Mar 27, 2024 | News, Newsletters

Thank you so much to all of you for continuing to support Highways and Byways. We have had a great start to the year. Our 2024 Small Grants Program Valuing Community Connections in an Ancient Land has drawn great interest, and we look forward to announcing our successful applicants soon! Our longer-term programs are also all thriving through the strong leadership of Tani Langoulant, Megan Brown and Todd Dudley. Through these programs, we are so glad to be able to continue the legacy of the incredible Missionary Sisters of Service as we celebrate their 80th anniversary this year!

Seeds of Connection

Megan facilitated the Women’s Earth and Healing Retreat in December. The women who attended had the opportunity to connect with each other, and find healing through the sharing of both their personal experiences and their work experiences.

Many of them work in support roles helping Indigenous women with mental health and wellbeing; an area in high demand for Indigenous people due to cultural intergenerational trauma. The relationships formed through the retreat will offer ongoing support for these women, and it is through this kind of community building that we see the great outcomes of our Seeds of Connection program.

Megan is currently planning another Indigenous women’s gathering around the Roma/Mitchell area for Seeds of Connection, and is exploring opportunities to create a program further west.

The map below gives a sense of the distances Megan is traversing to make her Indigenous Women’s Cultural and Healing programs accessible to women in remote South West Queensland.

Free2b Girls

Free2b Girls is going from strength to strength as they enable more local women to become facilitators and work with Free2b Girls. Late last year, Tani took some of the Free2b Girls to a local Council meeting, at which the Mayor invited the girls to always speak up if they needed to, and put proposals in. One of the youngest Free2b girls at 10 years old, Lily, did exactly that! You can read her letter to the council by clicking here

Lily organised an event for International Women’s Day in St Helens because she believes it’s so important to “get the community to listen to young people’s voices!” You can read her story, printed in the local news, The Coastal Column by clicking here.

This is such a great example of the way Free2b Girls is supporting local girls and young women who otherwise are disconnected from their local community!

Restoring Nature and Communities

Todd’s team at North East Bioregional Network have started the year with some great regeneration work on the Skyline Tier. They are continuing the work they started last year; where they regenerated over 100 hectares of land that was previously covered in radiata pine saplings and weeds.

Todd’s team has also been working to gather support to protect Skyline Tier from a change of plans by a logging company, which now intends to plant 300 hectares of radiata pine in previously harvested pine plantation areas that are already showing strong signs of native forest regeneration. The 10-30 year-old natives that were retained when the last plantation was harvested are now to be bulldozed by the company, and the land sprayed to wipe out the understory. More pines would then be planted and grown for 10-15 years, before being cut down and transported 200km to burn in a biomass power plant to generate “green” hydrogen. This is a great example of organisations who inadvertently damage the environment more than they help it, when they try to go “green”. Todd has communicated to the company that it would be far more ecologically beneficial to gain carbon credits for doing native forest restoration on that same land, than creating green hydrogen. He also reached out to the local Break O’Day regional community, and on February 24th, 120 locals met to learn about what is planned, and how they can voice their concerns. The unanimous consensus from the meeting was strong support for ongoing native forest restoration and opposition to planting any more pines as articulated in the vision statement:

Healthy, fully restored coastal catchments, waterways and wetlands supporting diverse wildlife and flora, scenic beauty and local community wellbeing.


  • Main: participants at the Women’s Earth and Healing Retreat on the Sunshine Coast in December 2023.


  • The participants at the Women’s Earth and Healing Retreat in a connecting turning circle.
  • A smoking stick. These are traditionally made from eucalyptus and native sandalwood, but the women were encouraged to pick whatever they found. Lavender and pine cones… our society doesn’t allow us time to go and gather things now… so it was a welcome opportunity for the women to go out and gather.
  • A restored creek at Skyline Tier thanks to the work of Todd Dudley at his team at North East Bioregional Network. 


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