It’s ok to be different!

I am currently sitting in my hotel bed, it is 4.30am in Western Australia and 7.30am in Canberra where I am right now.  I have been so lucky to be selected to attend the Young Rural Women’s Muster, hosted by the National Rural Women’s Coalition in Canberra for 3 days.  It’s is an intensive leadership opportunity designed to bring together young women from rural, regional and remote Australia and give us some of the necessary skills to become leaders in our own communities.
While we are on the cusp of day 2 (a visit to Parliament House to meet some of the inspiring women in power in government) I thought I would share my (learning and physical) journey so far.  

On Thursday I set off with the boys to their dance rehearsal in town, ready to leave my home for a week to take them to their dance concert and then continue on my way to Perth and then Canberra.  The boys performed admirably at the dance concert and were exceedingly cute! Charlie of course ‘helped’ me pack

On the Saturday I left my children and drove the 4.5hours to Perth, then woke at 3.30am Sunday and flew to Sydney.  I was so lucky to meet up with my beautiful friends who were on a holiday, at Circular Quay, where I saw the Sydney Harbor bridge and the Opera House (and got sunburned).

After a short flight to Canberra I hopped into bed and got mentally ready to 1. wake at 3.30 the next morning and 2. start learning.

Bright and early on Monday morning the 15 other ladies and my self converged in the hotel conference room with the effervescent Meredith Turnbull and NRWC President Pat Hamilton.  What an inspiring and exciting day it was, the skills I learnt and the people I met are so diverse and brilliant in their own way.

Through Meredith’s guidance I have learnt so much, but what resonated with me the most is that it’s ok to stand alone, and be the person in the room that’s different, or quirky or the only voice for something. As what I see as often being a minority’s in where we live it can be so challenging to be the sole voice and so intimidating to be the youngest person in the room, so I found that so validating!

We explored getting around difficulties, and working with people that challenge us or put up roadblocks for us.  The simple solution? Asking questions when faced with adversity or push back or even resistance, simply ask the person you are struggling- tell me more? Or what makes you say that?

I feel empowered, enthusiastic and validated in what we are doing as women, as young people and as people in rural, regional and remote Australia.  Watch out we can change the world.    I leave you with this definition of leadership

“Leadership is using power and authority to influence others, to make progress in the things that matter”

One thought on “It’s ok to be different!

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