Fiona Lake - Round 1, 2018 Champion

Teaching rural communities the power of drone technology

Fiona Lake has been advocating for rural communities since the 1980s, when she started working on a large remote cattle station. Since then she has been actively helping these communities to bridge the city-country divide by using photographs to share their stories with Queensland and the rest of the world.

Fiona started her pioneering rural advocacy business in 1984 and her work has been featured on ABC television's ‘Landline’ program. She later developed a website to campaign for better rural infrastructure, share agriculture information and innovation, encourage networking and accurately portray life in remote communities. This website has been included in the National Library of Australia’s ‘Pandora’ project, in recognition of its cultural significance.

Fiona is a licenced drone pilot and teaches people how to use this technology in their own businesses. She educates people on how drones can beneficial for the agricultural industry, while being aware of the risks and regulations associated with their use.

Through her work with the Queensland Rural, Remote and Regional Women’s Network (QRRRWN), Fiona inspires women to overcome adversity, develop leadership skills and realise their true potential. With QRRRWN, Fiona has been able to deliver practical demonstrations of digital technologies in a comfortable learning environment for women.

Fiona’s drive to support the growth of regional Queensland through digital adoption and empowerment of women in agriculture has seen her:

  • exhibit her collection of photographs of Australia’s largest and most famous cattle stations – entitled Whispering Grass – in the Australian Embassy in the USA in March 2018
  • conduct ‘Drones in agriculture’, ‘Mobile phone photography’ and ‘Effective rural social media use’ workshops for AgForce in Queensland
  • keynote speaker at the Australian Women in Agriculture inaugural Queensland event in Toowoomba
  • deliver a webinar on ‘Social Media – using Twitter’ for the National Rural Women’s Coalition
  • speak at the Julia Creek Rural Women’s Day with the McKinlay Shire Council
  • encourage women in leadership through the WiRE (Women in Rural, Regional and Remote Enterprises) showcase series.

Fiona was recently awarded the QRRRWN 2017 RRR Story Teller Award, and the Queensland Rural Press Club’s Rural Social Media 2017 Award. Her 'Rural Drone Academy' is a 2018 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award finalist project. Fiona was the first Australian to be appointed to the judging panel for the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists ‘Star Prize for Photography’ award.

As a Community Digital Champion, Fiona will continue to assist rural communities to realise the benefits of digital technologies by delivering workshops with agricultural industry and not-for-profit organisations supporting rural women. She is looking forward to sharing her knowledge on:

  • digital storytelling and best practice social media skills
  • selling online, digital business management and cyber security
  • the use of drones in agriculture and drone safety
  • how to produce better images from mobile phones, and use this for rural advocacy.


Fiona is nominated by: Queensland Cane Growers Association

Teaching rural communities the power of drone technology

Fiona Lake has been advocating for rural communities since the 1980s, when she started working on a large remote cattle station. Since then she has been actively helping these communities to bridge the city-country divide by using photographs to share their stories with Queensland and the rest of the world.

Fiona started her pioneering rural advocacy business in 1984 and her work has been featured on ABC television's ‘Landline’ program. She later developed a website to campaign for better rural infrastructure, share agriculture information and innovation, encourage networking and accurately portray life in remote communities. This website has been included in the National Library of Australia’s ‘Pandora’ project, in recognition of its cultural significance.

Fiona is a licenced drone pilot and teaches people how to use this technology in their own businesses. She educates people on how drones can beneficial for the agricultural industry, while being aware of the risks and regulations associated with their use.

Through her work with the Queensland Rural, Remote and Regional Women’s Network (QRRRWN), Fiona inspires women to overcome adversity, develop leadership skills and realise their true potential. With QRRRWN, Fiona has been able to deliver practical demonstrations of digital technologies in a comfortable learning environment for women.

Fiona’s drive to support the growth of regional Queensland through digital adoption and empowerment of women in agriculture has seen her:

  • exhibit her collection of photographs of Australia’s largest and most famous cattle stations – entitled Whispering Grass – in the Australian Embassy in the USA in March 2018
  • conduct ‘Drones in agriculture’, ‘Mobile phone photography’ and ‘Effective rural social media use’ workshops for AgForce in Queensland
  • keynote speaker at the Australian Women in Agriculture inaugural Queensland event in Toowoomba
  • deliver a webinar on ‘Social Media – using Twitter’ for the National Rural Women’s Coalition
  • speak at the Julia Creek Rural Women’s Day with the McKinlay Shire Council
  • encourage women in leadership through the WiRE (Women in Rural, Regional and Remote Enterprises) showcase series.

Fiona was recently awarded the QRRRWN 2017 RRR Story Teller Award, and the Queensland Rural Press Club’s Rural Social Media 2017 Award. Her 'Rural Drone Academy' is a 2018 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award finalist project. Fiona was the first Australian to be appointed to the judging panel for the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists ‘Star Prize for Photography’ award.

As a Community Digital Champion, Fiona will continue to assist rural communities to realise the benefits of digital technologies by delivering workshops with agricultural industry and not-for-profit organisations supporting rural women. She is looking forward to sharing her knowledge on:

  • digital storytelling and best practice social media skills
  • selling online, digital business management and cyber security
  • the use of drones in agriculture and drone safety
  • how to produce better images from mobile phones, and use this for rural advocacy.


Fiona is nominated by: Queensland Cane Growers Association