With 14 branches and 200 members, networking group Women in Farming Entrprise (WIFE) continues to build momentum thanks to the ongoing support of sponsors such as the Toodyay Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank, who help fund a creche for young mothers attending.
WIFE was established in 2009 to provide a regular meeting forum for the transfer of knowledge and skills between women in farming enterprises.
The Avon Valley Branch of WIFE is sponsored by Bendigo Bank with meetings taking place at the Grass Valley Hall.
The Secretary of Avon Valley WIFE, Ms Maria Weibel, said they group welcomed the opportunity to work together with Bendigo Bank providing encouragement and professional development opportunities for women.
“With sponsorship from the Toodyay Community Bank Branch we were able to fund the first meeting in the hall with a crèche where children were looked after for the day.
“Thanks to the support of the branch, we will be able to offer a crèche for all of our future meetings this year, enabling our younger mothers to join our group and prosper too,” said Ms Weibel.
Toodyay Community Bank Branch Manager, Ms Kirsten Barrack, said the branch recognised the strong rural ties of the local community and that having small children should not be a barrier to attending a WIFE meeting.
“Our branch has always had very strong connections with our farmers,” Mrs Barrack said.
“We’re well positioned to support them, not only through our rural products and services but because we exist to give back to the local community.
“We know our funding goes towards assisting WIFE in numerous ways – not only in providing a vital child minding service but also in connecting women to programs and people that support the sharing of knowledge and transfer of skills.
“Farm life can be pretty tough, and often isolating.
“This network is not only a vital lifeline for many women but is very empowering – identifying knowledge gaps and providing resources and a speaker program to fill them.”
The next Avon Valley WIFE meeting will be a sheep information day held on Wednesday 25 July from 9.30 – 2.30 with lunch and morning tea provided.
The line-up will include speakers Bayer and Alanco to discuss products while Rod Thompson from DPIRD will discuss bio security.
For further information on how you can get involved with the Avon Valley WIFE, either as a sponsor or as a member, please contact Maria Weibel on 0458 700 060.