26 excited women descended on the Nation’s Capital for the inaugural Mums@UNE Christmas in July in Canberra Retreat, some ladies assisted to the Friday night Mingle by a policeman in a onesie at the airport! This retreat was to build on the successes and ideas from our previous retreats in Albury and Coffs Harbour, with the theme of ‘The Gift that You Are’. On Friday night we mingled over mulled wine and hot chocolate, and then retired to our accommodation ready for a full day of activities on Saturday. Despite being fairly freezing, the ladies arrived at the Burns Club ready to participate in the program which had been kept a big secret. We had Zentangle workshop with a Canberra educator, Maria Reeves, who is the mum of a Mum@UNE! The mummies loved this as a stress-busting activity and the word ‘procrasti-zentangle’ was heard several times. We were inspired by a life coach with some goal-setting and dream-setting activities then after all that hard work: Lunch!! The afternoon session included a singing workshop, gingerbread decorating, ornament decorating, then writing a letter to our teenage selves. This session saw the tissues come out, and some very lovely ladies allowed their letters to be shared with the group. We then concluded the day and went to get ready for our Christmas Dinner! We all dressed in our Christmas Finery and gathered for an amazing dinner complete with presents. On Sunday we braved the Canberra cold with an Amazing Race Around Canberra collecting the answers to clues at Canberra’s most beautiful landmarks.
All agreed that it was a really special weekend full of fun, laughs and Christmas cheer!! It was an honour and a pleasure to organise this weekend for this special bunch of women and I loved hosting the retreat in my home city. A huge thanks needs to go to the brave women who came to meet their friends off the internet and the Mums@UNE Executive.
- Rachel Campbell Vice President, Mums@UNE