- 21 May 1954
Waikere, South Australia, Australia
- Businesswoman, Consultant, Farmer, Political candidate and Teacher
Deborah Thiele was the inaugural national winner of the Australian Rural Woman of the Year Award in 1994. A graduate of the prestigious Roseworthy Agricultural College (now a campus of the University of Adelaide) not long after it opened its doors to women, she was the first woman to be appointed as an Agricultural Science Senior in the South Australian Education Department. A teacher with a rapidly advancing career in the the Department of Education, she returned to farming when she married her husband, Anton. She is joint owner of their farm at Loxton in eastern South Australia. Since 2000 she has worked as an Agricultural Consultant and Lecturer, specialising in Farm Business Management.
In 2007, she stood for the federal electorate of Barker as the National Party Candidate. Prior to that, she stood for election to the South Australian Legislative Council. She stood again at the S.A election in 2010.
Thiele had an impressive record of community engagement at the time she won the award, and continues to maintain that record.