A CELEBRATION of women in agriculture and inspirational women from rural areas, three incredible women told a packed crowd of 190 men and women their story as part of the Telstra Women in Ag lunch.

Engaging and motivating, the three individuals spoke from the heart.

Founder and CEO of Sweet Justice, the 2019 Agrifutures Victorian Rural Woman of the Year and winner of the 2021 Rotary Environmental Sustainability Award, Claire Moore, broke down the barrier of how she teaches beekeeping within Victoria’s justice system, leading participants into supported employment in commercial beekeeping after their incarceration ceases.

Awarded the 2020 Australian Apprentice of the Year, Caitlin Radford shone a light on the path for the next generation of farming women.

Undertaking a diploma of agribusiness, Caitlin is also an ambassador for VET training and vice-chairman of Agfest Field Days and discussed running her own agricultural company in Tasmania after growing up on her grandparent’s farm.

And, last but not least, Corrinne Armour’s story is one of hope, fearlessness and courage. Living and working in a jungle refugee camp on the edge of a war zone, Corrinne married an ex-guerrilla fighter.

With two daughters, Corrinne inspires individuals and businesses, particularly in the corporate world, to create a powerful and aligned team and organisational success.

Corrinne spoke about balancing work, family and farm life.

But there was one woman who, without her, the lunch would have long ceased – Angela Betheras.

In 2011, Angela won the Victorian Rural Woman of the Year award.

Speaking in 37 engagements across Australia, Angela soon realised that many women had wonderful, inspiring stories. Sick of telling her story, Angela went to work.

“I spoke to the board and said let’s create an event for women,” Angela explained.

“Let’s celebrate the women I’ve met and their stories.

“At the time, the board was all men and they unanimously agreed!”

Expected to only last five to six years, the event celebrated 10 years this year, even surviving the reduced days during COVID.

“Individuals, particularly women, come to hear other women’s stories – their success, their failures and how they got through it.”

There is no sugar coating it, and whilst the event has seen some highly known presenters, the key to its success is the inspirational women who are relatable, the women out there paving the way, jumping in and giving it a go.