Ten residents from Longreach came out to our woods to have a go at our green wood musical instrument making. At first there was a little uncertainty about what they were going to do, but after a short introduction and demonstration everyone soon became fully immersed in the activity. A fire was lit, the kettle put on, and the peacefulness of the woodland absorbed. Until the music and laughter started!
"It was a lovely couple of days, the women were able to keep their autonomy: They weren't being given strict rules, they were allowed to express themselves, there were no imposed barriers. In the community, there's strict rules and schedules, but here they could flourish and develop, and they didn't resist the tuition.
Afterwards, during a group meeting, there was lots of laughter and the effect on their wellbeing was obvious."
"As a practitioner, I noticed a woman who hadn't really spoken to me was able to talk and open up; the calm environment allowed me to easily get to know her and begin building a relationship. As there was no strict framework, no obstacles of time or labelling, the talk felt natural, organic. She opened up to me in a way that she may have not done for some time otherwise, or even at all.
It allows a councillor to be more creative, but I didn't even notice until afterwards that we had made real progress. I attribute that to being in the forest and the work we were doing."
"All sense of formality and authority was gone. Some girls said that the barriers between councillor and the women broke down; you were able to let your guard down and connect on a very human level"
"I think what's more important is that, on this course, it was less about advancing, learning, developing skills, it wasn't about what they made or brought home, and more about the time spent. The things they made served more as a symbol of what a good time they'd had, than an achievement."