Governor-General Quentin Bryce yesterday launched a new website targeting women in regional Australia, saying she was a country girl at heart and understood the value of connected communities.
Wearing vivid pink along with many women at the launch at Lake George Winery, Ms Bryce said she had no doubt ConnectPink, an initiative of Fairfax Regional Media, would be a success.
''ConnectPink is for women, and about women, but it holds great promise for the men and children in their lives too,'' she said.
''The kind of communication it will facilitate has the potential to spread information and advice and examples across kitchen tables even in the most remote places.''
The Governor-General said she believed the site had potential to strengthen regional communities with just the click of a mouse.
''ConnectPink recognises that country people are technically savvy and advanced in their use of the internet and social media,'' she said.
The website went live at 4am yesterday and had more than 1300 members signed up by lunchtime. ConnectPink content director Angela Carey said the site would offer inspirational news stories as well as avenues for women to link across the nation.
''There's all the traditions of social media, the chatting, the blogging, the connecting with friends,'' she said. ''We've also built in an e-commerce opportunity for businesses to be involved so our members can connect with businesses they love and in return the businesses can offer them exclusive deals.''
Another feature of ConnectPink was the SwapCircle which was ''a bit like eBay but without the cash''.
''Sometimes women actually don't want money for something old but they don't want to throw it out either,'' she said.
''So in our SwapCircle, we're allowing them to swap their items with something that other women don't want or need any more … ''
ConnectPink has selected the McGrath Foundation as its inaugural charity partner.
New members to the site will be invited to make a donation to the foundation to help it place breast-care nurses in communities across Australia and increase breast-health awareness in young women.
The foundation's chairman, former cricketer Glenn McGrath, also attended yesterday's launch, saying his late wife Jane's dream of having more breast-care nurses across the nation was coming true, with 74 nurses now funded by the organisation.
Mr McGrath said he was honoured ConnectPink had chosen to help the McGrath Foundation.
''I've had a lot to do with women in the bush and I have no doubt it's going to be successful,'' he said.
Fairfax Regional Media chief executive officer Allan Browne said women were the connectors in a community and they were the inspiration for ConnectPink.
ConnectPink is at www.connectpink.com.au