Mum's a winner in top women's award

·2-min read

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but that's not always possible on the land.

Stephanie Trethewey, a Tasmanian grazier, struggled with loneliness and isolation after the birth of her first child three years ago, and decided to act.

She created Motherland, a podcast exploring the lives of country mums, and an online platform, where rural women connect through virtual mothers' groups, bonding over the challenges and joy of parenthood.

Mrs Trethewey, a mother of two from Dunorlan in the state's northwest, has been recognised for bringing women together, winning the AgriFutures Rural Women's Award at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday night.

"Motherhood can be isolating even for women in the city, let alone adding the additional pressure of rural life, which can mean you're geographically isolated from people, services and resources," Mrs Trethewey told AAP.

"It can be a perfect storm. I talked to rural women and realised there are so many things that go unspoken, so many struggles.

"But we need to talk about it and break those taboos and make everyone feel less alone."

Mrs Tretheway said women could speak about sensitive issues online, without worrying their stories would be aired in small town circles.

"It comes down to being authentic, that's where the magic happens.

"The moment I started showing my struggles and opening up and not being perfect and polished, that's when the community took off."

The support group, Motherland Village, is open to mothers of babies, children, and teenagers, recognising the work of parenting continues long after the first year.

"We need to change the conversation about 'postnatal' because it doesn't end."

The national award acknowledges the vital role women play in rural communities, industry and businesses, and grants $20,000 to the winner and $15,000 to the runner-up.

Kimberley Furness, the Bendigo-based founder of OAK Magazine, was named runner-up.

Mrs Furness produces the magazine, profiling regional female business leaders, and a podcast called A Friend of Mine, to highlight women making a difference in country communities.

"Visibility and storytelling are the most powerful tools we have to inspire women to pursue their dream and live without fear of failure," Mrs Furness said.

"I've come to realise my postcode isn't a barrier, but an opportunity and I want that for all of us in rural and regional areas."

She is planning to record her podcast on the road in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, capturing the stories of Indigenous women, those who work in mining and live far from the capitals.

The finalists were Rebecca Bradshaw, a child nurse from Jackson, Queensland; Josie Clarke, a NSW disability advocate; South Australian farmer and mentor Robyn Verrall; Northern Territory educator Kylie Jones and health worker Louise O'Neill from WA.