SOME of the agriculture industry's best and brightest took centre stage during an online conference last Saturday.
More than 120 people from across the country and from as far away as Fiji and America tuned in to the Australian Women In Agriculture (AWiA) 2021 virtual conference, which was sponsored by AgriFutures Australia.
Headlining the day-long conference were keynote speakers Katrina Myers, Fiona Simson, Karin Stark, Skye Charry and Suzanne Thompson, who focused on a range of topics including research opportunities, renewable practices and bush food.
Also a highlight of the conference was the four panellists including Shanna Whan, Keli McDonald, Sonia Peterson and AgriFutures Australia Rural Women's Award 2021 winner Cara Peek.
"The day was inspirational, informative and engaging. The outcome was a success besides thunderstorms in every state in territory on the day," AWiA president Natalie Sommerville said.
"The key focus areas included sustainable farm practices and alternative sources of income to personal wellbeing.
"The work of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural REsearch (ACIAR) was shared via Fiona Simson and demonstrated the meaningful work they are doing across the globe, empowering women in agriculture and protecting our industry.
"The Rural, Regional and Remote panel was outstanding and showcased the tremendous talent of rural women from Cara Peek (AgriFutures Australia Rural Women's Award Winner) in Broome inspiring delegates with her passion for improving outcomes for her people, to sustainable farming advocates Keli McDonald and QLD AWiA Director Skye Douglass addressing when your values don't fit with the modern farming community."
"Feedback has shown a very keen interested in Karin Stark's presentation on alternative income streams using solar to reduce input costs. This was a great lead into the [ABC] Landline special the following day".
Ms Sommerville said the conference was proof "the outlook for Australian Women in Agriculture is exciting."
"AWiA is an advocate for all women in agriculture and associated services and we can't thank our sponsors enough to empower us to deliver such a stand out virtual conference," she said.
"If we continue to life each other up, support and promote diversity in ag sectors this will increase change making opportunities.
"We need this right now especially as we head towards a climate crisis and increase pressure on our mental health and on ourselves, families and agricultural communities."