Who we are
Who we are
The RAS Foundation was incorporated in 2007 to enhance educational excellence and help build strong, vibrant rural and regional communities in NSW.
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Since 2007, the RAS Foundation has awarded $7,234,130 in scholarships and grants across rural and regional communities. The difference we make Through our scholarships program, we help to relieve financial stress for students from regional and rural communities, better enabling them to manage their immediate economic needs and supporting their mental wellbeing and resilience during their studies. With less financial pressure, students from regional and rural areas are able to focus more on their studies and extracurricular activities linked to their chosen career path. “ The RAS Foundation Scholarship has made it possible for me to help on the farm during breaks from university and still able to chase the same education dreams as students from metropolitan areas ” Brad Chapman 2022 RAS Foundation Rural Scholar. The Community Grants program provides much-needed financial support to local projects that deliver strong community benefits and enhanced economic and social outcomes for rural and regional communities. Each year, we help bring bright ideas to life that are driven by the community, for the community. “ Being the successful applicant for a RAS Foundation Community Grant has been a huge boost to our community and our aim is to continue to improve our community for the here and now and also for future generations – so they can confidently continue the tradition of community events and connectedness ” Rhonda Watt, Cumnock Show Society – RAS Foundation Community Futures Grant recipient.
The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and the RAS Foundation have come together to organise their inaugural Alumni workshops. The event will feature three outstanding speakers, hosting targeted workshops. Attendees will have the opportunity to choose two of the three workshops available. Seats are limited at each workshop - we encourage you to book your ticket in advance! Meet our speakers: Workshop t opic : The exciting future of agronomy in Australia and how to build a strong workplace culture via team building and mentoring. Peter Birch: Peter is the senior agronomist and owner of B&W Rural, a leading agricultural service provider in northern NSW and southern QLD with branches in Moree, Mungindi, Collarenebri, Goondiwindi, North Star, Narrabri, Walgett and Dirranbandi. Peter has been growing dryland cotton on his own account for over thirty-five years and during that time he has actively worked in the industry to improve the yield and reliability of dryland cotton. B&W Rural is an industry leader, committed to advancing Australian agriculture,B&W recognize that each farm business is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach in today’s dynamic and complex farming environment. Peter leads a team of fifteen agronomists and will share with us his insights on the future of agronomy, and more importantly, his personal approach to team building, supporting young agronomists and mentoring. Workshop t opic: How to engage with government effectively, how to get your issue on government's agenda and how to navigate to the politics of politics. Siobhan Hamblin: Siobhan has worked at the highest levels of government, through some of the most high-stakes periods of office. She was most recently the Chief of Staff to the NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and played a senior role helping coordinate the State’s response to Covid-19 and its considerable number of associated public policy challenges. Siobhan is a leading political strategist and has served as a senior adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Michael McCormack; Chief of Staff to NSW Minister for Early Childhood Education and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell; and Deputy Chief of Staff to the NSW Minister for Maritime and Freight Roads, Duncan Gay. Siobhan has a deep understanding of the political and policy landscape at state and federal levels. Siobhan was Chair of the National Party’s Women’s Council. Workshop t opic: The incredible opportunities available in rural and regional NSW, how to leverage them and succeed. Jillian Kilby: Jillian is the Managing Director of The Stable Group, a regional consulting company firmly fixed in its pursuit to leave a legacy of change in regional Australia. She is a Civil Engineer, Australian Sir John Monash Scholar and holds an MBA and Public Policy Masters from Stanford University. In 2018, Jillian founded The Exchange, a regionally based social impact innovation organisation that focuses on community and coworking. Jillian holds several advisory roles, including Director of the James Martin Institute for Public Policy, Member of the Council for Women's Economic Opportunity, Chair of the Regional Advisory Panel for the Daily Telegraph Bush Summit, and Member of the NSW Skills Board. What to expect: This is an incredible opportunity for RAS and RAS Foundation alumni to meet or reconnect with like -minded people and strengthen relationships and networks for personal and professional development. We encourage all attendees to explore regional NSW and support local businesses in the Narrabri Region. Event Details: When: Saturday, 8 th October 2022 Where: The Exchange Narrabri (43 Maitland St, Narrabri NSW 2390). Ticket cost: $25 donation towards RAS Foundation (all donations are tax deductible). Ticket inclusions: - Afternoon tea on arrival. - Access to two workshops of your choosing. Each workshop will last 45 minutes (includes discussion and open questions). - Access to the evening function (includes canapes + 1 free drink). - Get a 15% discount booking at Tourist Hotel Narrabri , when mentioning the RAS - RAS Foundation Alumni event at the moment of booking. Event Program: 2:00 pm Welcome afternoon tea. 3:00 - 3:45pm First workshop. 3:45 - 4:00pm Break. 4:00 – 4:45pm Second workshop. 4:45 – 5:15pm Break. 6:30pm – late Cocktail party and networking.