2020 Winners

2020 Western Australian Winner - Cara Peek

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Cara Peek is a Broome-based Yawuru/Bunuba woman, lawyer, entrepreneur and social innovator committed to fostering access and opportunity for rural and remote communities.

Cara has worked in government, non-profit and corporate sectors before co-founding The Cultural Intelligence Project and founding not for profit Saltwater Country, with a focus on empowering First Nations people to improve their social, emotional and economic well-being.

Cara’s project is to create Saltwater Academy, a rite of passage through a collective of targeted place based people centered programs celebrating the Kimberley Aboriginal pastoral industry heritage.

2020 South Australian Winner - Stephanie Schmidt

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Stephanie Schmidt is a World’s End-based clinical psychologist and farmer with a passion for developing a resilient rural Australia.

Stephanie wants to support individuals and communities to not only grow, but to thrive. She has been significantly impacted by the drought and would like to see psychological flexibility grow throughout the rural sector.

Stephanie plans to use the bursary to develop a program specifically for farming couples, families and individuals, combining psychological knowledge including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and neuroscience, together with her lived experience of the challenges of farming and rural life. The program will develop and harness skills around value-driven action, building connection and relationships and increasing vitality even in adversity.

2020 Victorian Winner - Kelly Barnes

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Kelly Barnes is a Dunkeld-based farmer with a passion to boost the resilience of her local community by building connections through animals.

Kelly believes working dogs are a great way to bring people together, not only to improve their dog handling skills but also to break down social barriers and aid mental health.

Kelly is going to use her bursary to establish a Working Dog Training School for small groups that consists of six one-day sessions over a 12-month period. The training school will deliver practical skills but also aims to increase resilience and connectedness in rural communities.

2020 Tasmanian Winner - Karen Brock

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Karen Brock is a Winkleigh-based specialist in plant tissue culture with a passion for the science of plants.

Karen aims to produce plants that can reduce input costs, disease resistant plants, climate tolerant plants or that produce higher yields per hectare. Karen also partners with others to teach under developed countries about plant tissue culture.

Karen’s project will use her bursary to understand new plant culture technologies using Temporary Immersion Systems enabling production horticulture access to a more prompt and economic plant supply chain, delivering improvements to the food production and cut flower sectors.

2020 Northern Territory Winner - Amy Kirke

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Amy Kirke is a Darwin-based Shark Scientist who is passionate about sustainable industries and education.

Amy moved to Darwin to study her PhD that focuses on commercially exploited sharks in the Northern Territory. Ms Kirke is passionate about sustainable industries and education with emphasis on supporting and uplifting women in her community.

Amy plans to use her bursary to provide rural communities with much needed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) engagement through science workshops. Recognising that industry and science communication and engagement rarely reach remote communities in the Northern Territory, Amy’s project will aim to bolster scientific learning.

2020 Queensland Winner - Elisha Parker

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Elisha Parker is the Clermont-based co-founder of Cattlesales.com.au, an executive of agricultural advocacy initiative A True Story and a lawyer.

Elisha’s will use her bursary to extend the capabilities of the online Cattlesales marketing and advertising platform to offer interactive catalogue hosting for stud stock bull, female and special sales and auctions is aimed at benefiting and boosting the Australian cattle industry nationwide.

Elisha wants provide buyers with a practical, informative and enhanced buying experience on one central site, and also provides greater market exposure and financial return for vendors, studs and livestock agents.

2020 New South Wales Australian Capital Territory Winner - Cressida Cains

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Cressida Cains is the Robertson-based founder of Pecora Dairy, an artisan sheep milk dairy and cheesery in the NSW Southern Highlands.

Cressida is passionate about the dairy industry, and wants to address the alarming rate of dairy closures by supporting small scale farmers to adapt and grow their business.

Cressida will use her bursary to launch Dairy Cocoon, is an online platform and support hub that will assist farmers to develop and produce unique branded products. It will include a range of business tools, information and education and an online community to facilitate connections with industry expertise and networks.

Related Resources

2019 Winners

View of the profiles of the RWA Winners from 2019

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2018 Winners

View of the profiles of the RWA Winners from 2018

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2017 Winners

View the profiles of the RWA Winners from 2017

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2016 Winners

View the profiles of the RWA Winners from 2016

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2015 Winners

View the profiles of the RWA Winners from 2015

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