A NSW North Coast woman has won the NSW/ACT Rural Women's Award for her dedication to agriculture workers with a disability.
Josie Clarke, Bellimbopinni, was named the winner and the recipient of a $15,000 grant, during a ceremony at State Parliament on Thursday (May 12).
Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders and Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the award recognised Ms Clarke's dedication to improving inclusivity for people living with disabilities.
"This is an outstanding achievement and provides Josie with well-deserved recognition for giving a voice to those with disability working, or wanting to gain employment, in the agriculture industry," Mr Saunders said.
Ms Clarke, who is currently studying overseas, founded online platform Ability Agriculture in 2021 after her father, Glen Clarke, became a paraplegic. It was Glen who accepted the award on her behalf
Speaking via video link, Ms Clarke said her goal is to "see disability included positively as part of industry and enterprise workforce planning."
"I'm excited to showcase the opportunities that are available to people with disability on farms across NSW and amplifying the voices of those who have been underrepresented in the industry," she said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Mrs Taylor commended all award finalists for playing a critical role in the growth and prosperity of regional communities after a challenging few years.
"It was fantastic to host so many inspiring country women at Parliament House... and I am thrilled Josie was able to take away the prize for her trailblazing work in the disability sector," she said.
The AgriFutures Rural Women's Award has been running for over two decades. It acknowledges leading, inspiring and innovative women at a state and national level, across a range of agricultural and rural issues.
The other finalists were:
Ms Clarke will compete for the National AgriFutures Rural Women's Award later this year at Parliament House, Canberra.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.