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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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2019 Rayali Banerjee

Rayali has shown leadership qualities from a young age, demonstrating an unwavering drive to work in the Agricultural Industry and taking on many challenges to achieve this goal. Working in Agribusiness at Commonwealth Bank, Rayali has already brought change to agriculture in her home country of India and now aims to be an agricultural leader in Australia. Rayali would like to provide opportunities for youth to take on leadership roles and forge their own future in agriculture.  Read more

2019 Denbigh Burrows

Denbigh Burrows has a passion for agriculture and rural mental health, utilising his degree in medicine to work alongside local charity groups and make a difference. Denbigh has organised school and community mental health events in Wagga Wagga and wishes to continue to build connections with local health organisations to facilitate community events that educate and support rural communities. Denbigh is currently working as a Junior Medical Officer in Wagga Wagga.  Read more

2019 Samuel Bush

Samuel Bush grew up on the land and understands the role an RAS Rural Achiever plays as an ambassador for their local community. With a double degree in Agriculture and Law, Samuel admires the perseverance of those who manage to produce outstanding products despite the adversity they face. By focusing on administrative law, Samuel wishes to see how he can best assist farmers and help them thrive in the future. Read more

2019 James Cleaver

James Cleaver comes from a family run agricultural enterprise and aims to utilise his leadership skills and agricultural upbringing to build successful farm business practices and support the future of agriculture. James works as a Rural Support worker for the Department of Primary Industries, using his economic and law background James wishes to create a sustainable future for Australian agriculture. Read more

2019 Samuel Johnston

Growing up on the land, Samuel Johnston noticed the huge gap between producers and consumers from an early age. Through his education in marketing and sales, Samuel made a difference by co-founding the ‘Thank a Farmer for Your Next Meal’ social campaign, highlighting the positive work farmers and primary producers do and bridging the gap between producer and consumer. Samuel wishes to continue to bridge this gap and be a voice for youth working in the agriculture sector. Read more

2019 Katrina Nash

Katrina Nash comes from a mixed enterprise property near Cudal. Finishing her final year of a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Communications (Journalism) degree, Katrina wishes to be the voice of rural communities through her passion in journalism and background in agriculture. Katrina was the 2018 JB Fairfax Media Rural Journalism Award recipient.  Read more

2019 Lachlan Patterson

Lachlan Patterson has a strong background supporting his local agricultural show and local community. Through his Bachelor of Economics and Law degree, Lachlan wishes to develop a business model which provides agribusiness/legal services throughout regional communities. Providing key services to rural communities and lessening the reliance on major cities.  Read more

2019 Rebecca Thistlethwaite

Rebecca Thistlethwaite is a Post Doctoral Research Associate with the University of Sydney. With Honours in Agriculture, Rebecca is passionate about focusing on sustainability and improving the yield of crops that will struggle under the effects of climate change for Australian growers in the future. Rebecca also aims to strengthen education for regional youth, helping young people break down financial barriers and improve access to mental health services for rural communities. Read more
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