Think Big Rural Women Program

Partnership with Big Sky Ideas

Think Big Rural Women Program

Partnership with Big Sky Ideas

Local Links - Stronger Communities -


The issue

The Ricegrowers' Association of Australia Environmental Champions Program (RGA ECP) is used to deliver NRM information and projects across the Murray region. The RGA ECP hosts one Local Landcare Coordinator with the ambition of filling an important gap in the delivery of services to regional groups that our grower members participate in.

The Think Big Rural Women Program was formed to teach women throughout the Murray, NSW practical skills in innovation and progressive thought - unlocking their entreprenurial spirit. We know empowered women, empower women and this is what the program is about.

The solution

The program is a different approach to economic development in small regional communities, utilising challenge driven innovation theory. Challenge driven innovation is based on identifying the right problem through collaboration before looking for any solutions. Traditionally we focus on enterprises being the the only solution to our problems and the broader community sits outside of this conversation. This is a new approach bringing the whole community into the conversation.

The Local Landcare Coordinator worked with Big Sky Idea's to deliver The Think Big Rural Women program in Barham and Deniliquin beginning in Deniliquin with a Challenge Workshop for community groups facilitated by Graeme Kruger, RGA on the 26th of June, 2017 and will conclude with a Pitch Day & Gala Night on the 18th of November, 2017.

The women's program was spread over three sessions across the region. Starting in Barham where participants were given the opportunity to better understand their own personalities and how the brain works with the help of Wild Wacky Wonderful Women, Dr. Natalie Shepard and Sandra Martin. And concluding in Deniliquin , with Christina Gerakiteys from Ideation at Work and Dianna Somerville, founder of Regional Pitchfest based in Wagga.

The impact

Participant Emily Small said 'This was a fantastic event that showed you really can make a difference within you community. The skills taught within the workshops can also be used throughout your day to day life. I highly recommend it.'

The Deniliquin experience was also not lost on the presenters. Christina Gerakiteys, hailing from the north coast of NSW had many positive things to say about her time in the region; 'What stunning countryside to be seen in Deniliquin NSW, thank you so much for having me. There was so much energy in the room and so much intent to have impact. I have had my heart and mind opened by amazing conversations. Resilience and passion live here' she said.

Key facts

  • 19 local women attended
  • "I loved the energy and enthusiasm in the room, a wonderful bunch of women, all dedicated to building a strong, resilient and forward thinking community."
  • "It gave me a lot of knowledge, skills and tools that I had not learnt before. I believe these skills will be very useful both professionally and personally."

Project Partners