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Past recipients

The RAS Rural Achiever Award is a state-wide leadership program run by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW to recognise future young leaders (20-29 years of age) who are working hard to make a significant contribution to their community and to rural Australia.

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2018 Thomas Taylor

Thomas Taylor from Grenfell, NSW grew up on his family’s mixed farming enterprise where he experienced and learned about farming and the strength of his local community. He is currently studying a degree in Commerce/Liberal Studies, majoring in International Business and Chinese. Thomas sees great potential in the Chinese market and aims to help Australian farmers by creating new trade links and revenue streams for them. He believes that young people should embrace the unique opportunities available to them in rural areas, to utilise their skills and take on exciting career opportunities and roles. Read more

2018 Meg Rice

Meg is from Parkes NSW and is currently undertaking studies at the University of New England, a double degree Bachelor of Agriculture/Bachelor of Laws. She hopes to use both her agricultural and legal expertise to develop industry policy standards that are practical and further assist the development of sustainable agricultural production. Meg hopes to instigate an increased understanding and appreciation of regional and rural communities.  Meg has gained industry experience working at GrainCorp during harvest periods and with a rural solicitor. She recently undertook a study tour researching sustainable agriculture systems in Cambodia and Laos. Read more

2018 Joseph Murphy

Joseph grew up in Bribbaree, NSW and is currently completing an internship as a Junior Medical Officer, after completing his 6 year degree in Medicine. Joseph’s passion lies with rural medicine, aiming to attend the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine or the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners with the long term goal of working in rural areas of Australia where practitioners like him are greatly needed. Joseph’s vision for the future Australia involves breaking down stereotypes between rural and regional Australia and encouraging the pursuit of further education in both communities. Read more

2018 Erika Heffer

Erika is from Deniliquin, NSW and is currently employed at the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia, as Landcare Coordinator and Community Support Officer. In this position she has let her love of community and farming grow into a passion. Erika is a positive voice for her community and strives to teach others about the numerous positive aspects of agriculture, encouraging better farming, community and environmental outcomes. Read more

2018 Tess Bailey

Tess is from Forbes, NSW and works as a mixed practice Veterinarian. She has had the opportunity to volunteer in rural South Africa, educating local farmers about animal health and husbandry. After moving to Forbes 3 years ago Tess continues providing producers with advice and services to improve both the quality of life for their herds as well as product efficiency. Tess is an avid member of her local show society and aspires to continue to support her local community. Tess believes that education and development of young people at the forefront of innovation and advocacy is crucial for the future of the Australian agricultural industry. Read more

2018 Hanna Darmody

Hanna from Bungendore, NSW grew up in her family businesses, Bungendore Country Butchery and Wynella Pastoral Holdings, working within her community from a young age. With her certifications in Agriculture and Marketing, she hopes to increase productivity within her business and better tell the story of paddock to plate to her consumers. Hanna is a driven young woman who plays a large part within her community and who strives for sustainability in Australian agriculture for years to come. Read more

2018 Jock Brownhill

Jock is from Spring Ridge, NSW and is currently employed as an Agribusiness Analyst at National Australia Bank in Dubbo after completing an agricultural degree at the University of New England.  Jock showed a major interest in agricultural research and agribusiness, particularly seeing the need for economic profit and environmental sustainability to be coefficient within Australian farming systems to service the growing population. Jock also hopes to see an overall improvement in the financial literacy of young farmers as well as a reduction of mental health issues in rural and regional Australia. Read more

2018 Timothy Green

Timothy from Nimmitabel, NSW grew up working on his family farm with his father. After completing his Bachelor of Science degree he went on to work with the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute as a Technical Officer with the Cereal Pathology Team. Timothy believes in restoring rural areas to their old thriving states, increasing connectivity and bridging gaps, adding appeal for younger generations to come and live and work in rural communities. Read more
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