Bella Westaway: 'It’s time to say goodbye'

By Bella Westaway | Wild Women Weekly Editor

When I first heard of Wild Women On Top, it went by a different name. 

I was sitting on the stairs of my childhood home when my mother, a radio journalist/stay-at-home-mum/queen of my universe announced that she was starting a group called Mum’s Kick Arse. 

Which I thought was the lamest name in the world. 

It started as a group of school mums, getting out into the beautiful bushland and coastal tracks around Sydney. Today, it’s an empire. A community. A tribe. 

And for me, it’s time to say goodbye. 

What started as mandatory Year 10 work experience at my mum’s little business (because I was too lazy to find a ‘real’ position), became a job, and became my life. 

Wild Women On Top has transformed me from a sixteen year old princess who would rather hit the mall than the track, to a 22 year old adventure goddess - strong, wild and inspired by the incredibly beautiful people, places and experiences that the world has to offer. 

So as I head off on my next adventure, I wanted to say thank you, to each and every person in this wonderful community. 

First to my Mum, Di Westaway. She’s still the queen of my universe. It baffles me that one person contain so much life. She gave me a taste of my first adventure with Wild Women On Top, climbing Mt Kinabalu with a group of mother’s and daughters when I was 14, and it transformed our relationship from a shouty fight over the dishes to an unbelievable bond that can only be described as soul mates. 

As anyone who has been to one of Di’s session’s will know, her energy and enthusiasm radiates from her (even at 6am!!), and she has a remarkable ability to inspire women to believe anything is possible. She’s always encouraged me to climb whatever physical or metaphoric mountain that looks like fun - but most of all, to enjoy the journey along the way. 

I’ve watched as she’s raised this community from the ground, the trials and triumphs, the laughter and the lessons. We’ve spent many a morning walk brainstorming how to build this brainchild, thousands of family dinners discussing both the politics and breathtaking beauty that inevitably ensues when you get a bunch of women together in the bush and add some leeches. 

Thank you, Mum, for every hill you made me climb, every wild weekend you kindly coaxed me into and every bush we bashed, together. 

Secondly, my workmates, past and present. My second family. Di, Lise, Tania, Skye Skye, Pippy, Jules, Lara, Chloe, Ann, Elated Elaine, Lady Jane, Delicious Danae, Sare Bare, Remi Bell, Jilly, Lizzie, 1800 Keith, Carole and David. These are the women (and men) who have nurtured my passions, endured my annoying habits (I’m not very good at washing my teaspoons, sorry Skye!), wiped my tears and celebrated my successes. They have helped me build the skills to land my dream job before I even graduated. They’ve laughed at my bad jokes and terrible dancing, complimented my cooking (even when I made sugar free sweet potato brownies… eughh) and overlooked my lateness more times than I can count. 

Thank you, HQ Team, for spoiling me with gourmet work lunches, team building treks, 3pm dance sessions, fitness friday’s and the most magnificent, supportive work culture. I will miss you all. 

Thirdly, to the two amazing new additions to our every growing team, Sammy and Alex, who will be grabbing all the balls I’ve left in the air and running with them. Sammy is the new editor of this Wild Women Weekly, and I trust you’re in very safe hands to continue receiving the inspiring blogs, fantastic recipes, trip updates and nutrition advice you’ve come to know and love. 

They come to Wild Women On Top bursting with new ideas and inspiration to inject love and passion into this community, and I hope you enjoy getting to know their wonderful work into the future. 

And finally, thank you. The Wild Women On Top Community. The women who constantly inspire us here at HQ with your energy, enthusiasm and willingness to take on new adventure challenges to keep you fit and healthy. The women who open this email each week to read the stories we’ve created with love.

It has been such an incredible privilege to receive emails about your adventures, blogs sharing your stories and phone calls raving about the wonderful transformation you’ve experienced since joining Wild Women On Top. 

There is something truly special about watching women rediscover their sparkle, to find the magic that is walking in nature with women and come to bloom. The energy that radiates from women who understand this power has the ability to heal families, committees and cities, bringing Australia closer to the healthy, happy nation it deserves to be. 

I look forward to seeing you out on the route at the Melbourne and Sydney Coastrek (which I can finally participate as I don’t have to work!), on as many Wild Weekends as I can fit in my schedule, and, to a few lucky people, on our mother daughter adventure to Crete, which is set to be the best Wild Adventure we’ve ever created.  

The most exciting thing, for me, is knowing that while I am moving on from this incredible job to a new one, the Wild Women will always be a part of who I am. It’s in my blood, so I can never be far from the magic. 

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