Outback Links Coordinator Davida Melksham was recognised last night at Queensland’s first Strong Women Leadership Awards.
Over 200 women from across rural and remote Australia met last night for the ‘Rivers of Life’ conference held in St George in southern Queensland.
As part of the conference, the Strong Women Leadership Awards were announced. The aim of these awards was to encourage women to identify and celebrate their contribution to their communities. Winners were announced from three categories; community, business and professional.
The winner of the community category was our very own Davida Melksham, Coordinator of the Outback Links program.
Being a ‘girl from the bush’ Ms Melksham is well able to identify with the specific challenges facing remote communities. At the same time, her resourcefulness and creativity means she is well placed to make a difference in those same communities.
This spirit of creativity and resourcefulness led to the development of Frontier Services’ Outback Links – a program specifically designed to support people who are struggling to cope with the extremes of outback life.
Outback Links touches the lives of hundreds of families across Australia. The program works by matching suitable volunteers with families who are currently in need of support. Recipients often say that the support they received made an enormous difference and volunteers say that caring for others has given them a sense of worth. Both support recipients and volunteers say that the experience formed life-long friendships.
Ms Melksham recently graduated from the Queensland Leadership Program (QLP), an initiative of The Benevolent Society’s Social Leadership Australia. Ms Melksham says her participation in the program has given her fresh inspiration and new skills to tackle emerging challenges in rural and remote communities.
“One of the really exciting things I gained from QLP is that other participants have now become advocates for the work that I do, and I myself have the renewed belief that we need to continue to provide a mantle of safety for the people living in remote Australia.”
It is Ms Melksham’s hope that her participation in the program and the connections she has made with other leaders from different sectors will lead to new initiatives in her own community.
Ms Melksham celebrates 15 years of service with Frontier Services this year, and we are extremely proud of her achievements thus far and so pleased that her contribution to her community, to Frontier Services, and indeed the whole of remote Australia, was recognised in this way.