Friends of ETCH - Meet Jackie Elliott, founder of Rural Women's Day

Friends of ETCH - Meet Jackie Elliott, founder of Rural Women's Day
We'd love you to meet a very special friend of ours - Jackie Elliott.  Jackie is the founder of Rural Women's day, a registered not-for-profit enterprise which she created with her first event in 2019 and now offers a platform to support and encourage events hosted in regional communities to connect and celebrate rural women around Australia.
We connected with Jackie when we first launched ETCH and were due to attend the 2021 Rural Women's Day event but it was shut down due to the pandemic. Not one to let anything stop her connecting people around the country, Jackie put together a beautiful gift box featuring ETCH and we sent them around the country so we could all sip from a RWD cup and feel connected at this unsettling time.
We were so fortune to attend and have our drinks a very special part of the 2022 event held in Dunkeld, Vic. We served ETCH to 200 attendees from all over Australia and New Zealand at the ‘Connections and Cocktails’ networking evening (alcohol-free cocktails of course!) 
In October this year, more than ten Rural Women's Day events will be hosted across the country - engaging rural and regional communities in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales.
Jackie knows the importance of connection and community.  "It makes me incredibly proud to know that we can help other women  to build friendships and networks, so they feel more confident and happier." 🥰
We'd love you to get to know our wonderful friend Jackie....

Hi! I’m Jackie and I love connecting people, particularly rural women. 

Other things I love:

  • My husband, that took ten years to get down on one knee. We have now been together 12 years!
  • Our little dog Ted and I can’t forget the cat, I have never really liked cats…. She chose me.
  • Our little house with a few acres, with the best view in the district!
  • Living in rural Victoria, at Byaduk between the coastal town of Port Fairy and The Grampians (the best of both)
  • Having my parents live just down the road, on a 620ac farm with sheep and cattle where I love to help out
  • The opportunities for those working in rural and remote Australia as long as they have good Internet connection

I was so very lucky to grow up on a farm, attend Ag College in Queensland and meet a farmer to spend the rest of my life with however, when I started working in our local community, there wasn’t many ways for rural women to connect outside of sporting, career or life commitments.

 After a bit of personal growth, community research and a bucket load of enthusiasm I decided to not wait for someone else to create what I needed and put trust in myself to start a Community for Rural and Regional Women which is now a not-for-profit called Rural Women’s Day! It is now bigger than I could imagine, and a couple of weeks ago I was recognised nationally as the 2023 Rural Community Leader of the Year.

 Share with us about your past Rural Women's Day events and what celebrating Rural Women's Day in 2023 looks like this year and into the future:

Rural Women's Day is a non-profit enterprise that connects rural and regional women through Community, Collaboration and Celebration. 

The inaugural Rural Women's Day event held in 2019 at Dunkeld in the Southern Grampians of Victoria welcomed 170 guests and was awarded the Southern Grampians Shire, Australia Day Community Event of the Year. 

There was a spark that ignited and I registered Rural Women's Day as a non-profit and have continued dedicate time to growing and evolving the Rural Women's Day Community. 

Rural Women's Day supports individuals and businesses to host an event in their community for rural women to share their stories that start conversations, reduce isolation, inspire ideas and enable networking that results in great collaboration!

In the past four years, Rural Women's Day has become a recognised brand across Australia, connecting on social media with 12,000+ followers, published a keepsake magazine, launched a collaborative podcast for rural women with 40,000+ downloads, supported 100+ small businesses and welcomed 700+ attendees to Rural Women's Day gatherings.

In 2023, Rural Women's Day will be expanding across 5 states of Australia, hosting 12 events in rural communities, publishing a RWD Community Magazine and I will be spending lots of time on the road alongside my Mum to continue sharing the importance of connection.

 Why do you feel that it’s important to offer your attendees alcohol-free options at these events?

Offering alcohol-free options is essential, especially at rural and regional events. Many events revolve around drinking. Which is ok for those who choose and can safely consume alcohol. For those of us who choose not to drink, regardless of the reason, we should be made to feel included. We have chosen to highlight and promote to our event hosts that providing a sophisticated alcohol-free option is essential and we are proud to partner with ETCH Sparkling. It can be served in the can, or poured in a glass. Like a good pair of boots, it can be dressed up or dressed down. A healthy choice and a delicious option.

Can you share about the feedback you received after the event about this choice to serve only alcohol-free options at the 2022 event?

 Did you know a rural woman travelled 3,200km for Rural Women’s Day and one of the main reasons is because we were serving alcohol-free at our event? That is dedication but it is also what we do as rural women to connect in a community that understands our needs. We took a chance to do something different and it worked, I wasn’t surprised by the results but I was relieved that 90% of our attendees loved that we served only ETCH Sparking!

Tell us the exciting news about the Rural Womens Day Magazine & how people can get their hands on a copy?

Just like our events, our magazine is a Celebration of rural women and a Collaboration of incredible writing and photography contributions from across Australia and New Zealand.

The pages of the magazine are filled with inspiring stories from our Rural Women’s Day Community.

Our 2023 RWD Magazine is a collaborative not-for-profit fundraiser project to support Rural Women’s Day Ltd.  You can pre-order your own copy here

Lastly, can you share with us what is your favourite ETCH flavour?

 Originally, I was a ZST (Fingerlime & Lemon Myrtle) lover, but as I have continued to enjoy ETCH, nothing beats the MTN! (Raspberry & Mountain Pepperberry)


Thank you Jackie for all that you do to make people feel more connected with each other via the Rural Women's Day platform.  If you would like to learn more about the events happening around Australia head over to the Rural Women's day website here and follow along over on Instagram here or Facebook here