Hidden Treasures Honour Roll recognises SES volunteers

In 2016 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers Vicki  Blinman and Robyn Styles were recognised  for years of service by their community and inducted into the Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.  Here are their stories (you can nominate your hidden treasure at  2018 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll)

Robyn Styles,Vicki Blinman 2017HT.

2016 HIDDEN TREASURES: Tambar Springs Deputy Unit Controller Robyn Styles, Manilla SES Local Controller Vicki Blinman. Photo: Naomi Valley Independent

Vicki was born in Warren and grew up around the Oak Flats and Shellharbour areas before moving to Manilla.

Vicki is a volunteer for the NSW State Emergency Service, following in her father’s footsteps.

She has been a member for more than 15 years and performs the dual roles of Tamworth Regional Local Controller and Manilla Unit Controller.

She has received her 15-year NSW SES long service award and national medal in recognition of her distinguished service.

Vicki volunteers around 20 hours a week at her unit and is a senior member of the region training team, often travelling to different units on weekends to assist with developing new members. Vicki is a dedicated and passionate volunteer with a driven focus for helping people in need during times of crisis and developing fellow volunteers through training and support.

Through her leadership and drive she is responsible for increasing the number of volunteers at the Manilla Unit, which in contrast to many country units, has a strong youth representation.

Vicki is also the current secretary of the Manilla and District Country Music Association, a position she has held for the past 15 years. This association look to promote country music and assist artists to develop their craft.

Robyn was born in Boorowa and grew up in the Taree area before moving to Tambar Springs in 2000. A carer for her late husband, Robyn has now retired but continues her volunteering passion.

She is a dedicated and passionate volunteer who has volunteered since she was 14 across many different organisations. Robyn currently volunteers for the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) and NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS).

She has been a volunteer with the NSW SES for more than 15 years and performs dual roles as the deputy unit controller and training officer for the Tambar Springs unit.

She has also received a 15-year SES long service award. Robyn volunteers around 20 to 25 hours a week at her unit. She is always willing to travel to assist other units and regions around the state when natural disasters occur.

Robyn joined the NSW RFS in 2014 as a volunteer firefighter and she is also the brigade’s call out officer. Her outstanding achievement is her dedication and skill to the role as a community first responder (CFR). This role provides medical assistance until paramedics arrive from Gunnedah or other larger towns.

Robyn is often called out to perform this role two to three times a week and will always be the one who turns out no matter what time of day. She uses her passion and dedication to ensure the unit remains one of the most capable CFR units in the state.

_______________________________________________________

The Hidden Treasures Honour Roll was developed to improve recognition of the important role women volunteers play within NSW rural communities and acknowledge them.

Do you know a woman in your community that is worthy of recognition?  You can nominate her at 2018 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.

Nominations close Monday 30 July 2018.

 

Posted in Communities, Community Hero, hidden treasure, rural women, Volunteering | Tagged | Leave a comment

Bourke recognises aboriginal woman Julie Knight as a hidden treasure

In 2017 Aboriginal woman Julie Knight was inducted onto the Hidden Treasures Honour Roll, joining a growing list of inspirational rural and regional women who generously volunteer their time towards helping others in their community.

Julie Knight 2017

2017 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll inductee, Julie Knight. Photo courtesy of The Western Herald

Julie was born in Cunnamulla Queensland when her parents were working on sheep station. She lived in Weilmoringle New South Wales during her primary school years and later moved to Bourke where she resides today. She is of Aboriginal descent from the Kooma and Kamilaroi tribes. She is married with five children and 15 grandchildren.

Julie has always been a fine advocate for those who are advantaged and less fortunate. She has gained enormous respect and has built a rapport among non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal people in her community and surrounding districts.

Julie is a founding life member of the Bourke Aboriginal Health Service, which celebrates its 30 years of service in September 2017. She was instrumental in getting funding support for the first ever night patrol, consisting of a group of women under the name of Naddri Ngalli, which means ‘My Mothers Way’. This was very successful in reducing the crime rate and getting kids off the streets where they were taken home or taken to alternate safe houses.

Julie also ran cultural camps for disadvantaged kids who had never been out of Bourke, with trips to coastal areas of NSW and QLD, all self-funded. Julie is an advocate for women and men in domestic violence situations and was instrumental in the inclusion of men in the Reclaim The Night program. Through support programs this not only worked with the victim, but also with the perpetrator.

She was instrumental in setting up the very first campaign against domestic violence in sport in Bourke — it has now spread Australia wide. Julie is very kind and gentle and has an extremely compassionate nature.

She has worked and volunteered tirelessly for 30 years in her community and certainly deserves this recognition.

The Hidden Treasures Honour Roll was developed to improve recognition of the important role women volunteers play within NSW rural communities and acknowledge them.

Do you know an Aboriginal woman in your community that is worthy of recognition?  You can nominate her at 2018 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.

Nominations close Monday 30 July 2018.

#NSWRWN25  #HiddenTreasures  #ruralwomen  #volunteering #NAIDOC2018 #BecauseOfHerWeCan!

 

Posted in Aboriginal women, Communities, Community Hero, hidden treasure, NSW Rural Women's Network, rural women, Social welfare | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Dubbo’s hidden treasure – Natalie Bramble

2016 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll inductee, Natalie Bramble grew up in family businesses with parents who believed in contributing to the community through volunteering and sponsorship efforts.

2016 Hidden Treasures Natalie Bramble & Carole Bayley

2016 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll inductee, Natalie Bramble receiving her certificate of recognition. Photo courtesy of the Daily Liberal.

Since her move to Dubbo in 1997, Natalie has been actively involved in supporting non-profits through managing and improving events such as the Rotary Christmas Fair and Rotoract Antique Fair and has been an active member of community non-profit boards including the Macquarie Conservatorium of Music and the Dubbo Neighbourhood Centre.

All her volunteering efforts are skills based, where Natalie offers her consultancy and business development expertise to the non-profit and social enterprise sector. It was her work as a consultant that led to her identifying the inequality of access to knowledge, tools and professional development opportunities in regional and remote communities.

Her frustration led her to volunteering her time and seed funding, a contribution of $225000 to create and co-found a non-profit organisation that delivers online education – both expert to industry and peer to peer. Importantly, the business model she developed returns profits for sector education and provides a revenue stream for non-profits who share information and knowledge.

Natalie is another shining example of women who donate their time to improving our rural communities and neighbourhoods.

The Hidden Treasures Honour Roll was developed to improve recognition of the important role women volunteers play within NSW rural communities and acknowledge them.

If you know of a rural women who makes your community a better place to live you can nominate her at 2018 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.

Nominations close Monday 30 July 2018.

 

#NSWRWN25  #HiddenTreasures  #ruralwomen  #volunteering

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Women in the community – Wirrinya recognises their Hidden Treasure.

In 2017 Nadine Mattiske was inducted into the Hidden Treasures Honour Roll for her community service to the Wirrinya community.

Nadine Mattiske - 2017 Hidden Treasure

Nadine Mattiske at an official morning tea in Forbes receiving the Hidden Treasures Honour Roll Certificate of Recognition.

Nadine is an unsung hero of the tiny community of Wirrinya, although she’s quick to point out that she’s a member of a team. For the past eight years she’s been a hardworking and tireless member of the Wirrinya Progress Association. This organisation is the backbone of this tight knit community of approximately 250 residents. The group runs and maintains the Wirrinya Shed, which has developed into a focal point of community life. The committee gathers at the facility at least once a week for tennis, drinks and conversation. It runs the Drummuster program, which collects empty chemical drums for a small fee. They invest these fees back into the Shed and associated community infrastructure. Nadine and the Wirrinya Progress Association have secured numerous small grants which they have used to fund the upgrade and upkeep of the facility. The Association holds an annual picnic day which acts as an opportunity for the community to come together and bond. Former residents return and residents from surrounding towns have begun to catch on too. Nadine has also contributed to the wider community, and is currently the Forbes Junior Rugby Union Club Registrar, and has been a member of the Forbes Preschool and Kindergarten and the St Laurence Catholic School P & C associations. It’s people like Nadine who help make our small communities a great place to live.

The Hidden Treasures Honour Roll was developed to improve recognition of the important role women volunteers play within NSW rural communities and acknowledge them.

If you know of a rural women who makes your community a better place to live you can nominate her at 2018 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.

Nominations close Monday 30 July 2018.

 

 

Posted in Aboriginal women, Communities, Community Hero, hidden treasure, NSW Rural Women's Network, rural women, Volunteering | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Handing over the reins

 

Sonia and Allison hugging and smiling at camera

Sonia Muir handing over the reins to the new Senior RWN Coordinator, Allison Priest.

After 25 years working for DPI and the Rural Women’s Network, the time came for Sonia (and her hubby Gordon) to spread their wings and start a new adventure traveling throughout South East Asia volunteering their time and skills to communities in need.

This picture was taken on Sonia’s final day (last Friday) as she handed over the reins of the RWN, leaving a lasting legacy and some big shoes to fill.

Sonia joined the department in 1993 taking up a position with the newly established Rural Women’s Network (RWN) program and for the past 25 years she has made a significant contribution to DPI and rural communities across NSW.

In 2016 Sonia was appointed Manager, Business & Social Resilience – leading the RWN, Rural Resilience Program and Young Farmer Business programs to build business and social resilience across rural communities.

It is a testament to Sonia that we still have the RWN – a brand that has endured the many organisation and political changes to enable rural communities to adapt and thrive in the ever changing agricultural environment.

Sonia and I have worked together for over two wonderfully productive decades so it was an emotional but happy day.

I am excited to continue her legacy with the RWN program as the Senior RWN Coordinator working with my small but dedicated and talented team – Emma and Catherine.

We will continue to deliver programs and activities that improve women’s personal and business resilience and to ensure women have a voice and are recognised and valued.

#NSWRWN25 #ruralwomen

Posted in NSW Rural Women's Network, rural women | 1 Comment

Women who make our communities a better place to live.

There are countless  women who dedicate their time to crucial community groups and charities such as emergency services, the arts, environment, social justice, education sport organisations,and so many others within rural and regional communities.

The Hidden Treasures Honour Roll was developed to improve recognition of the important role women volunteers play within NSW rural communities and acknowledge them.

HT Gay Daley

Gay Daley inducted onto the Hidden Treasures Honour Roll in 2014.  Photo courtesy of Parkes Champion Post

In 2014 Gay Daley was inducted into the Hidden Treasures Honour Roll for her outstanding service to the community.  Gay was born and grew up in Parkes where she completed her schooling. She has raised two children, is a grandmother to five and a great-grandmother to two.  Gay worked for 26 years with the Parkes Home Care Branch and after her retirement became an outstanding volunteer at the Parkes Neighbourhood Centre as a volunteer receptionist.  This is an important role that meets, greets and offers advice and support to all who visit the Centre.  Gay has also volunteered for Meals on Wheels, the local Community Visitors Scheme and the local Community Transport Scheme. Gay has always been generous with her time and is always available to assist and support members of her large family as required. She has been active throughout the community, helping those in need whether they are a friend, colleague or neighbour. Gay is reliable and has a happy, caring and generous spirit. She has excellent craft skills and regularly knits for local charities so items can be sent overseas to help children in need.

If you know of a rural women who makes your community a better place to live you can nominate her at 2018 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.

Nominations close Monday 30 July 2018.

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Nominate your Hidden Treasures for the 2018 Honour Roll

 

Image of four women from different backgrounds with tagline 'nominate now'.

Do you know a rural woman who makes your community a better place to live?

Nominations are now open for the 2018 NSW Hidden Treasures Honour Roll which recognises the outstanding efforts of women volunteers.

Rural Women’s Network Project Officer, Emma Reagan, said this year Ms Ann Weldon joins the initiative as Aboriginal Ambassador, to encourage nomination and recognition of indigenous women throughout the state.

“Ann Weldon is a proud member of the Wiradjuri Nation and was one of the founding members of the NSW Aboriginal Children’s Service and Inner West Aboriginal Community Company to name just two of her achievements,” Ms Reagan said.

“As Aboriginal Ambassador for the Hidden Treasures program, Ann will be helping to highlight the huge contribution indigenous women make to our communities every day.

“There are countless women who dedicate their time to crucial community groups and charities such as emergency services, the arts, environment, social justice, education and sport organisation, and so many others within rural and regional communities.

“We’re encouraging people to nominate friends, family members and colleagues who donate their time to improving our rural communities and neighbourhoods.”

With a growing list of over 850 inductees, the Honour Roll has been a way to publicly thank rural women volunteers since 2010.

“The Honour Roll captures the inspirational stories and recognises the important and diverse roles women volunteers play within NSW rural communities.”

All rural women nominated will be included in the 2018 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll, which will be launched at the annual NSW Rural Women’s Gathering being hosted by women from Merimbula on 19-21 October 2018.

There are almost 1.7 million volunteers, who give more than 241 million hours of voluntary work to the NSW community.

“It’s extremely important that we celebrate the valuable work of volunteers, from the provision of everyday services to their assistance in times of emergency, volunteers are the bedrock of our rural communities.”

To nominate a Hidden Treasures volunteer, simply complete a nomination online or download a nomination form and share a few paragraphs about why your nominee is worthy.

More information

Contact the Rural Women’s Network on 02 6391 3612 or email rural.women@dpi.nsw.gov.au

#NSWRWN25  #HiddenTreasures  #ruralwomen  #volunteering #aboriginal women

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Rural women shine – Dubbo businesswoman wins 2018 NSW-ACT Rural Women’s Award

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2018 NSW-ACT AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award winner Jillian Kilby with Premier for New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian, and Award Finalists; Ginny Stevens, Olympia Yarger and Shanna Whan at the 2018 NSW-ACT Award Gala Dinner & Announcement.

It was a gala night at NSW Parliament House to celebrate our inspirational rural women through the AgriFutures Australia NSW-ACT Rural Women’s Award, hosted by Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair.
NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian announced Jillian Kilby from Dubbo as the 2018 award winner.
Jillian’s vision is to improve the commercial success of regional start-ups by increasing the capability, capacity and confidence of business owners, in particular, women living in rural, regional and remote Australia.
With her $10,000 bursary Jillian will conduct a Regional Start-ups Insight Study to better understand the needs of regional business owners, especially those who are on the cusp of starting a new business.
Her project lives within a bigger eco system to develop more effective space and services for new and growing business owners within Dubbo and the wider catchment.
Holding a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the University of Sydney, a Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Policy from the University of Stanford, Jillian joins the Rural Women’s Award Alumni ready to learn, give back, and meet new people as part of this experience.
Jillian will compete for the National Award to be announced in September at Parliament House Canberra.
Minister Blair acknowledged the three exceptional finalists, Ginny Stevens (Mangoplah), Shanna Whan (Narrabri) and Olympia Yarger (Fyshwick ACT) for their vision, commitment and leadership to the primary industries sector and their regional communities. They each received a $1000 DPI Leadership Bursary to go towards business and skills development.

Ginny Stevens of Mangoplah wants to expand the ‘Active Farmers’ service to communities with little or no access to health care. She is working to create a series of case studies which will inspire other communities to join this fast growing network while raising awareness of the importance of physical and mental health in building stronger and resilient rural communities.

Shanna Whan of Narrabri aims to take the overdue discussion around ‘casual alcoholism’, along with real people, real stories, and relatable information into paddocks and homes via a ‘virtual meeting place’, so others can gather, chat, learn, and support each other.

Olympia Yarger of Fishwick ACT wants to educate people on the opportunities available to establish regionally based insect farms as a sustainable solution to manage food and agricultural waste. She plans to develop an online education series and create a digital handbook of best practice. Olympia is the Managing  Director of Goterra.

Read more about the 2018 NSW-ACT RWA finalists and their visions for primary industries and rural communities.

The Award is coordinated by NSW Rural Women’s Network through the Department of Primary Industries and supported by Westpac AgribusinessNSW Farmers, Office of Environment & Heritage and The Country Women’s Association of NSW.
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To end the night, a special mention was made to Sonia Muir, NSW Department of Primary Industries Acting Group Director Education & Regional Services for her 26 years’ service to rural communities, during which time Sonia has had an ongoing engagement with the Rural Women’s Network and established the Rural Resilience and Young Farmer Business Programs.
Last year the Rural Women’s Network celebrated 25 years of creating connected, resilient rural women and communities. Sonia has supported thriving initiatives that have continued over decades such as the annual Rural Women’s Gatherings and ‘Hidden Treasures’ Honour Roll as well as pioneering the publishing of the flagship newsletter – The Country Web.
More recently she was instrumental in creating the start-up Visit My Farm website, designed to bring urban and farming communities closer and tackle a growing disconnection of people knowing where their food comes.
Sonia will soon leave the department to start her next amazing chapter to explore volunteering opportunities in South East Asia.
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Women in Rice Network

By Christine Williams, AgriFutures Australia. As featured in the 2017 Country Web Annual

Connecting and empowering rural women to take an active role in rice farming businesses is the driving force behind a new Women in Rice network, established by the AgriFutures Australia Rice Extension team.

Women in Rice P1040928

The Women in Rice network aims to boost women’s contribution to a more profitable and sustainable rice industry.

The Women in Rice network aims to boost women’s contribution to a more profitable and sustainable rice industry by focusing on sharing knowledge, building skills to make good farm business decisions and growing confidence to take an active role in running the business.

The introductory information and networking event was held at the Coleambally Community Hall in June 2017.

AgriFutures™ Rice Extension Officer, Leah Garnett said women in rice farming businesses make a valuable contribution to the decision-making process, yet many industry events remained male-dominated. This new network aims to create a dynamic environment where women can learn and create a more connected community.

‘Centered on the theme of rice, future events will explore topics such as ag technology, best practice management of rice, the future of agriculture and key resources and opportunities that women can access to further their skills and networks,’ said Leah.

AgriFutures™ Chair and Riverina business woman, Kay Hull AM, was the guest speaker at the event and talked about the role of RIRDC in the rice industry and opportunities for women in rural communities.

‘There’s never been a more exciting time to be in agriculture. AgriFutures™ is investing in building the capability of the people who will lead us into a prosperous future and Women in Rice is just one way we are bringing people together, fostering leadership in the rice industry and driving change in rural industries’, said Kay.

Another highlight of the event included an ‘Ask an Agro’ session with Alleena Burger—a senior agronomist with BR&C Agents who has worked in the agricultural industry with a focus on rice for more than two decades.

Alleena spoke about growing up on a rice farm at Moulamein and how it fostered her interest in the crop, and how as a teenager watching the change from drill sown to aerial sown was pivotal to her career direction. She also spoke about how she used social media to keep up with new management methods and issues farmers experience each season.

Technology aside, one of the most exciting developments in the industry is greater acknowledgement of women’s role in agriculture—move that Alleena is embracing and proud to promote.

The Women in Rice network is open to all women with an interest in rice and farming. Keep an eye out for future events in the NSW Murrumbidgee and Murray Valley rice growing regions.

You can follow Rice Extension on:
Twitter: @RiceExtension
Facebook: @Riceextension

Posted in agriculture, Communities, Marketing, primary industries, rural women, Women in Focus, women's networks | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Secure your farm’s financial future for today and generations to come

by Jeff Caldbeck, Dubbo
As featured in the 2017 Country Web Annual.

The Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) provides free and confidential financial counselling to a range of clients who are suffering, or at imminent risk of suffering, financial hardship. The program is designed to assist eligible clients create viable and sustainable financial solutions for their farm or small agricultural based business. There are three providers in NSW, each servicing a dedicated part of the state.

family on hay bail shutterstock_175723934Rural Financial Counsellors help clients identify options to improve their enterprise’s financial position and implement these options via an action plan. They can help plan your future in farming, guide you in cash flows, budgeting and forecasting, support you to develop and maintain strong relationships with your commercial lender(s), and help you access government assistance.

Counsellors are also in the ideal position to assist you as you plan to, or are receiving Farm Household Allowance (FHA).

RFCS can work closely with you and the Department of Human Services by giving you free access to skilled professionals to work through your financial situation and build financial self-sufficiency. Clients currently receiving FHA can request to be referred to their local Counsellor or alternately can access one of the three Head Office Teams located throughout NSW (see contact details opposite to make an appointment with a RFCS).

Rural financial counsellors do not provide family, emotional or social counselling or financial advice—but they can provide referrals and information. The counsellor will provide financial options and support to help you make the right decision for your business.

Rural Financial Counsellors are highly mobile. That means they can meet you on farm, in a town near you, or in their office. Whatever works best for you and your needs.

RFCS NSW Central Region
t: 1800 940 404 e: ceo@rfcscr.com.au w: rfcscr.com.au
RFCS NSW Southern Region
t: 02 6452 5850 e: imcgufficke@rfcsnsw-sr.com.au  w: rfcsnsw-sr.com.au
RFCS NSW Northern Region
t: 02 6662 5055 e: gary.goldberg@rfcsnr.org.au w: rfcsnsw-northernregion.org

Posted in agriculture, Communities, Families, farming, resilience, Rural Support Workers, rural women | Tagged | Leave a comment