Inspirational women finalists in NSW/ACT AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award


Three outstanding women have been revealed today as the finalists for the 2024 NSW/ACT AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, showcasing the breadth of talent and innovation of rural and regional women.

Rebecca Keeley, Rae Knopik and Ruby Riethmuller have been recognised for their impressive contributions to rural and regional communities.

The winner of the NSW/ACT AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, to be announced on 2 May, will receive a $15,000 Westpac grant to support a project, business or program that will benefit rural industries, businesses and/or communities. The winner will also go on to compete for the national award in September.

Find out more information on the award

NSW Minister for Agriculture and Regional NSW Tara Moriarty said:

“Congratulations to Rebecca, Rae and Ruby for their outstanding contribution to their regional and rural communities. I’m pleased the NSW Government continues to support growing the talent of impressive women who are inspiring our regional communities.

“The diverse projects, businesses and programs these amazing women have founded is testament to their unique backgrounds, experiences and expertise. It is important awards like this acknowledge and celebrate women who are leading the long-term success of our regional communities.”

NSW Minister for Women Jodie Harrison said:

“Congratulations to the finalists who are excellent examples of strong, resourceful and resilient regional women.

“The NSW Government is investing in the people of rural and regional NSW. We are proud to support the award and celebrate the hard work and dedication of the three finalists.

“The finalists all share a passion for advocating for a better quality of life for the people living in our regions, whether it is providing wellbeing education and support for adolescent girls and gender-diverse young people, integrating sustainable practices in the fashion industry within rural communities or using innovative technology to improve healthcare across rural and remote Australia.”

ACT Minister for Women Yvette Berry said:

“Congratulations to all finalists – your work is making a difference but will also inspire future generations to step up with their own ideas to improve the life for those living in rural and regional Australia.

“Women are so often the unsung heroes in regional communities, working quietly to improve the lives of others with no expectation of acknowledgement.

“These Awards are a fantastic way to recognise the great contributions of women in our rural and regional communities.”

Managing Director of AgriFutures John Harvey said:

“The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award provides our state and territory winners a platform to build on their leadership skills to drive change in rural and regional Australia.

“This award acknowledges the future-shaping work these women are carrying out in their communities, and importantly, provides them with the support and leadership skills to keep building towards a stronger regional Australia.”

Finalist Rebecca Keeley said:

“I’m incredibly grateful to be considered among such profoundly impressive, trailblazing women from rural and remote parts of NSW/ACT.

“It is a blessing to be recognised with other women demonstrating tenacity and change in their respective fields like we hope to do in the allied health space, and I cannot wait to learn and grow with the other finalists.”

Finalist Rae Knopik said:

“Recognising rural women, in both their achievements and in their lived experiences, serves as a reminder of the power of collective action in creating lasting environmental and social change.

“Celebrating rural women for their work is vital because people in rural areas stand at the frontlines of experiencing and tackling the dual challenges of environmental injustice and economic inequality.”

Finalist Ruby Riethmuller said:

“Being recognised made me feel even more committed to continuing to improve the access young people living in rural areas have to effective, engaging and largely-preventative mental health support.

“I would love to think that any girl who calls the country home can look up to the women involved in this award as role models, and feel a stronger sense of hope, belief, inspiration and promise for themselves.”

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