Desert Blue Connect empowers women to meet challenges

Lisa FavazzoGeraldton Guardian
Deb Clark (centre, white shirt) with participants at the May workshop.
Camera IconDeb Clark (centre, white shirt) with participants at the May workshop. Credit: Supplied

Leadership, money, self-esteem and work-life balance — these are four of the heaviest topics weighing on Mid West women’s shoulders, according to a Desert Blue Connect survey of more than 100 people from late last year.

Listening to the surveyed women, the Geraldton-based community organisation developed a workshop series to empower women in the ways they need it the most.

Halfway through the Women’s Empowerment Workshops, community initiative officer Sarah O’Malley says attendance was high and feedback positive.

Singer-songwriter Sarah O'Malley.
Camera IconSinger-songwriter Sarah O'Malley. Credit: Francesca Mann/The Geraldton Guardian, Francesca Mann

“We’re getting about 20 people per workshop and that’s about as much as we can cater for,” she said.

She described the workshops as “a holistic look at what it takes for somebody to live their best life”.

This month’s event, July 29, will be about leadership and public speaking, with conflict resolution coach Linley Cornish taking the reins.

“For me, being a leader is (just a) position. It’s about the willingness (to be) responsible for building potential,” Ms Cornish said.

“It requires bravery and courage.”

Linley Cornish will speak in Geraldton as part of a women’s empowerment series.
Camera IconLinley Cornish will speak in Geraldton as part of a women’s empowerment series. Credit: Supplied,

The May workshop, from Deb Clarke, was all about work-life balance.

“Women often take on the hidden load at home — unpaid work,” Ms O’Malley said, adding that while sometimes we “glamorise being busy”, it was vital to slow down and take care of yourself.

Kate Foster and Christie Collard ran the June workshop, which focused on self-esteem.

Ms O’Malley said participants remarked the event had reminded them self-confidence was a “muscle” and not a “switch”.

“(Confidence) is not like people are just born with it, it’s a skill you can work at,” she said.

October’s workshop is all about money, with Ms O’Malley saying financial independence was important for women’s overall wellbeing.

Tickets are still available for the last two events. Contact Desert Blue Connect for more details.

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