By JACINTA CUMMINS
THE Murilla Community Centre’s seventh Women’s Wellness Day drew around 200 women, volunteers and stallholders, from the local area right through to Dalby, Goondiwindi, Chinchilla, Wandoan and Roma on Wednesday, August 31.
Murilla Community Centre’s Cecily Brockhurst said the event’s success was the result of hours of behind-the-scenes work by staff and volunteers as well as generous support from major sponsors Senex Energy and Jemena.
“Today is about celebrating local women and giving them time to stop and just be present,” Cecily said.
“Women are often so busy juggling multiple roles from raising children and caring for elderly family members or friends to working on the land or in town to volunteering for local organisations or events, that they rarely get time for themselves.
“As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup, so this is about allowing them to fill their own cups and just enjoy each other’s company.”
Moonie’s Benita Bensch spoke about her journey of being an overachiever and constantly raising expectations for herself and presenting like she “had it all” while she was amidst an unseen battle of inner chaos.
Mrs Bensch said this is a common scenario for many women, especially those in rural areas.
She shared her experiences from struggling to conceive to becoming a mother and outwardly nailing motherhood before realising she was on autopilot and not present in day-to-day life.
But her key message was inspiring.
“We grow up telling ourselves stories and we have beliefs entrenched from our early childhood about what is right or wrong and this self-talk can have a huge influence on our day-to-day lives,” she said.
“Often we don’t even realise the stories we are telling ourselves but we have the power to edit them and with work and time we can do this to create better outcomes.
“We so often look at the physical aspect of wellness, but it is the work that we do on our mental, emotional and spiritual health which most dictates our physical health.
“At the end of the day, we need to be compassionate to ourselves and aim for progress rather than perfection.”
The women enjoyed lunch and were able to browse both community service and shopping stalls, but the highlight for many was a fashion parade by Lisa Kennedy Collections with a contingent of Condamine ladies modelling clothes selected with the lifestyle of rural women in mind.
The Queensland Country Women’s Association’s (QCWA) Country Kitchens also demonstrated simple yet effective ways for people to incorporate healthier options into their diet as part of a better lifestyle.
Senex Energy Community Relations Manager Trevor Robertson presented on Senex’s $1 billion investment to expand its Atlas and Roma North natural gas developments in the Surat Basin.
The expansion will boost Senex’s gas production to 60 petajoules (PJ) a year; which is about 40 per cent of Queensland’s annual domestic gas requirements. Importantly, it will also inject more than $200 million into local businesses and regional areas to continue supporting events like this one.
“Senex is committed to long-term community partnerships that promote vibrant and sustainable communities and we are delighted to again support the Women’s Wellness Day,” Trevor said.
“As one of the few men brave enough to attend today, it’s wonderful to see this event giving women time to stop, recharge and enjoy themselves.”
Stephen Coghlan is a Commercial Manager for Gas Markets with Jemena and travelled up from Melbourne to speak about Jemena’s long-term commitment to the area.
“Jemena plays a key role in the resource industry as owners and operators of open access infrastructure in the area and as part of this, the company is here for the long term and wants to give back to the region,” he said.
Just like the resource companies which power our industry and communities, the Women’s Wellness Day reinvigorated and reenergised many local women to continue their valuable role in their families, businesses and the community.