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Media release: Nominations for fourth Dairy Woman of the Year set to open

Nominations for fourth Dairy Woman of the Year set to open

15 September 2014  

Momentum is quickly building as nominations open for the fourth Dairy Woman of the Year Awards today. 

The awards, which are sponsored by Fonterra, coincide withDairy Women’s Network’s annual conference which is being held in Invercargillon 18-19 March 2015 and this time boasts two new judges.

Joining a delegated DWN trustee, Fonterra representative and 2013 Dairy Womanof the Year Justine Kidd on the judging panel will be Global Women’s Network’sdirector of leadership development Sandy Burgham and ASB general manager MarkHeer.

 Kidd (of Waipukurau) won’t be the only past Dairy Woman ofthe Year in attendance at the upcoming conference however, with 2012 winnerBarbara Kuriger and 2014 winner Charmaine O’Shea also in the audience.

 While Kidd is currently busy completing her 10-monthscholarship with Global Women’s Network Breakthrough Leadership programme (themain prize for winning Dairy Woman of the Year) and will graduate in November,Kuriger and O’Shea have also been plenty busy since winning their titles. 

Kuriger, who has been farming for 33 years with husbandLouis, recently resigned from her position on DairyNZ’s board and is pursuingher political career as a National MP in the Taranaki/King Country electorate.

 She said there were a lot of learnings to come out of theGlobal Women’s Network programme for her. 

“I gained a lot of confidence, and that was largely aboutlearning who I was from the inside out and what that embedded for me was howimportant regional and rural New Zealand is to me,” she said.

 Kuriger said she would encourage any woman who is nominated forthe upcoming awards, to follow the process and enter.  

“I am watching Justine go through the programme now, andCharmaine will start soon too. And of course I have done it myself. If you getnominated, don’t hold back and let confidence be the issue.  

“There are so many women out there with the ability and notthe confidence,” she said. Meanwhile, O’Shea, who is a chartered accountantspecialising in farm accounting, and an equity partner in a Northland dairyfarm with brother Shayne, said that since winning the most recent Dairy Womanof the Year title, she has had the opportunity to speak to a variety of businessand agricultural groups.

“I also had the opportunity to join an eight-day study tripto China in June, and was asked to join the 2014 National Ballance FarmEnvironment Awards judging panel which was an amazing opportunity,” she said.

 O’Shea said winning Dairy Woman of the Year has generated alot of media interest which has given her the opportunity to promote women inagriculture and has given her credibility within the dairy industry. 

She will start the Global Women’s Network programme in early2015. 

“For me the experience is still in progress and thiscombined with my role as chair of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust, has meantI have been able to be an advocate for agri women within the media and thewider agri sector,” she said. 

 “Be proud of what you have achieved and celebrate it. As women we are sometimes guilty of not recognising the contribution we makeand this award is a way of ensuring this is in fact celebrated and hopefullyprovides inspiration to other women in our sector.” 

The 2015 Dairy Women’s Network’s conference theme is‘Entering tomorrow’s world’. 

Awards nominations close on 15 November 2014. For more information on Dairy Women’s Network and DairyWoman of the Year, visit