Host: Carly Brooks

Location: All over Australia… and South East Asia!

Bio Blog a

G’day Central Station,

We’re currently on-board a flying Toyota north bound to Broome with a dozen Indonesian farming women in-tow. Now would be an opportune time for introductions. Influential Women is owned and operated by Catherine Marriott, the WA 2012 RIRDC Women of the Year award winner. Catherine, more commonly known as Mazz, previously worked as a ruminant nutritionist throughout South East Asia in the live export and feedlot industry.

As you are all well aware, the live trade ban sent shockwaves through the Northern cattle industry and left Australia’s relationship with Indonesia in disarray. If you ever want to offend a developing nation, put a stop to their food supply. This crippling turn of events demonstrated that the hard working men and women dedicating their lives to producing Aussie beef were not being well represented to consumers at home and abroad. Cue the establishment of Influential Women.

The primary purpose of Influential Women is to give rural women the confidence and capacity to communicate on behalf of rural Australia and the agricultural industry. In a nutshell, get women doing what women do best, talking! Nearly 800 women have attended workshops across numerous remote and ridiculously great locations including; Mt Surprise, Alice Springs, Cloncurry, Katherine, Broome, Barooga and Benalla. These workshops are made possible by the unwavering support of Meat and Livestock Australia, local community groups, farmer support networks and hard working hosts. In just over two years, the face and the voice of agriculture has become more present and more vocal than ever. Food producers are now proudly telling their story and the role they play in the ‘paddock to plate’ journey.

Influential Women was at the right place at the right time and has recently begun working with the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, managing the ‘Empowering Women in Agriculture – Australia and Indonesia’ project. Hence the jaunt to sunny Broome with our East Javan gal pals. This week we will take you for a look-see into what happens at Influential Women (in outback towns and bushwhacked East Javan villages) and why Miss Mazz has earned herself Qantas Platinum Frequent Flyer status. By the way, my name is Carly Brooks and I am in the engine room of this freight train.

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