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. Applications for the 2019 Awards are now closed, except for NT (applications close 27 January 2019)
  • If you wish to nominate someone for the AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award, please email the name, contact details, and project area to

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


3-5 July 2018 2018 state/territory winners participate in a three-day workshop and National Selection Panel interviews
September 2018 Monday, 3 September: 2019 Applications Open

Thursday, 27 September, 6pm AEST: Q&A Webinar

Webinar recording available to view here.

Webinar: what is the Rural Women’s Award, who should apply, and what should I address in the selection criteria?

Monday, 15 October 2018 2018 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement
Wednesday, 31 October 2018 2019 applications close at 11.00pm AEDT
Sunday, 27 January 2019 Applications close (NT only) at 11.00pm AEDT
November 2018 – February 2019 Applications reviewed and short-listed. Top 8-10 applicants for each state/territory participate in phone interviews with state/ territory Selection Panels
March 2019 – April 2019 State/territory finalists participate in face-to-face interviews with the state/territory Selection Panel. State/territory winners announced
July 2019 2019 state/territory winners participate in a three-day workshop and National Selection Panel interviews
Wednesday, 11 September 2019  2019 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement

How to apply

Online applications for the 2019 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award open Monday, 3 September 2018 at 9.00am, and close 11.00pm AEDT Wednesday, 31 October 2018 at 11pm AEDT, or Sunday, 27 January 2019 for applicants from the Northern Territory only.

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.

Apply now

Information webinar

A free information webinar will be held on Thursday 27 September, 2018 at 6.00pm AEST for interested potential applicants, covering the following:

  • What is the Rural Women’s Award and who should apply
  • Information on the 2019 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
Emma Regan
NSW Department of Primary Industries
02 6391 3612

Northern Territory
Mila Bristow
Department of Primary Industry and Resources
08 8999 2222

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

Meredith Robinson
Primary Industries and Regions SA
0455 082 593

Western Australia
Sarah Klahn-Jolley
Department of Regional Development
08 6552 2066

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

Cheryl Vella
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
03 8392 8888

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

National Award contact
Belinda Allitt
AgriFutures Australia
02 6923 6919



Related Resources

Meet the 2018 winners

Meet the 2018 AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award winners.

Read more

Meet previous winners

Meet the winners of the AgriFutures™ Rural Women's Award from previous years.

Read more