Peak Hill, New South Wales

Toni Clark thought she knew everyone in Peak Hill, but when she organised four Peak Hill ‘Sisterhood’ get-togethers in 2019 she forged friendships with locals she had never met, including one 90-year-old who she now calls her friend.

Creating new friendships was an experience shared by the forty plus women who attended the events, funded by Highways and Byways, to help locals nurture connections within the small town in central NSW.

Toni, on behalf of the Peak Hill Uniting Church Fellowship, gathered together a committee including several young local women to run the Sisterhood evenings.

She said the younger planners were determined to make each night special, from decorating the local hall to providing gifts for the women who came along

The Sisterhood evenings had themes of hands, new beginnings, what it means to be a woman and Christmas. Each of the day or evening events featured a lovely meal, a guest speaker and a gift or experience.

One of the events was a high tea, another one featured a woman talking about the work of her hands and that was followed by hand massages for all those present. Another evening featured a woman speaking about ‘new beginnings’ and each guest could pot up a succulent and take home.

Resources and referral information, on issues raised at the evenings, were also available.

“Peak Hill is a small town with very few services. These gatherings brought people together, broke down barriers between the generations, created new friendships and networks and gave younger women the opportunity to create a very successful event,” Toni said.

“I know a lot of new beginnings have come from it.”