AgriFutures Rural Women's Award

2020 Rural Women's Award

Congratulations to the winner of the 2020  AgriFuturesTM Rural Women's Award, Stephanie Schmidt.

Stephanie plans to use the $10,000 Westpac bursary to develop a program specifically for farming couples, families and individuals, combining psychological knowledge including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and neuroscience, together with her lived experience of the challenges of farming and rural life.

The 2020 finalists were:

  • Marie Ellul
  • Rebecca Sullivan
  • Stephanie Schmidt
  • Kellie Taylor.

The award is about creating positive change in rural industries (agriculture, forestry and fisheries), or rural and regional communities.

About the award

The AgriFuturesTM Rural Women's Award (formally known as the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women's Award) is Australia's leading award acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities. The Award provides a platform to inspire and support Australian women to use and develop their skills to benefit their industries and communities.

The Award is open to all women across Australia involved in:

  • rural industries
  • rural and regional businesses
  • rural and regional communities.

Applicants must be over 18 years and no formal qualifications are required.

A $10,000 bursary is awarded to each state/ territory winner, providing the financial resources to bring to life a project or initiative that will benefit rural industries and communities. They also receive professional development opportunities and access to the Alumni networks. The project, idea or initiative may be commercially or non-commercially focused, and must align with AgriFutures' strategic priorities.

All state/territory winners will participate in a separate National Selection Panel interview. The National Winner will be awarded an additional $10,000 bursary and National Runner Up, an additional $5,000. These additional funds may be used to further progress your winning initiative, or assist in meeting national commitments.

Hear from our previous winners

Deanna Lush (2019 winner)

Deanna Lush shares her achievements since winning the award and how she’s using the $10,000 bursary to create change in rural communities.

Discover the work of Deanna Lush (2019 winner).

Alex Thomas, 2018 Regional Women's Award winner.

Alex Thomas (2018 winner)

Alex profiled the stories of more than 100 women and how they’ve improved work, health and safety.

Discover the work of Alex Thomas (2018 winner).



For more information go to or contact:

Donna Busuttil – South Australian State Coordinator
Phone: 08 8429 0473


2019 Rural Women's Award winner – Deanna Lush

Hear from 2019 Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award winner Deanna Lush  on her achievements since winning the award and how she’s using the  $10,000 bursary to create change in rural communities.

Page Last Reviewed: 04 Feb 2020
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