Written by Marj Speedy
Indigenous Health/Family Support Worker
Wide Bay Women’s Health Centre Inc
Our names are Marj Speedy and Gina Woodman, we were inspired after going to the Beach for a Path of Grace, Labyrinth. After attending and going to the beach that day and walking the sacred journey which is about change, growth, and discovery. Movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, while stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, and taking courageous challenges at every step along the way.
We decided that we would start the wonderful venture of walking. So on the 20th October 2016, we started our journey of walking with just the two of us, we thought that early morning at 5.30 am was a good time to start as it was refreshing, relaxing and beautiful at this time of the morning.
We posted our photo on Face book, after doing this we had a number of requests from other women to ask if they could join us, we openly said yes. We currently have 80 members from around Australia on our Facebook group page which is called the healthy Butterfly Sisters. Since the beginning, we have had up to 21 women walking with a minimum of between 10-18 walking.
Our Name the Butterfly sisters came from one of our deadly walkers Lenore when we had the influx of butterflies on the Fraser Coast on one of the walks we were discussing the name and as we were surrounded by beautiful butterfly’s we decided that as we were also spreading our wings the connection was perfect to call ourselves the Healthy Butterfly Sisters.
This group is open to all women 18 and upwards. Our youngest is 24 years and our oldest is 70 years of age. This time is for women supporting each other, being healthy and active while closing the gap for our Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and South Sea women, we encourage all women to come.
We walk 3 days a week Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5.30 am to 6.30 pm. On Monday we meet at Reef World car park, Dayman Park, Urangan. Every Wednesday we meet at the car park near Aqua View, Torquay and Every Friday we meet at Enzos, Scarness.
Our walks have helped build our self-esteem and we are able to support and encourage each other with everyday life challenges.
During our walks we dress up in themes eg. R&B Friday, Christmas, footy, cancer, St Patricks Day, Valentines, closing the gap, Survival Day, and of course the deadly birthdays. We also pay our respects when a community member or family member has passed away, we do this by having a minute of silence and a release of flowers into the ocean. For inquiries please call Marj on 4125 5788.
Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago I was invited to meet the ladies from the Butterfly Sisters. They were joined in their walk by Clinton Toopi, Kyle Dancey, and Preston Campbell all former professional football players visiting Hervey Bay to talk at various events about youth empowerment, and positive engagement. This is such a great initiative for all involved.