RIVERINA MP and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has congratulated The Rock entrepreneur Jo Palmer on winning the 2019 Agrifutures National Rural Women’s Award.

Ms Palmer received the award for her tireless efforts to create employment opportunities for talented professionals across Australia through Pointer Remote Roles, a company which she established in March 2017.

Mr McCormack said Ms Palmer was a well-deserving recipient of the award.

“Ms Palmer is working hard to ensure people, no matter where they live, can engage with employers so they can make the best use of their talents without compromising the lifestyle they enjoy,” Mr McCormack said.

“She is helping to address rural unemployment and break down some of the barriers which rural Australians face.

“I am sure this recognition will only enhance the good work Ms Palmer is doing and I urge and encourage any businesses to engage with Pointer Remote Roles to tap in to the talent pool in regional Australia.”

Ms Palmer said the award was a game-changer for Pointer Remote Roles, which aims to level the employment playing field across metro and rural and regional Australia.

“It sounds strange but (receiving the award) is a relief,” Ms Palmer said.

“We have around 300 people on the books looking for work and this exposure will mean more opportunities for those people to find work.

“We are giving businesses the ability to look not only within their rural community, but the regions around those communities.

“It’s rural employing rural. It will also attract more people in the city to consider a tree change.”

Ms Palmer was announced as the winner of the 2019 Agrifutures National Rural Women’s Award at a ceremony held at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday night.

In her acceptance speech, Ms Palmer mentioned a report by the Gratten Institute in 2012 which said if there were an additional 6 per cent of women in the workforce, that Australia’s GDP would be about $25 billion higher.

“Access to remote work stimulates local economies, mental health outcomes are improved for both employees and their bosses and rural communities can help to drought- and disaster-proof themselves,” Ms Palmer said in her speech.

Shane Manning