An evening spent sharing inspiring stories and dining together at Muresk Institute was the perfect way to end the first day of the Value Creators Wheatbelt Regional Women’s STEM JumpStart Bootcamp. Women with a passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning gathered together for the two-day bootcamp part of the three-month, fully-funded professional development course at the Muresk Institute on May 19 and 20. The program was delivered by Value Creators — a business transformation company founded by Maree Gooch and Ann Maree O’Callaghan — in partnership with the RRR Network and funded by the Federal Government. Targeted at women aged between 18 and 35, the program has been marketed as a “grassroots capacity-building program” for young rural, regional and remote women. The three-month program aims to help upskill and jumpstart training, careers or new ventures in STEM with four key elements — a bootcamp masterclass series, group mentoring, one-on-one mentoring, and an annual connector forum. The dinner provided the opportunity for participants to reset and relax after a big day of presentations and workshops, headlined by guest speaker Opposition leader Mia Davies. Guests also heard from Jordan Mills and Mandy Walker about their journeys working in STEM and agriculture in regional WA. Value Creators have received funding to run 10 of the Women’s STEM JumpStart programs in WA between December 2021 and June 2024, with the first kicking off in Mandurah in December. Albany was next, in February, followed by the Muresk Institute in May, with two more scheduled to be held this year — in Geraldton from September 20-21 and Perth from November 3-4. Other workshops are still being planned. Value Creators also plans to hold a sundowner at the Royal Agricultural Society of WA councillors’ lounge at the Claremont Showgrounds on June 7.