What female inspires you? It might seem like a straight forward question but it had me stumped for days.
It's not because I'm short of options, in fact there are so many that come to mind.
In my list I had farmers, drovers, rural business women, politicians, activist, sportswomen, journalists, authors, actors and Australia's most influential women.
I even had my own mother, my grandmothers, aunts, and many of my friends even made the cut.
But I couldn't pick one name. It was the same question put to finalists at the Sydney Royal AgShow's Young Woman Competition zone competition. More than half chose their mum. There were politicians, singers, agronomists as well as horse and dog trainers.
Why do I have a long list of so many inspiring rural women? What is the common thread?
Strength was the word that came to mind. They all had a strength in their conviction. If they got knocked down, they would get back up again.
There are so many that have broken down the barriers in their respective fields, from cotton to dairy.
They are on boards. They encourage women to have a voice and they have inspired young women by giving them a path to make choices.
So I can't name any one individual or put a face to those I have drawn my resilience and strength from but I thank those who have gone before me and those around me for inspiration.
From the mining magnate who learned if she got it wrong she'd have to start again, even if that meant scaling back down the windmill to get the right tool.
To the dairy farmer who despite Mother Nature unleashing her fury got back up again to keep farming the land she loves.
To the tennis star who credits her own team for her success.
And to the tough as teak drover who walked her horse kilometres to the nearest hospital to have her baby.
And there was even one I didn't look up to, in fact I look down to her at just nine-years-old - my daughter - who already has that 'never give up" attitude.
Whether its putting her hand up unsuccessfully year after year for the student representative council or not getting to state, her reply is always the same: "I will try again next year".
So rather than list females that inspire me, here's some advice for the next generation: now is the best time to be a woman in agriculture and in rural Australia because those who have gone before us have paved the way. So grab every opportunity with two hands and never give up on your dreams.
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