It was with immense joy and pride that the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation has spent the past few weeks celebrating the achievements of 518 graduates of the Daughters of the West program.
The 10-week program, run in partnership with WorkSafe Victoria, cohealth and local councils across 17 sites, sees participants learn strategies to improve their physical and mental health, while given a safe space to put these into action.
For many of the participants however, the lasting connections they build within their cohort and community is the highlight.
“To spend time with other women, get connected, make new friends was so meaningful to me. It made me feel a part of this community,” said Grace from Melton, who had experienced great difficulty upon her migration to Australia from Thailand.
Of the 518 graduates, 117 came from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities from the Western suburbs of Melbourne and beyond, highlighting the reach and impact that the Community Foundation has.
“Our programs' success lies in their ability to transcend beyond Bulldog supporters and even the general footy public,” said Kashif Bouns, General Manager of the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation.
“They're designed to be a welcoming space for every individual in our diverse community, fostering connections and providing opportunities for all.”
The Daughters of the West program aims to build health and fitness by instilling a sense of empowerment and fostering lasting connections between people within our community.
Topics covered include healthy diets, social inclusion, and financial literacy, nurturing bonds between participants by encouraging them to engage in conversation, education and group-based exercises that cater to any fitness levels.
Michelle Schwensen, Director at cohealth, shared in the WB Community Foundation’s joy.
“We’re so excited to see the Daughters of the West participants graduate across Victoria,” she said.
“cohealth partnered with the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation to tackle health inequalities and engage with communities in the West, and these graduations are both proof of the program’s impact and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the hard work of the all the participants.”
For those who missed the chance to participate in the recent program, there's exciting news: the Daughters of the West program will commence again in July 2024 at multiple sites across the inner west of Melbourne and beyond.
This program is an opportunity to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery, just like the inspiring women celebrated at the graduation ceremonies.
2024 will also mark another major milestone for Health & Wellbeing stream of the WB Community Foundation, with its Sons of the West Program (the male counterpart to DOTW) to celebrate 10 years.
SOTW will begin in March 2024, and all interested are warmly encouraged to register via westernbulldogs.com.au/foundation.