Dowerin prepares to host WIFE event

01 Aug, 2018 11:50 AM
The Nationals WA leader Mia Davies at the 2016 WIFE event at Ongerup.
The Nationals WA leader Mia Davies at the 2016 WIFE event at Ongerup.

THE Women In Farming Enterprises (WIFE) annual seminar will this year be hosted by its Dowerin branch.

The event at the Dowerin Community Club, on Tuesday, September 18, will focus on diversity, innovation and well-being.

WIFE was formed in 2009 by a group of people in Varley who saw a need for a professional and supportive network for women in rural areas with a connection to agriculture.

Born out of an idea to promote WIFE during those early years, the first seminar was held at Varley in 2012.

The network has expanded across WA and the groups share resources, ideas and information to ensure farm businesses’ profitability, sustainability and the health and well-being of those living rurally and working in agriculture.

The WIFE network has expanded from one branch and 30 members to 14 branches and more than 200 members.

The Dowerin branch was the first to establish itself out of the Great Southern area where most other WIFE branches are located.

WIFE Dowerin chairwoman Kezia Metcalf said this year Dowerin had the chance to bring women from across the State together to address issues in diversity, innovation and well-being.

“Each branch has the opportunity to host the annual event and the Dowerin branch put their hand up last year,” Ms Metcalf said.

“It’s a great way to give exposure to the community and surrounding towns.”

Ms Metcalf said she went to the Ongerup event last year and she was impressed with the way WIFE Ongerup showcased their town and the area.

The Dowerin branch has been working hard to provide a seminar that has a good range of topics which will be interesting to women in farming.

“It’s not just for farmers, but for women in farming enterprises, for example those running non-farming businesses in regional towns would be welcome and valuable member,’’ she said.

This year’s event’s main speaker is Esperance shark attack survivor Sean Pollard who will be talking about how he has been innovative in living his life after the attack and how he ended up at the winter Olympics.

Wesley Lefroy, Rabobank, will be presenting on innovation, diversification and the international agricultural econony.

Ms Metcalf said WIFE was about learning a lot from other people’s knowledge.

“It’s just so handy if you are a woman who has come from a non-agricultural background and they are thrown into the office without much knowledge of ag,” she said.

“We are trying to spread the word about what WIFE is about and how easy it is to set up your own branch and learn from each other.

“The concept is about sharing ideas and experiences in terms of an agricultural office.”

With only 120 tickets available for the event, Ms Metcalf said it was certain to sell out.

Ticket sales open on August 19 with limited places available.

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