It is no secret that women do things differently. We are collaborators, talkers, doers. We voluntarily lead community groups in bushfire recovery, are on committees, distribute information, organize things, advocate, etc. A lot of women doing these things don’t necessarily see themselves as leaders. We do!
The Firefoxes team marvels at the amazing achievements of women across fire effected communities. The collective wisdom we have gathered over the years is invaluable and worth sharing!
We also hear women leading recovery say how tired they are and how they wished there were other people who ‘get it’ to share ideas with and support them through this challenging time.
In Winter of 2011, 50 women from across Victoria’s fire affected areas signed up for the FIREFOXES ‘Women Leading Change’ retreat. They committed to challenge and be challenged, to share, support, engage, laugh, affirm, relax, learn and talk. This supportive, rejuvenating and very relevant weekend away left these women energized, excited, and with new tools to continue with their wonderful work!
The Women Leading Change Program:
- Increased the capacity of women affected by the Black Saturday bush-fire’s to participate in community leadership and play and ongoing role in (re) building sustainable communities;
- Enabled Firefoxes Australia to strengthen their resource base and raise their profile as ambassadors for disaster-affected women in leadership;
- Shared a model of local resilience for fire-affected communities;
- Acknowledged the importance of grassroots leadership in rebuilding communities;
- Developed the personal and professional capacity of 50 fire-affected women and encouraged them to continue with their valuable recovery work;
- Provided women with the skills, tools and connections to continue their community based work;
- Provided 50 women with a greater understanding of their role as leaders in the community;
- Provided the space and support for women to develop a personal leadership strategy and vision for their community
Instilled pacing, coping, and self care strategies in women so they can better manage their energy and respond appropriately in the different stages of recovery.