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GUEST BLOG: Desert Poppies 2016 event another success

On a steamy Sunday in early December women of the centre gathered for another Desert Poppies networking event.

Eighty-two women from all over central Australia, mostly from remote cattle stations travelled in.

Our luncheon provided an opportunity for them to enjoy a glass (or two…) of bubbly, listen to live music and two thought provoking speakers.

Twenty-six children also attended the event and enjoyed a jumping castle, face painting and a balloon artist.

Spiderman and Princess Elsa also made an appearance giving mums the chance to chill out with their friends.

There were loads of prizes given away and pop up market stalls selling beautiful skin care, curries, and children’s toys.

The Desert Poppies started in 2013 when the Centralian Land Management Association ran an ‘Influential Women’ workshop facilitated by Catherine Marriott.

Nineteen women mostly from local cattle stations attended the two day workshop.

This group wanted to better connect remote women in central Australia to each other, and the first Desert Poppies networking event occurred four weeks later.

Desert Poppies was named so in relation to the ‘Tall Poppy syndrome’.

Instead of knocking down our successful women, the group wanted to find a way to celebrate and showcase them.

This is why all our amazing speakers so far have risen from our own ranks.

This is how we show off our own beautiful ‘Desert Poppies’.

The name was thought of by our now most well known Desert Poppy who also attended that course, now CEO of the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, Tracey Hayes.

This year Letty Cook from Suplejack Downs station, one of the remote cattle stations in Australia was our feature speaker.

The Cook family are committed to sustainable management.

Letty spoke about the soil conservation workshop completed the week before at Suplejack run by their local Landcare group, the Centralian Land Management Association.

She shared how the whole family were involved in the course, taking turns to watch babies and school children.

They look at the country differently now and will now be changing their management practices when it comes to maintaining roads and soil conservation on their station.

The Cooks recently made one of their largest investments with the purchase of a solar system.

For the first time they have 24 hour power and no longer have to listen to the constant hum of the diesel generator.

In August this year for the first time they have air conditioning!

Letty spoke of the importance of passion, family and following your dreams… and who knew, Letty can play the bagpipes!

Lisa Perry, Alice Springs own celebrity chef was the second speaker.

Lisa spoke about her passion for food and cooking and her many successes as a small business owner and manager in Alice Springs.

Lisa spoke of the importance of her support network, namely her staff who are a strong, reliable team in an often stressful kitchen environment, and making time for family, the people who she would not be able to do what she does without.

Lisa is not afraid to give anything a go running with seemingly ‘out there’ ideas which resulted in things like a very successful ice cream festival earlier this year.

The most important part of the event was of course the networking, catching up with old friends and making new ones.

The event had a strong social media presence with our Desert Poppies Facebook page receiving great engagement from rural women, the broader community and our sponsors.

The 2016 Desert Poppies Committee would like to thank all of the sponsors including Territory NRM (who provided a Community Support Grant) and the women who shared the afternoon with us helping us make this event great.

If your community group or school is performing activities in natural resource management or engaging the community about your work, you may be eligible for a Territory NRM Community Support Grant of up to $1,000. These grants are available all year round. Apply here




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