The National Rural Press Club (NRPC) is proud to announce Westpac Agribusiness as its initial foundation sponsor and strong backing from other like-minded supporter groups with rural Australia’s best interests at heart.
The NRPC brings together journalists and communication professionals who cover and influence the big and small issues facing rural and regional Australia, linking directly into federal politics.
After a 20-year hiatus, the Club was recently incorporated to serve a valuable rural mission and sits under the umbrella of the respected Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists, alongside state-based groups.
A formal event on March 1 at Parliament House in Canberra (today) will see the NRPC officially re-launched by Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, at an event attended by a broad cross-section of political representatives with rural interests.
The group aims to host and support events that put regional Australia in the spotlight, in the nation’s capital, and to also recognise the work of leading journalists and communicators.
NRPC President Colin Bettles said having a strong and like-minded foundation sponsor aboard in Westpac Agribusiness would help put fuel in the tank of the professional rural communications networking group, to launch a valuable journey.
Mr Bettles said the NRPC was also buoyed by the support of four Founding Sponsors – peak national animal health product industry group Animal Medicines Australia; peak national crop protection and plant science representative body CropLife Australia; popular agricultural equipment brand Case IH; and Australia’s largest publicly listed agribusiness GrainCorp.
“Our aim is to influence debate, connect with some of the leading journalists in this sector and improve community and government understandings of rural Australia, as a place of innovation, challenge and potential,” he said.
“Having the support of a high profile brand and business in Westpac Agribusiness will enable us to advance our mission and grow with more confidence.
“We are proud to have Westpac Agribusiness on our team and playing a valuable role supporting this exciting journey.
“We are also strengthened by the backing of Founding Sponsors Animal Medicines Australia, CropLife Australia, Case IH and GrainCorp and anticipate this is only the start of a long-lasting partnership, to promote and highlight regional Australia.
National Manager, Agribusiness at Westpac Steve Hannan said Westpac had a 200-year rich history of supporting rural, regional and remote communities of Australia.
“We are thrilled to partner with the NRPC as initial foundation sponsor to continue this support,” he said.
“As agribusiness specialists, we have a deep understanding of the needs of our rural communities and share their vision for a profitable and sustainable future.
“We believe the NRPC will assist in facilitating conversation and debate to help drive further innovation, excellence and understanding of the important role rural, regional and remote Australia plays in contributing to the economic prosperity of the country.”
Animal Medicines Australia Executive Director Ben Stapley said the NRPC was an important forum to discuss key public policy issues with a specific rural and regional focus.
“AMA’s members provide veterinary products that are critical inputs to many agricultural businesses,” he said.
”These rural industries are a significant driver of Australian growth, and the NRPC will help communicate the importance of rural industries to all Australians.”
GrainCorp’s Angus Trigg said his company were proud to support a strong representation of agriculture and agribusiness in the national media and looked forward to its association with the NRPC.
Case IH Brand Leader for Australia and New Zealand, Bruce Healy, said Case IH was delighted to be a founding sponsor of the NRPC.
“It’s fantastic that regional Australia is given a voice through the NRPC,” he said.
“There are so many wonderful stories coming out of rural and regional Australia and we are excited to support this group of people who are passionate about sharing those stories.”
CropLife Australia CEO Matthew Cossey said “we are proud to support this important voice for rural and regional Australia”.
“Journalists and communications professionals specifically dedicated to reporting on Australian agriculture is more critical now than any period in our history, given the huge demands on our nation’s farming sector at the same time as a lack of knowledge in our urban populations of what it takes to produce the food, feed and fibre needed,” he said.