Sophie Hansen has been awarded the 2016 NSW-ACT Rural Women’s Award. Deputy Premier Troy Grant praised Sophie for her work and said she was a deserving winner. “Distance hasn’t stopped Mrs Hansen from creating a dynamic online community, showcasing the best produce of the Central West and the people behind it” he said, “she is an extremely talented woman whose ambition to help others grow their businesses is both inspiring and generous.” Sophie was crowned winner amongst four other inspiring leaders including Fiona Mead from Narrabri,
Aimee Snowden from Tocumwal and Hannah Wandel from Kingston ACT.
Sophie, an online farming blogger, was chosen for her work in helping to promote farmers and the food they grow. A mother of two, Sophie not only manages a deer farm in Orange but also writes a blog called Local Is Lovely, a collection of recipes focussed on eating fresh, local produce. The award includes a bursary of $10,000 and the opportunity to participate in the Australian Institute of Company Director’s course.
Primary Industries Minister, Niall Blair, said this year’s finalists were examples of women who
make outstanding contributions to regional communities. “Women play a pivotal role in
the fabric of our regional communities and this award is so important in recognising the hard work of these women and all that they do for regional New South Wales” he said. Mr Blair went on to commend all finalists, “I congratulate Fiona Mead, Aimee Snowden and Hannah Wandel, who were selected from an exceptional field on nominees and are all leaders and role models.”
Sophie’s latest project, My Open Kitchen, focuses on innovative, online social media learning courses for Australian farmers and rural communities. This project aims to give farmers the skills they need to take advantage of free social media channels so they are able to promote their produce, leading to them reaping long-term benefits for their businesses.
Sophie wrote on her Facebook page, Local is Lovely, “So very excited and humbled to be the recipient of the RIRDC NSWACT Rural Women of the year award… these women are so inspiring and their ideas and projects are so important.”