VIVIEN Thomson is a mixed farmer and has qualifications in horticulture and agriculture.
She has been a rural firefighter for more than 26 years and held several major leadership roles, including during the devastating fires in 2003.
She was the 12th female to be awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal. She also has an Emergency Medal, National Medal and International Women’s Day Award.
She recently graduated from the highly regarded Australian Rural Leadership Program.
She has contributed to several national boards for women and is the immediate past president of Australian Women in Agriculture.
Vivien sees one of her great achievements as the release of her book Ashes of the Firefighters - one of few books authored by women in the fire industry that talk about their experiences in depth.
Vivien is passionate about ensuring rural areas remain viable and vibrant.
She has done this through being involved in NGOs and by coaching and mentoring women of all ages both on farms and in the industry.
She believes that women have enormous untapped potential when it comes to leadership which led her to apply for the Rural Women’s Award where she was the NSW Rural Women’s Award runner up in 2013.
She has been involved with government committees and boards for more than 15 years, ensuring rural areas have a strong voice and are listened to.