Channel Country Ladies Day
Connecting and celebrating outback women
This project was founded through collaboration between ten local government areas in remote Queensland, bringing in participants from 24 drought-affected communities including the areas of Barcaldine, Barcoo, Bulloo, Blackall-Tambo, Diamantina, Longreach, Winton, Quilpie, Paroo and Murweh.
The Channel Country Ladies Day has taken place annually since its first iteration in 2012. Sustainable funding partners and governance have maintained its operation.
Women of all ages, from drought-affected areas of rural and regional Queensland participate in workshops of varied artistic and creative practices including singing, photography, fashion and fitness. The project provides a space for women living in drought affected areas to come together and participate in services that would improve their mental health and wellbeing.
“To see the 200 women come and have the most wonderful time. They learn so much and they all go home on a high and they are ready to start again. It’s about the recharging of the energies that happens through these events and the inspiration that comes out of it all. That’s really significant” – Louise Campbell, Red Ridge (Interior Queensland) Limited
The workshops are many and varied, providing women with unique ways to reinterpret their life in the outback, challenging and broadening perspectives of what it means to be a woman in rural Australia.
Health services at the event give women time with a women’s health nurse and doctor for examinations and preventative health services, services they would have otherwise needed to travel hours into town for.
The creative programs offer a selection of arts-based activities which cater to a variety of interests and skill levels. This allows women to gain skills in creative practices and encouraged self-discovery and ongoing participation in the arts.
For many women, the project has been a life-changing experience. Participants gained the confidence to take their ideas and set up a business, or join or create recreational clubs for art, sport or music. In 2021, the project collaborated with ‘Red Ridge the Label’, a First Nations fashion label based in Central Western Queensland to put on a catwalk event. This is now an ongoing partnership.