- Charles Sturt alumna pays tribute to rural women ahead of International Day of Rural Women
- Mrs Jo Palmer said women from regional areas are resilient and often underestimated in the workforce
- International Day of Rural Women is on Tuesday 15 October
Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) alumna Mrs Jo Palmer knows a thing or two about helping rural women to connect and thrive in the workforce.
Having grown up just outside of Jindabyne and now living on a small farm south of Wagga Wagga at The Rock, she has appreciated the opportunities living a rural lifestyle has afforded her and her family.
International Day of Rural Women is on Tuesday 15 October and Mrs Palmer said it is a day to reflect on the important role women play in the communities and on the land in regional Australia.
Mrs Palmer said there are many important reasons to acknowledge the women who contribute to regional households and communities.
“International Day of Rural Women forces people one day a year to think about the role women play, that’s what forces change in the future,” she said.
“Everyone likes a ‘thank you’ every now and then and actually acknowledging what does happen, even if it’s just one day, is important.”
Mrs Palmer attended a boarding school and university in Sydney before graduating from Charles Sturt in Wagga Wagga with a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) in 2007.
She spent time teaching in the Riverina, the United Kingdom and Canada before she and her husband moved back to regional Australia in January 2013, 12 months before their first child was born.
“Living in the country is a lot easier with a family, it’s more affordable, it’s a slower pace and quieter,” she said.
The move gave Mrs Palmer the opportunity to start her first business, The Learning Tree, which provides tutoring for young children.
Mrs Palmer and fellow Charles Sturt alumna Mrs Sally Armstrong formed Agri Alliance, a sponsorship and event management company, which Mrs Armstrong still runs.
The Learning Tree expanded to three towns and managing people remotely gave Mrs Palmer the idea for her current company, Pointer Remote Roles.
She is the founder and Managing Director of Pointer Remote Roles, which connects businesses with talent working remotely from across Australia.
Mrs Palmer’s degree was in education but she has broadened her professional field to focus on improving the lives of those living and working in rural Australia.
There are a number of reasons, according to Mrs Palmer, that people choose to work remotely, with physical isolation and flexibility among the most common.
“With technology how it is, location shouldn’t govern where you work," she said.
“A lot of people have been working remotely for a long time but it’s becoming more mainstream."
Mrs Palmer said women who live in rural areas have a multitude of skills that translate from family life on the land to the corporate workforce.
“I think when you employ a rural woman more often than not you are getting more bang for your buck,” Mrs Palmer said.
“Living in a rural area, you’re multi-skilled without realising it. A majority of women on farms are participating either physically or with the finances.”
The award ceremony was also attended by the first female president of the National Farmers’ Federation Ms Fiona Simson.