We've done it! The girls from the Carinda Sewing Group (the Calendar Girls) in the severe drought area of Walgett and Carinda in outback NSW, Sue Currey with her photos, Sequins and Sand with our Cossies and Viv Kane the printer have collaborated to bring you the Beach to Bush Calendar.
Buy yours here. But before you do, we'd love you to understand why and how it came to be. In true Aussie Bush style, it's a beauty!
3 women walk into a bar. Nah. 2.
2 women walk into a bar in outback Carinda, 268 clicks north of Dubbo. A Soldier's Wife, a Cotton Farmer's Wife and their idea. Actually, they don't walk into a bar. That's a lie, they use the phone.
They want to get 100 women of outback NSW off their properties for a day. To forget about the shitty and downright depressing things happening on their farms. To take time for themselves, to gather, to laugh, to feel special. To even get a hair cut!
The yarn goes something like this.
So the Soldier's Wife (30 years married to the military, 2 kids, a dog, 13 moves, a coup, a war and a mobile online store) with a passion to help women love themselves and live their best summer, ushers women from all around Australia and dares them to get into a swimsuit to encourage others to do the same. Because doing this seemingly simple thing is bloody hard for most women. For far too many it surfaces many body loathing and emotional insecurities. They don't do it and as a result, they miss out on so much and so do the ones who love them.
The Cotton Farmer's Wife who has experienced this self-doubt herself, sees what the Soldier's Wife is doing and thinks it's a bloody good idea. She decides it's time to get off her bum and get into her bathers and help other women do the same.
The two connect and it's on! The Beach To Bush bash is set for Saturday the 27th October at The Cotton Farmer's mate's place, between Walgett and Carinda in outback NSW. A simple affair, a chat, a little fashion parade, a cuppa and a few sambos.
Word starts to get out, as it tends to do in the bush, and before she can say "Shit! The wild pigs are back Barry!" simple becomes BIG as everyone wants to help out. The Cotton Farmer's Wife chats to her Carinda Sewing Group mates about it and the girls spring into action helping to make it happen.
So the simple gathering becomes the Beach to Bush Ladies Day! A free community event with sponsorship, local businesses offering free massages, hair cuts, facials and more. The local CWA is lending a hand with food and drinks and donations from the day, going to Drought Angels. Women from all over Australia are doing their bit too, sending in pampering gifts to hand out on the day to the locals who attend. 1000's of gifts arrive. The local Post Office is packed to the rafters. The Cotton Farmer's Wife and the Soldier's Wife can't believe it. They are very grateful and happy.
Then one day, whilst sewing her quilt for Marjorie who's not doing so well, the Carinda Sewing Group's ideas girl, Toni, comes up with a doozy. "Why don't we do a Calendar? In our cossies, work boots and Acubra's on in dried up dams, with the sheep in the cotton fields."
"I'm in!" says Pat, the town's matriarch and a full of beans 89 year old. "Me too. Me too. Jude, are you in? Yep."
So now there's a Calendar in the making with 11 women from the Carinda Sewing Group showing their #cossieconfidence and raising money for their local community. This has the potential to be BIG and more importantly, do so much good in a community in one of the hardest hit areas in Australia's worst drought in 400 years.
A Beach to Bush Calendar, with all profits raised going to Drought Angels and local charities, who do so much to help us"
"I'm in!" says Pat, the town's 88-year-old matriarch. "Me too. Me too! Jude, are you in? Yep". So with thinking caps on, locations are soon decided. They call on a mate, Sue Currey, who's pretty darn talented behind the lens to take the shots. Sue is a passionate sheep and cropping farmer who works alongside her husband and son. Like most enthusiastic photographers Sue is always behind the lens and never in front. Between feeding stock and all the associated jobs of running a property in the grips of drought, Sue has always made time to help with our project.
A calendar was taking shape and the rest is history. The first 'Beach To Bush Calendar' was on its way.
For the love of a place and its people.
The End...not really. This is just the beginning!