Trailblazers across rural SA will have an opportunity to win a once-in-a-lifetime 'Power Trip' to the nation's capital.
Country to Canberra's prestigious 2019 Leadership Competition will award at least 15 young women with a chance to breakdown barriers with politicians and chief executive officers, leadership and public speaking training, a tour of Parliament and much more.
Country to Canberra CEO Hannah Wandel says the trip was about encouraging young rural women to step outside of their comfort zone and advocate about issues that they care about.
"From Tanya Plibersek to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, past winners have met with inspiring leaders, built self-confidence, and have gone on to make an incredible impact in their local communities," she said.
"It's important to speak up about the things you believe in. Our competition and Power Trip is about giving young women a national platform to make their voices hear."
To enter, Country to Canberra is asking girls to submit a two minute video or 400 words answering a question about Overcoming the Odds: how do we push through the barriers to achieve gender equality.'
"This year's question is all about driving change," Ms Wandel said.
"Only 35 per cent of federal politicians are female, women earn around $239 less than men each week, and we still have huge issues when it comes to violence," Ms Wandel, who is also the 2019 ACT Young Australian of the Year said.
"Meanwhile, social media has caused a huge wave of issues.
"We target high school because it's a critical time in a young woman's leadership pathway.
"We also know that distance, time and funding barriers can make life tough for rural students, compounded by the current drought. Country to Canberra provides access to training and ongoing mentorship, no matter a girl's background or circumstance.
The 2018 SA winner Maddie McShane praised the initiative's impact.
"This program was exactly what I needed to help me gauge direction," she said.
"Surrounded by supportive mentors and peers who are uplifting you and want your best, it helped me to realise my full potential."
Ms Wandel is encouraging all eligible regional, rural and remote students in grades 10-12 to take part.
"This could be the kick-start you need for your future career," she said.
Entries close 11pm AEST, September 2. Visit countrytocanberra.com.au for more information.
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