Margie & Fiona were overwhelmed by the warm support they received in Orange, Dubbo, Coonabarabran and Tamworth. Here they write about their visit and some of the heart-warming stories they heard, delivering Your Life Matters: Out West workshops.
“After travelling by car, bus and the Quest Tarago we arrived in Orange on Sunday night. This enabled us to be up bright and early on Monday morning to conduct our first day of Your Life Matters workshops on our tour out West. While the crowd was small, they were engaged with the workshop and we had a rewarding day filled with stories of great loss and trauma, but also with hope.
Margie was overly impressed with the smart board and has put in a request that we purchase one for Quest!
The next day we travelled to Dubbo in readiness for our day with a lovely group of a dozen people at the Milestone Hotel.
We were privileged to hear so many stories of trauma, hardship, and loss. Loss of loved ones on the land in tragic circumstances, loss of hope during drought and the mouse plague, the pain of isolation and the monumental effort it takes to keep families going during times of crisis. What incredibly resilient and courageous people we meet on these tours!
We travelled on to Coonabarabran where, largely thanks to DPI support worker, Sue Freebairn, we had 23 women from the land and town, at the very country style ‘bowlo’…for a day of sharing and learning together.
Women spoke of their exhaustion, being the ‘glue’ that holds communities together and the emotional and financial strain that rural challenges place on their lives. What brave and generous women! One woman lost her husband tragically and has been left to raise their children as a single parent. During the break, a lady said to Margie,
‘I’m so happy that I sat next to her as I lost my husband in similar circumstances 20 years ago. I think I can help…”
How wonderful and precious those unexpected encounters with people who truly ‘get us’ can be? They plan to stay in touch.
On to Tamworth where we had a great day with another enthusiastic group. One gentleman who attended the workshop, drove 3 hours from his property after hearing Petrea being interviewed by Macca on ABC Radio. All our participants in Tamworth had experienced loss of loved ones in recent times and were struggling with grief and making sense of things. The participants expressed their gratitude for the day. It is often a rare thing to take time out of our busy day to reflect on how we might be living our lives and to consciously decide on making some positive changes.
Overall, the feedback was unanimous. People appreciated that Quest made the effort to bring the workshops to the west and people felt profoundly grateful. They took away hope along with a host of practical tools for managing their challenges more skilfully.”
Margie and Fiona
Your Life Matters: Out West continues in June and July at these venues – we’d love to see you there!
21 June – Lightning Ridge Bowling Club
22 June – Moree Services Club
23 June – Narrabri RSL
24 June – Quirindi RSL
19 July – Bourke, Diggers on the Darling
21 July – Broken Hill Civic Centre
22 July – Wilcannia Shire Hall
23 July – Cobar Bowling & Golf Club
Or learn more about Quest for Life’s Training Workshops for Organisations and Communities, which provide support and inspiration for communities dealing with the trauma of natural disasters.
If you would like to make a difference to communities experiencing trauma, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Quest for Life.