Mum is Woman of the Year

DUNORLAN farmer, podcaster and founder of Motherland Australia, Stephanie Trethewey has officially been named as the 2022 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Winner for her work in providing services, resources and virtual communities for mothers in regional locations.

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. After amassing 330,000 downloads and profiling over 130 rural mothers, Stephanie extended Motherland’s offerings through the launch of Motherland Village – Australia’s first online mothers’ group and resource centre. The digital platform now offers nine separate programs for more than 80 rural mothers with children aged from newborns to their late teens.

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. Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Murray Watt made the announcement at Canberra’s Parliament House on Tuesday evening in front of more than 500 government officials, industry representatives, previous winners and other state finalists and their families. “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.

“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.”

Adding to her $15,000 grant as Tasmania’s winner, Ms Trethewey will receive an additional $20,000 to further develop her projects. She will use her grant to offer additional resources through Motherland Village as well as a series of postnatal programs developed in partnership with several rural-based hospitals.