Rien Silverstein

An advocate for rural women's issues, Rien Silverstein has made a significant contribution to raising the profile of these issues.

Honour Roll

The fruit industry in the Goulburn Valley has a diverse cultural mix of growers with 85% coming from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Many women, particularly from CALD backgrounds, look to Rien for guidance and support and she has been a wonderful mentor to them.

As Founder and Coordinator of Goulburn Valley Women in Horticulture (GV WIN HORT), Rien has given her time to organising training sessions on business management, mentoring, promotion and negotiating funding for the many training and other activities conducted throughout the year.

Rien worked tirelessly as Chair of the highly successful 2007 Shepparton Women on Farms Gathering that attracted more than 200 delegates. Through their fundraising for the event, scholarships were provided to enable families to attend whose income had been severely affected by drought.

Apart from her contribution to rural women, Rien served for extensive periods on primary and secondary school councils and parents' clubs and soccer club. She also served as the State district coordinator for the Victorian State Schools Parents Club. Over a number of years, in her role on the Fruit Growers' Victoria Board, Rien has been involved in helping to develop Victorian Farmers Federation horticultural policy. She has also contributed to government committees including an advisory panel on drought response and irrigation planning. From 2002 to 2007 she participated in the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority's environment and farm working group.