I was honoured to recently host, MC and speak at an event at Rosslyn Bay Resort & Beaches Bistro in Yeppoon as part of my role as an Engaging Women Ambassador For Good.

The Engaging Women Ambassadorship Program was founded by award winning journalist and TV presenter Martine Harte. Martine has thrown her heart and journalistic superpowers into her online platform Engaging Women over the past couple of years. Her work is so incredible that the National Library of Australia recently announced that they have begun monitoring and archiving the stories on it.

Through the ambassadorship program, Martine has been using her growing platform of integrity for good, starting a movement whereby the Engaging Women Ambassadors hold an event raising money for a local non profit that helps women and children in crisis. I am beyond-words honoured and proud to be one of these Ambassadors – not only raising money for our local non-profit Strengthening Family Connections, but also being part of a wider movement, sparking change all over the country by helping local non-profits and change agents at a community level.

The Engaging Women fundraising events have so far mostly been movie nights, but after telling Martine that we didn’t have a local cinema in Yeppoon nowadays, she told me that we could do whatever type of event we wanted. However, I had my heart set on somehow bringing the Dream, Girl film to Yeppoon – and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.

I was introduced to Dream, Girl a couple of years ago. They were seeking funding for the production of the film through a Kickstarter campaign. As an entrepreneur, feminist and human rights activist – a film progressing positive social change by showcasing the stories of ambitious female entrepreneurs and encouraging more women and girls to be leaders – was right up my ally. That day, I became one of their first Kickstarter contributors, and was absolutely stoked to have an opportunity to see this come full circle and watch the end product with a group of almost 60 women at our fundraising event that day.

We all rallied together from across Central Queensland to be inspired and empowered by the Dream, Girl documentary whilst raising funds for Strengthening Family Connections who support vulnerable families and children on the Capricorn Coast.

On behalf of our financial sponsor and partner local women’s networking group Busi Women Inc, President Samantha Lilleboe-Kemp opened the event, welcoming guests and introducing me to MC and speak. I was excited to introduce the beautiful women in the room to Engaging Women, the Dream, Girl documentary, and our incredible sponsors. I also stole a moment to share some of the lessons I’ve taken away from interviewing guests on my Dream For Others podcast about using our platform, passions and uniqueness to be leaders and to make a difference – doing the very things that I could see the women doing in the room by attending that day and supporting Engaging Women movement, the Dream, Girl film, the mission of Busi Women Inc, and the cause of Strengthening Family Connections.

We then handed the microphone to Melissa Minter from Strengthening Family Connections to talk to us about their work. I went through a range of emotions whilst Melissa spoke. I was smiling when Melissa talked us through an activity demonstrating how unique we all are. And then I was astonished to hear that our area had the second highest rates of domestic violence in Queensland. Knowing that we were helping make a difference by teaming up as a community and raising money to support these families suddenly meant even more.

After Melissa spoke, we then had the honour of listening to local businesswoman Karla McPhail from Coal Train talk on being a leader in using your business for good in the community. Karla opened by sharing her story for the day – of catching a boat from Pumpkin Island, changing into her dress on the boat, potentially sitting in ‘fish guts’, and walking across water and coral to get there to speak to us that day – an adventure she then had to return on to get back to Pumpkin Island that afternoon. After we all laughed at Karla’s expense and felt ever so grateful that she’d gone to such extreme lengths to be with us – we settled in and listened to the different ways that she has led, sponsored, given back, and empowered her employees. 

Then we settled in to watch the Dream, Girl documentary. I had so many people come up to me afterwards and share how moved they were by the film. The issues that the women spoke about in the documentary really resonated with many – and left them feeling incredibly inspired and empowered to progress their big dreams when it came to leadership, entrepreneurship and inspiring and empowering young girls to do the same. 

And finally, we closed by handing out amazing lucky door prizes and raffle prizes – thanks to our incredible sponsors and donations:

  • Megan Dalla Camina and Michelle McQuaid who gifted a free entry into their evidence-based online program Lead Like A Woman, plus their book of the same name (worth $600).
  • My brother Shaun Arnold from Eat Train Succeed has gifted a free entry into his next 5 week fitness challenge starting in the New Year (worth $199).
  • Welliniux who gifted vision board kits and their INQ hard cover coffee book (worth up to $35 each).
  • Sacred Self who gifted her Self Love card decks (worth $24 each).
  • Top Five Movement who gifted her psychologist endorsed positive thought starter card decks (worth $25 each). 

Each guest also received a free gift back full of goodies from the likes of Loving Earth chocolateQi tea, lippy from Hurraw Balm, treats from Seabreeze Servo & Takeaway, water from Capri Wholesale, and more.

And while I’m mentioning sponsors, thanks also to DMK Photographics for the beautiful photos on this page, Rosslyn Bay Resort & Beaches Bistro for the perfect venue and amazing service, Lilly & Lotus Events for the beautiful table flower arrangements and lucky door prize bouquet, Busi Women Inc for partnering with me and paying for the film, and Karla McPhail from Coal Train for donating her time and expertise to speak to us at the event.

Thanks to our generous sponsors and guests, we will be able to donate all proceeds from ticket sales and the raffle to Strengthening Family Connections – estimated to be over $2700 total (exact amount to be confirmed shortly). So far, all of the Engaging Women fundraising events have been held in capital cities, so it was extremely exciting and heartwarming to show that even little ol’ towns like Yeppoon can band together and make a difference in this way. 

In fact, it was so exciting that even Senator Derryn Hinch retweeted Martine’s post about the event!

So thank you, thank you, thank you to all those who came along and contributed in some way to this incredible event. It means more than words can say. And now I’ll leave you with some more photos from DMK Photographics that capture the energy and inspiring people who attended that day.

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