Greetings from Womenspace
Welcome to our September 2023 Newsletter
A special welcome to new members – Dee, Diann, Gerhild, Jan, Leesa and Stephanie and to those who renewed their membership – Ann, Bernadette, Betsy, Bette, Francis, Gurmeed, Joy, Joyce, Karen, Kate, Kaye, Leanne, Reema, Sarah, Sophie and Usha.
To sustain and grow our organisation, we need a strong membership base – so once again, WELCOME and THANK YOU.
(Pour yourself a nice cool drink or a cuppa, it’s a bit of a read.)
Many thanks for contributions to our Garage Sale, Christmas Tree gifts, donations – our fundraising is slow but steady, and EVERY contribution matters. Your ideas over the break regarding fundraising, promotions of our activities and our beautiful VENUE are welcome.
Cuppa & Chat and Create & Chat Sessions
We are concluding the year on a high note – the growing strength of Cuppa&Chat and Create&Chat sessions, the Christmas Lunch and the performance ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ filled Womenspace with another strong dose of positivity, feelings of belonging, and support for each other. At times it feels like ‘coming home’ for a few hours. We are a generous, considerate, fun-loving mob, listening, sharing and most of the times responding appropriately – we learn from experiences when we could have done better and go on with a spring in the step. We laugh a lot.
Enjoy the break – we’re looking very much forward to seeing you back – refreshed and ready to face and enjoy 2024!
What were we up to since the last newsletter and where does it lead us in the new year?
Suellen and Ludmila attended the Mental Health Expo at Sandgate District High School and connected with school’s staff. We hope to begin collaborations with staff and students through our offerings of drawing workshops and Yoga Nidra sessions for after school activities in the new year.
Women, Young Women & Soup
Two sets of five weekly workshops Women, Young Women and Soup for Mums&Daughters was a thoroughly happy experience with various arts&crafts and soup at the end of each session. It was wonderful to realise the number of Womenspace members who were happy to donate their time and skills to make this series so successful. Thank you!
We are looking forward to the return of these sessions in February 2024.
Drawing for Enjoyment
Two sets of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain six-week sessions benefited the brave ones who stuck with it and enjoyed the brain twists it included. Discussions inspired a new offering for 2024 – ‘Drawing for Enjoyment’ – still life drawings with Suellen Howarth.
Yoga Nidra had a slow start, but the interest is growing and there will be a new timetable in the new year to allow people to come to the class after work/before dinner – and start the evening refreshed, leaving work related thoughts behind. Maybe with a cuppa in our lovely garden afterwards (thank you Rhyll and garden fairies).
Yoga Nidra requires nothing of the intellect, rather the simple following of instructions provided during the practice. The relaxation deepens as the practitioner becomes familiar with the instructions and is able to maintain awareness throughout the practice without being distracted by a busy mind.
Daily practice of Yoga Nidra is a way of establishing that deep relaxation. The subtle shift from concentration of thought to focused awareness is facilitated by this daily practice.
In light of this Womenspace is offering five sessions of Yoga Nidra for $60 as a gift to begin 2024 with a calmer mind. A suitable time for five consecutive nights will be confirmed in the new year (each session is approximately one hour).
SMS 0434 357 862 and we will call you to confirm payment details and address where we should post the GIFT Voucher.
Gifts! Womenspace received a gift – a performance – from Anne, Bettina and Deborah. Thank you. A beautiful full moon night of storytelling, poetry and wonder – ‘Stories of the Moon, Love and Mystery’, followed the monthly full moon gatherings with singing bowls at the Sandgate waterfront. What a nice way to fundraise!
Rewilding the Voice with Frankie Armstrong.
WOMENSPACE is delighted to present a Day Workshop, ‘Rewilding the Voice’, with FRANKIE ARMSTRONG – “The Godmother of the Natural Voice movement” on Sunday 24th March 2024, 10am – 4pm in Sandgate.
It might still be three months ahead of us, but if you are interested, let us know asap: firstname.lastname@example.org
This ‘Rewilding the Voice’ workshop will not be about learning songs, rather it will be exploring vocal styles, such as snake lullabies, goat milking songs, mountain hollers, and of course working in the fields. There will be no right or wrong, just the joy of exploration.
Fee $80. Places are limited to 20 women.
On Tuesday 26th March Frankie Armstrong will be joined by Ann Bermingham and Sarah Hopkins in an intimate concert at Womenspace – mark your diaries!
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, 26th October 2023
In case you didn’t attend the AGM, here is the Chair’s report (please remember everything we’ve done since July 2023 will be in the next report!):
We welcomed Diann Squire as a general member of the Womenspace Management Committee.
The position of Ludmila Doneman as Chair, Ann Ingamells as Secretary and Kathryn Edmonson as Treasurer remain unchanged.
CHAIR’s Report for July 2022 – June 2023
July 2022 was spent in preparations for the Celebration of Womenspace’s 25th Anniversary. It was a time filled with positive energy – creating the ceramic version of our Spiral for the outside wall. We were under the pressure to have it fired, painted, mounted in time, together with creating the 6 posters focused on highlights of the Womenspace’s history – and we made it!
The Anniversary Celebration highlighted the generosity of our membership, the importance of stories past and present, and the beauty of our place and its environment. It was well attended, re-connecting with members of various generations.
The energy of the September celebrations filled the first third of the financial year and reduced the disappointment of losing both yoga workshops and other initiatives and bookings due to a general feeling of uncertain times. Later in the year this situation re-set with the arrival of Mahjong Sandgate, the Laughter Club and space hire from outside.
The weekly Cuppa&Chat strengthened in numbers and content, the monthly Full Moon events returned, and all the other weekly and monthly gathering progressed successfully, including three series of Writing Workshops; eight evenings of Women Weaving Stories (including presentations from a number of younger women), a successful outcome of the collaboration with Jabiru students, and recognition from Kedron Wavell Community Grant program to extend our work building the intergenerational relationships.
Our statistics lifted from last year: over 1,600 women on our mailing list; 3,200 Facebook followers; 160 to 180 visits to our space per month – attending Create&Chat sessions, two Book clubs, Garden club and the gatherings mentioned above. We have 86 current/paid members of Womenspace.
Office Coordinator Karen Kaydee Dickson worked with us for exactly the 12 months this report covers. We thank her for her contribution to streamlining the office procedures. Further thanks to our management committee members who are not re-nominating: Kim Sambrooks, whose contribution to the 25th Anniversary Celebration was significant, and Lyn Hickey, who dedicated time to the Womenspace management committee for a number of years – as a Treasurer and last year as a general member.
Thanks to the Secretary Ann Ingamells and Treasurer Kate Edmiston for their work beyond the duty descriptions, Ann especially for facilitating the Women Weaving Stories and Writing Workshops. Without their support I wouldn’t be able to fulfill the role of a Chair. Your re-nominating for 2023-24 is greatly appreciated!
We acknowledge the support of Sterling Hinchliffe MP and Councillor Jared Cassidy and their friendly staff.
Thanks to all who contributed to the wellbeing of Womenspace with their group facilitation, donation, care, and time – Kaye Abel, Moya Burridge, Barbara Wilson, Rhyll Pearson, Janette Hughes, Linda Coster, Denise van Gerrisheim, Karen Roberts, Sam Edwards and others.
Just to finish the 2022-23, in June:
- We confirmed the appointment of our new Office Coordinator Georgia Woods and found a new tenant, Suellen Howarth. Our other tenant, Sharon Carroll, owner of the Double Two dress shop celebrated her 25th anniversary in this venue!
- We found a visioning board created in the years when Womenspace didn’t have a home but despite that had brave dreams and strong beliefs which over a decade became a reality. Inspired by that we began a process of dreaming about the next stage of Womenspace’s growth. We gave ourselves a year to test and formulate a plan of developing a strategy to become stronger and more independent – we have 9 months to go.
I am calling to members of this meeting, and through you to members of the wider 4017 community to recognise and evaluate the existence of this organisation in your life and as a community resource.
I appreciate you value and trust my contribution to Womenspace as Chair of the Management Committee, I would be happy to collaborate with others who are ready to start building experiences and skills needed for transitioning as within the next 12 months we need new leadership!
WHAT’S ON AT WOMENSPACE
(for more information follow our Facebook and website)
Wednesday 10.00 – 11.30am: Cuppa & Chat ( a gold coin donation please). Returns 31st January 2024.
Thursday 9am – 1pm: Mahjong Sandgate ($10 including morning tea; new members welcome). Returns 11th January 2024.
Thursday 6.00 – 7.00pm: Yoga Nidra (Bring a mat, $12 – members $10 – enquiries 0439 381 492). Returns 1st February 2024.
Friday 1.00 – 3.00pm: Create & Chat (a gold cold donation please – and at times a small contribution to materials). Returns 2nd February 2024.
MONTHLY – COMMENCES FEBRUARY 2024:
Tuesday of the 1st week of the month 7 – 9pm: Book Club with Linda (sms 0466 306 699).
Friday of the 1st week of the month 3 – 5pm: Garden Club with Rhyll (sms 0438 521 359).
Friday of the last week of the month at 10.00 – 11.30am: Book Club with Kaye (0429 002 037).
Saturday of the 1st week of the month 10 – 11am: LAUGHTER Club with Helen Suchting
(sms 0403 124 504).
FULL MOON walk, gazing and drumming – Saturday, 24 February 2024 – meeting at 6pm on the grass area on the foreshore near First Avenue (sms 0434 357 862).
Women Weaving Stories – will RETURN in March 2024.