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Empower Profile: Janine Milne

Written by Rebecca Pickering – Country to Canberra Teen Blogger

A little over a year ago, I was incredibly lucky enough to meet the inspiring woman Janine Milne through my local Showgirl Quest. Between Janine being an Agriculture Science teacher, to her Next Gen involvement, as well as Showgirl and rural Ambassador envelopment, I began to wonder, is there anything this woman can’t do?

Janine grew up working primarily with cattle and pigs, and her love for agriculture dates back to before she can remember. Agriculture has followed Janine to her current job as an Agricultural Science teacher at Dalby, Qld, although a number of life changes made Janine realise her passion to become a teacher. Janine realised that there was more that she wanted to do in life than to continue driving a tractor every day for the rest of her life, and credits being a teacher as one of her greatest achievements.

“Being a teacher is such a rewarding job. You are able to prove to kids that they can do what they set out believing they can’t, and that’s definitely a highlight of the job!”

I asked Janine whether she believed the future of agriculture looked to be male dominated, and the answer was extremely unexpected.

“Definitely not! The future of agriculture is very rapidly changing, and every year I see more and more females in my senior agriculture classes and less males”.

This year in particular Janine has one male student in her senior agriculture class, a positive sign that young women are not scared of getting involved in the agriculture sector.

Janine credits the high community involvement of young women in agriculture for the increase of women undertaking careers in agriculture, such as Showgirl and Rural Ambassador.

When asked about some of the struggles faced by women in agriculture, Janine’s response made me realise how important self-belief truly is.

“The lack of self-belief is definitely a major struggle faced by women in agriculture. Women think that because it’s a male dominated area they can’t do it, but they just need to believe in themselves!”

Janine said that women need to be supportive of each other and help one another reach their own personal goals, and praises the women’s groups which promote young women to enter the agriculture sector.

I asked Janine what she would say to a young woman who wishes to enter the agriculture sector, and was truly inspired by her response.

“Just do it! Be open to all opportunities and take a hold of each and every one with two hands, and listen to everything everyone has to say. Be open about what you want to do, because there is such a diverse range of jobs out there, especially with technology emerging.

“And last of all, believe in yourself! If you have the right mindset, you can reach whatever goals you set!”

Regional Schools vs City Schools

SandyBy Sandy Bauer – Country to Canberra Teen Blogger

A recent question brought up for discussion during the HeyWire 2017 Regional Youth Summit was ‘Will regional schools ever be able to give country students the same opportunities as their city cousins?’

Well, I’ve got a few things to say on this matter.

I can relate to this topic having completed from year one to year twelve through distance education, which can be classified as a ‘regional school’. Throughout my schooling the government (through funding), and my teachers, always did the best to find ways to be able to give country students the same opportunities as our city cousins.

They are able to do this through out-sourcing teachers, sometimes from the city, that teach particular subjects from different schools, to be able to provide a wider range of subject choices to country children.

The schools do their best to team up with organisations to provide the students with state and overseas trips – enabling them to to expand their interests and knowledge regarding the history of particular places. By partnering with other organisations they are able to provide these trips to students and their families at affordable prices.

When I attended year twelve through NTOEC (Northern Territory Open Education Centre) the school offered me the opportunity to go on an overseas trip to Cambodia at a reasonable price. This trip was a ‘schoolies alternative,’ we spent almost two weeks over in two different parts of Cambodia, exploring markets, learning history and building houses to help the Tabitha Foundation.

Other organisations that help individual students to go above and beyond their interests and dreams is the ICPA (Isolated Children’s Parents Association) – they are constantly providing the students with bursaries through different companies such as ‘Elders’ and ‘Landmark’ to assistprovide aspiring students with funds to help them go further with their hobbies or study.

The downside that regional schools have is the fact that they are not able to provide extra learning opportunities on the spot.

City schools are able to send their students to different schools a certain day of the week so that they are able to do other studie,s such as trades. They are also able to provide students with a wide range of sporting activities due to having the facilities readily available. Whereas, country schools are only able to provide a ‘limited’ number of sports that students are able to excel at on a more local level.

I do believe that it wouldn’t be hard for country regional schools to be able to give exactly the same opportunities as our city cousins, however regional schools need to be provided with extra funding, to be able to further outsource different subjects and provide students with ‘additional’ learning areas and abilities.

When it comes to regional country schools I believe ‘you get out of it what you put into it.’

Therefore, if there are always organisations and teachers who care about improving how their country schools run compared to city schools – than there will always be changes and improvements to the system which continues to offer fantastic opportunities for regional kids.


Life is Like a Liquorice Allsort

15591035_1108479419250488_4907385342938978090_oWritten by Caitlin Heppner – Country To Canberra Teen Blogger

You’re probably asking yourself, how is life like a liquorice allsort?

Well, there is no wrong answer! To some it may mean something as simple as life is colourful and full of different tastes, to others it may be more meaningful!

So, here’s the challenge.

I want you to sit back and ask yourself, how is life like a liquorice allsort?

If you’re like me and the first word that comes into mind is yuk, then think a little deeper (although I totally agree!).  A liquorice allsort is made up of different layers, some which taste better than others *cough cough liquorice* and each layer represents a period of your life. To me as you journey through life, you pass from one layer to the next, passing from good to bad flavours, then back to good again. Sometimes you find a new flavour, a new layer! This represents a new adventure or period in your life, a new experience! At the first taste you are unsure of what to think or where this will lead you (back for another one maybe), then at the second bite of this new layer, you determine your feelings about this new flavour.

Sometimes the layers represent the happier and sadder times in your life; the brighter colours representing the best times you’ve had, while the black of the liquorice stands for darker memories. But one thing to take away from this, is that the bright always outnumbers the dark! If you don’t believe me, there is bound to be a pack waiting for you to take them home in your local supermarket!

For a creation made in the 1800’s, there is a lot to be taken from these intriguing sweets!

Now, it’s your turn.

How do you think life is like a liquorice allsort?

What lessons do you think we can learn?


Empower Profile: Katrina Sasse

I met the awesome Katrina Sasse last year in Adelaide, at the Australian Nuffield Farming Conference and knew straight away that she would make a perfect ‘Empower Profile’ on the Country to Canberra blog.  These profiles feature inspiring women and girls who are making waves and promoting empowerment in rural Australia.  We are thrilled to be able to share with you Katrina’s story. She is an amazing woman, on a fantastic journey in 2017 – enjoy the read!

Katrina-SasseKatrina Sasse, is from Morawa (near Geraldton) in Western Australia.  She is a 2017 Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarship recipient and has recently been announced as a finalist in the Western Australia Young Achiever Awards.  She will research “the way forward for daughters” and investigate strategies to encourage young women, particularly farmer’s daughters, to play an integral role in the continuity of family farm businesses, enabling them to survive and help rural communities thrive.


Give us some background about you, where do you live? What do you do? What did you do before farming?

I’m a twenty-nine year old female farmer and inspired farm daughter who returned from a city career to work in my parent’s business “Leichhardt Fields” in Canna, Western Australia. Prior to that I studied a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics and a Bachelor of Commerce at UWA and then worked with NAB Agribusiness in Melbourne in a role in Corporate Agribusiness.

Why did you get into farming?

Initially, I returned home to work seasonally for seeding and harvest after what I like to call my “quarter life crisis” and because my family farm provided flexibility, I could work seeding and harvest and travel the world in between. Until then I was trying to navigate my way in the high paced & pressured corporate world without really knowing if that was where I wanted to be. I had always been curious about working on the farm and my sister had just purchased land from my Grandfather which gave me inspiration thinking about the future of our parent’s farm which was next door to Grandad’s.

After thirteen years of living a city life I returned home to take on a new challenge, something to reinvigorate me and to inspire me – learning how to farm!!

What are some of the challenges involved with being a female farmer?

The greatest challenges are those to come. I believe women are still struggling to be taken seriously as capable farm successors and males are still being given priority in terms of opportunity to farm. I personally believe that just because I am a female does not mean that I can’t be a successful farmer and now that I have given it a go and realised how much of a wonderful and diverse career the farm can provide, why would I want to do anything else?

I have been encouraged my whole life to take a pathway other than the farm. I know there are other women out there like me who have struggled to find out what they want to do in life because they cannot live up to everyone’s expectations.

For the first time in my whole life I am comfortable, love my life and am happy because I see where my future is heading.

I believe if you are willing, you need to learn the skills, have a great mentor and role models and put your hand up as soon as possible to say you want the opportunity to farm. If you don’t the opportunity will slip by with lots of regrets and heart ache.

What do you think are some of the main struggles faced by girls living in regional and rural Australia, and what can we do to overcome them?

We must teach our young women that women in regional and remote Australia live a very fortunate life.

When you look at other countries, women are working the fields day to night, in very labour intensive jobs and cannot even rise above subsistence farming to feed themselves and their families. When our society rose out of development, farm life became a lot easier for women and their families.

I believe the world is your oyster.

There are endless opportunities awaiting us if we have the confidence to apply our strengths. I am sure the shift in technology, changing social norms, changes to family structures and industry funded women’s development agendas are paving the way for an even brighter future for women in regional communities.

As communities become smaller and families face new business challenges, we must remember what our community forefathers have brought us – our heartland is the bush and our country towns must remain there for our children. We have fantastic farming families who have been there for generations. We must relish in their success stories and think to the future, this is very important.

If a 16-year-old girl came to you, saying she wanted to be a farmer, what would you tell her?

I am sure I will be able to shed more light on this after my ‘Daughters in Ag’ study for Nuffield. I believe I will find that successful female farmers learned a trade/skill that will compliment farming. Or if you are that way inclined, then university is an excellent start to a career in farming too. But make sure at every opportunity get as much work experience on a farm as possible. Ask to be taught how to do all the work and not be pigeonholed into certain jobs because you are female. Also, if your parent’s are farmers the best thing you can do is share with them your thoughts on becoming a farmer. I could have done a bit better at that!

If you are a female farmer or farmers daughter who would like to talk to Katrina about her Nuffield study, you can contact her via twitter or email her at

The Big Apple

26Written by Sabine Conolly – Country To Canberra Teen Blogger

Today I’m going to talk to you about the big apple.

Late one evening I was looking through my emails when I came across an invitation to apply for the United Nations Youth Assembly to be held in New York, February 2017. At first I thought, ‘ That sounds cool… but that’s the sort of thing that only special people get into.’ You know what I mean, the intelligent, worldly, all-knowing people who just seem way out of my league. However the more I thought about it, the more I wondered, ‘perhaps I can do this… maybe one small person can make a difference’. So I found myself taking the first step, writing an application and waiting on tenterhooks for a reply.

The city that never sleeps, the center of the universe, the big apple… All these descriptors encapsulated by three very powerful words… New. York. City.

As a small town girl who has grown up in Atherton since she was 3, I found that one of the biggest cities in the world was entirely overwhelming. This I reminisce fondly, as New York changed my life.

Only weeks ago I embarked on my second step as I bordered the plane for the land of Trump and found to my surprise that he was not the only one there! In fact, I did not find the big Orange anywhere in the Big Apple. You can imagine the little girl from the sticks, traveling 30 hours on a huge airplane, tucked up in her jeans and wondering how on earth it could be cold enough to warrant the coat she was clutching.

I was terrified.

There I was, going to this enormous city, filled with people I don’t know. And then I had to go to the United Nations and try to sound intelligent! Honestly, I was shaking in my boots. However, three long plane rides later I had touched down in JFK, my mind frozen, simply stunned by the view. The world appeared different.

Buildings as tall as the sky rose from all around me. Lights blazed on every street corner, luring me into every shop or café… It was like a drug; once you started you could never go back. This wholly ordinary girl was in the city of dreams. It wasn’t long before I fell into step with the city. It was extremely cold (for me anyway!) and everything was open past 7pm on a weekday. Interesting thought to grasp, I know. I visited the Statute of Liberty, The New York Public Library the Empire State Building… and soon enough the prestigious, the all-exciting (yet bewildering) assembly was starting.

So, on that frosty morning in February, I made my way to the headquarters of the United Nations.

Another giant step in my journey.

I made friends with people from China, England, America, The Philippines, Nigeria, and Germany to name a few. What a mind-blowing experience! To meet and talk to people who are fluent in three languages, who live in countries of extreme poverty or war on their front doorstep. People who have a completely different view of the world, to my own slightly sheltered one. I spent three days in conference rooms and in the general assembly hall, forging relationships with as many people as possible.

However, not long into the assembly I realised that there was much about the world and my fellow human beings that I don’t know.

For example, it was such a shock for me to hear someone say where he or she is from and have to admit I’ve never heard of that place before.

This experience has really made me think. What do I even know about the world? Am I as all knowing or intelligent as I like to think I am? Am I as ignorant as those I mock?

It’s an incredibly frightening thing, as the youth of today are tomorrow’s leaders. But how can we be leaders if we don’t even know what our neighbour’s are dealing with? What kind of nation are we, if we are only thinking about ourselves? This was a major learning curve for me as it took me back a few steps and really made me think. We all hear about countries like Madagascar or South Sudan, some of the poorest countries in the world. Or even places like the Congo, which is war-ridden and terrifying to live in. But do we, first world people, really understand? Put yourself in their shoes… Look into the eyes of the malnourished girl who hasn’t had a drink of water all day, a drink of clean water for months… Do you see her pleading eyes?

We can help. And we should. The youth of today, that’s you and me, we aren’t here to sit around on our social media… We are here to change the world. We are here to stand up for what we believe in and fight for it. It is time to make a difference.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

So come on this journey with me, let’s take the first step together.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

IMG_0007 (2)Written by Hannah Worsley – Country To Canberra Teen Blogger

It’s International Women’s Day today!

Whether you’ve been counting down the days until your sneaky feminist-themed t-shirt matches the occasion, or you only discovered that it existed because Facebook made a profile picture filter, we can all agree that today is important.

Last year on ‘International Day of the Girl Child’ I decided to do a bit of a shout-out and find out what days like this mean to people of all ages, genders, nationalities, and political opinions.  I thought today would be a great day to share some of those responses.

“Days like today show girls that they can do anything they want without worrying about being ridiculed because it’s not “feminine” and “unladylike”.” – Female 19yo

“Our future rests on the girls of the world – let them know how important they are.” – Female, 18yo

“To me, today is about advocacy, empowerment, and passion-good for everyone, not just girls, and important for everyone, ESPECIALLY girls.” – Male, 24yo

“Inclusivity of LGBTIQ women in the feminist movement.” – Female, 63yo

“I want to wear my bikini; my friend wants to wear her burkini. Come on people, we both get criticised? #girlpower” – Female, 20yo

“I want my wife and daughters to feel safe everywhere they go, and I want other people to have that too.” – Male, 38yo

“I want my little sister to be able to play rugby!” – Male, 16yo

“In my country, the hijab is compulsory. I like wearing mine, my sister does not. Today is all about letting us decide things for ourselves, because WE ARE PEOPLE TOO! Women are powerful, smart, and strong, and we do not need decisions made for us.” – Female, 21yo

“Celebrating the diverse female excellence which flourishes from equal opportunity and education! Also celebrating freedom of expression of self: art, lit, sexuality, gender and opinion.” – Female 18yo

“It’s important to have International Day of the Girl as separate to International Women’s Day to recognise that while issues of gender inequality such as access to education, opportunity and disproportionate levels of sexual assault are global issues, those who are caught up in these struggles and even crisis are simply girls. Children who fundamentally want to play and be carefree just the same as boys. I think international day of the girl really humanises what the fight for gender equality is about – our kickass younger sisters.” – Female, 18yo

“Today to me is the silent stoicism of girls across the world who stay strong and steadfast in their beliefs, even when the loudest voice seems to be Trump’s sexism. They’re our true future leaders and change makers.” – Female, 18yo

This week I watched as eight boys, and just two girls got elected to my college’s leadership team. We need more female representation.” – Female, 19yo

“The Matildas earning nothing. I like soccer and they like soccer but I would get paid more just because I’m a guy. And put it this way-I wouldn’t want to play a game against them!” – Male, 17yo

“Holding our universities to account over their hopeless handling of sexual assault. Gender-related issues need to be taken seriously, from the ‘boys clubs’ that exist within colleges, to the rapes that occur on campus. Start treating this issue seriously! – Female, 19yo

“Honestly I hadn’t heard of it until it was on facebook today, but I recognise the importance of its aims regarding empowerment.” – Female, 19yo

“Today is important to me because it affirms me that no matter how much discrimination I may face, people are there to support me.” – Female, 19yo

“I know people will disagree with this but the way we treat Kim K for literally everything is not cool. Sex tape, who she marries, her children, her professional life, and even when she’s the victim of a crime. Today is about not dragging women through the mud for decisions they are totally entitled to make??” – Female, 23yo

” I would say today is important because it’s a reminder of how far we still have to go for gender equality! Even though women have made leaps and bounds in the past century, there are still so many girls and women worldwide who don’t have the opportunities I do as a woman in a first-world country.” – Female, 20yo

“Anything that helps to bring gender equality closer, and starts conversations about the issues that women and girls face around the world, has to be a good thing” – Male, 18yo

“I need International Women’s day because as an American woman, it’s my way to empower others to make a change, and to show that we’re stronger and mightier than the comments being made within our political system at present.” – Female, 21yo

Of all the blog posts I’ve written/been a part of writing, this is the one where I’ve written the least, yet been able to say the most. To me, International Women’s Day is exactly what these comments indicate-empowerment of women, encouragement for all those fighting gender inequality, and acknowledgement of the issue of gender discrimination.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

The importance of Gal Pals

image-169x300Written by Louise Miolin – Country To Canberra Teen Blogger

I like to to think that I possess a variety of positive traits.

I can analyse novels really well, roll my tongue into a clover, speak in front of crowds…but I’ll be the first to admit that when it comes to coordination and athleticism, I’m severely lacking. Hence why a hike on the Bibbulmun track in our beautiful south west a few weeks ago lead to a fantastic stack and a badly rolled ankle on my part. After laughing, then panicking at my swelling foot, my best friend of twelve years piggybacked me up and down a kilometre’s worth of sand dunes until we reached a campsite. Our mothers watched on with a mix of concern, admiration, and some laughter – it was quite the sight.

A tennis ball sized ankle and a sleepless night ensued, leaving me plenty of time to feel sorry for myself. However, despite mosquito bitten legs, a throbbing ankle and a sad lack of bedding, my mental state was far from sorry. Instead, I was filled with overwhelming appreciation for the woman rustling around in the sleeping bag next to me; in the dark I thought of our twelve years of friendship, and it brought me to reflect on the power and importance of female friendships.

In todays fast paced, often narcissistic and patriarchal society, I believe it is impossible to underestimate the impact that women can have on other women.

Too often in media and popular culture, female friendships are defined as shallow, gossipy and orientated towards the male gaze. Internalised misogyny can lead us to unknowingly treat other women with hostility, as if they are our competition rather than our comrades. This hostility manifests in the sphere of social media, where young women in particular are urged to ‘compete’ for likes and attention, and where jealousy and judgement are all too easy to give in to.

Empowerment comes when we refuse to accept these problematic ways of thinking and feeling.

Really, we should be appreciating our fellow women and celebrating our similarities as well as our differences.

We should build each other  up rather than tear each other down, and we should bask in the empowerment that female friendships can offer.

So this post is just a little shout to all the wonderful women in my life.

To my new college neighbour who made me ginger tea when I woke up sick on my 18th birthday, having just moved out of home.

To the old family friend who gives me clothes and tea wisdom.

To every woman who lends a hair lacky or a kind word.

And of course to my best mate who carries me up literal and metaphorical hills.

So next time you see female relationships represented as bitchy and meaningless in a movie, consider how problematic that representation is. Make an effort to support the women in your life, and to appreciate their support for you.

In a world where we can often feel bombarded by that pesky patriarchy, positive female friendships have an uncanny kind of power. That is certainly something to celebrate.

March into Yellow

Michelle Monaghan PhotoWritten by Michelle Monaghan – Country to Canberra Teen Blogger

It’s the month of March already – the year is flying by!

Women have so much to celebrate this month with International Women’s Day, but for some women in particular, March is a chance to spread awareness about something much more serious and quite sad.

March is the month for ‘March Into Yellow’, a month to spread awareness of a common disease and show support for sufferers by wearing the colour yellow.

This disease effects 10 percent of women and can even appear in women as young as teenagers.

It’s called: Endometriosis.


Unfortunately, Endometriosis has no cure and only various medical treatments to try and make the pain more bearable to live with. Not only that, this disease can cause infertility, making it difficult for women to become pregnant which is often heartbreaking.

It is difficult to believe that we hear so little about Endometriosis and what it does to women.

I myself had never heard of the disease before. Why is it not more well known?

I can’t find the answer to that question, but I’ll tell you why it’s just as important to spread awareness and get involved in ‘March Into Yellow’:


  • causes pain and infertility
  • women of all ages can suffer 
  • diagnosis is made through laparoscopy and a biopsy (tissue sample) is taken
  • women can try a variety of medical treatments to alleviate the symptoms

This month, I’m encouraging women and men to wear an item of yellow for March and strike up a conversation about Endometriosis or try these other options:


  • Go to the ‘March Into Yellow’ website and use their yellow photo filter for your Facebook Profile Picture for March
  • Volunteer as part of the team
  • Donate money towards research
  • Getting people or your workplace together to have a yellow multi day on the 10th March
  • Fundraise money
  • Be supportive and understanding of women who are diagnosed with this disease

Doing just one of these things can make a huge difference towards raising awareness and support for women suffering with Endometriosis.

Let’s make a goal this year to strive to make this disease well-known!

Let us spread the word so women across Australia can know about this very painful disease.

In March, let us band together and ‘March into Yellow’!

For more information, please take the time to check out these websites:

Endometriosis Australia

March Into Yellow


Cure for our daughters

blogger picWritten by Areej Hassan – Country to Canberra Teen Blogger

The day my mum had to take the last oral assessment for her MBBS degree (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) was also the day she was set to be engaged.

When her male examiner found out about this, he was furious and ready to plaster an F on her results sheet.

You see, during my mum’s times, a woman getting married would mean her professional career or studies would come to a startling halt. She was supposed to settle down and completely take up domestic duties, without having a say in the matter. That examiner told her that her studies were a waste of money and resources that could’ve been used to make a male doctor instead.

“What’s the use of learning to use a stethoscope when all you’re going to do in life now is pop out babies and wander around within the four walls of a kitchen?”

Tears glistening in her eyes, which were already worn out because of an all-nighter study session, she swallowed her pride and took in all of the sharp remarks. After completing that hopeless exam, she returned home and cried buckets on the lap of her mother, just a few hours before she had her wedding make-up appointment. Tragically enough, my Grandma was helpless too. She understood what her daughter was going through too well, but was unable to do anything in the face of family and cultural traditions.

Regardless of her in-law’s slight disapproval of taking up a hospital residency after marriage, my mum persevered. Being the eldest daughter-in-law of the family, she had to shoulder a lot of responsibilities, looking after not only her own immediate family, but other relatives in the household as well. After my siblings were born, my mum completely gave up her job.

My mum’s situation wasn’t one of a kind. Many women who complete a challenging university degree in my home-country, Pakistan, are praised by people for their hard work, but have backs completely turned on them if they dare try to continue a career.

After a few years, my mum was finally able to get back into the world of medicine, but had to start all over again. Her senior doctors praised her for being a diamond in the rough, but were disappointed that she wasn’t able to continue her career earlier.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody work harder than my mum.

She would get up before sunrise, prepare food for us, go to work, come back at night and then study for her exams. She would often envy her girlfriends from medical school who were lucky enough to continue their jobs even after getting married. While she was restarting her profession, they had already established their own clinics.

Half a decade later, after blood, sweat and tears were shed; my mum was now the owner of three degrees from three different countries, becoming a sought-after GP like she had dreamt of. People around her often say that if she hadn’t taken a break, she would’ve been even more successful. While others ask her, how she even managed to come this far.

My mum just replies with: “It’s all part of being a woman.”

While telling her stories, mum remarked how lucky I am, not being born during her generation. Times have changed a lot now. My grandfather wouldn’t even imagine imposing the same values on me that he did on my mum. If that male examiner existed today, there is an 80% chance of him not blaming my mum, but the society that forced her hand.

Not all Pakistani girls are as fortunate as I am today. Toxic societal values are still taking a toll on them. We can’t be satisfied with the how gender roles exist today and need to actively campaign for female empowerment.

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However, it won’t hurt to take a little joy from the fact that less females now have to go through the adversities their mothers did.


2016 Power Trip Reflection: “An opportunity not to be missed”

IMG_0667Elise Toyer, 2016 Power Trip winner from Batemans Bay, NSW

The quote ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ is especially relevant when it comes to reflecting on the amazing experience that was the 2016 power trip. Because no matter how eloquent (or not. . .) my words are, nothing can explain better how much this trip meant to me, than the enormous grin that never left my face.

I smiled my way through a jam-packed training day of yoga, leadership talks from the defence forces, TEDx speaking training and war memorial tours. I beamed as we met a plethora of influential women over breakfast, visited Canberra’s ABC studio, had lunch with politicians, saw the raucous that is question time and relaxed with a great movie screening. I didn’t stop grinning the whole trip home.

Behind my smile I was opening my eyes to a side of Australia I’d never seen, the power house where decisions are made. This trip showed me that with dedication and passion the world truly is our oyster. Whilst I don’t think the impact of this trip has fully sunk in yet, I know that without a doubt that I would recommend it to everyone.


If my smile couldn’t tell you it was worth it, then let my words tell you this.

The Country to Canberra Power Trip is an opportunity not to be missed.