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Four emerging female leaders named finalists

A civil engineer and nurse practitioner are among finalists for a prestigious South Australian award acknowledging the essential role women play in rural industries and communities.

Michelle Verco, of Clare, Deanna Lush, of Palmer, Di Thornton, of Pinnaroo and Natalie Sommerville, of Andrews, are vying to be receive the SA AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award.

The winner will receive a $10,000 Westpac bursary to develop an innovative idea or project to ensure our rural industries continue to prosper now and into the future.

The finalists have been chosen for their leadership and commitment to wanting to create, innovate and make a difference to regional and rural South Australia.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone congratulated the finalists across a range of industries – a testament to the broad reach of the award.

“The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award is an excellent platform for recognising emerging female leaders with the desire, commitment and leadership potential to make a greater contribution to primary industries and regional communities,” Mr Whetstone said.

“I congratulate this year’s finalists and I urge them to continue being role models and helping to make a difference in their industries.”

The 2018 winner, Alex Thomas, said: “Irrespective of the outcome, each one of these remarkable rural women deserve the opportunity to flourish; and as such, I strongly encourage the South Australian community to be explicit in supporting their endeavours.

“The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award plays a critical role in raising the voices of rural women, celebrating the value of diversity, and in turn, bolstering the sustainability of rural and regional communities.”

Ms Thomas is part of this year’s judging panel, along with Pip Grant of AgriFutures Australia, Brad Higgins of Westpac and Bianca Jennings of Piper Alderman.

The winner will be announced at a presentation in Adelaide on March 28. The winner will then compete for the national title in Canberra later this year.

Originally published online on The Advertiser. To view the full article, please click here.

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