Vogue Codes Country

VOGUE CODES COUNTRY

18 months ago, if someone had told me I would be speaking at a @VogueAustralia event I would have shook my head and laughed (maybe rolled my eyes). But this morning I had the absolute privilege of sitting shoulder with some remarkable women who have been recognised for changing the face and narrative of regional Australia.

What was even more incredible was how comfortable I felt telling my story and showing up for the national and international audience who had tuned in to be part of the #voguecodes event.  

But on reflection, how could I not? Because the passion for what I am doing, and the trajectory Connected AU is on, supersedes any feelings of imposter syndrome I may have been feeling in the leadup to today. It also helped that it was so beautifully facilitated by Jessica Montague deputy editor of Vogue who put us all so at ease.

Today was all about shinning a spotlight on country women. Innovators. Entrepreneurs. Change makers. From Pip Brett of Jumbled in Orange, Simone Kain of George the Farmer, Jillian Kilby from The Exchange and Jane Cay from Birdsnest – what an honour it is to be counted in their company.

Professionally, what a highlight. But personally, I feel a sense of optimism that my daughters are growing up in a community that fosters such growth and positivity for women across rural and regional Australia. 

The event today had a focus on rural and regional women in business, the discussion centred around business journeys, challenges and all the rewarding experiences that come with building a business, wherever you live. It is so inspiring that this spotlight was shone on us, on regional and rural areas. 

Over the last 2 years there has been a re-discovered connection between city and bush, and I like to think it is a permanent change. A large part of this is thanks to a number of high-profile campaigns and again, work done by incredible women in the bush.

The most notable, Buy from the Bush campaign by Grace Brennan, will perhaps be the campaign of the decade in terms of facilitating that connection. Though it appeared to start as social media hype, there was clear purpose and strategy behind it and Grace crafted it into real and lasting change. It’s that connection between the bush and city audiences.

Because of this growth over the last two years of city consumers engaging with country providers, it has shown the media there’s an appetite for stories beyond the city limits. Consumers want to know about the lives of the producers who feed and clothe us, and the country towns that foster that productivity. 

Thank you to Victoria Baker and Edwina McCann for seeing country women. And to Tetley Tea and Optus whose support for these kinds of initiatives gives us infinite possibilities.