Hundreds of rural, regional and city-based women took the opportunity to connect and share ideas and experiences at the Victorian Rural Women’s Network’s free online networking event, Virtual Country Cuppas.
A total of 45 Virtual Country Cuppa hosts registered to hold online gatherings from 23-31 May offering rural women the opportunity to upskill, connect with existing networks and establish new ones.
The event, which took place during a period of physical distancing and home-schooling activities, encouraged women to come together and take time out for themselves in a relaxed environment.
Hosts were aged from 25 to 70-plus and came from towns across Victoria. Attendees included representatives from rural women’s groups, the Country Women’s Association of Victoria, the agricultural industry, health organisations and services, small businesses and bushfire relief groups.
The sociable event offered the opportunity for rural women to upskill at a free video conference training webinar. Hosts were also emailed a ‘Host Pack’ containing resources to deliver a successful online gathering which included the link to a wellbeing video.
Cuppa conversation topics ranged from farm safety, home-schooling, wellbeing and business and community involvement to the importance of improving digital connectivity in rural areas.
Rural women particularly valued sharing networking and professional development opportunities. One participant said: “Opportunities like this are great and just don’t happen enough,” while another noted, “There is such a need for women out there to be connected and empowered.”
Since launching for the first time as a face-to-face event on International Day of Rural Women in October last year, the number of Country Cuppa gatherings has grown by 40 per cent year on year. Taking the event online meant many women who find it difficult to attend networking events due to work, home or travel commitments were able to attend easily and find new ways to connect. We are looking forward to the next event!
Pictured above: Rural women from across Victoria attended a Virtual Country Cuppa gathering hosted by farmer and businesswoman Jill Briggs