The RIRDC Rural Women's Award is Australia's pre-eminent Award for rural women. The Award identifies and supports emerging leaders and change agents who have the capability and resources to drive innovation, productivity and sustainability within primary industries, and build economic and social development within rural communities.
"I grew up in the wine industry but choose not to live in my father's shadow (it was a big shadow) and I wanted to be successful in my own industry- the Arts-just as he had done in wine. After 7 years practising as a successful visual artist in my own right, my father sat me down and spoke to me about his succession plan. It was a question. 'In 10 years I will retire at the age of 65, do I build the business to be sold or do I build the business to be taken over by you as a managed position'. I answered the question as any emotional person would have 'No, no dad, I will take on Galafrey as a managed position.' At the time I thought that meant I would have the best of both world's - art and wine?? But three months later my father was diagnosed with cancer and died three months after that. I was 26 years old. I drop everything and began working for my family business. At the time there was a winery full of wine to be bottle, a warehouse full of wine to be sold and vineyard that had burst with spring. Where was one to begin?
10 years later and I have been on the biggest learning curve of my life. The biggest lesson- turning my business from controlling me to a business that I controlled. So important and a lesson everyone should learn!
I have been ask to be a part of the Rural women award for 7 years now from friends but have never been in the position to really put my name forward. Even now I am a little nervous about it. But I do have certain values that I would like to share and I believe my skills and advice are important to share. When my father died I looked for advice, I wanted answers and I believe my project will help women became leaders with in their own fields. Why? Because when I was in a difficult place I had to make good decisions, take on roles, worked hard, learnt from my mistakes and knew who I was and what needed to be done.
My project is a 12 week journey of self discovery, self empowerment unlike anything before. 'To create a 12 week online course empowering women to take on leadership roles within their own business and communities,' enabling woman anywhere to come on a journey with me from the comfort of their home, to learn, be inspired and help build their own business skills.
I have found mentoring a very valuable tool to the development of our regional business' however mentoring is generally a one on one experience. Often we are isolated within our own business not only by distance but we are in family business repeating what our parents did or being in business with our parents who have certain ideas! Through this media, isolation ceases to be a barrier to mentoring others. By producing a series of online webinars, supported with audio and transcripts, I will create multi-media content that can be readily accessed by anyone, regardless of their location. It is an innovative project that directly deals with many of the issues of family business.
What does it take to be a woman who is empowered as a leader of her business or community? Her own self-belief and confident, her support network, her knowledge and her passion with conviction, being organized and above all to seize the opportunity. My 12 week course will teach all of these skills and be an innovative concept to really make women stand out in their fields." Kim Tyrer