New voices for rural women

GLENIFFER'S Julie Woodroffe is among those who are welcoming two new members to the rural women's State Advisory Committee. Ms Woodroffe is the natural resource management representative on the nine-member committee. On Friday the committee held the first meeting to be co-chaired by Mr Barry Buffier, the director-general of the newly formed Department of Primary Industries. The two new members of the committee are Linda Duffy of Orange and Denise Turnbull of Bourke. Ms Duffy, representing rural financial counsellors and Ms Turnbull, representing the Far West join other representatives of rural organisations and interest groups on the committee, which meets three times a year. The committee is burdened with a mouthful of a name: the NSW Department of Primary Industries' Rural Womens Network State Advisory Committee (SAC). Rural Womens Network coordinator Sonia Muir said the committee's role was to help information exchange between the community and the government, provide advice on rural women's issues and help the Rural Womens Network to develop projects. Rural education issues were on the agenda for Friday's meeting, which also discussed the recent women's gathering held in Coonabarabran, which attracted more than 400 women from across the State. Other current members of the SAC are Margaret Francis of Booral (rural lands protection boards); Jenny Croft of Spring Ridge (NSW Farmers Association); Patricia BatesCanty of Bourke (Aboriginal people); Neita Scott of Narromine (Premiers Council for Women), Elaine Armstrong of Wagga Wagga (CWA); and Annette McCarthy of Armidale (Primary Industries Minister).

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