The Weekly Times Shine Awards winners announced

• 2018 winner is Victorian sheep farmer Toni Barton

• 2018 Shine Awards winners announced today by The Weekly Times and Harvey Norman
• 2018 winner is Victorian sheep farmer Toni Barton of The Original Lamb Bacon Company
• 32-page Shine Awards magazine inserted in The Weekly Times today and in  The Australian on Friday   

Toni Barton, the founder and inventor of Lamb Bacon, has been announced as the overall winner of The Weekly Times Shine Awards for 2018.

Now in partnership with Harvey Norman for the second year, the Shine Awards celebrate the achievements and contribution of women across rural and regional Australia.

Each category winner will receive a $2,500 voucher from Harvey Norman and the overall Shine Awards winner will receive $5,000.

The Shine Awards is part of The Weekly Times awards program, headlined by The Weekly Times Coles Farmer of the Year Awards.

News Corp has issued a release detailing why Barton was a deserving winner:

A former marketing and management professional, 39-year old Toni bought her property about five years ago, with very little knowledge of sheep farming, and yet today is realising a potential multimillion dollar turnover based on white sheep, known as the Wagyu of lamb meat.

Barton recently signed a deal for her produce to be distributed to 1,500 supermarkets and delis nationwide and is already looking to international markets. And her business – the Lamb Bacon Co. – has attracted the attention of Will Burrell of El Questro in Western Australia.

Toni’s story, along with that of six other inspiring women, features online and in print today in a 32-page magazine inserted in The Weekly Times in celebration of the 2018 Shine Awards.

And in an effort to substantially expand the national audience of the Awards program, Shine Magazine will be inserted in The Australian on Friday November 23.

For the past 12 weeks, stories have featured in News Corp’s rural titles – The Weekly Times, Rural Weekly and Tasmanian Country and other News Corp titles – with a dedicated print, digital and social media marketing campaign, placing inspirational rural women in the spotlight.

Penny Fowler, Herald and Weekly Times Chairman and News Corp Australia Community Ambassador, said: “Every inspiring woman nominated in the Shine Awards does outstanding work on farms and off them, in rural towns across Australia, in community groups and sporting clubs, in businesses, schools and homes.

“It was extremely difficult to choose, but we have awarded one very special 2018 Shine Awards winner and six category winners who are beacons of light in terms of their Passion, Belief, Grace, Spirit, Dedication and Courage.

“It is my hope that the recognition given to rural and regional women in Australia through the annual Shine Awards provides the encouragement and the motivation to continue creating, producing, nurturing and innovating.

“I’d like to thank Katie Page for her vision and Harvey Norman for its commitment to this important cause.”

Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page said:  “These women are remarkable. We are so grateful that all the finalists have allowed us to share their deeply personal stories – their hard won success. Their intention in sharing through the Shine Awards is to inspire others, that it can be done, that your idea is worth investing in and that your community has your back.

“Thank you to all those who nominated the women they so admire. The time you take to shine a light will prompt others to do the same. This may be year two but we know it is just the beginning.

“Each of you helps to create a network of support, a forum for discussion and a platform to share ideas, expertise and innovation. That is the enduring purpose of the Shine Awards.”

Shine Awards editor Camille Smith said: “It makes me incredibly proud to dedicate a strong program of media attention on extraordinary women who are crucial to the viability and prosperity of their families, communities and regions.

“They are making a real difference to lives across regional and rural Australia and it is vital to shine a light on these stories of achievement, entrepreneurship, dedication, humility, leadership and triumph over adversity.”

2018 The Weekly Times Shine Awards winners:

• 2018 Shine Awards Overall Winner
Toni Barton
, sheep farmer and lamb bacon inventor, Nulla Vale, Victoria
• Passion
Erika McInerney
, digital innovator, Warragul, Victoria
• Spirit
Toni Barton
, sheep farmer and lamb bacon inventor, Nulla Vale, Victoria
• Courage
Zoe Hayes
, jillaroo, Meekatharra, WA
• Dedication
Jill Chapman
, show society president, Hay, NSW
• Grace
Brooke Greig
, ambulance community officer, Derrinallum, Victoria
• Belief
Lisa D’Onofrio
, literature campaigner, Castlemaine, Victoria

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