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Empowering Journeys with Broken to Brilliant's Support Walk

A photo of the six walkers feet all in a circle as domestic violence survivors cannot show their faces.

As we concluded our final Support Walk at West Chermside Brisbane and Mackay for 2023 on Saturday, November 18th, it marked a moment in a year filled with healing, gratitude, and community connections. Our Support Walks are a testament to the strength and resilience of survivors who have bravely left abusive relationships, seeking not only physical well-being but also the emotional support necessary for their journey of rebuilding.

Our Support Walk, for survivors, occurs every 3rd Saturday of the month in West Chermside Brisbane and Mackay Queensland, offering not only the physical benefits of walking but also the mental wellness derived from walking in nature and focusing on a gratitude practice. Our walk goes for 45-60 minute sessions and finishes with some stretches, during each walk we intentionally cultivate an environment of friendship, support, and community. Throughout 2023, we organised a total of 15 walks, with an attendance of 67 individuals.

Heartfelt thanks

Walk Leader Maria

Our heartfelt appreciation goes to Maria in Mackay, a Broken to Brilliant Author, Partner, and Advocate, who initiated the Mackay Broken to Brilliant Support Walk in August. The Mackay walkers meet at the Mackay Botanical Gardens Cafe, located at 9 Lagoon Street, West Mackay, with the option to walk along a choice of paths within the gardens. Maria's dedication has added a vibrant chapter to our Broken to Brilliant community.

Broken to Brilliant named Charity of the year with Hon Anika Wells and Jarred Cassidy at the Lilley Volunteer Awards

A special acknowledgment goes to the Magic Ant Network, whom we had the privilege of meeting at the Hon Anika Wells, Lilley Volunteer Awards in May. Since our meeting, this incredible group has consistently supported most of our walks, contributing immensely to the success and positive atmosphere. We express our sincere gratitude for their ongoing partnership and commitment to our shared mission.

Nature in the city

A photo of a wallaby  in Down Fall Creek

During our West Chermside walks, we appreciate the opportunity to immerse ourselves in nature, occasionally spotting a wallaby or two. Research shows that participating in outdoor walking groups contributes to health benefits, including reduced blood pressure, total cholesterol, and the risk of depression. The collective experience of walking together not only fosters physical well-being but also helps to reduce social isolation. As we walk and talk, we create a supportive community that thrives on the healing power of nature and shared experiences.

Domestic and Family Violence Month

A photo of the Broken to Brilliant walkers with Councillors Cr Tracy Davis and Councillor Fiona Hammond

During Domestic and Family Violence Month, our West Chermside support walk on May 20th drew a larger group, and we appreciate everyone who participated. We'd like to acknowledge Councillors Cr Tracy Davis and Councillor Fiona Hammond for joining us, emphasizing our shared commitment to raising awareness and fostering change. A thank you to Carmela Baxter for providing coffees at Silky Oak Espresso, enhancing the ‘feel-good’ of our gathering. Your presence and support during this walk underscore the community's dedication to breaking the cycle of domestic and family violence.

Cuppa Connections and Collaborations

A photo of a cup of coffee at Silky Oak Espresso

After our last West Chermside walk for 2023, we celebrated by enjoying brekkie and a cuppa at Silky Oak Espresso. We engaged in interesting discussions and collaborative problem-solving, delving into a range of topics addressing charity issues to creating connections, and discussing opportunities for shared business premises. We had wild dreams about scriptwriting for a play and Netflix series, hosting performing arts shows, community performance reviews, and book reviewing. We learned about a noteworthy book, 'The 4 Disciplines of Execution,' which shares a proven formula to achieve strategic goals by focusing on the important; acting on the measures; keeping a scoreboard; and creating accountability. Our morning conversation was both insightful and inspiring.

A Community United for Clean Ant Saturdays

Four volunteers after cleaning up the park Clean Ant Saturday Broken to Brilliant and the Magic Ant Network
Clean Ant Saturday Broken to Brilliant and the Magic Ant Network

The Magic Ant Network has been successfully running

throughout Brisbane, contributing significantly to the cleanliness and beauty of our parks. For the last walk of the year on November 18th, Broken to Brilliant and the Magic Ant Network joined forces for the Clean Ant Saturday at Melaleuca Park, West Chermside. We mainly collected plastic food wrappers and coffee cup lids. Overall, the park was reasonably clean, thanks to the joint effort of our volunteers, access to bins, and the regular council mowing. We take this opportunity to remind everyone to utilise the bins provided in the park. If you attend a local Brisbane City Park and find that there aren’t sufficient bins, don't hesitate to write to your local Brisbane City Council Councillor and request a bin to be installed. Let's keep our community spaces clean and welcoming!

Thank you to our Walk Leaders

A special thank you goes out to our walk leaders—Kate, Margaret, Fiona and Maria —for their exceptional leadership throughout the year. Up early to beat the heat and to navigate the walking paths, they rarely missed a beat. Their kindness and support motivated walkers and they also helped us all finish the walks with soothing stretches and friendly chats, making our Support Walks an enjoyable experience.

As we close the chapter on our last Support Walks for the year, we are filled with gratitude for the resilient individuals who make up our community. The journey continues, and we look forward to welcoming both familiar and new faces to our upcoming walks in 2024.

Look out for more information and updates on our website

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