Rural Women’s Forum 2018

First Rural Women’s Forum a resounding success

A big thank you to all those who attended the Victorian Rural Women’s Network’s first Rural Women’s Forum earlier this month. Your energy, passion and contributions resulted in a hugely successful forum.

More than 100 rural and regional women from across Victoria met at RACV Goldfields Resort, Creswick, on 2-3 August. It was wonderful that 88 per cent of participants said the forum ‘exceeded expectations’!

Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Jaala Pulford, addressed the forum on the second day, launching the network’s new annual magazine Network Connect and announcing a further $500,000 funding for a leadership and mentoring program. The details of the program will be shared with you over coming months.

Forum activities revolved around four practical workshops on leadership, wellbeing, social media and financial literacy. Participants were encouraged to take home new skills and learnings and to step up, lead and succeed.

Forum highlights

The forum opened with a lively speed-networking session in the resort gardens followed by a ‘Welcome to Country’ and musical performance by Elder Uncle Rick Nelson, of the local Dja Dja Wurrung People. Keynote speaker Sallie Jones, co-founder of Gippsland Jersey, shared her incredibly moving story of loss and the importance of work/life balance. Thank you Sallie!

A busy first day of connecting and workshops concluded with a fun-filled gala dinner with a celebrity address by Tasmanian truffle farmers Anna and Henry Terry. The siblings from TV series My Kitchen Rules shared the trials and tribulations of running a family business and their fulfilling work as role models to young people plus tips for business success.

Workshops continued on the second day followed by an inspirational mentoring session led by MC Alana Johnson, Convenor of the network’s Empowered Women Working Group. At the end of the session, women stood up and declared one word or phrase that captured their learnings at the forum and pledged to lift each other up to achieve great things.

These inspirational words were gathered into a Word Cloud that you may like to display as a screensaver on your computer, in the office or on the fridge as a reminder of the ‘take home’ learnings from this special forum.

Get your PowerPoint Word Cloud here or your PDF version here, plus find out what rural women valued most about the forum in this video. We look forward to seeing you next year!

Feedback from forum participants:

“Totally inspired by the empowering women I have met.”

“I met like-minded people to inspire, uplift and motivate me.”

“The forum is fantastic and really promotes personal growth.”

“A great forum for rural women in business that want to grow, inspire and lead in their industries.”

“I actually feel the tips I’ve learnt I will take away and use.”

What’s next?

Stay tuned for more information on the new leadership and mentoring program and send your queries to VRWNetwork@ecodev.vic.gov.au.

 

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