Graduate wins NSW Rural Women's Award for 2012

26 February 2012

Agriculture graduate (BSc Agr '01 Hons), and member of the University of Sydney Agriculture Alumni Association (USAAA), Danica Leys (, has received the 2012 Rural Industries Research and DevelopmentCorporation (RIRDC) Rural Women's Award at a gala dinner at Parliament House in Sydney Parliament on 22 February 2012.

Self-described wife, mum, stepmum, and country music tragic is passionate about social networking, and closing the communications gap between country and city folk. She co-developed AgChatOz, a popular online farming forum, which consists of a Twitter conversation on Tuesday nights on a specific issue suggested by participants. It's a moderated conversation that goes for about 2 hours, and attracts more than 2,000 followers.

Danica started off her career as an agronomist at Narrabri and Dubbo, and spent close to 10 years in professional roles networking with primary producers and the agribusiness community. Now as a lawyer specialising in agribusiness and employment law at BlandsLaw, she offers strong services in agribusiness law, and is an advocate for public discussion of rural issues such as live export, food security, GM crops etc.

Somehow Danica also manages to find the time give back to her Faculty community as an alumni ambassador and mentor. As a member of USAAA she supports lifelong engagement between the University and its alumni and friends, and returns to her alma mater to provide career advice and encouragement to future generations of agricultural scientists.

As the winner Danica Leys will receive a bursary of $10,000, which she will use to expand AgChatOz, streamline its social media platform and to be involved in seminars, field days and workshops across Australia. Join her on AgChatOz at

Contact: Ms Skaidy Gublis

Phone: 02 8627 1006

Email: 303d3120081d1904003e2721582837103e5f030c5d27552c1b0837