SAState RecipientYoung Australian of the Year2007
Laura Long is passionate about regional education and vocational training as a way of providing opportunities for rural young people. From a young age, Laura dreaded having to leave Coonalpyn to complete her schooling and attend university. This small town is at the centre of a region once known as the Ninety Mile Desert, which through sustainable farming practices and management has long since been converted into productive land. Regional areas such as this need to keep their young people so that they too can blossom and grow. Laura decided very early on to make a diﬀ erence to quality education opportunities for rural youths. She completed her Bachelor of Agriculture in 2000 and then for her Bachelor of Education specialised in secondary school agriculture and science teaching. At the age of twenty-two, she became a manager, with a staﬀ of three, in a training organisation and is now responsible for seventy agricultural trainees across the state. Laura is making a real diﬀerence in the lives of other young people and contributing to the continued life in the bush.