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Snow Entrepreneurs Retreat at Willinga Park, Bawley Point

12 December 2023

In November, we hosted the inaugural Snow Entrepreneurs Leadership Retreat at Willinga Park on the NSW South Coast, co-facilitated by the wonderful Jessica Mendoza-Roth from Social Impact Hub and Gary Samowitz. It was great to spend four days with 15 of our 17 Snow Entrepreneurs from both cohorts.

The primary purpose of the face-to-face retreat was to create new and strengthen existing connections among all the Snow Entrepreneurs, as well as with The Snow Foundation and our delivery partners, Social Impact Hub. In addition, we wanted to encourage peer learning and reflections on leadership styles.

We laughed, we cried and we worked hard – and we forged a strong support network and friendships along the way.

There were so many highlights – here are a few:

Aunty Loretta Ethel Parsley gave us a warm Welcome to Country, telling us about the land of the Murramurrang people and allowing us to try on her possum skin cloak, which has her family’s story etched into the inside.  Sitting around the fire, we heard many stories of inspiration, vulnerability and strength.

The next day, we dived into strength-based leadership, reflecting on situations when we are at our best, before unleashing everyone’s competitive spirit in a scavenger hunt, which saw the two cohorts going head to head in exploring the beautiful surroundings and conquering a set of challenges.

We then took to “Challenge Pods”, a speedy process that generates different perspectives and ideas, before enjoying dinner in the rain – which did nothing to dampen our moods!

We also heard from Terry Snow, founder of The Snow Foundation, and his son Stephen Byron, who together with their strong team, have built Canberra Airport and its associated businesses over the past 25 years. They told their story of success (and set-backs), sharing insights and tips on being entrepreneurs – all extremely relevant!

All in all, while it is hard to sum up such a rich and powerful experience, Loki Ball from Performl did it beautifully when asked to reflect on what he took away from the retreat:

“The demonstration of courage and vulnerability from others – the feeling of connection and support which really matters at this early (often lonely) stage.”

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