The Shine Awards, now in their fourth year, celebrate the achievements and contributions of women across rural and regional Australia, recognising unsung leaders and innovators who are making a real difference to their communities.
Audiences will be encouraged to share stories and nominate women through print, digital and social. The campaign will be supported with digital and print advertisements across The Weekly Times, The Mercury, NT News, The Townsville Bulletin and The Toowoomba Chronicle.
Last year’s overall winner, Inverell cattle farmer Margy Perkuhn, was honoured for establishing Fierce Female Farmers, a support initiative in which she distributed care boxes of donated items to farming women in her drought-hit region. She said the awards transformed her life.
“The exposure and recognition from my Shine experience enabled me to reach more rural women than I ever expected,” Ms Perkuhn said.
“It also opened the gateway to a much broader community of people, in particular businesses, who genuinely wanted to help. The award acted as a beacon for many rural women in my own area who took courage from my story to finally reach out for help.”
Penny Fowler, Herald and Weekly Times Chairman and News Corp Australia Community Ambassador said: “The extraordinary adversities Australian communities have confronted in the past year are the worst in a century; crippling drought followed by bushfires and a global pandemic.
“It’s so important for all Australians to hear the stories, to recognise the efforts of our rural and regional women and for us to continue to support these communities.
“We are so proud, as a company, to partner with Katie Page and Harvey Norman to share these extraordinary stories.”
Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page said: “We are thrilled and humbled to be partnering with The Weekly Times for the fourth year of the Shine Awards. 2020 is a year like no other, but we must not let the isolation created by the pandemic hide those women working tirelessly to maintain the energy and vitality of the local community and economy.
“Please give special consideration to the women in your life, in your community, who are the life-blood of local health services, local education and local employment.
“High standards of health care, education and good jobs – that is what keeps families in local regions for generations.
“When you nominate a woman that you admire for the Shine Awards it is the ultimate expression of gratitude.”
Shine Awards editor Camille Smith said: “Last year’s 18 Shine Awards finalists were all powerhouse women. From a humble farmer at Inverell, NSW, who quietly founded a drought-support campaign that captured the attention of the nation to a talented para-equestrian from Healesville, Victoria, aiming for the next Olympics, these women all achieved great things individually while also inspiring others.”
Over the next three months, The Weekly Times as well as other News Corp Australia titles across print and digital, will highlight the outstanding work by women on farms and off them, in rural towns across Australia, in community groups and sporting clubs, in businesses, schools and homes.
The awards will culminate with a special 32-page Shine magazine in The Weekly Times on November 18 to announce award winners in six categories: Dedication, Spirit, Belief, Grace, Passion and Courage; plus an overall winner.
Each category winner will be awarded a $2500 voucher from Harvey Norman. The overall Shine winner will be awarded $5000.
Top photo: Margy Perkuhn