- The 2022 AgriFutures WA Rural Women's Award winner announced as Denmark-based Louise O'Neill
- The award celebrates the essential role women play across regional Australia
Denmark-based farmer and online business operator Louise O'Neill, who is committed to improving the mental and physical wellbeing of rural communities, has won the 2022 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award for Western Australia.
Ms O'Neill runs Farm Life Fitness, which aims to overcome the constraints of long distances out in the bush to deliver one-on-one coaching and live online group fitness workouts.
The prestigious award, supported by the McGowan Government, recognises the vital contributions women around the State provide to their communities and industries.
Ms O'Neill won from a field of three finalists also including:
- pastoralist Debbie Dowden, based on a 200,000 hectare cattle station east of Mount Magnet, aims to explore opportunities for natural capital accounting to structure landscape regeneration targets and sustainable agriculture on her family property; and
- Vasse Valley Hemp Farm co-owner and operator Dr Bronwyn Blake has played an instrumental role in founding Australia's first hemp co-operative and WA's first industry body, and wants to increase consumer awareness of hemp seed as a nutritional powerhouse.
Ms O'Neill will receive a $15,000 business development bursary to broaden her business in collaboration with local government and community groups, and she will represent WA at the national AgriFutures Rural Women's Award.
The AgriFutures award is supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Westpac, CBH Group and the Rural, Regional and Remote Women's Network of WA.
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Establishing her online business, Ms O'Neill's mission is to provide an online community where rural populations can reach out and improve their mental and physical wellbeing.
"Congratulations to all the 2022 finalists on the contributions they have made to their communities and industries.
"These awards highlight the extraordinary skill, innovation and commitment of rural women across WA who make vital contributions to their communities and regions.
"Ms O'Neill follows in the footsteps of 2020-21 State and national winner Cara Peek, a Yawuru/Bunuba woman driving opportunities to empower her community."
Minister's office - 6552 6200