Port Pirie came alive at the weekend when more than 300 women came to the city for the SA Rural Women’s Gathering.
The event was a success and conference chair Margie Arnold said there was a “wonderful atmosphere the whole time”.
Mrs Arnold said the support they received from Port Pirie businesses was “amazing”.
She received feedback about how inspiring the event was and there was plenty of dancing at the dinner.
All the speakers were inspiring, but Mrs Arnold singled out choreographer Frances Rings, local businesswoman Deidre Marshall and political television host Annabel Crabb and the four authors as “just incredible”.
Karen Seindanis, who attended the conference, described the event as an “awakening”.
“It was really, really great,” she said. “Annabel was fantastic.”
She said one of the biggest moments for her was the belly dancing workshop presented by Jill Collins.
“It is liberating as a woman to do that,” she said.
Cr Debbie Devlin coordinated the workshops held on the Saturday, which were a hit with attendees.
“I can’t think of a workshop we had a complaint against,” she said.
“We all came because of the speeches and workshops.”
Cr Devlin said Sabrina DeGioia “just rocked” at the Simply Italian cooking workshop.
“Maggie Beer should be scared,” she said.
Another workshop that was popular was the Bush Tucker Garden Tour presented by Ulrike Maria.
“The people who did that buzzed,” Cr Devlin said.
Marg Vonow, who also coordinated the yarn bombing, said she got her second choice in one of the workshops, but it ended up being “brilliant”.
“It was the ask-a-lawyer workshop with Heather Mack,” she said.
Robyn Holthouse and Pat Daly described the conference as “truly inspiring”.
Elaine Owen said local businesswoman Deidre Marshall’s story was an inspiration.
“It shows you don’t have to be a famous
person to turn your life around,” she said.
Mrs Arnold said the Friday night opening was amazing.
“Mayor Brenton Vanstone entertained the women,” she said.
“Tracy Crisp just had everyone in fits of laughter.”
She said the dinner on Saturday night in the Northern Festival Centre Ballroom was attended by 320 people.
“Every participant received a beautiful
gathering bag that included a silk orange scarf,” she said.
“At one stage there was a dance with a big crowd of women dancing in a large circle and demonstrating different ways to wear their scarfs.”
“The dance floor was huge. Everyone just kept dancing.”
The Uptown Girl fashion parade at the dinner was so popular with the women that they were asked to open their business the next day.
Mrs Arnold said Jamestown had taken on the challenge to hold the gathering next year.
“We will be doing our best to support the Jamestown women with their event,” she said.
“We are also hoping to donate to a local
charity yet to be announced.”
Mrs Arnold said she was “staggered” by how much support she received from Port Pirie businesses.
GREAT SPEECHES…Ellie Green, left, and Liz Ballinger wearing their orange scarves at the Northern Festival Centre after the speeches on Sunday.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.