Enthusiasm for women’s gathering

February 10, 2008

Over 30 women from Bingara and surrounding districts heard about opportunities offered by the Rural Women’s Network at a gathering at the Imperial Hotel recently.

The day was organised by Double B Beef in conjunction with the Rural Women’s Network, with speakers including Drought Support worker, Jenny Croft, Kim Deans, Rural Financial Counsellor from Inverell; YWCA Health and Wellbeing Coordinator, Genevieve Marchiori, and Barbara Gilmore, rural Mental Health Officer, NSW Mental Health.

Facilitator was Sonia Muir Rural Women’s Network Coordinator.

Facilitator Sonia Muir, Drought Support worker Jenny Croft, with Double B Beef Committee members, Jenny Capel and Gay Mack who instigated the gathering.

The women attending were each presented with a small ‘pamper pack’, by Jenny Croft. "The donors get pleasure from donating these gifts", she said. Jenny also spoke of the series of ‘bugger the drought’ events that were held around the state.

Genevieve, whose husband was badly injured in a farming accident, captivated the audience as she shared her own story. "If you are not taking care of you, you can’t take care of the people around you," she said. "Taking care of self is knowing yourself." She concluded by taking the women through a short meditation program.

The women attending the gathering said they had benefited from the day.

Christine Allen found the day very useful. "I got to meet a lot of women, as a newcomer to the area, I found that to be very good," she said. " It is good to have days like today, as it helps bring everything back into focus. "There was a lot of laughter and encouragement, and the speakers ran the program well.

" Gay Holden described the day as ‘very successful and enjoyable’. "I am looking forward to the next meditation session!" she said. "Genevieve was very impressive, told her story well, not as a sob story, even though she has been through so much." "Kim was also very fluent, and knows her job," Gay said.

Brenda Pankhurst described the day as ‘very inspiring’. "I am not too badly off," Brenda said. “It has been good for us all.”

Georgina Sinclair who, as Secretary of Double B Beef, and manager of the Bingara website, spends most days on her computer, promised to turn her computer off at 4.30 pm as her commitment to spend more time on herself.

The importance of people knowing what is available was, according to Philippa Morris, the most valuable aspect of the day. “It is important for people to know that is out there and to know what help is available and be aware they can help themselves,” Philippa said.

What’s Next?
A number of initiatives are in the pipeline following Friday’s gathering.
A relaxation/meditation course, the establishment of a book club, a sharemarket group and an information session on menopause have all been suggested.

The SOFT (Shaping Our Futures Together) course, which was discussed on Friday, run by the Rural Women’s Network, has already been organised for June 23 and 24. Names will be sought for this day a little closer to the event.

Further ideas for courses or workshops are being sought mainly in the areas of health and well-being. (Vocational courses are not possible.) If there is a course or a workshop which you would like to see run, please contact Georgina Sinclair, phone 6723 6645, or email doublebbeef@bigpond.com Please note, suggestions can be for women’s, men’s or mixed sessions.