More than 50 women from a vast swathe of northern and western Queensland left the drought behind for a weekend of fun at the Kooroorinya Races Reserve near Prairie. They packed swags and cocktail wear and converged on the bush racetrack from as far afield as Richmond, Hughenden, Longreach, Charters Towers, Moranbah and Clermont for a fabulous program of relaxation and good times. With the byline of “weather or not”, the inaugural Kooroorinya Ladies Weekend was an idea that was born over a few smokos. Many email conversations later the event started to take shape. Participants had the chance to enjoy a range of activities and get away from the everyday realities of life on the land. For the past three years these women and their families have been dealing with the ongoing effects of drought, destocking their properties and hand-feeding the remaining cattle and sheep to maintain condition. More than 80 percent of Queensland is currently in this situation and this event was a great way for the women to destress and express their creativity.
Belly dancing, card making, tie dying and creating fascinators out of bras were some of the fun activities on the program. With input from Mental Illness Fellowship NQ and Joy McClymont from Off The Track Training the event also focused on mental health and physical wellbeing. With hairdressers, massage therapists and beauty consultants on site and no drought talk, the women were able to relax as they enjoyed the pampering experience during the day. Following campfire cocktails in the evening and a night under the stars, everyone went home with smiles on their faces and big plans for next year.