THE QUEENSLAND Rural Regional and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN) has this week opened its annual Strong Women Leadership Awards for 2017.
QRRRWN’s Strong Women Leadership Awards program exists to identify, acknowledge and applaud the leadership strengths of Queensland rural, regional and remote women.
It recognises the women who are the invisible threads holding their local communities together and connecting them with the wider world. There are also several categories specifically focussed on younger women, those still emerging and developing their leadership interests and capacities.
Last year’s winner in the business category, Julie Brown of Coola Cozzies, says: “I started Coola Cozzies because Queensland has the highest rate of melanoma in the world. There was a huge gap in the market for sun-safe swimwear as so many of us are self-conscious when it comes to getting into swimwear.
“My aim is for Coola Cozzies to help people feel more confident to get into the water and help them avoid a melanoma.
Ms Brown continued: “Quite simply, if my product stops even one person developing melanoma, I will have achieved my aim.
“Coola Cozzies provides me the vehicle to contribute to my community financially and in other ways. For me personally it fills the need of being able to do things for others, it enables me to focus energy on something positive when other things in my environment aren’t going so well, and it helps my family have more control over our financial goals.”
The President of QRRRWN, Alison Mobbs, said that entering an award might seem daunting, but the SWLA program is built around a series of personal and professional development webinars and opportunities, helping participants to articulate their contributions so that they are more fully visible, recognised and valued.
“It is an important opportunity for such women and girls to connect with others like themselves and has a legacy of creating networks than strengthen and empower our regions.
“Past entrants and winners have frequently gone on to contribute in ways that are really transforming our regional and rural business and social landscape,” she said.
Prospective applicants can read more about the award categories at the QRRRWN website.
The 2017 QRRRWN Conference will be held in Emerald from October 19 to 21.