Dubbo’s Jillian Kilby has been named as the winner of the AgriFutures Australia 2018 NSW-ACT Rural Women’s Award.
Ms Kilby’s vision of helping regional start-ups become commercial successes by increasing the capability, capacity and confidence of business owners – particularly women living in rural, regional and remote Australia – was hailed “inspiring”.
Premier, Gladys Berejiklian presented Ms Kilby with the award at a gala dinner at NSW Parliament House on Tuesday night.
Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said with her $10,000 bursary Ms Kilby will conduct a Regional Start-ups Insight Study to better understand the needs of regional business owners, especially those who are on the cusp of starting a new business.
“A key focus will be women who are considering creating new businesses but need support to take their idea from concept to reality,” he said.
“When women in business thrive, communities thrive too and can generate positive impacts for regional areas.”
Mr Blair said he wanted to encourage women to continue to step outside their comfort zones and provide the support they need to pursue professional and personal goals.
Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said Ms Kilby approaches life optimistically, with the logical thinking of a civil engineer, the roll-up-your-sleeves attitude of a farmer’s daughter from Coonamble, and an altruistic passion to create change across rural communities.
“Ms Kilby is well known and recognised right across the region. She is a strong advocate for regional NSW and women everywhere,” Mr Grant said.
“I look forward to seeing Ms Kilby continue to shine a light on regional business and prosper as a leader in our community.”
The NSW Government congratulates the three exceptional finalists Ginny Stevens, Shanna Whan and Olympia Yarger, who through their vision, commitment and leadership are making contributions to the primary industries sector and their regional communities.
Each finalist will receive a $1,000 NSW DPI Leadership Bursary for skills and leadership development.
Ms Kilby will now go on to compete for the National AgriFutures Australian Rural Women’s Award later this year at Parliament House, Canberra.
The AgriFutures Australia NSW-ACT Rural Women’s Award is coordinated by the NSW Rural Women’s Network a program within the Department of Primary Industries with support by NSW Farmers, Office of Environment & Heritage and The Country Women’s Association of NSW.