MATES: Georgi worked with Al the lamb for the photo shoot.
MATES: Georgi worked with Al the lamb for the photo shoot. Annabelle Hickson

Young girls build confidence

EMERALD mum Rach McDowall was so determined for her 10-year-old daughter to experience a design and confidence-building workshop that she drove 10 hours to Texas, near the Queensland-NSW border, to take part.

Ms McDowall said the workshop, called Make My Bedroom Mine, had been such a success when the duo made the journey in the previous school holidays that she's now determined to kick off a similar program closer to home.

She said her daughter, Georgi, had enjoyed "the chance to blossom" in an environment supported by creative women and surrounded by other young girls eager to participate and interact with their peers.

"It was good to get her out of her comfort zone and meet other girls and learn to be comfortable with doing that," she said.

"When you live so far away, you don't get too many chances to do that - it's the tyranny of distance."

MsMcDowall said the workshop was run by Dreaming Big for Little Girls and was a four-hour design and confidence-building session where the girls created a vision for their own bedroom, using a collage board with pictures and colours to represent what they would like their room to look like.

As the workshop was also a parent-free zone, the girls were then able to talk with each other and interact, discussing their choices and plans for their room design.

The aim of the day was to tap into girls' happiness through interior design.

"The mood from the start was that everyone was nervous, and three hours later everyone was so chatty."

Ms McDowall said the children were able to learn concepts of basic design while also appreciating how to meet new people in their peer group and develop friendships.

"Georgi realised that good, fun things can come about from being a bit nervous and uncomfortable in the beginning," she said.

"It helped her inner-strength. This was a really good personal development for her and I would do it again."

She said the day before the workshop, the girls were also able to take part in The Confidence Creative, which involved setting up and designing a photo shoot for three hours, working with the lighting and actually creating a set.

"It was about trying to help girls explore their creativity through a design process."

Ms McDowall said this also featured four creative women speakers including Sydney stylist and author Megan Morton.

Ms McDowall said she was now keen to establish a similar workshop in Emerald and is calling for anyone who might be interested to get in touch.

"I don't want kids to be disadvantaged because they live remotely, and to me it's another way of getting and allowing girls to be creative," she said.

"It helps you think outside the square and be able to do it with confidence. It doesn't need to be loud, sassy confidence, but quiet confidence and a real belief in themselves."

Anyone who is interested can contact Rachel McDowall on rach@como

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