A small group of farming women in Cowell have attended the first ‘Weather the Storm’ workshop in the area.
The workshop, delivered by Women Together Learning (WoTL), is about supporting agricultural women to prepare for dry times.
The program was co-organised by Franklin Harbour District Council wellbeing coordinator Jasmin Piggott and Eyre Peninsula Family and Business Support team member Helen Lamont, with funding from the council and state government.
Facilitators Felicity Turner and Jeanette Long led the women in a series of group activities to discuss the financial and emotional burden of the dry conditions and how to build resilience.
Ms Turner said the workshop aimed to “acknowledge the stresses they’re going through,” with women often taking significant responsibility for family finances.
She said she hoped the interactive program would encourage the women to build a network with one another beyond the two to three sessions with the facilitators.
Helen Lamont said reaching out to women would likely see a positive impact on the men and children as well.
“If you build the resilience of the women, you build the resilience of the farming family,” she said.
Jasmin Piggott said the women of Cowell were often very “hands-on” in farming families, and it was important to include them in discussions around farming.
She said it felt like they were five months behind in holding the workshop which was designed for before hard times hit, but that it would improve the town’s ability to manage the long recovery process.
Mrs Piggott has been busy in her first few weeks as wellbeing coordinator, and is hoping new funding can prolong the emphasis on community wellbeing beyond her three month term.
“It’s not going to be finished by December,” she said.