The fun started at Sydney Airport, where the trio experienced the delights of flying Rex Regional Express, which is routinely bumped from slots so is usually delayed, then onto Parkes – Elvis capital of Australia – for the night. By this stage, Jessica, Phoebe and Claire had already found multiple connections and had many laughs.
The next morning the trio set off in a large 4WD for the hour-long drive to Condoblin where they were guest speakers at the Central West Farming Systems Rural and Regional Women and Youth in Agriculture Conference.
Claire Braund, Phoebe Lane and Jessica Rowe at Central West Farming Systems Rural and Regional Women and Youth in Agriculture Conference.
Organised by long-time WOB member and Condoblin local, Diana Fear, the conference was organised around the theme of ‘Resilient, Resourceful & Remarkable’ and brought together around 150 women from Wagga to Walgett to be foster leaders among women and youth in agriculture and the wider community.
The keynote speakers were invited as ‘inspirational women who have changed the status quo’. Up first, Claire spoke on her story and lessons learnt from her life growing up on the and how this shaped the values which have sustained her throughout her career and the ups and downs of life. She calls them The Five R’s
- Building Resilience
- Taking Responsibility
- Having Respect
- Sustaining Relationship
- Being Real
Phoebe and Jessica then shared their stories of how they had achieved success – the former founding a large and very successful recruitment firm from her farm, and the latter reinventing her career after years of breakfast television and battling with post-natal depression. The three then jumped back into the car for their ride back to Parkes (and Rex) dodging a grassfire along the way.
Claire said that spending time with two successful women who do not take themselves too seriously and know how to empower others, laugh at themselves and have fun, was a wonderful 24-hour tonic that should be taken more often!