NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, and Minister for Citizenship and Communities, Victor Dominello, have announced the list of rural women who have had their names added to the Hidden Treasures Honour Roll for 2013.
Ms Hodgkinson said the 96 women were unveiled at the 2013 NSW Rural Women’s Gathering in Scone by Lucinda Corrigan, the Chair of the Primary Industries Ministerial Advisory Council.
“These women, from across the State, have been formally recognised in a unique annual honour roll known as Hidden Treasures,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“This honour roll provides a long lasting legacy to our tireless women volunteers, who are the backbone of many rural and regional communities.
“Volunteers are essential in rural NSW, without them many groups including art and environmental groups, charities, emergency services, education and sporting clubs would struggle to survive.
“It is of vital importance to formally acknowledge the efforts of rural women and increase community spirit and I am pleased that there are now more than 400 women enshrined on this special honour roll.”
Ms Hodgkinson also today announced that the NSW Government will continue its commitment to the State’s rural women, with a $30,000 sponsorship package for the 2014 Rural Women’s Gathering, to be held in Coolamon from 12-14 September.
“Women’s Gatherings provide opportunities for women from diverse backgrounds to come together to network, learn, share experiences and support each other will gaining access to decision-makers, information and service providers,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
Mr Dominello said the honour roll provides an important platform to pay tribute to rural women.
“Women are doing a great job across regional centres and small towns, they play an important role in strengthening our society by providing support to community organisations, local businesses and of course families,” Mr Dominello said.
“We currently have more female volunteers than male volunteers – 36 per cent of women are volunteers compared to 32 per cent of men; there are more volunteers based in regional areas, and volunteers contribute more than 700 million hours of community service across Australia.
“I encourage anyone who knows of a valuable female volunteer in their rural community to nominate them for this worthwhile project.”
Nominations for 2014 open May 1 and can be made via the Rural Women’s Network website www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/rwn or by calling 02 6391 3620.
The full list of this year’s Hidden Treasures Honour Roll awardees can also be found at the Rural Women’s Network website.