2021 Inspiring Transformation for Rural Women

After a long road navigating COVID lockdowns and our ever-changing landscape we were excited to finally deliver the INSPIRE Summit on 30-31 March at Crown. 

Over 230 rural women travelled from all parts, many travelling more than 500km, to attend the Summit and the energy and excitement (mingled with a little travel fatigue) was palpable.   

Aunty Marie Taylor delivered a beautiful ‘Welcome to Country’ telling the story of the young Noongar women of the land.  We were fortunate to have our Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food – the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan – open the Summit and talk to rural delegates about the Government’s innovative plans for WA Agriculture.  

BullShift author and comedian Andrew Horabin entertained and shared his insights and tips for getting more honesty, openness and straight-talk in your work and personal lives.  Panel sessions throughout the two days around building public trust, climate change, leadership, transformative management and building sustainable regional communities were jam-packed with amazing presenters talking from the heart and sharing their experiences and ‘take-home’ messages. 

Day Two focussed on global food and agricultural trends with Tim Hunt from RaboResearch enlightening us on what consumers want, highlighting the changes post-COVID to greater demand for on-line product, eating at home and buying local.  Victorian Lamb Bacon grower Toni Barton shared her tips for finding a market niche and maximising every opportunity.  Latitude 28’s James Williamson talked about the software they have in place to help the supply chain by ensuring traceable Australian grown product – building consumer confidence by connecting them straight to the producer. 

Community sustainability expert Peter Kenyon rounded off the day by leading the discussions around how to build healthy communities… ‘surround yourself with the people that challenge you and be idea and opportunity obsessed.  Perhaps most importantly for many of our communities is to engage young people – Peter says ‘Dream big, start small and act now’. 

One of the hardest gigs for any presenter is closing after two fully packed days… Brainfit and Thriving Minds author Dr Jenny Brockis shared her own story through overwhelming fatigue and exhaustion highlighting that practising just three weeks of gratitude will raise your level of optimism and reduce stress for 6 months! 

The feedback from delegates has been extremely positive and constructive which will help Rural Edge plan future workshops, professional development events and the next INSPIRE! 

A huge thank you to our keynote sponsors Rabobank and DPIRD and our Summit Partners ProcessWorx, Bailiwick Legal, RSM Australian, GRDC, MLA, CBH Group, Evoke Ag and ACIAR. 

Thanks also to our INSPIRE Convener (Sara Hector), INSPIRE Subcommittee Chair (Nic Batten) and INSPIRE Subcommittee (Lucy Hall, Hellen McTaggart, Emma Scotney, Linda Hewson, Gerri Hinkley, Marie Fowler and Deb Mullan).