Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

A New Voice for Rural Women

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Judith Troeth

The National Rural Women’s Alliance has won the tender to establish the National Rural Women’s Secretariat. This initiative will give women living in rural and regional Australia a stronger representative voice.

This important decision was jointly delivered today by the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, Senator Amanda Vanstone, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Foresty, Senator Judith Troeth.

“Women play a very significant role in rural Australia – through community organisations, small business, agricultural industries, resource management and volunteer work,” Senator Vanstone said.

“It is important they have a strong representative voice to government. This initiative will ensure that rural women have their interests and concerns represented.”

Funding of $450,000 over three years will be provided to the new National Rural Women’s Secretariat. This will provide the means for all rural women to participate in wider decision-making forums and to contribute their skills, knowledge and expertise more effectively.

“The National Rural Women’s Secretariat will provide a vital link for exchange of information between government and women’s non-government organisations,” Senator Troeth said.

“The Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (AFFA) has had a strong working relationships with four particular NGOs for a number of years and it is pleasing to see that these NGOs are forming part of the Rural Women’s Secretariat. In conjunction with the other members, the breadth of the Secretariat will mean a wider range of issues of importance to rural and regional Australia will be addressed.”

The National Rural Women’s Secretariat will join the three existing women’s national Secretariats (the National Council of Women of Australia, YWCA of Australia and Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women) in providing a national voice for women to government.