13 March 2024

Workshops bringing creativity and connection to Eurobodalla women of all ages

| Claire Sams
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Doctor Michelle Hamrosi says the workshops are aiming to help women make new friends - and something creative.

Doctor Michelle Hamrosi says the workshops are aiming to help women make new friends – and do something creative. Photo: Michelle Hamrosi.

A series of workshops are set to bring women from across Eurobodalla Shire together, while keeping their hands busy.

Organiser Doctor Michelle Hamrosi, who is a GP, the leader of the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) Eurobodalla group and a breastfeeding counsellor, said a safe space for women to connect could be key in building a sense of community.

“For a bushfire project I was involved in, I looked at how women with little babies struggle post-disasters and how isolated they felt,” she said.

“Thinking about that made me think about bringing mums together with other mums – but also with grandmas and aunts and women who haven’t had children yet.

“Forming stronger networks across generations is a really powerful thing.”

The result is the Intergenerational Art Workshops, which are being funded through Fire to Flourish, a five-year community resilience project.

“What I’m increasingly seeing, as a doctor, is quite a lot of social isolation and loneliness,” she said.

“Some of the most isolated groups are older citizens and also mothers with new children – especially ones that have just moved to the area and may not have any friends or family here.”

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The first of the workshops was held in Moruya in early March, with more sessions to be held across Eurobodalla Shire in the coming months.

“I was really blown away by how people’s nervousness or uncertainty started to melt away,” Dr Hamrosi said.

“People were feeling freer to chat while their hands were busy.”

The workshops are led by Ness Shannon, an art therapist and behaviour therapist.

“We will do a pre-workshop survey and offer them a cup of tea,” Dr Hamrosi said.

“It’s really flexible.

“There’s a lot of time for the art, but there will be group discussions around different art techniques and sharing some of their thoughts.”

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The Intergenerational Art Workshops are open to women living across the Eurobodalla area, regardless of age.

“If parents come with little children or babies, there will be a children’s corner with activities for them, as well,” she said.

“Hopefully, people will then go on feeling a little more connected to their local community and having made a few more friends.”

Dr Hamrosi said some women were feeling isolated from their wider communities after the trauma of the Black Summer fires and COVID-19.

“This is such a fantastic project to bring women together in a space to heal past traumas – whether it’s bushfires or other things that have happened in their lives.

“We tend to be in our little silos a lot,” she said.

“Sharing and connecting is what makes us human and we all have a need to feel connected, loved and part of a community.”

The free Intergenerational Art Workshops will he held in Moruya, Narooma and Batemans Bay between 5 March and 21 May.

Registration for the March dates are open via Humanitix.

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