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Alex wins women’s award

Wednesday, 21st February, 2018

SA Rural Women’s Award winner Alex Thomas and Chief Executive of Primary Industries & Regions SA Scott Ashby after the award ceremony on Monday night. PICTURE: Supplied SA Rural Women’s Award winner Alex Thomas and Chief Executive of Primary Industries & Regions SA Scott Ashby after the award ceremony on Monday night. PICTURE: Supplied

By Kara de Groot

The 2018 South Australian AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award winner has been announced, with Alex Thomas coming away the winner.

Ms Thomas, originally from Parnaroo Station near Yunta, lives in Adelaide and works as a workplace health and safety consultant in the agriculture and fishing industries.

She was nominated for the award in part because of her activism around work health and safety practices in primary industries.

Having won, Ms Thomas will now go in the running for the national award, and has received a $10,000 bursary to help fund her project, #PlantASeedForSafety.

Ms Thomas said she’s been working on her campaign for a long time and she can’t wait to get started.

“The current thinking around work health and safety just means paperwork to many, and paperwork doesn’t save lives,” Ms Thomas said.

“I’m hoping to inspire people to shift their focus from paperwork and compliance, to taking meaningful action to save lives,” she said.

“I also hope that they will feel compelled to continue the conversation around work health and safety within their families, their businesses, industries, communities, and across Australia.”

Westpac Agribusiness Regional General Manager, Brad Higgins, presented Ms Thomas with her award on Monday night, and commended her on her project.

He said as well as having a positive impact on rural and regional primary industries, it can be applied nationwide.

“Alex’s project really goes to the heart of regional and rural Australia to help agribusiness workers to go home safely and with their health intact,” Mr Higgins said.

“I admire Alex’s resilience, she was a finalist a few years ago and she’s taken that experience, built on it and grown.

“Her persistence is driven by her passion and this will be the hallmark of her success.”

Ms Thomas will now be looking towards Wagga Wagga in early July, for the state and territory award winners Rural Women’s Award workshop and national selection panel interviews.

The national winner and national runner up will be announced in Canberra at a gala dinner in September.

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