Tanya Dupagne has taken out the AgriFutures Rural Woman of the Year award for her work promoting wellness in the WA wheat belt.
The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s leading award in acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural and regional businesses, industries and communities.
Innovator, philanthropist and community leader, Tanya Dupagne, Camp Kulin Director, from Western Australia’s wheatbelt has been named the 2017 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award National Winner, and South Australia’s Simone Kain the National Runner Up.
Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Barnaby Joyce, made the announcement in front of media, alumni, government officials, friends and family of the finalists, significant industry and private sector representatives at a black tie gala dinner at Parliament House in Canberra last night.
Four years ago, Tanya Dupagne moved to Kulin in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia to start the Camp Kulin program. She saw it as an opportunity to do something beneficial with the Shire of Kulin’s under-utilised recreational and community resources. Today, Camp Kulin contributes not only to the wellbeing of young people from regional and metropolitan Western Australia but also to the local economy, with around 1,000 participants and 200 volunteers annually. Tanya has also created a mentoring program to support children at two local high schools, providing mental health support in the absence of a school chaplain.
“The idea that women are anything but drivers of the economic success story that is Australian agriculture is something of a novelty to me because I see it every day. There are more than 70,000 women working in agriculture alone, unfortunately they have not always had the recognition they deserve,” Minister Joyce said.
“This year’s national award winner, Tanya Dupagne, is supporting the health and wellbeing of thousands of young people in our rural and regional communities through the Camp Kulin program she founded four years ago.
“The program aims to revitalise dwindling regional communities by holding regular camps and address problems faced by at risk youth through its scholarship program. Tanya is doing an amazing job and her local goodwill is boosting the economy and the health of the region.”
John Harvey, AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, congratulated Tanya and says her impact on the volunteers and participants at Camp Kulin, as well as the Kulin community, is an example of leadership at its best.
This year’s national award winner, Tanya Dupagne, is supporting the health and wellbeing of thousands of young people in our rural and regional communities...The Hon. Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources
The 2017 national runner up, Simone Kain from SA, is living proof the Award is creating opportunities for female leaders wanting to create impact in rural and regional Australia.
Simone’s passion for regional Australia sparked a colourful quest to raise the profile of farmers by opening children’s eyes to agriculture through the character ‘George the Farmer’. Simone identified a lack of children’s books addressing life on the land in Australia. Simone will be building on her successful ‘George the Farmer’ stories and educational resources about life on the land by creating three new educational children’s resources, focusing on the wide and varied careers that are possible in agriculture, and featuring her other popular character Dr Ruby, a talented agronomist.
Minister Joyce said the National runner-up Simone Kain’s work is also benefiting young Australians - her character ‘George the Farmer’ teaching kids about agriculture and where their food comes from in an interactive story app.
“Simone will be using her award bursary to develop new educational resources for preschool and primary school students, featuring George’s wife, talented agronomist ‘Dr. Ruby’, to encourage more children to consider a career in agriculture,” Minister Joyce said.
“Congratulations to Tanya and Simone—and to all the state and territory award winners. I look forward to seeing all these talented women continue to achieve great things and encourage any woman who wants to create an impact across rural industries and regional and rural communities to apply for this award.”
Each state and territory winner has already received a $10,000 bursary to further their innovative ideas and projects, as well as access to professional development opportunities and alumni networks. As the National Winner, Tanya receives an additional $10,000 and as Runner Up, Simone will receive an additional $5,000.
Applications for the 2018 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award open on the 14 September 2017. For more information, visit agrifutures.com.au
More information about the award winners can be found here, "WA’s Tanya Dupagne wins prestigious award".