Channel Country Ladies Day is an important and significant annual event for women living in Queensland’s remote regional areas, attracting over 200 participants from a broad geographic area. Some travel 2000km to attend.
The event brings women together to experience the arts, access health services and connect socially with other people. It offers women a creative platform and safe environment to openly share and discuss personal stories and experiences, access women’s healthcare and have fun. The women form new friendships through creative arts experiences, reducing their social isolation and increasing their emotional wellbeing.
Red Ridge (Interior Queensland) Ltd, as organisers of the Channel County Ladies Day wanted to participate in the Arts Queensland funded Culture Counts trial to ensure we were meeting participant needs. We also wanted to make sure that we were reflecting on the event through a meaningful and purposeful evaluation so that the organising committee, sponsors and investors could fully understand the impact and benefits of this unique event.
Culture Counts provided valuable evidence of the impact of the arts activities held at the Channel Country Ladies Day, concluding that the power of partnerships between arts and health becomes a strong platform for women’s emotional, social and physical wellbeing.
The learnings from the Culture Counts evaluation has provided our organisation with documented evidence that the Channel Country Ladies Day event is truly significant for women and that their arts experience has provided them with inspiration in isolation achieving the event’s mission. Feedback was very positive with:
This year the committee noticed that, with the Culture Counts trial, more participant surveys were completed giving a broader scope and bigger sample (51 surveys). The greatest challenge was no access to internet or mobile coverage due to hosting the event in a very remote and isolated venue. Paper surveys were distributed, completed and updated online later. Although challenging, this was not inhibiting, and by manually processing the data the committee developed a deeper understanding of participants' experiences and the impact of the event.
The Culture Counts platform was able to collate data and produce meaningful statistics and evidence providing Red Ridge with valuable tools for future investment pitches.
Louise Campbell lives in rural remote Queensland and is passionate about arts and cultural activities in rural communities. With experience in local government and diverse skills in economic and community development she has initiated various key projects, executed community strategies; engaged community groups; and linked various industry sectors to build social capital and economic growth. Red Ridge (Interior Queensland) helps to create healthy and resilient communities in remote western Queensland by bringing people together in art and cultural activities. We enrich their lives and we protect our heritage by working with our communities, government and donors. Our focus is the social and economic health of our own communities and all who live here.
Blog image : Louise Campbell – Channel Country Ladies Day 2016