Mareeba ladies make North Queensland proud

Queensland Rural Women's Award finalist Jessica Fealy, winner Jacqui Wilson-Smith and finalist Tracey Beikoff outside of Old Government House in Brisbane.
Queensland Rural Women's Award finalist Jessica Fealy, winner Jacqui Wilson-Smith and finalist Tracey Beikoff outside of Old Government House in Brisbane. Andrea Davy

AN unabashed "woo hoo” was heard from the crowd after the announcer made comment two of the three Queensland Rural Women's Awards finalists were from the far north.

Tracey Beikoff and Jessica Fealy represented Mareeba at the ritzy awards ceremony, held at Old Government House in Brisbane recently.

Tracey, who is the founder and chief executive officer of Rescue Swag, and Jessica, a qualified accountant and horticultural farmer, share a strident passion for their patch of rural Australia.

They weren't ashamed to cheer at the achievement of their home town.

"That's us Mareeba girls,” Tracey laughed.

"We are so proud of it, to come from far north Queensland to an award like this and be competitive, it's just great.

"We are here in Brisbane but we are holding our own.”

The pair were unsuccessful in taking home the top gong, which went to Eerwah Vale's Jacqui Wilson-Smith, but were chuffed to be named as finalists.

Passionate blogger and mother-of-four Jessica is determined to improve rural Australia - she has high hopes for the agriculture sector.

Her family manages a robust mango, avocado and lime farm outside of Mareeba.

"My aim is to see that the next Steve Jobs is a farmer,” she said.

"I really believe that with everything that's happening with technology and robotics, and connectivity - although we still have a long way to go with connectivity in regional Australia - the opportunity is there to have a global business based in regional Australia.

"That's my dream, that we have global businesses that employs people (rurally) and to have vibrant regional communities.”

Tracey was backed by some star power at the event, with Shark Tank panellist Steve Baxter by her side.

She was a contestant on the popular business start-up show in 2015, where she secured an investment from Steve.

She now sells Rescue Swags, a nifty, roll-up first aid kit she invented throughout Australia and overseas.

After the ceremony finished up, the ladies took time to network with past winners and finalists of the Rural Women's Awards.

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