Rural women’s award finalist named

Grace Larson (Clair Derwort)

Zoe Moffatt

A Kyneton woman has been named as a finalist for the 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for her work in providing first aid training.

Grace Larson created the Sisterhood Project in the aim to break the distance and affordability barriers for parents in rural areas.

Ms Larson said being named as a finalist means the issue is being acknowledged.

“It means acknowledgement of an important issue regarding reducing childhood mortality in rural Victoria and a platform to be able to raise awareness of this,” she said.

“We know that children in rural areas are twice as likely to die than metropolitan counterparts so we want to address this issue.”

Aiming to curb these mortality rates, the project provides free access to essential paediatric first aid training for vulnerable groups.

Ms Larson said if she was to win the award, the money would be spent on finding places for young rural mothers to attend First Aid and CPR workshops.

“We know that people in lower social demographic groups are less likely to have access to this training due to financial pressures,” she said. “We will address these barriers to facilitate more education in our rural communities,” she said.

Ms Larson, who is being celebrated for her leadership along with four other Victorian women, said she was surprised when she got the call that she was a finalist.

“It’s been a very humbling experience as there are some great finalists in Victoria, all very inspirational and all with great projects.”

The state government said the winner will be announced in April and will receive $15,000 for their project.

She will also represent Victoria at the National Award in September, with the national winner receiving a further $20,000 towards their project, the government said.