RRR Women, also known as Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN), deliver on strategic objectives designed to support and develop the capacity of Queensland RRR women through education, to overcome adversity, develop leadership and participate in decision-making.
Our Executive Board of Directors are passionate about our purpose to CONNECT, DEVELOP and INSPIRE the wonderful women in Rural, Regional and Remote Queensland, and help them build better futures.
The Board meet 6-7 times per year to provide strategic direction for organisational growth and development, and continuously advocate for Queensland RRR women state-wide and federally.
Supporting rural, regional and remote women to make an even bigger impact on Queensland.
My mission is to inspire and connect with the amazing women of Queensland. Let’s change the narrative and raise our profiles to create and make a positive difference. Read More
Accountant, Mentor and Advocate for growing businesses and events in rural communities.
Governance executive supporting diverse and inclusive organisations across Queensland.
Passionate about building community in rural, regional and remote areas.
Grazier and founder of GIVIT.
Committed rural, regional and remote health professional, valuing professional practice.
Beyond my business’ ventures, I am passionate about empowering rural women in business and facilitate connections and opportunities within the community.
Message from our President
“We are the Queensland’s most empowering network for all rural, regional and remote women. For three decades we have been supporting, connecting and empowering women right across the state – and we’ll continue to do so for many years to come.
Our members are change makers behind resilient and vibrant communities and economies, the solution to many headwinds this country faces, and at the heart of Queensland and our organisation.”
Emma Clarke – President RRR Women
‘My heart is in regional Queensland and with rural, regional and remote communities. My professional and personal focus is on advocating for these communities – acknowledging the impact they’re able to make on the state and championing for community leaders to have access to the resources they need to continue making the impact they do’.
Having studied and grown up in Brisbane, Emma relocated to Central Queensland for a journalism cadetship when she was 20. Emma came to appreciate the impact these communities, and especially the women who make them, have on the state as a whole, including economies, workforces and industries.
Emma focused on the urban-rural divide when studying for a Master of Politics and Public Policy by distance while living and working in Rockhampton. She came to understand the urban-rural divide exists in Queensland beyond the telecommunications infrastructure its most commonly known as and extends to resources that impact all levels of Queensland communities. Having returned to Brisbane to finish her studies, her experience in regional Queensland, the urban rural divide and the impact these communities made on her professionally and personally shaped her career. Emma spent two years working for a statutory authority under the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and now as the media manager for the state chamber of commerce. In both these roles, she has travelled the state extensively from storytelling, disaster recovery, reporting and advocacy perspective. Emma left Central Queensland, but regional Queensland never left her – and she returns every chance she gets.
In her private time, Emma travels the state (sometimes interstate and even internationally), competing in racing fashion events and attending country race days. She considers herself fortunate to visit parts of rural, regional and remote Queensland that would never have otherwise by visiting these race days. She has formed close friendships in communities from the far north to the southwest and everywhere in between. Emma is also a keen show baker and has spent the last two years perfecting her fruit cake recipe, among others.
Emma wants to be able to support rural, regional and remote Queensland communities, especially the women behind them, to make an even bigger impact on the state.
Melissa has extensive experience in public sector leadership within state and federal government departments across corporate affairs, public policy, business process improvement, stakeholder management and customer relations. Her strengths include a commitment to lead, challenge and mentor. Melissa is a full-time working mum of two children.
Melissa has held numerous board positions which include an appointment by the Premier for a two-year seat in the Wide Bay-Burnett-Fraser Coast Regional Community Forums, a board member at Shalom College, Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services Consumers reference group, Vice President for the Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce, and a Community Reference Group member for Paradise Dam. Melissa is committed to her community and is a lifelong learner focusing on self-development to enhance her ability to motivate and drive economic growth, inclusiveness and resilience in regional communities.
Employed by Department of State Development Local Government and Planning working with Local Governments, affords Melissa the opportunity to travel throughout the West, Central and Wide Bay Burnett Regions. Born and raised in Longreach, Melissa first joined QRRRWN in 1997 and is a passionate advocate for fairness, women and injustice.
Determination, high technical competence and empathy for clients are qualities that characterise BMO Business Centre Partner, Michelle McVeigh. After Michelle
completed her Bachelor of Business (Accounting), she launched her career working in accounting and finance in the cotton industry. In 1994, Michelle joined BMO and went on to become a partner in 2008. She has extensive taxation and accounting experience, is a specialist in self-managed super funds and has a strong interest in succession planning. At busy times in the office, her calm nature is reassuring to both clients and the BMO team. Michelle enjoys the challenge of helping clients and their families balance good business decisions with their personal goals. Raised on the family farm at Jimbour, Michelle has always had a connection with the land. With husband Andrew and their two sons, they operate a grain property near Condamine.
Michelle was named as an Australian finalist in the Women in Finance Awards for Regional Professional of the Year in 2021.
Carmen O’Keefe, GAICD
Carmen is a proven leader, director and governance executive. She is a graduate of the Company Directors Course and holds a Master of Business Administration. Carmen recently finished her first rewarding career as an Executive Director and Senior Advisor in Federal Government. In 2021 she transitioned to the mining and resource sector, which saw Weipa, in Far North Queensland, become her new backyard. Excitingly, Weipa has given Carmen’s family an amazing experience in a small, thriving community of hard-working, fun & adventure-loving women and families.
Specialising in governance, complex program management, public policy and financial performance led Carmen to design and implement the governance structure for the new National Disaster Recovery and Resilience Taskforce for the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet in 2021. (Formerly the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency, now known as Australia’s National Emergency Management Agency). Prior, she delivered the Australian Army’s first program management framework resulting in the approval of new capability funding from Australia’s National Security Investment Committee. Carmen volunteers for two charities close to her heart; Ronald McDonald House Charities and Tangaroa Blue, who work tirelessly across our beautiful Queensland coastline to monitor and remove marine debris.
‘The lived and worked experience in FNQ has shown me the inspiration and motivation networks like ours bring into our homes and communities. My current role in commercial services allows me to support employment inclusion & diversity initiatives in the Western Cape region, where I work closely with community groups and local businesses. The women of Cape York are passionate and proud of the region we are lucky to live in. I am excited to foster and strengthen the connections between the membership of QRRR women and Cape York‘.
Juliette Wright OAM
An inspired and passionate social justice campaigner, Juliette Wright is on a mission to alleviate the effects of poverty across Australia. Establishing an online platform in 2009 to connect those who have with those who need and championing it to become one of Australia’s leading charities, Juliette is changing how society helps its most vulnerable and marginalised people, in and out of natural disasters and emergencies. Juliette is also a grazier.
Founder and CEO of GIVIT, Juliette created the portal to ensure quality goods get to where they are needed most by safely connecting and inspiring an online network of givers. Juliette’s vision, hard work and determination have resulted in more than 2.5million items donated through GIVIT’s website to directly assist Australians in need. Juliette’s passion is supporting each community by ensuring local donors give to local residents in need. The GIVIT model ensures the right people get the right things, in the right way – always buying locally.
As a prominent social justice campaigner, Juliette has been awarded 2015 Australia’s Local Hero by the National Australia Day Council, National Resilient Australia Award by Australia’s Attorney-General, The Australian National Innovation Challenge Award, Ernst & Young Queensland Entrepreneur of the Year, Toastmasters Communicator of the Year, Moreton Bay Citizen of the Year 2016 and inducted into the Australian Businesswomen’s Network Hall of Fame.
Mary Lockton is passionate about building community and is a strong advocate for enhancing the services and opportunities available to those living in rural, regional and remote areas.
With over a decade of senior engagement and marketing roles in not-for-profit membership associations, Mary understands how to communicate with a rural audience and how to present rural issues to metropolitan-based entities in engaging and impactful ways.
She has mentored young farmers in bringing their business dreams to life, and supported women through her coaching and mentoring business. Mary believes in proactively creating and driving opportunities for oneself. This drive led her to living and working abroad for many years, continuing her growth and development.
Mary’s passions for networking, engagement and rural opportunities underpin her work with QRRRWN, assisting with membership, marketing and communications for the benefit of building strong networks and opportunities for women, the lifeblood of rural communities.
Carolyn (Carrie) Bourke
Carrie is a well-regarded and authentic nursing leader across Darling Downs Health and has a strong interest in developing people through mindfulness, mentoring and coaching to facilitate personal and professional growth. She has a passion for supporting women to find their voice and is passionate about rural healthcare and has worked as a rural nurse, midwife and manager. She is a strong advocate for supporting the health and well-being of the workforce.
Born and bred in the Lockyer Valley, Carrie lives on a rural property near
Toowoomba and shares her love of the land with her husband of 32 years, who
works in the cattle industry. Their two adult children have adopted their love of a rural lifestyle and wide open spaces.
Carrie has worked in healthcare for the past 45 years and is a highly motivated
professional who is not afraid of a challenge and is a driver for change to support an organizations goals. She holds qualifications as a Registered Nurse, Midwife, Child and Family Health Nurse, Immunisation, Nurse Rural & Isolated Practice Nurse and has a Graduate Diploma in Healthcare Leadership.
Carrie currently holds the position of Assistant Director of Nursing-Education Management and is the Chair of the Australian College of Nursing-Darling Downs
Region. She has served as an executive member as secretary and treasurer of the
Association of the Queensland Nursing and Midwifery Leaders over the past 5 years.
I am a seasoned business owner with a strong presence in both the agricultural sector and the rural retail landscape. With nearly two decades of experience, I have exceptional skills in time and logistics management, effective communication, and event planning.
My entrepreneurial journey began in 2003 when I co-founded George Contract Harvesting, where I demonstrated proficiency in managing operations and building enduring client relationships.
In 2021, I embarked on a new venture, establishing Birdie and Lace Boutique, a thriving boutique in a rural town. I am deeply committed to delivering outstanding customer service, sourcing top-quality products, and fostering unbreakable customer loyalty, which have been instrumental in the boutique’s remarkable success.
Beyond my business’ ventures, I am passionate about empowering rural women in business, and I actively organise Women in Business nights to facilitate connections and opportunities within the community.
The QRRRWN has been ably led by a variety of committed, enthusiastic women since it was founded in 1993.
|2009-2010||Georgie Somerset and Wendy Agar (joint presidents)|