Paediatric nurse Grace Larson has been named a finalist for the 2024 Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award for the second time.
Based in Kyneton, Grace formed The Sisterhood Project to mitigate the barriers of distance and affordability of paediatric first-aid training for parents and carers in rural areas.
The project aims to deliver free access to essential first aid training for vulnerable groups, to help curb child mortality rates in rural Australia.
Grace has spent 14 years as a paediatric nurse and is also the co-founder of business PEADS first aid and education training. It is through this work she recognised an important need not being met.
“There is plenty of research that identifies rural areas are more likely to experience infant or child deaths from accidents, and the risk is even greater for those that are also from lower socio-economic or non-English speaking backgrounds,” she said.
“These children are dying at a higher rate than their metropolitan counterparts and part of that is due to limited access to knowledge or skill-building in first aid.
“We wanted to remove these barriers for people with the goal of making a real differences to child mortality statistics.”
The AgriFutures award celebrates Australia’s rural women leaders from across a range of industries, including Victoria’s $20.2 billion agriculture sector, who use their skills to benefit their communities and rural Australia, and inspire others.
Grace was a finalist for the award last year. This year she is one of four finalists, vying for the title alongside creative hub founder Georgina Morrison (Hamilton), iTrazo Tracetech founder Reeanjou Ram (Melbourne), and EnviroEDU founder Sarah Holmes (Mildura).
The Victorian winner will be announced in April and will receive $15,000 towards their project. They will also go on to represent Victoria at the national award, a gala event at Parliament House in September.
The national winner will receive a further $20,000 towards their project, and the national runner-up $15,000.