriFutures Australia initiatives ensuring our rural industries prosper now, and into the future.

Who can apply

  • The Award is open to all women involved in rural industries, rural and regional businesses and rural and regional communities.
  • Location is no barrier. If you want to create impact, innovate and make a difference and/or contribute to enhancing the prosperity of rural and regional Australia, then we want to hear from you.
  • Women must be over the age of 18, and Australian citizens or permanent residents.
  • No formal qualifications are required.
  • Detailed Award guidelines can be found here.

When we refer to “rural industries” we mean agriculture, forestry and fisheries.


September 201714 September: Applications Open 
Webinar: What is the Rural Women’s Award, who should apply, and what should I address in the selection criteria?
October 201729 October: Applications close
November 2017 – February 2018Applications reviewed and short-listed. Top 8-10 applicants for each state/territory participate in phone interviews with state/ territory Selection Panels.
March 2018 – April 2018State/territory finalists participate in face-to-face interviews with the state/territory Selection Panel. State/territory winners announced.
June 2018 – July 2018State/territory winners participate in a three-day workshop and National Selection Panel interviews.
September 2018AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement.

How to apply

Online applications for the AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award open Thursday 14 September 2017 and close Sunday 29 October 2017 at 9pm AEDT.

Applications must address all selection criteria and include contact details for two referees.

Referees will only be contacted if your application makes it to the final round – i.e. face-to-face state/territory interviews.

State Coordinator contact information is provided below. We encourage you to contact your State Coordinator who will guide you through the application process and provide feedback on your project, initiative or idea.

Information webinar

AgriFutures Australia hosted a free information webinar on 28 September that covered the following:

  • what is the Rural Women’s Award and who should apply
  • information on the selection criteria and what is important to address


AgriFutures Australia is thankful for the support of the following Award partners:

Platinum Sponsor
Supporting Agencies


Each state and territory has its own Award Coordinator:

New South Wales & ACT
Allison Priest
NSW Department of Primary Industries
02 6391 3620

Northern Territory
Lorraine Corowa
Department of Primary Industry and Resources
08 8429 0360

South Australia
Emily Mellor
Primary Industries and Regions SA
08 8429 0360

Western Australia
Rob Leicester
Department of Regional Development
08 6552 2018

Rebecca Williams
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
03 6165 3070

Johanna Christensen
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
03 8392 7117

Karyn Manktelow
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
07 3096 6770

National Award contact
Debbie van der Rijt
AgriFutures Australia
02 6923 6917

Related Resources

Meet the Winners

Meet our current Rural Women's Award Winners.

Read More

Meet Previous Winners

Meet the Winners of the Rural Women's Award from previous years.

Read More