Sharon Winsor – a Ngemba Weilwan woman from Mudgee in Central Western New South Wales who overcame the loss of her first child to stillbirth and was later the victim of domestic violence – has been named the overall winner of the 2023 Shine Awards.
The Awards are a joint initiative between The Weekly Times and Harvey Norman. Each category winner has been awarded a $2500 voucher from Harvey Norman and the overall Shine Awards winner receives an additional $5000.
Winsor launched her business Indigearth in 2012 to provide 25 premium bush foods made from ethically sourced, sustainably harvested Australian native products as a way to overcome depression and despair.
Demand by chefs and home cooks for native foods has steadily increased since, allowing Winsor to further develop and introduce a range of responsibly sourced products. Today, Indigiearth offers more than 200 products including native foods, candles, diffusers and a new all-natural skin care range.
Winsor said: “Growing up in the bush and thriving off country are some of the greatest memories of my life. Starting the business when I was living in Sydney, many years ago, was born from my passion for bush food, and excitement to want to share culture with the world.
“My greatest personal achievement yet is that I am still here.”
Harvey Norman chief executive officer and judge Katie Page paid tribute to the 124 women who were nominated this year, as well as Winsor.
“The contribution of overall winner Sharon Winsor is extraordinary. Overcoming huge adversity, she has created a brand that elevates Australian bush foods and creates economic opportunities for Indigenous communities in the process,” Page said.
Now in its seventh year, the Shine Awards are a collaboration between The Weekly Times and retailer Harvey Norman, which celebrate rural and regional women who make a difference in their communities and industries.
Herald & Weekly Times chairman and News Corp Australia community ambassador Penny Fowler said “Throughout the past seven years we have worked in partnership with Harvey Norman to shine a light on more than a thousand women across rural and regional Australia who really make a difference in their communities.
“The Shine Awards reflect our company’s belief in creating positive change through news and advocacy.
“Since the awards’ launch in 2017 there have been many challenges and opportunities – from drought to devastating fires, then floods and a pandemic. And now, things are tough around the country for so many as we face a cost of living crisis.”
All finalists’ stories feature online and in print in a Shine magazine inserted in The Weekly Times, and in The Australian on Thursday November 23.
2023 Shine Awards Winners
Belief: Josie Clarke, NSW. Founder of Ability Agriculture.
Courage: Lyndee Severin, Petermann, Northern Territory. Cattle farmer and tourism operator, Curtin Springs Station.
Dedication: Kathy Duff, South Burnett, Queensland. Councillor and community champion.
Grace: Sharon Winsor, Mudgee, NSW. Founder of Indigiearth.
Passion: Claire Harrison, Bridgewater on Loddon, Victoria. Fitness instructor and health and wellbeing advocate.
Spirit: Amanda Loy, Coleyville, Queensland. Cowgirl and founder of the Cowgirls Gathering event.
Youth award: Annie Pumpa, Braidwood NSW. Global beef genetics supply chain manager.