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GOOLGOWI WORKSHOP: Motherhood, maternity leave, misogyny and more!

Updated: Aug 11, 2021

Our wonderful Goolgowi bunch IMAGE Kat Vella

The Mona team travelled to Goolgowi, Sunday; a tiny community roughly 40 kilometres north west of Griffith, and what a day!

What was present from the start with this group was the level of openness and respect each had for each other. We felt instantly at home in their company.

We met in the cosy CWA Tea Rooms that was kindly organised for us by the Goolgowi CWA whose president gave up her time to join in on the day, even after having confessed she had never written anything before in her life!

There were a few women new to writing in fact, which was so encouraging for us because we take such inspiration from women who are open to challenging themselves, which this group demonstrated as the day progressed.

First time poets. IMAGE Kat Vella

A strong theme that emerged from the day's discussions was how the women experience motherhood in their small community. How isolating and smothering it can be sometimes. Women shared how, despite their enduring love and devotion to their children, they sometimes struggled with the weight of the responsibility of always having to be available, switched on, present and well enough to meet their children's needs.

These conversations brought about some stunning writing. One poem particularly struck me:

I am a trail of light

I am a leaf in the wind.

But right now, I am where I meant to be.

I have wandered for far too long,

forever search, forever unsettled.

I am grounded.

I am home.

- Rebecca Gatty

The day concluded with a broad discussion of how these women see gender equality in the 21st Century. Was Feminism's fight done? In there words, absolutely not.

Thank you to all the women who attended on Sunday. It was a breath of fresh air and such a pleasure to meet you all.

Thanks also to Western Riverina Arts and the NSW Government for their support of this workshop.

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