Watershed Women provides 0pportunities for up-skilling!

Published 17th June 2022. Written by Maddison O’Brien

Watershed Landcare facilitates some special interest groups which meet regularly to explore different topics of interest directed by members. One such group you may have heard of is Watershed Women! Watershed Women has been running for a few years now to support women in the region by providing mentoring, professional development, and social connectedness. The women involved have diverse backgrounds, from grazing and horticulture to running their food manufacturing plants and natural resource management. Watershed Women are always open to new members dropping in to see what it’s all about. You can meet new people and pick up some relevant new skills and knowledge along the way.

Census data show that women comprised 32% of Australia’s agricultural workforce in 2016. Today, they produce at least 48% of real farm income in Australia. Kennedy Porter, the new coordinator for Watershed Women, recognises this is one of the reasons why the group is important. “Women have always had a crucial role on Australian farms. Groups like Watershed Women provide a useful network where women can be heard and access support to create more opportunities. Some of us are mums, some work full-time on the farm, and some are only part-time or just starting a business. It’s nice just to sit down with a cuppa after learning something new and chat about what has been going on and where we’re going. We can help each other in that way.”

Watershed Women’s last meeting was at Spencer Cocoa learning about how the chocolate is made and how Luke Spencer has formed relationships with growers in Vanuatu and supports them to grow the best quality cocoa.

Women in the region are invited to the next meeting on Friday the 1st of July to do a farm fencing workshop with Katie Doherty. Katie Doherty is a rural lifestyle coach, a farmer, and a mum! She has taken to social media to share her insights and knowledge to provide support to people living on the land. Watershed Landcare is lucky to have Katie join us for a casual introduction to farm fencing, perfect for women striving to learn basic skills and how to use fencing tools. As a lifestyle coach, Katie is inspired to empower people to reach their true potential and clarify what they truly want. Come along and catch up with like-minded women and get the chance to ask Katie about any other farm life queries you might have. Even if you’re experienced with fencing, you might pick up a new technique or have some insights to share with the group.

In the next few months, Watershed Women will be hosting a power tools workshop and will get a tour of Mudgee Cheese Co High Valley, with insights from the owners on how they have achieved success as a business.

We hope to see you there; head to watershedlandcare.com.au/events to register and find out more.