DWN Volunteer regional leader of the year finalists

The 2022 finalists for the Dairy Women’s Network (DWN) 2022 volunteer Regional Leader have been announced.

Three finalists are up for the coveted DWN Regional Leader of the Year award, showcasing inspirational women who demonstrate excellence at grass roots, leadership in their local community, and encompass the DWN values.

Jules Benton, DWN CEO says, “When the nominations come in, it’s always so exciting, because the calibre of woman is incredible. Our Regional Leaders, across New Zealand, are woman who believe in helping their communities, connecting their rural networks, and in supporting individuals.  They often juggle running a farm, families, are heavily involved in their communities – and then are our Regional Leaders; organising, attending and often inspiring events in their communities.”

“Thank you to FMG for their ongoing support for this award and for being part of celebrating someone who is truly exceptional. I’m thrilled to see these three amazing women become finalists”.

This year, the three finalists are:

        ·      Kelly Bavin

        ·        Melissa Munnik

         ·        Nicola Bryant

 The winner will be announced at a celebration on 8 December at The Ascot Park Hotel
in Invercargill.

About the finalists:

Kelly Bavin farms near Invercargill in Southland, and is an active member of her local farming community. She is described as someone who just makes things happen, whether it’s arranging a last-minute workshop, or organising cycling events for fun, fitness, wellbeing and connection with others. Kelly is described as being passionate about dairy farming, with a positive outlook for the sector and in

As Kelly says “I love being able to help new people in the industry. Hopefully I have been able to show others that it’s so good to get out there and push yourself out of your comfort zones”.

Kelly is a Regional Leader in Southland.

Melissa Munnik farms in Otahuti in Southland. Melissa is described as having contagious optimism, supporting women around her with wisdom and encouragement to help them know their worth. As a farmer she understands first-hand the challenges some rural women experience and as a business owner of “The Wardrobe Edit” she has found a unique way to support rural woman.

As someone who comes from a non-dairy farming background, Melissa understands how hard it can be to transition to a completely different lifestyle and work environment. 

Melissa says, “every farming woman deserves to have the information to help them build a strong and successful farming business. As a hand-on farmer, who understand the pressures of dairy
farming, I want to be part of women uplifting other women.”

Melissa is a Regional Leader and Hub Leader in Southland.

Nicola Bryant is a Taranaki farmer involved in a large range of community groups and activities, such as the Te Kiri Women connect group, being a PTA Committee member and a Trustee of the Rural Razzle Trust. Her passion for helping kids also extends to helping form Auroa Agri-kids. She’s been a mentor for PrimaryITO for seven years to “give back to the dairy sector that has given her so much”. 

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”. 

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”.

Nicola is a Regional Leader and Hub Leader in Taranaki. 


Photo: Supplied; Kelly Bavin, Melissa Munnik and Nicola Bryant

For more information: 
Zellara Holden 
Partner Relationships, Marketing and Communications Director 
Mob: 021 177 0300

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