Armidale was top of the list when young achievers from across New South Wales were recognised for their passion, dedication, and innovation towards the future of regional and rural communities recently after the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) announced the finalists for the 2022 R.M. Williams RAS Rural Achiever Award.
The state-wide program, which began in 1989, celebrates the achievements and significant community contributions of young Australians aged 20-29 years.
Armidale's Lucy Collingridge is one of the 8 finalists for her commitment to improving biodiversity and exploring sustainable outcomes for producers. Having worked various roles in the agricultural industry, Lucy also has a Bachelor of Agriculture (General Production) and a Graduate Certificate in Animal Science.
Janie Forrest, lead councillor for the program, says the award provides an opportunity for professional growth while showcasing the incredible rural advocacy and achievements of young men and women from across New South Wales.
"The R.M. Williams RAS Rural Achiever Award selects outstanding advocates for rural Australia, building a legacy of leadership which continues to serve the nation, and celebrates young leaders who have contributed to the success of rural and regional Australia," Ms Forrest said.
Devoting their lives to driving rural NSW forward, finalists have excelled in all areas, from their professional careers to advocacy in rural health, accessibility, education, the agricultural show community, and the wider agricultural industry.
Ms Forrest said it was promising to see so many young men and women leading the way and 'putting in the legwork' to achieve innovation and excellence within their communities, and inspiring other young people to follow in their footsteps to help build a strong and more vibrant regional NSW.
The R.M. Williams RAS Rural Achievers will receive a share in $17,000 prize money, complimentary 1 year RAS Membership, an official Rural Achiever uniform provided by R.M. Williams, and an 8 day behind the scenes experience at the 2022 Sydney Royal Easter Show in April - with all expenses paid.
One of them will be announced as the 2022 R.M. Williams RAS Rural Achiever during the show and go on to represent NSW at the National Rural Ambassador Competition in 2023.
The future leaders being recognised in 2022 are: Lucy Collingridge ; Katy Armson-Graham, Padstow: Meg Austin, Broken Hill; Nicole Cowling, Maclean ; Jessica Fearnley, Bathurst; Anna Holcombe, Burren Junction ; Miranda McGufficke, Cooma ; Alister Meek, Hobbys Yards.
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