In Agriculture

Victoria Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh

Walsh Announces Victorian Rural Woman Of The Year

Victor P Taffa

An Alpaca Producer and Agritourism Business Operator from Darnum in West Gippsland has been named winner of the 2011 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Women’s Award.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh today announced Angela Betheras as the winner of the prestigious award at a ceremony at Parliament House in Melbourne today.

Ms. Betheras, who was selected from a field of five finalists, receives a $10,000 Bursary to support her leadership development.

Jennifer Savage, an aquaculturalist from St. Germains in Northern Victoria, was named Runner-up.

Mr. Walsh congratulated each of the five finalists and said the award was a glowing testament to the vital contribution made by Victorian women to Agriculture and Rural communities.

“The judges of this year’s award were faced with an extremely difficult task in selecting a winner from the finalists, all of whom possess leadership qualities of the highest order and great commitment to their respective industries and communities.” Mr. Walsh said.

A former international supply chain manager with Coles Myer, Ms. Betheras established Nickelby Alpacas in 2004 and later transformed it into an integrated tourism enterprise, Nickelby at Darnum, comprising a retail store, photographic studio, olive grove and café.

“Angela has not only created a successful alpaca farm and associated tourism enterprise, she has also served her community tirelessly through her work as chair of the West Gippsland Gourmet Country Tourism Association and in her role as the first woman appointed to the committee of Lardner Park Events in its 47-year history.” Mr. Walsh said.

“She is an extremely worthy winner of this important award and on behalf of the Victorian Government I congratulate Angela on her terrific win.”

Mr. Walsh also paid tribute to Ms Savage and the other three finalists Kerry Anderson, Kim Chalmers and Helen Chambers.

Both Ms. Betheras and Ms. Savage will now be given the opportunity to attend the prestigious Australian Institute of Directors’ Course in Canberra.

Ms. Betheras will join winners from other states and territories as finalists for the National Award to be announced in Canberra in May.

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