Wholly woman

Chelle Wallace and Tania Usher are the directors of the Whole Woman Festival and are happily looking forward to it when it happens on the North Coast in March.

The fifth annual Northern Rivers Whole Woman Festival is on at various venues on the North Coast from March 2-11.

Directors Tania Usher and Chelle Wallace say they are expecting thousands to the festival, celebrating the feminine spirit in communities throughout the Northern Rivers and the Tweed.

We hope to encourage women to explore and respect this Bundjalung Aboriginal country and its rich cultural and ecological diversity, said festival co-director Tania Usher.

The festival, which began in 2001, was organised to encourage and motivate women within the community to participate in active discussion on a range of issues from politics and the environment to the social and the spiritual.

Speakers this year range from controversial novelist Mary Moody, author of Au Revoir and Last Tango in Toulouse, business intuitive (?) Alicia Power, and comedian Rachel Berger, to food psychologist Denise Greenaway, story-teller Jenni Cargill, and former Afghan refugee Mahboba Rawi (named by The Sydney Morning Herald in 2005 as one of the 50 Australians who really mattered).

Bangalow will play host to the festivals keynote event Healing the Future to correspond with International Womens Day on March 8.

This event, to be held at the A&I Hall, will be opened by Jan Barham, Mayor of Byron Shire, followed by a panel of prominent women, including environmental activist Claire Dunn, indigenous environmentalist and leader of the Jabiluka campaign Jacqui Katona and novelist Rosie Scott, who along with author Tom Kenneally, edited the anthology of asylum seekers writings, Another Country.

To coincide with the festival, organisers are working in partnership with Climate Friendly and Rainforest Rescue to present the Dare to be Green Campaign. Together they will urge people to open their hearts to the earth and each other by simply switching off office equipment and/or home appliances at the wall for one hour at 10am on International Womens Day, March 8, andgather withfriends, colleagues or family to share ways of living and working with greater awareness for the earth and each other.

To register for the Dare to be Green Challenge and receive an information kit email chelle@wholewoman.com.au.

For more info visit www.wholewoman.com.auor phone 0424 604 028.

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