Innovation Showcase Charity Profiles: Country to Canberra

We are passionate about giving back to the community at the Canberra Innovation Network. That’s why we will donate $5 for every attendee at our Innovation Showcase to local Canberra organisations. We chose the organisations that best embody our values of being clever, connected and creative.

We would like to introduce our second organisation, Country to Canberra, which represents the connect area of CBRIN.

Country to Canberra is empowering young rural women to reach their leadership potential.* Founded in 2014, our award-winning not-for-profit runs nationwide programs that provide education, leadership and mentorship opportunities to regional, rural and remote girls and non-binary teens. Country to Canberra are a leading voice for young women, and are committed to strengthening rural communities into the future.

*Note: initiatives support young women and non-binary people. Country to Canberra always intend to be gender inclusive, even if not expressly stated.


To empower young rural women to reach their leadership potential.


Distance, time and funding barriers can isolate rural and remote students from education & career opportunities. Pairing this with Australia’s gender pay gap, gender-based violence, unconscious bias, and the underrepresentation of women in politics, primary industries and business leadership, it’s clear that young rural women face significant challenges as they strive toward their goals.


Country to Canberra was founded in 2014 by the current Chair of Board of Directors, Hannah Wandel OAM. Hannah grew up on a farm in South Australia, and although she loved her local community, she recognised that there were additional challenges faced by rural and remote students. Further, as a gender equality advocate, she was determined to increase leadership opportunities for young women and girls.

Hannah led Country to Canberra as CEO for 7 years, before passing the baton onto other young people – like current CEO Han Worsley – to continue empowering others. Country to Canberra strongly believe in building a leadership pipeline for young people, including there own team.

Country to Canberra strategic priorities are:

Empowering Young Leaders

To empower young rural women and non-binary people (between 13-18) living in regional, rural and remote Australia to pursue leadership opportunities at school and within their community, by providing skill-building, networking and education opportunities.

Gender Equality

To actively work to achieve gender equality, by increasing youth discourse and awareness about gender equality issues in rural Australia, and by targeting programs to improve gender equality outcomes.


To offer and facilitate mentorship and opportunities to young rural women to build their skills, networks and capacities.

Increasing Participation in Decision-Making

To encourage more young rural women to participate in leadership and decision-making in their chosen field, whether it be politics, primary industries, business, education or any other avenue.

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