Created in 2017 by the Victorian Fisheries Authority WIRF program inspires and encourages female participation in fishing. WIRF promotes knowledge sharing and recreational fishing activities for women via a Facebook community. Part of the Target One Million initiative presented by the Victorian Government to encourage more Victorians to go fishing, more often, WIRF invites women of all skill levels to join the community and share their stories and tips. The online community currently has over 2,200 members and continues to grow daily.

Annually members of WIRF are invited to express interest in applying for the WIRF Leadership program. This year ten women were selected to participate in the program. A cohort of 28 leaders now fly the WIRF flag encouraging women to go outdoors and enjoy fishing! (Note this photo was taken pre-COVID.)

The 2020 Leadership program was held online on 18-19 August and 26-28 August with the Minister for Fishing and Boating, the Hon Melissa Horne, providing a welcome on the first night. The program featured a diverse range of topics showcasing the multitude of opportunities the industry holds for women. The program also provided the opportunity for WIRF Leaders to connect with some of the movers and shakers in the industry and share their views regarding female participation in the sector. WIRF Leaders now come together (virtually) once a month to hear from industry leaders and hold conversations regarding how they may encourage more women to fish.

The WIRF leaders located across the state and are taking the skills they learn back to their local communities and/or clubs to help grow participation and build opportunities throughout Victoria.

If you are a woman looking for a supportive, fun group to share fishing experiences and knowledge with visit the ‘Women in Recreational Fishing Network’ Facebook group and join now!