Trailblazers across rural NSW have an opportunity to win a once-in-a-lifetime 'Power Trip' to the nation's capital through an initiative being announced today.
Country to Canberra's 2019 Leadership Competition will award at least 15 young women with a chance to breakdown barriers with politicians and CEOs, engage in leadership and public speaking training, take a tour of Parliament and much more.
Country to Canberra CEO Hannah Wandel, who is also the 2019 ACT Young Australian of the Year, said it's about encouraging young rural women to step outside of their comfort zone and advocate about issues that they care about.
"From Tanya Plibersek to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, past winners have met with inspiring leaders, built self-confidence, and have gone on to make an incredible impact in their local communities.
"It's important to speak up about the things you believe in. Our competition and Power Trip is about giving young women a national platform to make their voices heard."
To enter, Country to Canberra is asking girls to submit a two-minute video or 400 words with an answer to Overcoming the Odds: how do we push through the barriers to achieve gender equality.
"This year's question is all about driving change," Ms Wandel said.
"Only 35 per cent of federal politicians are female, women earn around $239 less than men each week, and we still have huge issues when it comes to violence. Meanwhile, social media has caused a huge wave of issues.
"We target high school because it's a critical time in a young woman's leadership pathway.
"We also know that distance, time and funding barriers can make life tough for rural students, compounded by the current drought. Country to Canberra provides access to training and ongoing mentorship, no matter a girl's background or circumstance.
The 2018 winner Shekinah Taderera praised the initiative's impact.
"I absolutely loved meeting the other winners and would strongly recommend it to anyone out there who has big dreams and aspirations."
Ms Wandel is encouraging all eligible regional, rural and remote students in grades 10-12 to take part.
"This could be the kick-start you need for your future career."
For further details visit www.countrytocanberra.com.au. Entries close 11pm on September 2.