In the diverse world of rural and regional business, women are increasingly taking the helm, driving innovation and community growth. The CWFS Rural & Regional Women & Youth Conference 2023, held in Condobolin in October 2023, highlighted this shift, emphasising the critical role women play in shaping the business landscape of rural Australia. Melanie Dunn, our Business Development manager and Fiona Tyrie, Bookkeeping Client Manager, attended, flying the flag for MBC Group services.
The Conference: Bringing the community together
Organised by Central West Farming Systems (CWFS), a non-profit organisation dedicated to agricultural innovation, the conference excelled as a gathering place, uniting women from all facets of the community, particularly those in the Agri- business sector. CWFS, operating over 14 million hectares of mixed farming regions, has been at the forefront of bringing together farmers, advisers, researchers, and stakeholders since 1998.
The event offered a unique platform for rural businesswomen to connect, share experiences, and build networks essential for business growth.
Learning from Leaders
The conference featured speakers like Claire Braund and Jessica Rowe, who shared personal anecdotes and professional wisdom, resonating with the challenges and triumphs of women in rural business. Rowe’s candid discussion about the realities of juggling celebrity and family life highlighted the universal aspects of women’s work-life balance.
Meanwhile, Claire Braund’s talk on empathy in leadership and the impact of paying it forward in everyday life highlighted the nurturing role women can play in guiding businesses and communities. Her insights into the impacts of trauma and resilience provided valuable lessons in personal and professional endurance.
Celebrating Local Successes
Local businesswomen from Condo were showcased, highlighting their achievements in diverse fields such as bookkeeping, catering, copywriting, and farming. These stories of thriving businesses west of the Blue Mountains demonstrated that location is no barrier to success. Instead, they proved that rural areas could offer a rich ground for women to establish and grow their enterprises.
Networking: The Cornerstone for Growth
MBC Group Services understands the importance of connection and growth and encourages team participation in such conferences. Recognising that these events are more than just meetings; they are incubators for future collaboration and innovation. For women in rural businesses, networking is an invaluable tool, creating support systems essential in overcoming the unique challenges faced by businesses operating in regional areas.
Opportunities for Rural Businesswomen
The conference underscored the fact that opportunities abound for women in rural areas. Meeting with many women from various communities and industry sectors further proves that a successful and fulfilling career is possible outside our metropolitan areas. Women in our regions are not only building businesses but are also contributing to the resilience and vibrancy of their communities.
Professional Development and Support
The gathering also served as a reminder of the need for continuous professional development and the importance of accessible support networks. These elements are vital for women to step into roles of leadership and to drive business innovation in rural settings. As we look ahead, the conference has laid a framework for ongoing dialogue and connection among rural businesswomen. It’s a call to action for women to raise their voices, find their confidence, and strengthen their communities.
The CWFS Rural & Regional Women & Youth Conference was a fantastic event, and we look forward to participating in the next one. It was a day filled with learning, networking, and inspiration, proving that the spirit of entrepreneurship among women in rural Australia is alive and thriving. The strength and resilience of rural businesswomen are shaping the future of regional Australia’s economy and community. As we celebrate their achievements, we also look to the challenges ahead, recognising that the path is being paved with the determination and ingenuity of women leaders. Thank you to all at CWFS for creating and running such a worthwhile event.