The 2022 Dairy Women’s Network (DWN) Regional Leader of the Year, supported by FMG, is today announced as Nicola Bryant, a Taranaki farmer and DWN Regional and Hub Leader.
The award was announced at tonight’s ‘Evening of Celebration with Wendy Petrie’ in Southland.
Nicola beat stiff competition from two other finalists, Kelly Bavin and Melissa Munnik, who were also scored highly by the judges.
Dairy Woman’s Network CEO and Judge, Jules Benton said, “with such amazing women, it was an extremely hard decision to choose the 2022 DWN Regional Leader of the Year.
“For the judges, it came down to the fact that Nicola really epitomises the Dairy Women’s Network values and culture.”
Nicola is described as a force for DWN in Taranaki with incredible community connections.
“She makes sure that DWN is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, shining that big pink DWN symbol everywhere”, says Jules.
Nicola, having lived in several rural communities, reflects that she knows what it feels like to be isolated. It’s important to her that others don’t feel the same way, so is a welcoming and smiley face for new people to her area.
The judges found Nicola to be highly inclusive, connecting with a large range of community groups and activities, such as the Te Kiri Women connect group, arranging Burger Nights, being a PTA Committee member and a Trustee of the Rural Razzle Trust, to name a few.
Her passion for helping kids also extends to helping form the Auroa Agri-kids organisation. She’s also been a mentor for PrimaryITO for seven years to “give back to the dairy sector that has given her so much”.
Nicola says, “It’s very rewarding seeing connections and friendship formed from those that sometimes most need it. I like to include everyone, so they feel a sense of belonging. I am a firm believer that you always get back what you put in and am passionate about the dairy industry”.
Jules says it’s clear that Nicola believes what she does is not a job if you love it and is very humble about what she achieves.
“She has stepped forward to be part of, and lead, a range of initiatives in her region and has grown a “quiet” dairy region into a now flourishing DWN community”.
“I also want to recognise the amazing work and passion of our other finalists, Kelly and Melissa. We are lucky to have such exceptional women supporting DWN in the regions, and I know our judges felt all our finalists inspired their communities, offering their own unique styles, juggling busy farming lives, while connecting with, and supporting, so many around them”, says Jules.
About the 2022 DWN Regional Leader of the Year Award, supported by FMG
The annual award showcases inspirational women who demonstrate excellence at grass roots, leadership in their local community, and encompass the DWN values.
Photo: Supplied by DWN; Nicola Bryant from Taranaki
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