Here I am, sitting in the airport at 3pm on Wednesday 9th November 2016, having finished the face to face part of my journey with the Young Rural Women’s Muster, hosted by the National Rural Women’s Network- a peak advisory body with a mission to empower and enhance the lives and capabilities of women in regional, rural and remote Australia. I sit here utterly exhausted, yet absolutely empowered and invigorated. I have been shown the power and potential I have always held within myself yet never recognized.
What an amazing experience to have been on, the 15 other inspirational and diverse women from across Australia, I have spent the last 3 days with have truly inspired and supported me, and I thank them for committing so fully to this experience- it’s not often you can spend 3 days with women and have only acceptance and encouragement.
Let me give to a brief overview of some of the amazing things I have learnt over the last few days;
That there is no particular age, stage or time to become a leader- the time is now, the time is when you find something you want to change or achieve. As the inspiring Cathy McGowan said (one of many profound comments from herself and other incredible women we met with)- “Standing up and speaking up for important issues is not an optional extra”
Leadership can be taken up by anyone in any position so if you find something that you are passionate about do it now
” Leadership is about using power and authority to influence others to make progress on the things that matter” Meredith Turnbull
And absolutely everyone has power- it is about figuring out what it is and how to use it
Meeting with the plethora of influential women at Parliament House was a gobsmacking experience like;
Rebekah Sharkie ” just give it a go”
Cathy McGowan “opening yourself up to leadership is a life of adventure”
Fiona Nash “don’t let anyone tell you as a Mum, you can’t do it”
Tanya Plibersek ” don’t be afraid to fail, don’t be afraid to be embarrassed”
I’ve learnt the difference between being effective rather than busy, (note to self- work on that)
The potential and power we as women hold in our hands, and most importantly- that there are some amazing young women out there ready o stand behind each other and be peer mentors, sounding boards and a cheer squad. Here’s to the amazing women I have met on this journey- from the facilitators and hosts to the ones that were in the thick of it with me- we as women are unstoppable!