Realising a vision
“It was a really challenging time in my life. I’d collapsed physically the previous year and hadn’t been able to work on the farm, my father had recently died and my eldest child had just left home. I was feeling stuck and I couldn’t see a road out of it.”
For Wendy Coup, the ‘creating your vision’ exercise during Agri-Women’s Development Trust’s (AWDT) It’s All About YOU programme was the start of creating her dream job and a more fulfilling life.
Originally from Australia, Wendy was farming with her husband Martin on their King Country sheep and beef farm when she did the programme (then called First Steps) in 2012.
At Martin’s suggestion, Wendy did It’s all about YOU without any clear idea of where it would take her. One of the first benefits she found was taking some time out to focus on herself.
“As farming women we’re always rushing, there are always things we need to be doing. It was so valuable to spend two days reflecting on where I was at, what I’d been through and asking myself: where do I go from here?”
During the programme, Wendy gained new insight into what was important to her and where her skills and passion lay. Observing the AWDT facilitators in action made Wendy realise that she wanted to create similar opportunities for women “to go away inspired and with the ability to make positive changes in their lives”.
When imagining a vision for her life in five years’ time, Wendy identified that she wanted to be “working with women I can empower” in a training or guest speaking role.
“I even said to the facilitators: ‘You have the job I want!’.”
Following the programme, Wendy started pursuing opportunities ‘off-farm’ to make her vision a reality. She prepared her first ever CV and began working with AgriOne as a presenter for one of their courses.
“I loved doing this work: meeting the different people and discovering that this is what I do best.”
Wendy then went on to graduate from AWDT’s Escalator programme in 2016, which led to her becoming a facilitator for the trust’s Understanding Your Farming Business and more recently, It’s All About YOU programmes.
Wendy was reminded of the power of It’s all about YOU when she came across her programme notes almost seven years after doing the course and found she was now doing everything outlined in her vision and “living my dream”.
There have been challenges along the way but Wendy says having a strong vision and building a network of women to support her has given her the courage and confidence to overcome these.
“The programme really allows you to think about what might be possible if you don’t have to consider all of your current responsibilities and what you think are barriers. You don’t have to have it all figured out; just taking the first step can take you forward in a new direction.”
“You deserve to have a life you love. It’s all about YOU is the best two days you can spend on yourself to help you to achieve that. I adore the life I have now.”