by Louise Shannon
WITH a hardy belief firmly rooted in the strength and resilience of Central Queensland, Emerald businesswoman Liz Alexander is a motivated advocate for the region's future.
As a finalist in the Professional Woman of the Year category of the Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women's Network Strong Women Leadership Awards, MsAlexander says she believes "strongly” that regional Queensland is a great place to live, run a business and raise a family.
"There are great opportunities for people to live value-driven lives. Our region has been rapidly growing in what it produces and the value of what it produces over the last 10years, so it's a really exciting time.”
She said the awards - announced during the three-day conference of events, with Ms Alexander's category to be announced on the Friday night - provide an opportunity to thank people in the community.
She said people were also inspired and encouraged through the QRRRWN, which is a member- and volunteer-based not-for- profit organisation for women from, or supportive of, rural and remote areas in all industries.
"It's celebrating all the work that people do - that many people do - that contribute to making our communities great places to live and making our industries more productive.”
Ms Alexander is the full-time agribusiness development co-ordinator with CHDC and sits on two boards as non-executive director with the Cotton Research Development Corporation, servicing the Australian cotton industry, and as a non-executive director on the board of Plant Health Australia.
She said one of the key challenges for the region was attracting primary processing so more value-adding could be done here rather that being sent away.
"I think the message is that there are great people in the region doing great things and we've got a lot to be proud of.”
Ms Alexander, who has lived in Emerald since 2001, said she had been nominated for the award anonymously and wanted to say thank you.
Alison Mobbs, QRRRWN president, said the aim of the Strong Women Leadership Program was to develop confidence and leadership skills in rural, regional and remote women and to showcase and celebrate what could be achieved by women despite the setbacks and challenges faced in terms of isolation, access and support.
"The program is a practical way to encourage women to realise their capacities and to make their unique contributions, which make our regional places, our communities, vibrant and sustainable,” she said.
The winners will be announced at the annual conference from October19-21.
The conference will include keynote speakers, a welcome function, business breakfast, a youth stream program, workshops, gala dinner, wind-up dinner and community prayer breakfast.
For more information, visit qrrrwn.org.au and download workshop information sheets and the program.