Turn Adversity Into Advantage

by | Jul 15, 2021

Connect . Develop . Inspire

One of my favorite volunteer roles is as a Board member of the Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network, and the QRRRWN Annual Conference is probably my favorite event of the year.

This year we all made our way to Kingaroy for a very special event – our organisation’s 25th Anniversary.

QRRRWN has been delivering on its Mission to Connect, Develop and Inspire women from Rural, Regional and Remote (RRR) areas for a quarter of a century.

RRR women are often the invisible threads that connect and hold communities, organisations and businesses together. I say invisible because their contributions and work are far too often just that– invisible and unsung.

I have written in a previous Smallville article about the enormous dividend available to Australia if we act on regional inequality. There is also a huge boost there for the taking if we support regional businesses.


What to do about adversity?

I don’t think I’m being controversial if I say that there are some unique and additional challenges in being a successful small business owner outside a metropolitan area. (This not a complaint, just an acknowledgement. There are some massive advantages too!)

One of the Keynote speakers at the QRRRWN Conference, Detective Chief Superintendent and Acting Assistant Commissioner, Charysse Pond from the Queensland Police Service, blew everyone away. Charysse is quite clearly an extremely accomplished woman, and has made it to the highest levels of her profession.

But that was not the message she shared with us. Charysse has encountered more than here fair share of trauma and setbacks, but has managed to turn adversity in to advantage. Each challenge has equipped her with skills that she has been able to draw on later. Those same skills are the ones that have contributed to her career success.

More importantly, those skills have allowed Charysse to help many thousands of others who have found themselves in some of the worst possible human situations.

If she had succumbed, as many others would have, and buckled under the various pressures that life threw at her, all those people would not have had the advantage of her unique assistance as a service police officer.

In her wonderful quiet, understated way, Charysse made the decision to view the “things have have happened to her” as “things that have happened for her.

Bronwyn Reid | September 2018