What is it about Weengallon?
What is it about Weengallon? Or more specifically the Weengallon Pink Ladies Day, that attracts hundreds of women to the red-dirt-dot on the map, 140 kilometres west of Goondiwindi?
It could be the departure from day to day life; the beautiful surroundings, incredible lunch, and the chance to get a little dressed up. This year every inch of the marquee was decked out in high-tea flair, from the green turfed floor to the bespoke lampshades on the ceiling (handmade by a tribe of Talwood women). It was a tea party fit for a queen, or in this case the best bunch of bush women.
It could also be the incredible guest speakers that the day attracts, this year Mark Bunn - former AFL player and author of ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health’- appeared as the first-ever male guest speaker. Mark admitted that country life really brings his city-self down to earth.
Mark lost his wife to breast cancer several years ago, the cause close to the hearts and minds of the Weengallon Committee, and all who attend the day. Mark spoke about the realisation he and his wife shared when she was diagnosed, recognising the impact that stress, and the choices they had been making, had in their lives.
“The day my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer was both the best day, and the worst,” Mark says. Through the diagnosis, the couple gained a real sense of perspective, and after a life spent taking care of everyone else, Mark’s wife started doing things for herself.
Mark advocates simplifying life, focusing on happiness and health, pausing to ask the room to name three things they are grateful for. An easy task for all 600 women in the room it seems, as the enigmatic speaker struggled to regain the room. That is something about country women, they are sincerely grateful, resilient and fun.
“The single most powerful things on this planet for our health and wellbeing are love, family, connection and community,” Mark says. “That is why what you do here today, is so important for your health and well-being, and that of your community.”
Community could be the other reason Weengallon Ladies Day sells out so quickly each year, drawing in up to 600 women from throughout Queensland and into New South Wales. This year, Goondiwindi artist Bec Fing was embracing that sense of community in creating ‘Project Weengallon’, the collaboration representing 238 women from regional Australia who’ve been directly or indirectly affected by breast cancer. This artwork was among those donated from Kylie Drury, Carolyn Ferguson, and Rachel Castles.
The Weengallon Pink Whip, beautiful committee aprons and an incredible Tea Cup Cake by Sarah Timmins of Cakes Down Under also went under the hammer.
There is one thing we know for certain. It is the incredible contribution from the event and the committee that keeps patrons coming back. Not only does the day raise funds for breast cancer research but it lobbies for local breast care nurses in nearby communities.
This year, the day raised money for a local breast and prostate care nurse to be based in Goondiwindi as well as the Olive McMahon Lodge in Toowoomba. Initial figures suggest around $45,000 was raised which will go to a variety of breast and prostate cancer initiatives that support local patients.
“I can’t believe we have pulled off another Weengallon Pink Ladies Day,” coordinator Emma Montgomery said.
“It is the enthusiasm and inspiration of a talented group of locals who give so much of their time and themselves to create a fabulous and unforgettable day out for women.”
Next year will mark the 20th Anniversary of the legendary ladies’ event, with tickets selling out at record pace each year the committee suggests registering for their newsletter online at www.pinkladiesday.com
More Photos from the day below.