South East women selected as finalists for state award

A WINEMAKER and a viticulturist from the South East have been selected from a strong field of entrants as South Australian finalists for the 2013 RIRDC Rural Women’s Award.

Now in its 16th year, the award provides rural women with the opportunity to realise their visions for primary industries and to meet a network of equally passionate and innovative peers.

The South Australian finalists for 2013 are Anna Hooper from Robe and Dr Mardi Longbottom, who grew up in Padthaway and now works in Adelaide.

Ms Hooper is a winemaker at Cape Jaffa Wines in the Mount Benson wine region.

LEADING THE WAY: Anna Hooper of Cape Jaffa Wines at Mount Benson is a finalist for the 2013 RIRDC Rural Women’s Award.

Dedicated to science and the environment, she has been instrumental in developing one of the first certified biodynamic wine ranges in South Australia.

Her vision is to see the Australian wine industry recognised as a world leader in environmental performance made up of environmentally savvy businesses valuing and investing in long-term sustainability.

Dr Longbottom is a grape grower, viticulturist and viticultural consultant with 21 years’ experience in vineyard management, technical viticulture research, education and extension.

She has enjoyed working with women across all areas of the grape and wine sector and is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience to stimulate and encourage the next generation of female viticulturists.

Her goal is to showcase positive female role models and promote viticulture as an opportunity for varied and exciting career pathways to secondary and tertiary students.

PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES: Raised on a farm at Padthaway, Dr Mardi Longbottom has forged a proud career in the wine industry.

Minister for Agriculture, Regional Development and the Status of Women Gail Gago said the two finalists were passionate about their chosen fields.

“These two women have a passion to share their knowledge and experience with other women in their industries,” Ms Gago said.

“In turn they are also very keen to meet more women from across all primary industries to learn and develop creative ways of doing business or undertaking research.

“They understand that it takes innovative ideas and courage to put them into practice to achieve success.”

The award supports women with leadership potential who have the desire and commitment to make a greater contribution to their industries and communities.

The winner will receive a $10,000 bursary provided by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) to implement a vision for their industry, as well as a one-week residential Australian Institute of Company Directors course to enhance their leadership capabilities.

The 2013 SA RIRDC Rural Woman of the Year will be announced by Ms Gago on Wednesday, March 6, at the Adelaide Pavilion.

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