2017 RIRDC Rural Women's Award finalists


Innovators lead the way for 2017 Rural Women's Award

  • Three finalists will vie for the 2017 RIRDC Rural Women's Award
  • Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC, Governor of Western Australia, will announce the winner at the Award ceremony
  • The winner will receive $10,000 for a project or initiative that benefits rural industries and communities.

Three emerging leaders from across Western Australia are in the running to take out the RIRDC Rural Women's Award for 2017.  The Award identifies and supports women who have the desire, commitment and leadership potential to further contribute to industry and community development in regional WA.

The winner will be announced on 5 April 2017 by Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC, Governor of Western Australia, at a ceremony at Government House, and will receive $10,000 to complete a project that will benefit rural people or industries.

"The three finalists have a lot in common. They are all taking innovative approaches to opportunities and challenges in rural WA and are using their leadership skills to find solutions which will bring long-term benefits to communities," Ralph Addis, Department of Regional Development Director General said.


The 2017 RIRDC Rural Women's Award finalists and their projects are:

Fleur McDonald
Fleur has recognised the importance of supporting remote and rural women affected by domestic violence. Fleur's project would develop a website to provide a hub of information, networking opportunities and support. This includes a secure log-in area for confidential access and podcasts that provide information on domestic violence from trained professionals.

Alysia Kepert

Alysia is a national leader in the field of agricultural education and she has identified a disconnect between senior schooling and the agricultural industry. Alysia's agriculture education program would be aimed at STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students who have no prior experience of the sector, bringing the world of agriculture into mainstream, metropolitan education.

​Tanya Dupagne

Four years ago, Tanya started the Camp Kulin program after identifying that underutilised recreational and community resources in Kulin could be used to support the wellbeing of young people across WA. Tanya's project hopes to build on the proven outcomes of the Camp Kulin program by developing a subsidised camp for women from regional WA, encouraging them to take on leadership roles in order to bring positive change to their own communities.


 The Award is an initiative of the Australian Government's Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation​ (RIRDC) and is proudly supported by the Department of Regional Development, the Department of Agriculture and Food, the CBH Group, ABC Rural and Westpac Agribusiness.