South Burnett land owner and Ag Force president Georgie Somerset.
South Burnett land owner and Ag Force president Georgie Somerset.

Rural advocate receives national honour

A SOUTH Burnett grazier and rural women's advocate will add yet another title to her name this Australia Day weekend.

Georgina Somerset was honoured to be appointed as a member of the Order of Australia today.

"I'm very humbled that someone has taken the time to nominate me," she said.

Mrs Somerset will celebrate the award at her property north of Durong with her family, enjoying watching the grass grow after recent rain.

"That's really special to be with them, I try to be home as often as possible," she said.

The farmer was nominated for her significant service to primary industry, to women and to the community.

"They're all things I'm really passionate about, I've been living on the land all my life," Mrs Somerset said.

"Supporting women and raising the profile of women is something I'm very passionate about and community means a lot to me."

Mrs Somerset's love for regional communities started in the 1980s when she was involved in the farm tourism industry across Australia.

This passion was furthered in the 90s where she was involved in establishing the Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women's Network.

"Women weren't always in the conversation on rural things, so the group helped them have a stronger voice," she said.

She has also done significant work on drought reviews and has co-ordinated her own agricultural business.

Mrs Somerset has been the AgForce Queensland General President since November 2018.

"It's been an enormous opportunity to make sure their views are heard and are sustainable for the future," she said.

HUMBLED: Georgie Somerset has been awarded an Order of Australia (AM) this Australia Day. (Photo: AgForce)
HUMBLED: Georgie Somerset has been awarded an Order of Australia (AM) this Australia Day. (Photo: AgForce)

Her passion for leadership led to her role in helping establish the Red Earth Community Foundation's leadership program.

"It's always the highlight of my year, she said.

"I've absolutely loved how that community leadership program has given back, been part of positive conversations and built an even better Burnett."

Mrs Somerset also spends time serving on various boards.

She is the Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service director where she helps provide a regional perspective.

She is also the Royal Flying Doctor Service director and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation director.

The people she has met along the way has been the highlight of all of the vast roles Mrs Somerset has played in the community.

"People are our greatest resource, I've got to work with some amazing people who've been supporting me and challenging me," she said.

"My hope is I can support other people wanting to step into leadership and bring about change."

Mrs Somerset looks forward to seeing what is in store for agricultural communities like the South Burnett.

"I've seen a lot of innovation and change in agriculture and I really look forward to the next 20 years where land managers and agriculture is recognised for the role they play," she said.

Mrs Somerset said her newly-appointed AM award was a reflection of the hard work of her fellow volunteers.

"It's a recognition for all of the people I've worked with and a recognition of many other people's work as well as my own," she said.

Anyone can nominate any Australian for an award in the Order of Australia. If you know someone worthy, nominate them now at www.gg.gov.au.