Eighteen girls have been selected to take part in a Power Trip to Canberra, where they will have the opportunity to connect with female politicians and CEOs.
All of them were awarded the trip due to the ideas they shared about diversity and leadership.
The program, organised by Country to Canberra CEO Hannah Wandel, saw hundreds of young, rural and regional women submitting videos and stories about why they wanted to be involved.
“From Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory to Dubbo in New South Wales, we’re thrilled to have a diverse mix of girls this year,” she said, “They’ll be great ambassadors for their local communities when they shine on the national stage in Canberra.
“We need to continue to encourage young women’s leadership, fight for gender equality and a fairer and more progressive Australia for all.”
The trip will include meetings with federal ministers, mentoring sessions, a tour of Parliament, public speaking and leadership training, and tickets to Question Time.
“It’s all about empowering rural girls to reach their leadership potential, by combating both gender and geographical barriers to success,” said Wandel.
“We want to help more young women take on leadership roles, and ensure girls in the bush can access career and education opportunities.”
Nayani Navaneethan from Griffith NSW (pictured above), wrote in her essay about the structural barriers that continue to drive the pay and leadership gaps. “Despite us proving our abilities to be able to lead the world and showing the want to have our right to participate equally in democratic governance, we are still underrepresented in whatever position we hold,” she wrote.
“Statistics show that women are less likely than men to have the resources, contacts and education we need to become effective leaders. The structural barriers through discriminatory laws and institutions limit women’s options for a position of authority. Not only should we ensure that we as women continuously support one another to help us to get on the road to success but men should too.
“Gender equality is a human fight, not a women’s fight.”
Shekinah Taderera from Port Douglas Queensland (pictured above) spoke about the outdated ideas and stereotypes limiting the career options of women and the dreams of girls.
“A common belief that shows this thinking links the differences between men and women as an indication of our work or capability.”
She said change can be achieved through awareness of speech. “Words turn into action and action induces power.’
The eighteen winners include Emma Angstmann and Isabell Blundell of Nhulunbuy NT; Taylor Glover of Cummins SA; Madeline McShane of Port Lincoln SA; Abi Archbold of Victor Harbor SA; Sarah Recklies of Kununurra WA; Sophie Luscombe and Hannah Bowden of Busselton WA; Hannah Whytcross of Camperdown VIC; Vamisre Rajasegaran of Warrnambool VIC; Kate Perrett of Nanango QLD; Ameliija Swaffer-Selff of Moura QLD; Shekinah Taderera of Port Douglas QLD; Sadie Buckland of Cygnet TAS; Chloe Quillerat of Redpa TAS; Nayani Navaneethan of Griffith NSW; Grace Mudge of Dubbo NSW; and Blessy Fernandez of Goulburn NSW.
Ten of the 18 winners have been sponsored by AgriFutures Australia.
You can see the top 40 entries to the competition published on the Country to Canberra website.
Wandel was a finalist in the 2018 Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards.