GOVERNOR General Quentin Bryce has launched ConnectPink, a new social media site for women, declaring the initiative a means by which rural and regional communities throughout Australia will be further strengthened.
Within hours of its launch Friday morning connectpink.com.au had more than 1200 members registered on line and numbers were growing.
The Fairfax Regional Media initiative targets the four million women who live outside metropolitan cities, linking them with friends, shopping and business opportunities.
Ms Bryce said ConnectPink brought together significant elements of modern Australia.
"Our thirst for the latest news from home and around the world, the vitality of rural and regional communities, those historic networks that country women always share and always have, our heightened awareness of health issues and our deep concern about the prevalence of breast cancer," she said.
"ConnectPink recognises that country people are technically savvy and advance in the internet and in social media.
"I'm sure ConnectPink will make it easier for isolated women to stay in touch regularly with friends and to enjoy the immediacy of contact that's intrinsic to mutual support.
"I'm enormously pleased that ConnectPink has established an important link with the McGrath Foundation, raising funds to provide more specialists breast care nurses in as many regional locations as possible."
Glenn McGrath, founder of the McGrath Foundation with his late wife Jane, said growing up in the bush he could never have known he would be so closely associated with the colour pink.
But Mr McGrath said there were some strong synergies in the ConnectPink and McGrath Foundation partnership.
"Like you, we're really focused on rural and regional Australia; the fact I was born and bred in the bush adds a lot more to it," he said.
"The fact you feel the McGrath Foundation is a worthwhile cause to be associated with makes me feel very proud too."
Fairfax Regional Media chief executive officer and publisher, Allan Browne, said the decision to focus on women was a natural one.
"Whether in business, fundraising, community affairs, the local footy team or the school fete, women are the drivers of so much of what is achieved in a community," he said.
"They are the inspiration for ConnectPink."
Content director for ConnectPink, Angela Carey, said it had made sense to bring the McGrath Foundation on board to a social media site aimed at women in rural and regional Australia.
"It's the very place where many breast care nurses are placed," she said.
Ms Carey said the site would offer a safe and supportive environment providing members with opportunities to chat, blog, shop and swap.
"We will be offering businesses the opportunity to be involved by partner with us by offering exclusive offers to our members," she said.
"We will be drawing upon our journalists from Fairfax Regional Media to provide stories of inspiring women and men who live in rural and regional Australia.
"We want you to go away and have your own journey of delight and discovery as you explore the site yourself.
"It will be very much about us and the communities we belong to."
Want to be part of ConnectPink, contact the Wauchope Gazette and talk to managing editor Pete Daniels. Call 6585-2355.