Alex Thomas (2018 winner)

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

My project

Inspired by the collective impact of drought, divorce and my father's work-related disability on my family and our livelihood, the core objectives of my project were to:

1) celebrate rural women, and

2) to amplify the improvement of work health and safety in rural industries.

What I delivered with the $10,000 grant

Key deliverables for my project included:

  • profiling the stories of 100+ rural women and how they've improved work health and safety
  • celebrating rural women and sharing ideas through the #PlantASeedForSafety (and #SaveALifeListenToYourWife!) social media campaign
  • developing free, practical work health and safety resources, designed for rural industries, and
  • participating in a range of industry forums to support and encourage rural women to lead conversations about work health and safety.

What opportunities arose as a state winner of the Rural Women's Award

I can't think of any other platform that would provide the level of opportunity such as the AgriFutures Rural Women's Award.

I participated in the Governor's Leadership Program, presented at over 30 public forums; contributed to radio interviews and magazines, to newspapers and podcasts; was a guest speaker at the Premier's Reception at the Royal Adelaide Show and forged new relationships in other countries.

The challenges in this role

I don't think anyone ever applies for the Award without being wholeheartedly dedicated to their cause, which can lead to various challenges when it comes to managing competing demands for your time i.e. responding to the media, Award-related travel, preparation for presentations, versus managing the usual day-to-day… work, family, relationships and anything else that might arise.

Words of advice would you give for anyone applying for this award

Each woman's Award journey will be different from the next, however my advice is to:

  • buddy up with someone else who's been a recipient of the Award and seek support and advice as necessary
  • ensure you have the resources, time, flexibility and support to assist you throughout your journey, and
  • make sure you really take good care of yourself, and back yourself 110% – no matter what.

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