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Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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20 August, 2020

Country to Canberra seeks future female leaders

YOUNG RURAL women are being encouraged to enter this year’s Country to Canberra Leadership competition to shine a light on Australia’s future leaders.

By Hamish Hart

Winner of the 2019 Country to Canberra Leadership competition, Heather Proud, said the trip to Canberra gave her new-found confidence.

Founded in 2014, the nationwide competition offers Year 10, 11 and 12 female students the opportunity to win an all-expenses paid trip to Canberra where they will promote key issues, undertake leadership training, and tour Parliament House with Australia’s politicians and CEOs.

Deputy CEO of Country to Canberra, Han Worsley, said the parliament expedition, deemed the “power trip”, would give young women the confidence needed to become leaders within their rural communities.

“For young rural women across Australia, extra barriers such as time, distance and funding add to the impacts of gender issues,” Ms Worsley said. “Country to Canberra is all about supporting these young women to reach their leadership potential.

“From Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, past winners have met with top leaders and gained leadership skills that have helped them go on to make a difference in their local communities.”

Heather Proud, from Roma, was one of 18 winners in the 2019 national competition.

“The power trip allowed me to expand my leadership skills and develop a vast and empowering network of inspiring women,” Ms Proud said after travelling to Parliament House and meeting the Prime Minister.

Entrants must submit a two to three minute video or 400 to 600 word report that coincides with Lifting Us Up, the theme for this year’s competition.

Their submission must also answer how women and girls can empower each other and their communities in times of uncertainty and change.

Ms Worsley said Lifting Us Up was an opportune topic to cover due to the crises Australians have faced during 2020.

“This year’s question is reflective of the world we’re living in,” she said. “Through bushfires, drought and now Covid-19, 2020 has been a challenging year for many rural communities, and we’d like the entrants to reflect on the impact this has had on themselves and their communities.

“We want to hear young people’s views on how we can push through these challenges. Time, distance and funding can make life tough for rural students at the best of times, and we believe the training and ongoing mentorship that Country to Canberra provides is crucial now more than ever.”

The 2020 Country to Canberra Leadership competition closes on September 4. Entries can be submitted by visiting

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