Media Release by The Hon Julie Bishop MP

Training young women to become leaders

The Howard Government has provided funding of more than $500,000 for pilot programs to increase the leadership skills of young women in rural and regional Australia.

The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, said the funding for the Young Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Programme (YWLMP) pilots, will increase the involvement of approximately 180 young women aged 18 to 35 in leadership roles within their communities.

“Three pilots have commenced in the Wheatbelt area in Western Australia, the Wide Bay Burnett Region in Queensland and the Baw Baw Shire in Victoria,” Minister Bishop said.

“The young women will undertake training in leadership, communication and networking and are able to increase their contacts by building networks amongst other young women and experienced women leaders.

“Existing women leaders will provide mentoring support over 6-8 months and will provide an insight into the role and challenges of being a leader.

“Each pilot is trialing a particular model for involving the young women and mentors in their respective communities. For example, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation will use its Rural Women of the Year Award network to provide mentors for young women in the Wide Bay-Burnett region of South-East Queensland.

“This pilot will focus on women in the region’s newly-emerging ‘niche industries’, such as high value specialist crops, value added products, and niche marketing, which have been effective in providing new industries and employment opportunities.

“The results from these YWLMP pilots will provide the Howard Government with an evidence base for best practice models of young women’s leadership programmes, to shape future programmes outside capital cities,” Minister Bishop said.