Media release: Nominations for fourth Dairy Woman of the Year set to open

Nominations for fourth Dairy Woman of the Year set to open

15 September 2014  

Momentum is quickly building as nominations open for the fourth Dairy Woman of the Year Awards today.  

The awards, which are sponsored by Fonterra, coincide with Dairy Women’s Network’s annual conference which is being held in Invercargill on 18-19 March 2015 and this time boasts two new judges.

Joining a delegated DWN trustee, Fonterra representative and 2013 Dairy Woman of the Year Justine Kidd on the judging panel will be Global Women’s Network’s director of leadership development Sandy Burgham and ASB general manager Mark Heer.

  Kidd (of Waipukurau) won’t be the only past Dairy Woman of the Year in attendance at the upcoming conference however, with 2012 winner Barbara Kuriger and 2014 winner Charmaine O’Shea also in the audience.

  While Kidd is currently busy completing her 10-month scholarship with Global Women’s Network Breakthrough Leadership programme (the main prize for winning Dairy Woman of the Year) and will graduate in November, Kuriger and O’Shea have also been plenty busy since winning their titles.  

Kuriger, who has been farming for 33 years with husband Louis, recently resigned from her position on DairyNZ’s board and is pursuing her political career as a National MP in the Taranaki/King Country electorate.

  She said there were a lot of learnings to come out of the Global Women’s Network programme for her.  

“I gained a lot of confidence, and that was largely about learning who I was from the inside out and what that embedded for me was how important regional and rural New Zealand is to me,” she said.

  Kuriger said she would encourage any woman who is nominated for the upcoming awards, to follow the process and enter.  

“I am watching Justine go through the programme now, and Charmaine will start soon too. And of course I have done it myself. If you get nominated, don’t hold back and let confidence be the issue.  

“There are so many women out there with the ability and not the confidence,” she said.   Meanwhile, O’Shea, who is a chartered accountant specialising in farm accounting, and an equity partner in a Northland dairy farm with brother Shayne, said that since winning the most recent Dairy Woman of the Year title, she has had the opportunity to speak to a variety of business and agricultural groups.

“I also had the opportunity to join an eight-day study trip to China in June, and was asked to join the 2014 National Ballance Farm Environment Awards judging panel which was an amazing opportunity,” she said.

  O’Shea said winning Dairy Woman of the Year has generated a lot of media interest which has given her the opportunity to promote women in agriculture and has given her credibility within the dairy industry.  

She will start the Global Women’s Network programme in early 2015.  

“For me the experience is still in progress and this combined with my role as chair of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust, has meant I have been able to be an advocate for agri women within the media and the wider agri sector,” she said. 

  “Be proud of what you have achieved and celebrate it.  As women we are sometimes guilty of not recognising the contribution we make and this award is a way of ensuring this is in fact celebrated and hopefully provides inspiration to other women in our sector.”  

The 2015 Dairy Women’s Network’s conference theme is ‘Entering tomorrow’s world’.  

Awards nominations close on 15 November 2014.   For more information on Dairy Women’s Network and Dairy Woman of the Year, visit www.dwn.co.nz