Celebrate you in the Flourish Garden

Written by Kerrie Alexander

As women we tend to forget to stop and smell the roses!

There’s no denying that women from all walks of life, simply get on with their lives, taking care of others, though not necessarily taking care of themselves.

Ladies, how often do you take some time out for yourselves, without feeling guilty?

Well, this year the Fraser Coast Mates Golf Day, will not only be about coming together with mates, enjoying each other’s company, and playing golf, it will also be shining a spotlight on women. FCM will host the inaugural ‘Flourish Garden’ ladies marquee day, where women can come together to celebrate each other, and most importantly you can celebrate you!

For women, we need to stop and smell the roses so we can all admire the beauty that surrounds us, hence the Flourish Garden theme.

It will be an event where women can come together, enjoy like-minded company, and be showered in positive vibes with a focus on women’s mental health and wellbeing.

Fraser Coast Mates was formed nearly 6 years ago from a tragedy when a group of heart-broken mates, who lost their good friend and local businessman Geoff Redpath to suicide, came together. The huge impact that was felt throughout the community prompted Geoff’s wife Kim and some of his closest mates, to organise a golf day for the first anniversary of his passing, wearing his favourite-coloured pink shirt, as a way of remembering him and to also bring awareness and conversation to men’s mental health and wellbeing.

This first golf day has now become a greatly anticipated, sell-out annual event seeing over 200 golfers take to the course each year, and almost $100,000 raised for mental health awareness on the Fraser Coast since the inception.

Today, Fraser Coast Mates continues to build solid foundations within the community with funding for counselling and support services, organised social events, funded exercise PT sessions and walk for awareness day.

The Flourish Garden organising committee members, Kim Redpath and Genevieve de Szoeke, said as the years have gone by and the golf day has grown, more and more women have participated in the annual event. Now is the perfect opportunity for the day to evolve and to introduce this new event to compliment the golf day.

Today more than ever we are all touched by depression and anxiety, and it is important that the women in the community have a way to come together to celebrate each other and more importantly, themselves.

While some ladies may still prefer to play golf, others will relish in a few hours of relaxation under the Flourish Garden marquee before coming together at the end of the day for fundraising and formalities with golfing participants.

“Geoff was a person that was amazing at connecting people and passionate about our Fraser Coast community, and the golf day evolving the way it has really is a reflection of the type of person that he was,” Kim said.

“The success and growth of the event over the years has come from the overwhelming need to provide a relaxed platform that encourages conversations and opportunity to openly show support toward each other”.

Genevieve said being all-inclusive does not take away from why Fraser Coast Mates started in the first place; it’s simply the right time to evolve and raise awareness for the women in need on the Fraser Coast.

“The golf day has been centred around men’s mental health and women have wanted to come on board and support the men in their lives. We need to also take the time for ourselves, to be a better support person. It’s about celebrating you!

“Women can be with other women, share, connect, laugh and listen; just come together to ensure that we have time for ourselves.

“We are natural givers; we want to fix things and help people to make situations better but unless our cups are full, we can’t take all that on and be there for everyone. Sometimes it’s at our detriment for doing that.

“There is very much a purpose to this event. It will allow women to come together in a beautiful relaxing surround, while at the same time supporting, sharing, and conversing,” Kim said.

“It’s to celebrate women, celebrate us, and celebrate you however we also need to talk about women’s mental wellbeing as well, but in a very positive light,” Genevieve added.

“That one chat, that one connection can change a person’s outlook. At the golf day over the years, we have seen how much just one conversation can change a person’s life.

“We believe this is the foundation for bigger and better things. We hope to build an awareness and also continue to raise funds through more events like this in the future, all under the Fraser Coast Mates umbrella.”

“We really want to establish support networks that are there for our community in the future and this event is a steppingstone toward that.

For ladies who are unable to attend or are dealing with mental health and want to reach out, please reach out.

“The funding Fraser Coast Mates provides for counselling and support services isn’t just for men it’s open to anyone in our community.”

The Flourish Garden event is on Friday 24th June, starting at 11.30am. Tickets are $80 and includes a champagne on arrival, canapés, and most importantly – celebrating you!

Would like to know more, email Fraser Coast Mates at admin@frasercoastmates.com.au.