In the lead-up to Women's Health Week 2018, Jean Hailes hit the road in rural Queensland to attend the Weengallon Pink Ladies Day.
Weengallon is a tiny blink-and-miss-it town between Goondiwindi and St George. Almost 20 years ago, the local ladies put on a lunch and fashion parade to buy cleaning products for their mobile kindy, and Pink Ladies' Day was born. The volunteer-run event has now grown into one of the most glamorous charity events in the bush, always selling out and this year attended by 650 women.
We heard about Pink Ladies Day during our road trip last year with the Heart of Australia mobile health truck, and this year had the opportunity to attend this amazing event, allowing us to connect with women of rural and remote Queensland and further promote the work of Jean Hailes for Women's Health.
With the beautiful outback sunshine and red dirt setting the scene, women from all over Queensland donned their finest frocks, heels and hats to celebrate the day lunching and laughing with their friends. Some women drove hours to be there, staying overnight in nearby towns.
The theme for this year's event was 'Our most important resource – ourselves.' and tied closely to our Women's Health Week theme of 'Put Your Own Good Health First', so it was a perfect opportunity for Jean Hailes to join in the fun.
We gave out 600 bags of free health resources and information to the women, while also hearing their own stories about daily life in remote and rural Queensland. It was heart-wrenching to hear about the drought and its effect on the mental health of women and their families living in rural and remote parts of Queensland, with some women noting a decline in their own mental health when their husband's mental health was suffering.
Guest speaker, former AFL player Mark Bunn, spoke about how to look after our most precious resource – ourselves. He spoke about simple solutions to recapture our natural state of high energy, low stress, life balance and work success.
The results of our travels last year with the Heart of Australia team were noticeable, with many people from various towns we visited telling us they now order the Jean Hailes magazine. Another woman excitedly told us how she was getting the ladies of her very remote town involved with this year's Women's Health Week.
Weengallon Pink Ladies Day is an experience that lifts the spirits and shows that with a little bit of ingenuity and elbow grease, you can make anything happen, even in the most unlikely of destinations.