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AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award

Motherland founder Stephanie Trethewey named 2022 Rural Woman of the Year

Founder and CEO of Motherland Stephanie Trethewey has been named as the 2022 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award National Winner for her work in providing services, resources and virtual communities for rural mothers.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator The Hon Murray Watt, made the announcement during a black tie gala dinner at Canberra’s Parliament House on Tuesday September 6th in front of over 520 government officials, industry representatives, members of the award’s alumni, other state finalists and their families.

The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, is Australia’s leading Award in acknowledging and supporting the critical role women play in rural and regional businesses, industries and communities. With the ongoing support of Platinum Sponsors, Westpac Agribusiness, the program provides opportunities to showcase and inspire the next generation of female
leaders across Australia.

“I am incredibly grateful to both AgriFutures and Westpac for their ongoing support for Motherland’s vision to deliver more inclusive services for rural mother’s regardless of their postcode”, said Mrs Trethewey.

Fuelled by her own experience of raising young children on the land, Stephanie created Motherland, a podcast series sharing a raw and unfiltered representation of motherhood in rural communities. The show has amassed more than 400,000 downloads and has profiled over 140 rural mothers. In late 2021 Stephanie extended Motherland’s offerings through the launch of Motherland Village – Australia’s first online mothers group program. In less
than 12 months, the digital platform has supported almost 100 rural mothers from across Australia with children aged from newborns through to their late teens.

“Due to their location or a lack of local services, many rural women don’t have access to adequate postnatal support, including the opportunity to form meaningful connections with other women. Mothers are the backbone of these communities, yet they remain significantly undervalued and under supported.

Their work underpins rural industries including the agriculture sector whether they are employed directly in it or not and it is crucial that we begin to recognise these contributions”, she said.

Mrs Trethewey will use her newly awarded Westpac grant to offer additional resources through the Motherland Village platform, scale its capacity and develop strategic partnerships with hospitals and corporates.

AgriFutures Australia, Managing Director, John Harvey, congratulated Mrs Trethewey on her achievements and ability to innovatively deliver services to women in rural, regional and remote communities.

“Through her advocacy and implementation of the Motherland programs, Stephanie has created a new model for postnatal care in regional Australia and a blueprint for others looking at ways to improve the delivery of services in our rural communities. Her drive to create spaces that encourage connection and support for other rural women is highly commendable and a true embodiment of the Award’s key objectives”, he said.

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