Founder of Champions Academy AU, Managing Director of Shadowbox Enterprises Ltd
Community Service and Engagement, Rural and Regional Issues and Policy, Leadership, Mentoring, Youth, Motivational Speaking
Travels from Port Lincoln, SA
Sarah Prime ( Nee Powell) has made a name for herself as a change agent Australia wide as the founder of ‘Champions Academy’, a cutting edge initiative designed to revitalise rural communities, using country sporting clubs as a vehicle to attract and inspire future leaders, and helping them to recognise and apply their full potential to champion positive change.
Beginning her career in banking and finance, Sarah worked in Eyre Peninsula in SA and the East Kimberley in WA, before transitioning into accounting and business advisory work in Far North Queensland in the early 2000’s. This foundation paved the way for Sarah to take on a role with the peak economic development agency in Cairns, and soon after, she became the inaugural CEO of Regional Development Australia for Far North Queensland and Torres Strait Islands.
Throughout her corporate career Sarah worked in both the public and private sectors, playing a pivotal role in major projects that were designed to stimulate business and industry growth. During this time Sarah naturally gravitated into the role of mentor to many up and coming young business people, passing on the knowledge and insights she had gained in her experience. She was appointed Chair of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Young Chamber’ and worked closely with a contingent of young community members and future leaders in Papua New Guinea to set up a Young Chamber there as well. In 2012 Sarah found herself back in South Australia, quite literally, by accident. Returning to the region where she grew up, Sarah was shocked by the change that had transpired in one generation – everywhere she saw evidence of cataclysmic regional population decline and the resultant loss of basic services such as health and education, disappearance of small business and deterioration of infrastructure in rural townships. It spurred her into action and subsequently, the creation of a concept called Champions Academy, which aimed to attract and develop future leaders who would become Champions for rural areas and advocate on their behalf.
The Champions Academy is based on the philosophy that ‘a Champion is a person whose actions motivate and inspire others, and leave a legacy’. In 2015 Sarah was recognised for her efforts to strengthen rural communities and make them more resilient to change, when she was honoured with the Agrifutures Rural Womens Award for South Australia, and went on to be named Rural Woman of the Year in Canberra later that year. Sarah was again recognised in 2019 for her work, when she was one of ten people in Australia to receive the Westpac Social Change Fellowship. The Pilot Program which Sarah launched in sporting clubs across Eyre Peninsula six years ago has successfully commercialised and scaled, with an adapted program currently being piloted in schools. Sarah lives in the farming community of Wharminda in South Australia with her partner Caleb Prime, their 4- year-old son, Tex, and their 2-year old daughter, Scout.