BOOMI’S Nicole Alexander has been named as the 2012 Barwon Woman of the Year.
Living in one of the most remote corners of the state has certainly been no deterrent to Boomi author Nicole Alexander, in fact she credits this rural lifestyle for her literary success.
Ms Alexander is one of Australia's leading bush storytellers, with two successful novels, The Bark Cutters and A Changing Land already published.
She has another novel being released this year in September, Absolution Creek, and a contract with Random House to write a novel a year.
And it is this success which inspired Member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries, to name Ms Alexander as the 2012 Barwon Woman of the Year.
Mr Humphries said Ms Alexander was a fantastic role model for other aspiring authors, artisans and musicians, proving that the pursuit of cultural success was not lost by rural living.
"She has managed to combine helping run a fourth generation family farm at Boomi with her literary aspirations with great success and is a testament that talented women in the bush need not miss out on their cultural aspirations.
"I commend her not only for her dedication to her craft, but through her fictitious, rural set novels she is helping promote country living to the urban mass and inspiring a new generation of bush storytellers," Mr Humphries said.
However Ms Alexander admitted it was a juggle balancing farming demands and a writing career.
"Apart from our busy periods such as sowing and harvest, farming can be somewhat flexible, especially in a family business, but it has taken 20 years to get where I am so it's also taken a lot of perseverance."
She credited technological advancements for helping empower and inspire many women across regional and rural NSW to follow their dreams.
"Whether you're a writer wanting to conduct Skype author interviews and online research or a young mum wanting to embark on an online business from home, technology has beaten the isolation barrier in rural Australia," Ms Alexander said.
"After that it all comes down to persistence and passion.
"I find writing and agriculture a really good fit; rural living is a great passion of mine so it's a major inspiration to my work."
And as a 'friend' of this year's National Year of Reading, Ms Alexander also delights in promoting literacy to rural areas.
"I tour to promote my books and on average I cover about 3000 kilometres across regional and rural areas and make a point of offering my services to regional libraries in the hopes of promoting awareness of reading and literacy."
The NSW Women of the Year Awards were held recently in Sydney.
Mr Humphries said women were the backbone of regional Australia, and that we were extremely fortunate to have so many hard working, dedicated community members here in Barwon.
"These awards are a great opportunity to recognise outstanding women from across NSW and I am very proud that Ms Alexander has been named the Barwon Woman of the Year.
"From helping raise literacy awareness to country areas during this, the National Year of Reading, or supporting farmers with a counselling service during the hard times, the talents of Barwon women are as diverse and wonderful as the electorate we live in," Mr Humphries said.