THE Transformative Power Of Crisis - Rural People Thoughtfully Leading Change - A FREE Online Event

29th May 2020
830am – 330pm

The saying goes ‘never waste a good crisis’ but is that really true?

In this immersive & FREE Online event, we’ll tap into the Collective Wisdom of rural experts and explore whether we can use this Covid-19 crisis as a catalyst for transformation in our lives, communities and systems and lead thoughtfully or are we just deluding ourselves?

If you are a rural leader who is looking for some inspiration and hope that we’ll all come out of this better – together or you are wanting to top up your own cup to remember what you can control and influence then join us!

In this powerful day long event we’ll hear from 12 different presenters and cover topics including:

  • Indigenous wisdom and lessons to learn from colonisation
  • Risk, Mindset & Optimism in the face of Crisis
  • Scenario planning & Big Sky Dreaming a Syntropic design ideal
  • How do we activate Visionaries in our rural communities
  • How do we lead through a crisis/change
  • What is the hero’s journey and how do we apply this
  • What are the big opportunities to arise from this crisis and how do we maximise them
  • We’re all traumatised – taking a trauma informed approach
  • Opportunities of a crisis to activate true collaboration

With a mix of Presentations, Q&A and a lunchtime Panel session you will want to settle in for the day and get focused!

2020/05/29 08:30:00

Secure your seat today!

Register Below

Register your details and join us to activate collective wisdom and to learn from rural experts – in the face of Crisis to decide if we truly can transform from this experience and lead thoughtfully.

What is THE Transformative Power Of Crisis Event?

This spark for this event was born from a question asked on a social media post about the people who will be ‘left behind’ in the Covid-19 created crisis – and for the business owners who ‘won’t make it’ and will have to shut their doors.


What about them?

It really made me wonder about what IS the opportunity of a Crisis for people to transform, individually and collectively and just HOW do we move ourselves or help others move from the natural instinct to ‘fight or flight’ into a space where we can embrace it and #thrive #heal and #evolve

How do we move out of the ‘victim/rescuer’ pattern to support the reclamation of sovereignty and enabling change to be a positive in people’s lives – once the aftershock has subsided.

Rural communities are used to experiencing natural disasters and humans have been facing catastrophe in one form or another for eons – what makes this one different and have we ever really ‘learned’ and transformed from crisis?

My goal from this event is that by hearing from a range of different speakers (all of whom are rural) our thinking will be challenged and we’ll be inspired and activated to shift perspective just 5 degrees in some aspect of our lives.

This event is LIVE and INTERACTIVE and is heavily skewed to Q&A with Presenters providing a brief summary on their subject and then allowing for lengthy question time and a full 90 minute panel session over lunch

This will require your participation to be a rich and expansive experience.

I look forward to seeing you there,

Rebel Black
Founder THE Rural Woman & BOWABIRDS

A Full Day Online Immersion To Explore, Uncover, Challenge Paradigms About Crisis

Online Event Details

Date: 29th May 2020

Time: 830am NSW – 330pm NSW

Device: You can join the event on your computer, tablet or mobile phone

Your Host: THE Rural Woman Founder Rebel Black alongside 12 leading rural experts in areas including: Change Management, Community, Social & Economic Development, Indigenous history & knowledge, Trauma, Community Banking, Entrepreneur & Innovation ecosystems and Syntropic design.

What Can I Expect from my participation in this Online Event?

Register Now So You Can:


    Our presenters will be sharing their insights and you’ll be invited to ask questions, get deeper and invite new perspectives


    To consider new perspectives, take a different approach, reach out to others and activate with focus

  • FEEL Connected

    This event is going to be really interactive so you’ll connect with the presenters and the participants and expand your network. It will help mitigate the feelings of isolation

We are a community dedicated to lifelong learning and empowering people to live lives they love – to bloom where they are. We lead what we desire – which is thriving, healing and evolving. This is a community people want to be part of – for life!

Meet THE Presenters


Frances Peters Little


Surviving Colonisation – An Indigenous Leadership Perspective

About Mary

With over 28 years of experience working in all three sectors (private, non-profit and government) Mary works to improve economic opportunities for people living in rural areas. She is the co-founder and program developer for Rural on Purpose, a social purpose business committed to strengthening rural communities worldwide through entrepreneurship. She is a writer, speaker and community builder.

While entrepreneurship is at the heart of all of her work, she sees it as a way of “thinking and acting” to bring about change in any area. She is fearlessly optimistic and challenges people to have faith in the future as they work to make a difference.

Mary Doyle

Founder –

Pivotal Moments – A Chance to Lead

About Frances

Franny is a filmmaker, historian, author, and musician. Her most-recognised films are Vote Yes for Aborigines (2007) and Tent Embassy (1992). Her most notable publications are, Passionate Histories: Myth, Memory & Indigenous Australia, co-edited with A. Curthoys J. Docker (ANU Press, 2010); Indigenous Biography and Autobiography, co-edited with P. Read and A. Haebich (ANU Press, 2008); and ‘Exchanging Histories’, Aboriginal History 30 (2006), co-edited with A. McGrath and I. Macfarlane. Frances is a visiting research fellow at Jumbunna at the University of Technology, Sydney and Managing Director of the Jimmy Little Foundation. Today Franny lives in Lightning Ridge and writes for the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Les Bailey

Chief Strategy Officer, Regional Australia Bank

Thriving in Chaos – a discussion about Risk, Mindset & Optimism in uncertain times.

About Les

Les has held numerous senior executive roles within the Financial Services Industry and holds a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA). He brings a wealth of experience to the executive having previously served as a member of the executive management team of Holiday Coast Credit Union as Chief Risk Officer. Les is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Christine McDougall

Cheif Steward

A Syntropic Dream for a World with a Future

About Christine

Syntropic Enterprise is creating a world with a future. A world where integrity, values and human connection are driven through considered positive productivity for the Earth. For over 20 years, Christine McDougall has committed herself to working with leaders and enterprises globally to invoke change. She experiences a deeper level of truth by questioning the basic assumptions that drive us as humans. At the core of her work is the mantra…leave everything you touch, better.This is the principle of Syntropy.

Dianna Jacobsen

Business & Financial Strategist

It’s not all about Money, but what is the Role of Money in a Crisis?

About Dianna

Dianna Jacobsen grew up on a mixed farm in southern NSW, and has spent over 30 years working with rural families and businesses. She now lives on her cattle property in NE Victoria, and specialises in all aspects of business strategy, from money management to farm succession planning. Combining a background in accounting, financial planning, small business management, and personal empowerment coaching, Dianna works with families Australia-wide to streamline their financial affairs and manage their money in a SIMPLE and empowering manner, combining debt reduction, business growth, tax planning and superannuation,…. in PLAIN ENGLISH, customised to meet your personal circumstances.


Bernice Kotey


Flexible Working: A Gender Analysis and Post Covid-19 Implications

About Bernice

Bernice is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of New England and a Certified Practising Accountant. She has published on a range of management issues affecting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the impact of the macro-environment on their operations. Her research covers especially strategy and human resource management in SMEs. In relation to context, she has examined SMEs in local, regional, developing and developed economies and has supervised several Higher Degree Research students in these areas. Professor Kotey’s outstanding contribution to student learning over several years was recognised with an AAUT award in 2018.

Nikki Thompson

Life Coach

Blueprints for Transformation

About Nikki

My life has taken me on an amazing journey – to live rurally, raise a family, work as a health practitioner and manager and now as a life coach. My heart has helped direct the path and when I didn’t listen my body gave me sterner instructions! Each part of the journey has held gifts, challenges and keys along the way. My passion lies in stewarding others along their journey and in helping them reconnect with their unique gifts in service of wellbeing and flourishing for self, others and our Universal home.

Alex Thomas

Director & Principal Consultant

Health, Safety & Wellbeing | Practicality Over Paperwork

About Alex

Inspired by her experiences as a part-time carer for her disabled father as a result of his life’s work in agriculture, Alex is the Founder of the globally acclaimed #PlantASeedForSafety Project and is a fierce advocate for the health and safety of those in rural industries and communities. A self-employed consultant, Alex’s core objective is to help her clients re-calibrate the value proposition of work health and safety from ‘box-ticking’ to empowering people, reducing risk and ultimately preventing people from getting hurt. In hot pursuit of challenging the status quo, Alex adopts concepts from applied psychology, neuroscience, sociology and modern health and safety to help facilitate safer, healthier outcomes for people.

Megan Dixon

Director of Regional Development

Opportunities and challenges for leading collectively

About Megan

Passionate about regional Australia, Megan has been CEO and Director of Regional Development for RDA Orana, since November 2017. Megan brings over 20-years’ experience in regional development including local government, strategic planning, major project development, facilitation, community economic and events development, funding strategies and business development. Prior to 2017, Megan’s work experiences included senior management, market research and economic & demographic analysis, policy development, change management, marketing and brand development, budget development and reporting, financial and feasibility analysis, and major project management. Megan has also specialised in Economic Development, developing and implementing advice and policy in regional communities. Megan holds an Executive MBA from the University of Technology Sydney, a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Agriculture Economics and Economic Analysis and Policy from the University of New England, and an Associate Diploma in Applied Science from the University of Queensland.

Afternoon Session

Kylie Bennett

Managing Director, e-hub Health

Keeping mental health front of mind: considerations for rural leaders

About Kylie

Dr Kylie Bennett is the co-founder of e-hub Health which delivers online self-help programs for mental health. These include moodgym, a cognitive behaviour therapy training program ( and Mental Health Guru, a workplace induction about mental health ( She previously worked as part of a team at the Australian National University which developed and evaluated e-mental health interventions, and subsequently led a commercialisation process resulting in the spin-off of e-hub Health. Kylie is passionate about empowering individuals to manage their mental health through quality and accessible resources, and works with organisations around the world to provide access to online self-help.

Chad Renando

CEO, Startup Status

Collaboration through crisis – resilience from practical regional innovation responses for COVID-19 impacts

About Chad

Chad Renando has been visiting regions across Australia to better understand the key ingredients to creating a successful regional innovation ecosystem. His work can help regions understand the effectiveness of current support measures and importantly where they can be more targeted in addressing weaknesses.

Kevin Dupe

Chief Executive Officer – Regional Australia Bank

Resilience –  An Ethos of Lifelong Learning

About Kevin

Kevin brings a strong economic background to Regional Australia Bank. Kevin has over 25 years’ experience in the customer owned banking sector, including 22 years at Regional Australia Bank. Prior to entering the customer owned banking sector, Kevin spent 14 years as a Director in various economic and socioeconomic policy units in the Federal Government.

Michelle Edmonds

Deputy CEO, People & Customer – Regional Australia Bank

Resilience –  An Ethos of Lifelong Learning

About Michelle

Michelle brings a well-rounded wealth of knowledge to the Executive Management team at Regional Australia Bank. She has over 25 years’ experience in the financial sector, 22 of these spent in various Management roles within the Regional Australia Bank.

Rebel Black CEO

Rebel Black

Founder THE Rural Woman & BOWABIRDS

Resilience –  An Ethos of Lifelong Learning

About Rebel

Since I was a young girl I have hoped that rural Australia, a place that I am, would be a thriving, healing, evolving place full of people who are blooming where they are planted. Though my expression of this desire may have been slightly different through my decades, everything I’ve ever done in life, in business and in community contribution has been to fulfil this others. At my lowest ebb though, I realised this wasn’t going to work and that in order to even hold true to that vision and make any impact at all, I realised I had to become a thriving, healing, evolving person myself. I recognised that, in order to affect the change I was desperate to see, I had to take Ghandi’s advice and ‘be the change I wanted to see the in the world’. And so I did. I threw everything at my own thriving, healing, evolving journey.

What Can I Expect From These Presentations & Panel Sessions?

You will be inspired and moved deeply by what you will hear from our presenters and panelists and will be taken into realms of thought you hadn’t yet realised was where you needed to go!

This is an interactive online event where the participants are as crucial as the prestners and panelists so be prepared with great questions and a willingness to get uncomfortable!

In this event our panelists and presenters will invite you to ponder questions like:

  • can enterprise lead change for a new future?
  • what are the patterns of life’s journey?
  • what wisdom are we missing from our Indigenous people?
  • how do we break stigma?
  • what role do we play in keeping ourselves safe?
  • what role does wellness and remote working play in rural futures?
  • is our mindset the key?
  • what plans are we making?
  • what is resilience really and how do we ‘get it’

What Do I Do Next?

We are really looking forward to seeing you LIVE, so please make sure you have the following tasks completed so you can maximise your opportunity to Activate your Energy!

  • Register by completing the registration form on this page

  • You have marked the time and date in your diary (non-negotiable time!)

  • You have a quiet private space on the day

  • You have your laptop, phone or tablet ready and charged

  • You have a webcam (YES, we want to SEE you please!)

  • Headphones are a great idea

Online Event Details

Date: 29th May 2020

Time: 830am NSW – 330pm NSW

Device: You can join the event on your computer, tablet or mobile phone

Your Host: THE Rural Woman Founder Rebel Black alongside 12 leading rural experts in areas including: Change Management, Community, Social & Economic Development, Indigenous history & knowledge, Trauma, Community Banking, Entrepreneur & Innovation ecosystems and Syntropic design.

Event Schedule


Time: 830am
Who: Rebel Black


Tech support
Introduction/Overview to EVENT

Indigenous Wisdom

Time: 9AM
Who: Frances Peters Little


Surviving Colonisation – An Indigenous Leadership Perspective

How Do We Lead?

Time: 930AM
Who: Mary Doyle


Pivotal Moments – A Chance to Lead

Thriving In Chaos

Time: 10AM
Who: Les Bailey


Thriving in Chaos – a discussion about Risk, Mindset & Optimism in uncertain times.

A Syntropic Approach

Time: 11AM
Who: Christine McDougall


A Syntropic Dream for a World with a Future

The Role Of Money

Time: 1130AM
Who: Dianna Jacobson


It’s not all about Money, but what is the Role of Money in a Crisis?

Panel Session

Time: 12NOON
Bernice Kotey
Nikki Thompson
Alex Thomas
Megan Dixon

Collective Mental Wellbeing

Time: 2pm
Who: Kylie Bennett


Keeping mental health front of mind: considerations for rural leaders

Leading Collaboration

Time: 230pm
Who: Chad Renando


Collaboration through crisis – resilience from practical regional innovation responses for COVID-19 impacts

Activating Resilience

Time: 3pm
Rebel Black
Kevin Dupe
Michelle Edmonds


An Ethos of Lifelong Learning & Leadership


Time: 330pm

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