2022 Festival Catalogue

ROAR series

Our inspirational series, designed to get you motivated to kick ass in your own lives. Listen to maverick women who are living their lives by their rules, making tough choices, as they deal with myriads of personal, professional and societal challenges and perceptions in realising their big and small ambitions. They will light a fire under your butt!

Dare to be bold - welcome address

Fear is boring, or as Elizabeth Gilbert author of Eat Pray Love said “your fear is boring, because it only ever has one thing to say to us…”STOP!”. Fear wants you to live “the smallest life imaginable”, it would prefer “that you (sic) never got out of bed”. 

Passionate about daring others to live their big life personally and professionally, Eibhlin will set the scene for the festival and share some techniques on how to be bold no matter where you’re starting from.

Sacrifice or Selfishness?
Defend your right to happiness

After 14 years working in newsrooms and corporates with hours-long commutes, Laura Gray & her husband made a tree-change to seek a better life for themselves and their young daughter.  Somewhere to enjoy their passions for mountain-biking and skiing. Laura now enjoys a much richer life with her family, working in an organisation driven by values she shares.

Laura will speak candidly about leaving their strong familial links and why she sacrificed a stable, prosperous life in search of happiness and simplicity.

War journalist to alpine guide

Kelly Van den Berg has photographed and documented culture and conflict in countries such as Libya, Israel, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Chechnya, Morocco, and parts of Asia.

In this presentation Kelly will share her personal story of struggle to reconcile the realisations of bearing witness to excruciating inhumanity and on the flipside, the beautiful triumphs and gratefulness of all the wonderful experiences this life has to offer. 

One adventure a month

Dianne Astwood is a powerhouse of energy and happens to be a mate of mine. When I found out she was planning a year long celebration of her 50th year on this planet I thought what a bloody great idea! Di’s tenacious approach to achieving her goals as well as leaning in on her networks for support and adventure buddies had her pack rafting the Thompson River, blowing a proverbial lung on The Epic mountain bike trail on Mt Buller, and cycling rail trails (80 km long) with her 6 year old son.

Come and hear what else she got up to and how you can add mini adventures in to your life!

Neurobiology of fear

Fear stops us from learning, growing, exploring, feeling fulfilled and feeling alive. It can feel like it owns you.  Did you know that you can own it? That you have a choice, regardless of what your loved ones say, how society makes you feel, or your friends that reinforce your personal safe, internal narrative? Through understanding how the body and the mind are connected, how we perceive fear and why, you come to understand it is possible to control it.

Katrina Streatfeild and Eibhlin Fletcher will take you on a theoretical and applied journey using personal experiences to get you to make the choice.

Finding my happy place

Kathy Mexted is a writer, photographer and magazine editor and, used to be a pilot. She is the author of Australian Women Pilots, a collection of stories on ten incredible women who were at the forefront of the burgeoning aviation industry in Australia. When not staring into her camera or at her laptop, Kathy is running after her family, talking to her sheep and promising herself she’ll get back into an aeroplane soon. 

Join Kathy at her presentation to hear her story about being a late starter to her current career and how she has found herself in a happy place after quite a few career changes and an interesting encounter with a psychologist.

What adventure racing teaches

Adventuring in the wilderness, whether alone or with others always gifts me lessons for my personal life or my work, as a leader or coaching others. In 2021, I managed to sneak in a 6-day 24/7 adventure race in Cairns, Queensland the XPD 2021 Rivers of Gold. Covering 500 km by kayaking, trekking, mountain biking, towing, pushing and pulling, in an all-female team going hard at it 24/7 (yep about 20 hours sleep in total), uncovered some personal, work as well as race lessons she was not expecting.

Come and find out what our resident expert adventurer, Eibhlin Fletcher, learnt from this epic experience.  

Confidence and cash

The ASX Investor Study 2020 shows that, for the first time, more women than men are intending to become investors in the next 12 months. And there’s significant evidence to show that women make better investors than men.

Join Erika Jonsson from Six Park for a deeply personal story of transformation through the twin worlds of fitness and finance and learn why facing your financial fears could change your life in more ways than one. This presentation is perfectly paired with the “How to be a financial superwoman” workshop.

Fire side chat

Your opportunity to have an informal, up close and personal chat with some of the guest facilitators and speakers throughout the festival.

Taking place in the festival lounge, soak up the sun, take in the fresh air and connect with the extraordinary women of the festival on any topic you are curious about.

And the fire? That’s in your belly! 

Adventure series

In 2022 all adventure activities will commence at the Bright Community Centre. Allowing adventure opportunists to take the spot of those too knackered to turn up (specially if you bite off more than you can chew or enjoy our night time entertainment too much)! Spots are strictly limited due to safety. Some activities will run more than once.

White water rafting

Experiencing the Kiewa River from Mt Beauty will be awesome fun as it has lots of actual rapids. Kayaking is often done on white water or different degrees of rough water, grading rivers from Class I to Class VI (ahem…impossible). Dealing with risk and the need for teamwork is often a part of the experience. Adventure Guides Australia will kit you up and select suitable craft for the conditions of the Kiewa River starting the adventure in Mt Beauty town centre. It’s guaranteed to be way more than just a float down the river! 

Coming to grips with bees

Chris is an enthusiastic beekeeper with over 10 years’ experience. He started out with 1 hive, which quickly became 2 and escalated to nearly 50 at one stage. Join him to get a hands-on introduction to a bee colony, learn about its social structure and discover the role of the beekeeper through the changing seasons. Gain the confidence to start your own hive! – or just be brave enough to hold some bees!




One of the most unique and mentally challenging activities you’ll ever do.  Forget Tough Mudder, Spartan and all the rest that test your stamina. Come and test your mind! The underground river cave at Mt Buffalo is a horizontal boulder infill type cave, some 350 metres long with several ‘coward’ exit routes. There is an active stream in the cave and when water levels are moderate, there are numerous rapids and waterfalls to challenge you. This cave is wet and cold with lots of crawling and squeezing, communication and teamwork. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Hike Mt Buffalo

Hiking in nature is so powerful for our health and well-being that some doctors have begun prescribing it as an adjunct to other treatments for disease with lots of research to back the benefits up. An early walk in nature to set you up calm and energised for the day ahead. Mini day pack of water, some snacks, hat and sturdy shoes required. Lead by Jeannette McGill of McGill’s Mountains.  

Hike Bright

The experience of hiking is unique, research suggests it conveys benefits beyond what you receive from typical forms of exercise. Not only does it oxygenate your heart, but it also helps keep your mind sharper, reduces rumination, keeps your body calmer, your creativity more alive, and your relationships happier. Jeannette McGill of McGill’s Mountains will also introduce you to geocaching and some gear on this hike.​

Street and bush rogaine

An easy introduction to the thrilling world of adventure racing. You don’t have to be fit, rather determined and capable of teamwork. If you don’t have a team, we’ll put you in one. Adventure racing is great for gaining enhanced self-insights, attitudes towards hindrances and obstacles, and teamwork skills. You’ll get wet and dirty so a change of clothes at the finish line is a must. There’s a bit of navigation, if you can read a street map you’re sorted. Get your trail shoes on and prepare for an adventure race experience.

Intro to mountain biking

We’re slowly converting people to riding dirt. Loving this outcome from the festival. Mountain bikes are a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors. It would be ideal if you can already ride a bike, but you don’t need to be a gung-ho mountain bike rider. This session will start with the basics and give you the opportunity to ride a mountain bike on basic terrain like gravel roads and tracks. Learn about the correct body position and how to use your brakes and gears, the knack to going around corners! All participants will need to be MTBA members for the course which can be done as a free trial membership. 

Adventure MTB ride

Get off the beaten track and enjoy an exhilarating adventurous off-road mountain bike ride with Eibhlin Fletcher and some friends. Test your skills and fitness (just a wee bit) as you embark on this 2.5-hour activity. We’ll talk about gear, nutrition, and navigation basics. The terrain is suitable for beginners and a moderate level of fitness. We’re not out to break world records, rather enjoy being out in the wilderness, exploring, crossing rivers (not as big as the image), having some laughs maybe even getting dirty and probably a wee bit lost!

Jump that bike

The ability to jump is not reserved for the young and the crazy. In fact, there’s no ‘craziness’ about it—it’s a skill that can be learnt by anyone, irrespective of age or length of time riding. Catching air can be fun but it’s not just about showboating at the local jump park. On the trail it be used to clear a rock garden or smooth out a momentum-killing washaway. Whatever the motivation, the same basic skillset is required, and it can be learnt. We’ve teamed up with Cyclepath to stretch your comfort zone a wee bit more this festival. Participants will need to be MTBA members for the course which can be done as a free trial membership. 

Development series

Our development series is designed to leverage off your burgeoning, new-found courage in the adventure series, and get you thinking about some courageous decisions you can make personally or professionally to live a more fulfilling life. 

Sex, hormones and mental blowouts

Join health and wellbeing expert Vicky Jamieson, and clinical psychologist Katrina Streatfeild, for a candid chat about all things menopause. Society underrates and overlooks menopause (and peri menopause) as a developmental life stage and just like other developmental life stages, it requires a mindful adjustment of physical and mental health strategy to maintain wellbeing.  This can be a real challenge to long held habits that ‘used to work’, and a woman’s sense of control of her own body, often at a time in life when the candle is burning rapidly at both ends! 

Join us for some like-minded social connections, to share a good laugh and get a healthy dose of honest women’s wisdom. 

How to be a financial superwoman: Savings, investing and super

We all hope that when we’ve finished our working lives, we can retire in comfort. But the reality can be very different, especially for women. While our participation in the workplace has never been greater, as women, we are still well behind when it comes to wealth and financial security.

Join Erika Jonsson and Michele Nevins from Six Park for a frank discussion about money and the key financial pillars of savings, investing and superannuation. 

Developing psychological safety at work​

Back for a second year, this workshop on psychological safety has become even more critical with the rise of corporate accountability, #MeTo and the global pandemic. Psychological safety is a key element of building trusting and healthy relationships. In this workshop we’ll explore the research behind psychological safety and how to build deeper and more meaningful relationships through building safety and trust both in our personal and professional lives. 

Hosted by Laurice Temple and Nicole Jordan of the Ripple Affect Institute. 

The curious thing about strengths

Come and explore your key strengths, deepening your understanding using a lens of curiosity. By striving to be the best we can be, we can also bring out the best in others. We will delve into explicit links between strength use, flow and their positive benefits in all aspects of life. 

Join in to learn how to leverage your unique mix of strengths to help you live a more engaged, energised and fulfilled way.

Uncover your superpowers

We all have strengths that we can dismiss because they come so naturally to us. But, what if you are missing important information about your superpowers that could be used to help you step outside your comfort zone? For example, going for that job interview, starting your own business, asking for a pay rise, going to a class at the gym or going on a date.

This will be an interactive, fun workshop with Thelma Vlamis where you’ll walk away with a list of your superpowers and a plan on how to use them. 

How to get started on your adventure

Do you want to know how to get into the outdoor adventure action but don’t know where or how to start? Does your social media feed reveal activities that always end up in the some-day pile? Do you see the sunset shots over gorgeous scenery and say “one day when I’m not . . .” Well, we are here to help. 

Join Eibhlin Fletcher and Jeannette McGill who will provide you with practical steps to action that outdoor activity you have been evading, these two seasoned outdoor leaders have you covered. Time will be spent on practical aspects of preparation including physical and mental. You’ll feel empowered and equipped to take on that 2022 BHAG!

Ride the waves of life with poise and positivity

Using a combination of formal training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy along with real life tools acquired from her varied academic and life mentors in everything from psychology, philosophy and Taoism to the physical skills sets of her passion sports of split boarding, surfing, equestrian and adventuring, Kelly Van den Berg will offer a unique and pragmatic program that addresses tackling the ups and downs of life with compassion, authenticity and confidence. 

A decision framework for when there are too many options

Are you usually someone who can make up their mind quickly, but lately, you’ve been hit with options that have a myriad of complex impacts on you or your family?  And you just can’t decide? Or maybe you DON’T make decisions easily? You feel paralysed and stuck in the face of too many choices and then expend energy worrying about your choice?

This practical, hands-on session run by Trudy Rankin of West Island Digital, will give you a decision-making framework that combines data and intuition to clarify the way forward and can be applied to any decision you face. 

Taking a chance in a work context

Have you ever been convinced that an initiative or idea for your workplace or business is brilliant if only those around you would take a chance and leap of faith? As General Manager People and Culture at Bulla Dairy Foods, Jacinta Munro has taken daring to be bold to a whole new level with her executive team and the organisation, and it’s paid dividends. 

In this session, Jacinta explores the conditions for taking a chance – and it paying off with some contrasting workplace stories.

Breakup with brilliance

To have the relationships we want, we must break up with the ones we have. Breakups to breakthroughs, not breakdowns. In this session we will focus on what we have gained from our relationships, not lost. No matter how ‘bad’ the breakup, if we look, there is always something good to come from it. Are we hanging onto things from our previous relationships that we don’t even know? Is what’s stored in our subconscious sabotaging us and the worst part may be that we have no idea about it?

Expect some great stories, laughs, a tug on the old heart strings and maybe, just maybe, a whole lotta fun as we really connect through shared experiences and sort our shit out! With Jodie Coall, The Leaving Coach.

Supercharge your lifestyle

Discover three basic principles that help busy women have a calm, grounded energy all day long, regardless of workload. These principles prevent burn-out and the feeling of being in “the grind”. Modern women need these daily skills – so YOU are the boss of your day, not others, enabling a more efficient and constructive way to get results, both at home and in the boardroom.

This workshop with Vicky Jamieson is a “how to” session with real life strategies structuring your day for success; getting more energy from food and nutrients; tapping out from stress; beating the bloat and changing weight with hormonal transitions.

Obliterating obstacles in your path

Using the concept of the British Bulldog game and somehow connected with 10-pin bowling, Larry will give you tips on how to obliterate obstacles in your path.

Ever practical and fine-tuned with years of experience running his own business, as well as coaching others towards their fitness goals, Larry Cohen will put control of your dreams back in your hands. 

Who's driving your bus?

This might be the most profound question you ask yourself at our Festival. This highly interactive session is back after a hiatus in 2021 and has been potent for the participants in previous years. Do you have the people on your bus who have your best personal and professional interests at heart? Who fuels your passion and has your back no matter what? Where are the nay-sayers seated on your bus?

Larry Cohen will guide you through the experience to identify the driver and passengers to help you get control of your bus, your journey and building your dream team! 

Validate your business idea

Are you thinking about starting an online business or “side hustle”?  About making the leap from corporate to small business owner, either full or part-time?  Confused about where to start?

Or maybe you just want  to start a hobby business that will take you into your retirement years … something fun that also brings in a bit of money?  And you’ve had a few ideas, but you’re not sure how good they are or whether they will actually work?

In this workshop, facilitator Trudy Rankin, will show you how to quickly validate your business ideas without wasting time, money or energy.

Festival extras

All the extra fun stuff that comes with your festival ticket. 

Starlight movie Friday night

Friday night is the showing of reels of women (usually) adventuring somewhere in the world.  It’s BYO picnic food, chairs, blankets. It'll be held in Howitt Park at the back of Bright Brewery and will be open to the public, so get there early to get the best seats.

Saturday evening soiree

This will be held at Bright Brewery in a VIP area where you can dance you heart away or chill and listen to some music whilst you swop stories of your day's adventures and make more friends. Food and drink are available for purchase via cash or eftpos at the Bright Brewery. 

Queen of the Brave

The Bravery Awards introduced last year are a keeper. These awards are for those individuals who got a grip of themselves during an activity and got over their physical or metaphorical hump! This year we are going to announce one person only to be Queen of the Brave, the nominees will be acknowledged also. This is a people's nomination award, so if you see someone who deserves it make sure they get on the bravery nomination wall.

Finale & Grand Raffle

In the final mass group workshop we do a bit of goal setting with all the facilitators present followed swiftly by drawing the winners of the Grand Raffle. The prizes will be posted on the website leading in to the festival. You cannot collect your raffle prize if you are not present in the venue. We had immense fun binning drawn names last year due to early departures.

Throughout the weekend, a festival lounge will be set up near reception (at the Bright Community Centre). Our speakers, facilitators and festival ambassadors as well as the festival founder will be mingling here throughout the weekend. Use this space to eat your lunch, chill, catch a powernap, seek some advice or bask in the aura of the maverick women who inspire you. We have two scheduled Kitchen Table Chats over the weekend at this location. It’s also where you can find the Bravery Wall, where you nominate individuals you’ve seen being brave over the weekend. We’ll crown Queen of the Brave, and her heroines on the final day.

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