New South Wales remote work advocate, Jo Palmer, founder of Pointer Remote Roles, has been named the 2019 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award National Winner, with Victoria’s Claire Moore the National Runner Up.
The AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award, supported for the past decade by Westpac, is Australia’s leading Award in acknowledging and supporting the critical role women play in rural and regional businesses, industries and communities. It is an opportunity to celebrate and inspire the next generation of female leaders across Australia.
Adding to the $10,000 already awarded to each state finalist from Platinum Sponsor Westpac, Jo will receive an additional $10,000 Westpac Bursary to further progress her winning project.
“Rural, regional and remote areas in Australia hold a wealth of highly qualified and experienced professionals and much of this talent is sitting idle, particularly among women. Pointer Remote Roles provides a valuable pathway for companies, corporations and government agencies to fill positions with the best candidate for the job, regardless of where they live,” said Ms Palmer.
Based in The Rock, near Wagga Wagga, Jo personally demonstrates that location is no barrier for individuals looking to create impact, innovate and make a difference.
Her project enables others to also contribute to the prosperity of rural and regional Australia.
She plans to use her Westpac Bursary to create a portal within Pointer’s platform that will provide a series of resources, training and formal certifications to help alleviate road blocks that hold many rurally based professionals back from engaging with remote work.
The portal will also educate and support businesses to adopt remote employment.
“I am incredibly grateful to AgriFutures Australia and Westpac for providing not just financial assistance, but also a platform from which to champion remote work,” said Ms Palmer, who was initially inspired by her own network of highly-qualified professional friends, many unable to make the most of their skills as a result of living in regional areas.
“The online portal will further assist Pointer Remote Roles to connect employers and talent and in-turn reduce rural unemployment, stimulate local economies and reduce pressure on farming families looking for off-farm income and alternative revenue streams.”
John Harvey, AgriFutures Australia Managing Director, congratulated Jo and said her ability to identify societal shifts and use these to drive opportunities for rural, regional and remote Australia demonstrates exceptional leadership.
“Jo exemplifies all that the AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award represents.”
By connecting underutilised resources with businesses in need, her project has the potential for economic gains for Australian employers, and huge economic and social impacts in rural and regional economies, particularly during our current challenging climate,” said Mr Harvey.
Mr Harvey also congratulated the 2019 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award National Runner Up, Victorian beekeeper Claire Moore, who takes home a $5,000 Westpac bursary. The Kyneton resident is on a mission to inspire Australian bee keepers to increase their hive numbers while also exporting
Australia’s healthy and clean bees to the world. Claire’s project involves breeding a genetically diverse range of queen bees that are healthy and adaptable in a variety of climates to address declining bee colony numbers.
“Jo and Claire, and all the state winners, join an Alumni of over 300 women from a range of industries. The AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award has provided these women with the opportunity to achieve positive change for rural and regional Australia through diverse and innovative projects relating to rural industries and communities,” said Mr Harvey.
Westpac, the Platinum Supporter of the AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award, also congratulated Jo Palmer for her dedication in creating her winning project and receiving the national Award.
“The Award is more than the Westpac bursary; exceptional people like Jo and Claire deserve to be acknowledged nationally and celebrated for their inspiring work,” said Westpac’s National Manager Agribusiness, Stephen Hannan.
“To be able to showcase the innovative and personal contributions these extraordinary women are making to their sector, and communities, is even more important for the many rural and remote areas where ambition and commitment help industries thrive.”
Mr Hannan also commended all the state finalists on their achievements and said he looks forward to seeing how their Westpac bursary helps them to pursue their future success.
Minister for Agriculture, Senator. the Hon Bridget McKenzie, made the announcement during a black tie gala dinner at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday evening. Both Jo and Claire received their awards in front of over 500 guests including Alumni, government officials, industry representatives, media and finalists’ family and friends.
Applications for the 2020 AgriFutures™ Rural Women’s Award are now open and close on Thursday 31 October 2019, 11.00pm AEDT. Northern Territory entrants closes Sunday, 26 January 2020, 11.00pm AEDT. Full details can be found at www.agrifutures.com.au/people-leadership/rural-womens-award