Network provides a voice for women
Talks about Jan’s experiences with the QRWN
GREAT LEADER: Jan Darlighton founded the Queensland RuralWomen’s Network in 1993 and her story will shortly be released in The Celebration of a Network: The QRWN Story. JAN Darlington is the type of great leader who drew great leadership out of others.
After seeing how women were overlooked despite their expertise, the Monto cattle and dairy farmer formed The Queensland RuralWomen’s Network in 1993, to empower country ladies and give them voices.
The story of her journey with the network up until 1998 is set to be released in The QRWN Story and she hopes the read will inspire other women to feel empowered.
“I think networking, and talking to people face to face is even more important now than it was back then,” she said.
“There’s so much technology, but you really
Jan Darlington Back then, we weren’t getting recognised because we were women. But I think this network showed people what they can do if they speak with one tongue.
need to look people in the eye.
“If anyone has some good information and expertise, then it should be shared.”
Even today, Mrs Darlington said she could see where their “little fingers” had influenced change in people’s lives.
“The night where I felt good was in Canberra, when I was a judge at the National RuralWomen’s Awards,” she said.
“There were about 17 nominees and we had influenced all of their lives in some way.
“Back then, we weren’t getting recognised because we were women.
“But I think this network showed people what they can do if they speak with one tongue.”
And speaking with one tongue is still just as powerful now as it was 20 years ago.
“The big issue we have now are farm gate prices. They have to get better or some people will just have to walk away,” she said.
“If we don’t stand united on this issue we won’t get anywhere. Farmers need to stand together and argue if necessary.”
While Monto has some of the best farmers in the world, she said what we needed now were more great leaders.
“We have got well-respected young leaders but they have no time. They are flat out on the farm,” she said.
“I think once you get these prices through, and they don’t have so many farm stresses, everything else will fall into place.
“Farmers will have the means to become community leaders.”