Katherine resident Linda Blackwood is heading to Parliament House to represent the NT at the 2018 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner in October.
The National Finalist was named last year’s winner of the NT Rural Women’s Award.
With applications for the 2019 award now open, Ms Blackwood is encouraging others to consider registering.
Ms Blackwood was chosen for her app idea, which will hold important insurance records and station-site access documents.
Having worked on both sides of the fence when dealing with paperwork and insurance for contractors on large outback stations, Ms Blackwood said she knows the importance of a digital safety net for outback stations.
“I worked on a station where we had a team of men building yards and it was two weeks before we realised they were there and gathered their necessary paperwork and insurance,” Ms Blackwood said.
The award has given me the motivation to keep this idea moving.- Linda Blackwood
“I’ve also been a contractor myself and had to hand out the same paperwork multiple times to different customers, which was extremely time consuming.”
The app will mean less paperwork for both station workers and their employers as well as a better guarantee of confidentiality.
“The last thing you want is to have a conversation about who is covering what while someone is being loaded into the Royal Flying Doctor Service plane.”
The station site accreditation app could be rolled out nationally.
“Farms aren’t like construction sites. We don’t have gates and an office at the front with admin staff collecting paperwork from contractors. This app will mean contractors can lodge their credentials into the system and stations can easily check their accreditation status, which will improve risk management, increase efficiency and reduce admin costs.”
The Rural Women’s Award and a $10,000 grant, is helping to launch Ms Blackwood’s idea off the ground.
“The award has given me the motivation to keep this idea moving. It’s also allowed me to connect with a network of like-minded women who want to do something positive for their communities,” she said.
Ms Blackwood is encouraging rural women to consider registering for the 2019 award, with registrations now open.
Ms Blackwood moved to the Northern Territory in 2005 with her husband where they started a mechanical business which services pastoral properties.
“Katherine is an amazing region to live and I really enjoy the rural lifestyle. I love the whole cycle of looking after the land and making sure I leave a positive impact,” she said.
“But because I live remotely, I don’t have the same access to professional development opportunities and the Rural Women’s Award has given me the skills and confidence to take on this idea.”
Managing Director of AgriFutures Australia John Harvey said the Rural Women’s Award shines a spotlight on the contribution women make to rural industries and regional communities.
“It celebrates their success and provides a beacon to an emerging generation of future leaders across the nation,” he said.
“In 2019, the award celebrates twenty-four years, and will see an alumni of more than 300 women who continue to support each other, their communities and industry.”
Ms Blackwood is now a finalist for the 2018 national award, and will represent the NT at the 2018 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement at Parliament House in Canberra on October 15.
Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Ken Vowles said while many Territorians are achieving great things in rural communities and industries, they don’t always get the recognition they deserve.
“The Territory’s rural sector contributes greatly to our economy and creates jobs. It includes many of our most successful industries - such as agriculture and our pastoral sector,” he said.
“Women are high up on that list of achievers and these awards give us the chance to recognise and celebrate what they do.
“Territory women are often humble about their achievements, but I’m asking as many as possible to step out of the shadows, share the good work they do and receive some well-deserved recognition.”
Northern Territory applicants have until January 27, 2019 to apply for the 2019 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award.
Ms Blackwood is seeking input for her project, anyone interested in contributing ideas can contact 0427 102 355.
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