Influential rural women come together for leadership forum in Mt Surprise

Women of the Gulf Savannah region in Tropical North Queensland came together at the end of April for an Influential Women’s Leadership Forum.

The women took up the opportunity to attend the forum with the aim of building their confidence, self-knowledge, skills to work effectively with others and learn how to be a leader in their communities.

Those who attended were women either living and working on a property, running small businesses or those that provided an agricultural service. The women gave up valuable time from their work and personal commitments to participate over the three days where they were able to connect and learn to work effectively with others to influence change.

TNQ Drought Hub Program Lead and forum organiser, Jane Oorschot said, “I wanted to give the women a chance to spend a couple of days away from work and family commitments so they could fully engage in the forum and come out of the weekend feeling invigorated and more confident in their lives.”

The TNQ Drought Hub partnered with Heather Ellis from Blue Wren Connections to deliver the forum. Heather’s experience as a community leader, social worker and changemaker helped create a safe and empowering environment for the women to share their stories, values and goals for the future.

Through group and individual activities, the women learnt about different leadership roles and the dynamics of teamwork, how to deal with chosen and unchosen change effectively, understanding personal values and their impact on leadership, and work/life balance and self-care.

When asked about their experience over the weekend, the women were overwhelmingly positive about the forum and felt more inspired to engage in and contribute to their community.

One of the participants said, ‘I was surprised at how much I got out of the workshop and enjoyed being with a group.” Another said it was a “Great workshop, I think so many other women would benefit from this.”

This inaugural forum was delivered through the TNQ Drought Hub’s Building Human Capacity Program, Gulf Savannah NRM Node and Blue Wren Connections with the aim of supporting the agricultural sector and communities to become more drought and climate resilient.

Learn more about the Building Human Capacity Program