Country to Canberra Essay Competition for Future Female Leaders

14 AUGUST 2015

Country to Canberra is a youth-led organisation that aims to empower rural girls to reach their leadership potential. A key initiative is the 2015 Essay Competition for Future Female Leaders, which is aimed at empowering girls living in rural Australia.

Rural students can be isolated from education and career opportunities by distance, time and cost and the scarcity of women in leadership positions makes it particularly necessary to facilitate the leadership aspirations of girls.

The Essay Competition for Future Female Leaders encourages young women from rural areas to pursue a career in politics, increase youth discourse about gender equality in the political sphere and facilitates mentorship between established female leaders and rural girls.

Year 10 and Year 11 female students who attend school in a rural, regional or remote area may submit a 500-word entry to the Country to Canberra Essay competition.

I urge all eligible students to make an application. Schools, community organisations and businesses are also encouraged to forward details about the Essay Competition to suitable students.

The topic is ‘If you were Prime Minister for a day, what would you do to help achieve gender equality? Think locally and nationally!’. Entries are now open and will close at 11pm AEST, Thursday 10 September 2015.

Winners will receive a 'Power Trip' to Canberra to connect with politicians and executives. While there, they will attend a ‘Powerful Women’s Breakfast’ and an evening with Senators, be taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of Parliament House and the War Memorial and recieve six online mentorship sessions with university students to build leadership skills.

In 2014, the winners met inspiring leaders, including Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, then ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher MLA, the Federal Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann MP, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Shadow Minister Joel Fitzgibbon.

At least one winner will be selected from NSW and the top fifteen finalists will have their essays published online.

For more information about the Country to Canberra Essay Competition, including eligibility, marking criteria and prizes, please visit