Strathalbyn is set to host this year's South Australian Rural Women's Gathering

Carolyn Jeffrey is the founder of the Women in Business Regional Network which has a chapter in Strathalbyn.
Carolyn Jeffrey is the founder of the Women in Business Regional Network which has a chapter in Strathalbyn.

Strathalbyn is set to host this year's South Australian Rural Women's Gathering.

There is an air of excitement among a small group of women in Strathalbyn who have taken on the challenge to organise the event.

Chair, Leonie Broadbridge, said the excitement was tempered with a healthy dose of trepidation but they are very keen.

The SA Rural Women's Gathering (SARWG) has been happening in country towns around SA for more than 20 years, with last year's held at Minlaton on Yorke Peninsula. It is a hugely popular event and has a loyal following.

The aim is to bring women together from all sectors of regional and rural communities for a long weekend of fun, friendship and activities. Each year the event is organised by a new local committee so each one is individual, and has a distinct 'flavour'. The nearest ones to Strathalbyn previously have been Goolwa and Mount Barker.

The 2019 event is to be held in and around Strathalbyn on October 11 to 13. The theme is Connect, Inspire, Discover.

"We are expecting 200 women to converge on Strath for a program of guest speakers, workshops and tours," Leonie said.

"One of the things we are confident about is the range of activities we will be able to offer.

"Our community and district is full of talented, interesting people and we will be asking them to share their talents and stories with our guests.

"We need to have about 70 workshop choices available as there are potentially five timeslots in the program and we will only be able to achieve that with the support of our communities."

Activities will include art and craft, wellness and growth, information and education - and just plain fun.

"We are looking for people to teach new skills, from sourdough bread making, to belly dancing, from how to manage technology, to beekeeping and everything in between!

"If anyone has skills or a passion they would like to share please get in touch."

Some seed funding is provided by the SARWG Association, and participants pay to attend however, additional funding is being sought to keep registration fees affordable.

"With this in mind we will be rolling out a three tiered sponsorship program and approaching government, businesses and industry for financial support.

"We will also be looking for in-kind support from small businesses and we have a range of items and services we are looking to source.

"We will be endeavouring to spread the economic benefits across our community with fees for venues, catering, and even transport. And of course our accommodation providers will also benefit.

"We are hoping to deliver an interesting, entertaining and fun weekend that sends women home refreshed and invigorated, with some new friends and contacts and with an appreciation of what Strathalbyn and districts has to offer as a destination.

"There's a lot of work to do and we would appreciate any offers of help or support, closer to the time we hope to be able to offer some local ladies a 'day' pass to attend workshop sessions.

To find out more check out the Facebook page (Strathalbyn SARWG 2019) or you can email Leonie at pbroad-bridge@bigpond.com.

Carolyn Jeffrey is the founder of the Women in Business Regional Network which has a chapter in Strathalbyn.

Comments