Rural Woman of the Year Jo Palmer wants to remove geographic barriers between employers and employees.

Story Terri Cowley 

Growing up in the Snowy Mountains town of Jindabyne in the 1980s and ’90s, Jo Palmer watched her highly qualified mother, Margot Flynn, work in any local job she could get. “Mum had three degrees,” Jo says. “She was super qualified but she had no family support nearby and, initially, no child care. So, she was a cleaner, a journalist, the council community services manager.”

Margot’s foiled efforts to get satisfying work for which she was actually qualified had a significant impact on Jo – an impact that’s only really dawned on her since her recent win as the AgriFutures Rural Woman of the Year. Jo’s two-year-old business Pointer Remote Roles was partly spawned as a result of Margot’s experience. 

Halfway between a job board and a recruiter, Pointer Remote Roles is a job-matching and training platform for remote workers and employers. As well as linking employers and employees, it offers them the tools to manage and work remotely. Jo wants to see a cultural shift in the way both employees and employers see themselves and their relationships to each other, and believes that removing geographical barriers could be a game changer for rural Australia. Jo’s passion and strong belief that it shouldn’t matter where you live in terms of what kind of work you can do impressed those who judged her Rural Woman of the Year.

This story excerpt is from Issue #129

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2020