WOB headed to Canberra’s Parliament House for the AgriFutures Australia National Rural Women Awards at Parliament House on 12 September. The black tie gala dinner was attended by over 500 government officials, industry representatives, members of the award’s alumni, other state finalists and their families.
WOB co-founders Claire Braund and Ruth Medd and WOB COO Nicole Donegan were joined on the WOB table by Dr Wendy Craik AM FTSE, Chair, One Basin CRC, Claudia Crawford, Chief of Staff to the Treasurer, Hon Jim Chalmers MP, Diane Fear, Committee Member - Regional Development Australia - Central West, Dr Kath Hall, Non Executive Director - Women's Justice Network, Anne Pleash, Non Executive Director - Cacao & Chocolate of Australian Origin and Mary Sue Rogers, Non Executive Director - East-West Seeds.
“It was a great evening to celebrate the amazing achievements of rural women. Congratulations to the winners and finalists for their accomplishments, perseverance, ingenuity and courage,” said Claire.
“Also congratulations to 2022 winner Stephanie Trethewey & founder of Motherland for a stellar job as MC.”
Nikki - co-founder of Grown Not Flown - and National Runner Up Michelle Leonard were joined by their fellow national finalists, who were recognised for their outstanding contribution to rural communities and industries during Tuesday’s ceremony.
NSW resident and artistic director Michelle was awarded the National Runner Up title, for her work in creating and founding regional choir, Moorambilla Voices.
The other finalists were:
- Founder of Bush Devine, Ali Paulett (Clare Valley, SA)
- Entrepreneur and founder of Huds and Toke, Emma Gibbons (Coolum, QLD)
- Facilitator and founder of Leading Rein, Melissa Duniam (Sisters Creek, TAS)
- Counsellor and founder of Grief Connect, Michelle Moriarty (Bunbury, WA)
- Sustainability advocate and co-founder of NTEX, Eileen Breen (Girraween, NT)
In addition to the $15,000 Westpac grant already awarded to the seven state and territory winners, Nikki and Michelle will receive a further $20,000 and $15,000 respectively to progress the development of their winning projects.
“This is a huge honour and I am immensely grateful to AgriFutures and Westpac for believing in my vision to promote and raise awareness around flower miles, slow flowers and supporting local farmers. We have so many exciting plans and this Award will be an absolute game changer for us and what we can achieve in the next 12 months”, said Ms Davey.
Based at Glenmore in the Rowsley Valley near Bacchus Marsh, one of Victoria’s largest food bowls, the self-described ‘eternal hobbyist’ was motivated by her own experience as a new flower farmer, to resolve the common problems and pain points experienced by growers through technology.
What started out as a passion project during COVID, has now morphed into an online platform and app connecting flower farmers and consumers, globally. Grown Not Flown now boasts over 1100 flower farms listed on their global map, and users in over 30 different countries.
“With the additional $20,000 Westpac grant, we can invest this money into further developing the platform to reach new audiences. We also want to educate and encourage consumers to celebrate the provenance of flowers, the same way we do with food, and raise awareness around flower miles, slow flowers and benefits of supporting local businesses,” she said.