Pat Hamilton

Communicator, leadership builder, advocate

Pat Hamilton says she has the best of jobs as President of the National Rural Women’s Coalition, working with amazing, awe-inspiring rural, remote and regional women who are taking agriculture to new levels.

The Coalition connects and empowers women across the country, taking their collaborative national voice into the corridors of power.

All my life I have been a lover of learning and sharing knowledge.

My career path as a teacher and former secondary school principal and then, with my husband, Geoff, learning to become a sheep farmer, followed by a return to university to complete a joint Honours degree in Anthropology & English and then a PhD in Rural Sociology all shaped my future involvement with state and national agricultural women’s organisations.

As President of the National Rural Women’s Coalition, I am in a position to give women an opportunity to connect, to link, to learn and to be empowered. We foster a culture that values the skill, knowledge, experiences and wisdom of women – how can agriculture not flourish in their hands!

We need strong and informed voices to respond to the challenges currently facing us, and rural, remote and regional women are listing their concerns as foreign investment, food security and family violence, as well as the need for better access to education, health, infrastructure and telecommunications.

In addition, through our National Networking the Network group, we have created an accessible information portal and communication hub that offers webinars on topics such as leadership skills, how to set up a small business, and confidence building.

I love listening to the voices of women and hearing women’s stories of resilience and strength.

My smartest decision was accepting the PhD scholarship from the Australian Grains Research & Development Corporation in 2003. It changed everything. I travelled the world, exploring the capacity of women to be change agents in agricultural industries. It was a challenging, rewarding experience that gave me the confidence to make a difference. It has opened so many doors – and I have met so many people who have the position and power to make a difference.

My best advice is don’t play it safe: take risks and take control of your life. Challenge yourself to make a difference. Always take opportunities if timing is right – don’t be afraid of failure, always strive for excellence.

Quote : "No matter how much you study or research if you don’t share it, it’s wasted."

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