Inspiring and connecting women has been at the heart of WoW (Women of Warwick) since its inception in October 2013.
“Synergies happen when women talk to each other,” co-founder Sue Hamlet says. “I saw the potential of bringing women together for empowering, connecting and inspiring breakfasts. Women have made friends, been inspired to grow and to change direction in their lives, and it has acted as a catalyst for better self-care, knowledge increase, and community involvement.
WoW was inspired by Corinne Butler who had attended the Border Women in Business event in Goondiwindi for many years.
“I thought to myself, ‘I wish that I had one of these events in Warwick’,” Corinne said. “And then I thought, ‘If it is to be, it is up to me’, and from there the concept grew.” Corinne met with friends Sue Hamlet and Shannon Aspinall who were equally passionate about connecting women in the community, and soon the inaugural networking breakfast for women was planned.
The group invited Julia Keogh and Nicole Kane to attend the first event to see if they would like to come on board as well. Julia had already been dreaming of starting a similar event, so she was excited by the invitation. “I went along to the first breakfast event and thought this is everything I wanted it to be and more. Count me in.”Nicole had a similar reaction. “I loved the concept, and after attending the first breakfast I was hooked and wanted in on the action. I could see the impact that first day had on the roomful of ladies and wanted to be involved.”
She has not regretted her decision. “I love these ladies; they are so community orientated and have the biggest and most genuine hearts for our local ladies. They inspire me continuously and I have learnt so much from them.”
The WoW team strives to support women in the community using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: shelter, safety, belonging, esteem, and self-actualisation. “We support local café and restaurant businesses and run events with workplace health and safety plans in place,” Julia said. “We create an environment where women can make new connections, engage with local women who have stories we can all relate to, and challenge the ladies attending to see their own potential.”
The WoW breakfasts are just as meaningful to the organisers as they are to the attendees. “As a Mum and a business owner, I know how hard it is to fit in any ‘me’ time,” Nicole said. “This is like refueling the soul a little bit, getting a positive dose of hearing about someone’s bravery, someone’s triumph.”
The WoW team is excited about 2016 as they continue their breakfasts and `Uplift’ wellness days for women. “WoW guests will become more aware and informed,” Sue said, “and the ripples of inspiration will spread further out into the community with new initiatives and projects that inject energy throughout our region.”
Reprinted from Highlife Magazine – Words by Krista Bjorn | Image by Cory Rossiter