Australia: Empowering Women for Leadership Workshop

WFWP Australia workshop on February 23 to 26, 2017, Sydney Australia


By Hamidah Bahashwan and Aila Willitts, WFWP Australia

Overall, the participants enjoyed discovering new ideas about Emotional Intelligence, Leadership and Working with Team. Two participants made a request for facilitator to conduct training in their community. The workshop conducted was very well received by participants who have shared what they have learned in their own words:

What have I learned? AHA moments:

  1. In the game of “Blue and Red Ribbons” led by Esther I learned the relaxing helped. Although I have no idea how to solve the problem, I just learned to trust the others. “Less quiet than I thought to neutralize feelings of nervousness to not make mistake. How steadfast I was”
  2. There are so many ways to solve a problem when I am open to others help
  3. I can mistake over and over again. I can learn from my mistakes. Eventually don’t lose patience with myself.
  4. The world can be interpreted two or more ways. Motivation most import.
  5. Focus, listen to others, recognize we have to learn new things.
  6. I have learned to relax when in pressure.
  7. I have learnt to let someone else lead and take control.
  8. To think like a child.
  9. To solve conflicts always in a relaxed state, change mind by breathing in a let it out (strongly) 6 times. To hug people heart to heart. TO find true self – look to your heart in a morror – not outside the mirror.
  10. “Stay focus and to forgive”. “Concentrate. Forgive. Prejudice”
  11. To stay Positive, remove negativity
  12. You-tube has many good lessons (I have to use U-tune for teachable moments, I will)
  13. It me to reflect in more detail on my inner life, in terms of my deepest core identity. I hadn’t been able to reach in that deeply, by myself, before, despite serious effort to do so.
  14. The lessons by both Hamidah and Esther, through the activities, were very helpful, as its easier to remember and practise the lessons we felt with our bodies. I would like to have, if possible, more such activities, in future workshops.

Facilitators: Siti Hamidah Bahashwan and Esther Lay

Program Content

  1. Emotional Intelligence (EI) principles and strategies
  2. Leadership Styles and Skills
  3. Conflict Resolution principles and skills


Participants were kept engaged through various activities which include:

  • Short Presentation on Emotional Intelligence and Great Leadership
  • Group Activities and Games
  • Videos and Music

Experiential ways where lessons earned through body-mind-soul connections through many fun activities and games helped participants incorporate the lessons and become inspired to do more to learn, relearn and unlearn after the workshop.

Facilitators’ Comments

These are the findings from facilitator’s observation:

1) Participants are aware and committed to practice and further develop Emotional Intelligence Skills in their daily personal and professional lives. They expressed their understanding and willing to do their part to lead with the heart (Emotional Intelligence).

2) Participants also appreciated the skills and strategies on great leadership and the steps to improve on how they communicate to their children, family and friends

3) Participants were willing to share real life experiences taking the brave steps to self-disclosure for personal and professional development. Few participants demonstrated courage in letting go of the past hurt and willing to start fresh taking each day at a time giving their best to make it meaningful and to be more positive and brave to make mistakes in order to learn (Mistakes are learning experience)


The small size of the workshop was very good for participants to bond with one another easily. The room was cosy and well equipped cool enough most of the time during training. However the tables were rather huge and there is less space for the group activities. The venue was excellent and suitable for the workshop.

Suggestions for future workshops:

  1. The have a bigger group (30-50 participants) as the content and the experiential learning methodology is very effective in bringing about transformation.
  2. To have a session on “Courageous Conversation”
  3. To have more in-depth personal transformation demonstration
  4. To have more participants from other community – women from multi-cultural background.
  5. To co-organize it with Woman organization from other community