Beef Week 2021 Highlights! QRRRWN spotlighting Women in Beef!

OGA Rural and Regional Liaison and QRRRWN President Tracey Martin (Class of 1992) shares with us highlights from Beef Week 2021 and what's ahead for women and the QRRRWN. 

L to R Elyse Riethmuller (Chief Operating Officer, Fitzroy Basin Association), Senator Bridget MacKenzie (Leader of Nationals in the Senate), Claire MacTaggart (Board Member Beef Australia 2021), Gillian Fennell (Rural Advocate, Morestone Contracting, Robin McConchie (ABC Rural Reporter)

Beef producer and Board Member Cattle Council of Australia and Robin McConchie - former ABC Reporter and Executive Produce of ABC’s A Country Hour.  

Let’s celebrate women in Agriculture during Beef Australia 2021 in Rockhampton – they said! Well what a week it was! As the Somerville House team spent the week demonstrating the incredible school programs, culture and community in their stand and how they support women from rural and regional areas, the Queensland Rural Regional & Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN) put up on stage through a series of panels, presentations, workshops and a lunch sponsored by Health & Wellbeing Queensland over 40 inspiring women from agriculture and the beef industry from across Australia. Karen Penfold of Four Daughters Beef told her story about supporting her daughters to have a business in the beef industry. There was lots of commentary around well-being and addressing isolation. We welcomed senior Federal and State politicians to panels and our lunch. We were inspired by the stories, the innovations, the business start-ups and impressed by the role women play in identifying new technologies and techniques to address emerging challenges that include biosecurity and a changing climate. The QRRRWN program partner was Colliers. Our sponsors were AgTrade, Department of Agriculture, Kimberley & Grace and Health & Wellbeing Queensland.


Living in rural and remote areas has unique challenges and it impacts women in different ways to men due to the roles that women play in the family, workplace, during their years spent child rearing and ensuring children receive the education and support they need. The challenge of gaining access to fresh food in many areas are real and a concern for our State Government, including Health & Wellbeing Queensland. Access to services such as health care and counselling are diminished and life expectancy is significantly lower.  


One of the key roles of QRRRWN is to ensure that the needs of rural and remote women are heard at all levels of government, that women connect with one another and have first class development opportunities - no matter where they live.  Career and job opportunities are reduced affecting financial security – and at QRRRWN we are determined that the advances in remote work since 2020 will benefit women in rural, regional and remote areas. Why not work for our leading banks, law firms, government departments and innovate from a rural, regional or remote area? Driving three to 5 hours to a major supermarket cannot even be imagined by those in metropolitan areas. It’s not of case of picking up some milk, it’s how, when and which day can we spend driving to get it. But for all these challenges, the love of the land, our natural environment and agriculture inspires women and for centuries rural, regional and remote women have inspired us with their resilience, creativity and warmth – and they have fed us and cared for the land.


We are seeing young women establish and drive their own beef production businesses with an eye on sustainability and the changing supply chain of paddock to plate and consumer focus of provenance. We see social media exploding with a new generation of informed and tech savvy agricultural entrepreneurs – and many of these are young women are just out of school. The future looks bright! Thank you to everyone who inspired us during Beef Australia 2021.




We are pleased to share that the QRRRWN recently won a substantial grant to run a program that supports women in RRR through tech skills, business and mentoring.  Please reach out to Tracey with enquiries ( as to how you can become involved and support women in rural and regional areas. We share with you below a number of photos from Beef Australia 2021!


Special Guest, Dr Beth Woods OAM, Independent Chair Cattle Council of Australia Policy Council, Former Director General Qld Dept. Agriculture and Fisheries with University of Queensland, Qld Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation group attending the lunch. 


Deb Frecklington (MP - Member for Nananago) in attendance at the QRRRWN lunch, also present Sandra Martin former Somerville House parent 1985-1992.



L to R Claire MacTaggart and Senator Bridget MacKenzie


Karen Penfold, Four Daughter Beef speaking with Robin McConchie.


Juliette Wright (OAM, Founder of GIVIT, QRRRWN Vice President,), Fiona Lake (Rural Drone Academy) and Robin McConchie. 


L to R Tracey Martin (QRRRWN President) pictured with venue attendee.


L to R Juliette Wright and Tracey Martin 


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