Supporting women’s wellbeing in remote Queensland

  • Wheel of well being banners
  • tents outback driving and woman with teardrop banner

Photos: Centacare CQ

Two recent gatherings of women from rural and remote Queensland provided opportunities for the participants to support each other and to work on their resilience and wellbeing.

At both events - the Queensland Regional, Rural and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN) conference in Emerald and the Channel Country Ladies Day (CCLD) in Jundah - the Central Highlands Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs expanded their audience and facilitated Wheel of Wellbeing activities.

The Wheel of Wellbeing (WoW) is a framework, informed by international research and positive psychology, which can assist individuals, groups and communities to increase their capacity for happiness. By outlining simple and easy strategies that can be implemented every day, the WoW framework is an excellent tool for helping us all to be happier, healthier and more mentally resilient.

The QRRRWN conference brought together women from across regional, rural and remote Queensland to undertake professional and personal development and share stories of resilience and success; while the Channel Country Ladies Day brought together women from Queensland’s Channel Country and was an opportunity to gather and relax. For women who live in one of Australia’s most isolated areas it was a time to focus on themselves for a weekend.

At the QRRRWN conference, Victoria Homer and Glenys Ryan presented two workshops, introducing participants to the Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs model and WoW. They then focussed on one aspect of the Wheel of Wellbeing – People: Connect - and discussed the importance of relationships and strong connections. This was followed up with an activity ‘Curious Carousel’ in which people in pairs completed statements corresponding to each aspect of the wheel.

"The activity enabled me to deeply connect with someone very quickly as there was no small talk to get in the way"

Jundah, the location of this year’s CCLD, is approximately seven hours drive west from Emerald. Hub volunteers Lyndal Spackman and Kim Tompson headed out to deliver WoW activities, supported by CentacareCQ Counsellor Elaine Ace. The team set up a ‘wellbeing tent’, a pop-up space for women to sit and relax or to participate in WoW activities, and included a ‘gratitude station’ with letter writing materials for women to write to someone who had inspired them over the weekend.

Lyndal and Kim delivered Laughter Yoga, meditation and reflection, and a ‘Place: Take Notice’ activity.  This domain of the Wheel of Wellbeing is about finding beauty in unexpected places, reflecting on experiences in order to appreciate what matters. The activity involved small groups reflecting on a place where they felt relaxed, describing where it was, who was with them, and the  smells, sounds, sights, and feelings of the experience.

"I was really moved by the meditation as I realised that no matter what is going on in your life you can stay constant and the power comes from within."

Both these gatherings were great opportunities to focus on wellbeing and resilience in rural Queensland, with women supporting each other to acknowledge their strengths and re-energise for the challenges to come.

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