Rural Women's Gathering

NSW Rural Women's Gathering

The NSW Rural Women's Gathering is an annual weekend event organised by local committees with support from the Rural Women's Network.

The organising committee makes key decisions, develops a theme and the weekend program. Each Gathering reflects the unique culture, industry, tourism and environment of the host community.

Women's Gatherings are for ALL rural women including: farming women; Aboriginal women; women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; mining women; women in the fishing industry; women who live in regional cities, towns and villages; and coastal women.

Gatherings are a well established annual statewide community event for all rural women.

2020 gathering postponed

Amazing Women with Vision, Forbes

The NSW Rural Women’s Gathering to be held at Forbes on 23-25 October 2020 has been postponed to 22-24 October 2021.The Rural Women’s Network in consultation with the 2020 Forbes Rural Women’s Gathering committee has decided to postpone the event due to restrictions and challenges around COVID-19.

The Forbes Rural Women's Gathering committee remains operational and are happy to receive expressions of interest from individuals, groups and organisations who are keen to host a tour or workshop or to participate in next year’s event. You can read the full media release here.

Rural women's gatherings provide the opportunity for rural women to come together to build resilience, network, learn, share experiences and support each other while gaining access to decision-makers, information and service providers. They also allow regional towns to showcase their local talent, produce and environment.

Keep up-to-date with Forbes Women's Gathering news via Facebook @ForbesRWG2020 or email:

Hosting a gathering

Research by Social Ventures Australia found that Rural Women's Gatherings aren't only great for rural women they are also great for rural economies. The research found that the 2014 Rural Women's Gathering in Coolamon injected over $230,000 into the local economy and that for every dollar invested in the event approximately $2.20 of social and economic value was created and rural women felt more connected, inspired and empowered.

The Rural Women's Network is responsible for ensuring the Women's Gathering moves around the State and that committees have broad community support and the capacity to host the event. RWN reviews Gathering submissions annually in April and using a set criteria decide on the host town for the following year. This allows the chosen committee at least 12 months lead time and an opportunity to attend the current year's Gathering.

If your community is interested in hosting a Gathering and has a group of committed women, the capacity to host such an event and can demonstrate strong community support, contact RWN to register your interest.

The NSW Women's Gathering Guidelines have been prepared for anyone considering hosting a Women's Gathering. For more information and the submission template, or if you would like to discuss your proposal, contact the Rural Women's Network on 02 6391 3620 or email

Update on 2021 submissions

Communities who submitted a proposal to host the 2021 gathering have been contacted and advised of changes around COVID-19. Rural Women’s Network will contact relevant communities next year when submissions open for the 2022 Gathering inviting them to update and re-submit their proposal should they wish to still host the event.

Gatherings resources

Communique: What rural women say

DPI's Rural Women’s Network engaged directly with women participating in the annual NSW Rural Women's Gatherings to identify key challenges for rural women in NSW. The Gathering communique's are a record of the conversations collected in the one-hour facilitated workshop sessions.