While many of us were getting ready for the Christmas break at end of a very long 2020, The Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas MP was being sworn in as a new cabinet member, in the position of Minister for Regional Development and Agriculture. We’re pleased to introduce her to the Victorian Rural Women’s Network.
Already in her seventh year as the member for Macedon, Minister Thomas is very familiar with the important contribution made by Victorians in our regional and rural areas. Through her previous positions both prior to and since joining the government, she is particularly familiar with the education and health sectors, and has a unique understanding of the role they each play in the lives of Victorians across the state.
Prior to being elected in 2014, Minister Thomas’ last professional role prior to joining Parliament was with Plan International which works to advance equality of opportunity for women and girls. Having grown up in a farming community in North East Victoria, and as a rural woman herself, she is committed to growing the contribution of women in regional communities, and particularly women working in agriculture and related industries.
In taking on this portfolio, Minister Thomas has asserted her commitment to continued shifts towards greater diversity and inclusion, and in particular the inclusion of Indigenous Australians. She is also committed to seeing progress on climate change policy that provides industry certainty and support. She is looking forward to working with the Victorian Rural Women’s Network to see Victoria’s agriculture sector continue to go from strength to strength, and to ensure Regional Victoria plays a vital role in recovery after the dual challenges of COVID-19 and bushfires in 2020.
No doubt many of you will have an opportunity to meet Minister Thomas at various Network events throughout 2021 and beyond.