Care Goondiwindi hosts International Women's Day event

Champagne, laughter and creativity set the relaxing mood at Care Goondiwindi’s International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrations on Thursday, March 8.

Around 50 women came along to the event, hosted on the property ‘Mundine’.

Local ‘tax chick’ Vanessa Mendes spoke about finances, and how women can better protect and prepare themselves for the future. Vanessa touched on the IWD theme ‘Press for Progress’ and how women can earn up to $20 000 less than men for the same job.

”She encouraged us to make sure we sell ourselves effectively to employers and also to make sure we support each other by talking about finances with those we trust,” community support worker Kirsty Dowling said.   

Another session was led by local psychologist Chantal Corish. Chantal did a ‘breathe’ session with the women, focusing on relaxation, mindfulness and wellbeing session. 

“Mindfulness is an amazing tool for stress management and overall wellness,” Kirsty said. She said the practice could have many benefits on emotional and physical health, as well as relationships.

“It can take a little practice and trial-and-error to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life, but the benefits are well worth the effort. Mindfulness can pull you out of the negative downward spiral that can be caused by too much daily stress particularly for those of us who are rushing through busy, high-tech days with too many bad moods,” she said.

“Being mindful can transform your experience of stress, your enjoyment of life, and the quality of your relationships.”

The ladies were treated to food, champagne and slices for lunch.

Local artist Sandie Wilson spoke about following her life’s passion. She said that art helped her deal with the sadness in her life, and that she has found enjoyment in sharing her passions with others.

Sandie runs a pottery/sculpture workshop once a year on her property which anyone can join. She often spends her most enjoyable days with her family doing artwork.

She’s very supportive of those interested in the arts and has a real passion for seeing the arts in Goondiwindi grow.

Kate Woodhead’s talk had the audience in stitches. She reminded locals not to give up on their dreams and told them it is never too late to grow, and do something new.

Kate, who was a bookkeeper/grain trader most of her life, changed her path two years ago when she followed her dream of beocoming a fitness instructor. 

Fitness is something she has used to get through tough times and Kate says it is her antidote for good mental health.

The women were also invited throughout the day to paint a rock with another local artist – Natasha Benson. Natasha thought this was quite symbolic, as women are often considered ‘the rocks’ of their families and their communities.

Each woman was asked to choose a rock and paint it in any way they liked. The rocks will now be used as part of an instillation in a community garden in Goondiwindi.

“These incredible women Chantal, Vanessa, Natasha, Kate and Sandie are all examples of the strong, smart, creative rural women and we are so lucky to have adding vibrancy to the Goondiwindi community!” Kirsty said.

“I was just lucky they agreed to come along and speak at our event – making it an incredibly enjoyable and meaningful day for all those who attended.”