It's the time to shine for female high school students interested in agriculture, technology or entrepreneurship... or all the above.
The Women in Agri-Tech pitch competition is now open, offering small groups of Year 7-10 female students from remote, regional and rural Australia the opportunity to share in $5000 of prize money and a free trip to Brisbane.
To enter the competition, students will need to develop their own agri-tech solution to a problem faced by the agricultural industry. They won't need to actually build anything just yet but come up with a great idea that will work in theory.
Once the students have worked out their solution, they need to present a three-minute pitch to impress the judges.
To help entrants get started, CQUniversity has developed an interactive learning module that can be used by teachers in classrooms or individual students. The module can be accessed here: http://womeninagri-tech.com/
The team with the winning pitch from each year group will travel to Brisbane to participate in a two-day bootcamp where they will learn even more about advancing their pitch and becoming an entrepreneur.
Women in Agri-Tech program lead, CQUniversity Research Fellow Dr Amy Cosby says the competition is an amazing opportunity for students to learn about a rapidly growing part of the agricultural and technology industries, as well as how to be an entrepreneur.
"The agri-tech space is already an exciting and rapidly expanding part of the agricultural industry," Dr Cosby said.
"Jobs in this sector will continue to grow in importance and number as the world's population grows and the demand for food and fibre increases.
"We want to ensure that young women who are starting to think about their futures are aware of the opportunities and are equipped to take part in the boom and start their careers in the sector."
Dr Cosby said the competition is targeted at female students to encourage and motivate them to consider a career in the agricultural industry where women are currently under-represented.
"While women represent 50 per cent of the broader workforce in Australia, in agricultural industries they make up just 30 per cent of employees," she said.
"The disparity is even greater when we look at management roles - only 14 per cent of people managing agricultural businesses are female.
"We are aiming to change this statistic because we know young women all over Australia, and the world, have much to contribute to agriculture. They just need the confidence, skills and knowledge that they can have a rewarding career in the industry."
Applications are now open - entries close on 27 April.
To enter and for more information on the competition is available here:http://womeninagri-tech.com/