Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Boost for rural women’s voice

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Maxine McKew MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development

Rural and regional women across Australia will have greater opportunity to engage with government with the announcement of funding for the National Rural Women’s Coalition (NRWC).

Tanya Plibersek, and Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development, Maxine McKew, announced today that the Australian Government would invest $600,000 over three years to ensure women from rural, regional and remote areas are able to bring forward the concerns and issues from their communities.

Ms Plibersek said the coalition, one of six National Women’s Alliances, will engage actively with the Australian Government on policy issues as part of a more informed and representative dialogue between women and government.

“The NRWC will ensure that rural women from across Australia are better able to share information, identify issues from their communities and raise concerns, in their own words, with their own solutions,” Ms Plibersek said.

“The NRWC provides a voice for over 250,000 women in rural and regional areas, as well as their families, communities and associated networks.

“This funding will allow the alliance to continue its work of engaging and representing to government the interests of women from rural, regional and remote areas.”

Ms McKew said members of the NRWC represented a broad spectrum of women in rural and regional areas.

“Organisations such as the Country Women’s Association, Foundation for Australian Agricultural Women, and the National Rural Health Alliance are among the Alliance’s members,” Ms McKew said.

“The needs of women in rural and regional areas often differ to those in metropolitan areas, for example, pressures of drought and flood, distance and isolation can be profound.

“The NRWC will make sure the voices of women in rural and regional Australia are heard. The NRWC will also complement the newly established Regional Development Australia network, which has strong representation from women.”

The alliances will be encouraged to align strategically with government priorities, building broad collaborative networks to ensure representation for all women, especially those who in the past have found it difficult to engage in advocacy and decision making.

The establishment of the National Women’s Alliances demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring women from all walks of life are able to be heard.

The Australian Government will work together with the NRWC in the coming weeks to establish funding arrangements and to discuss the best ways of working together.