"Make sure you seek broad advice on all aspects of your vision and enjoy the journey..."

We interview women in our community about innovation and what drives them to make a difference in their industries. This week we spoke to Lynne Pezzullo, CEO and Founding Director of Well&Wise.

What are you working on?

The Farm in Galong is a therapeutic community for women who are recovering from substance abuse (alcohol and other drugs), and who frequently have experienced, domestic violence or other trauma. The Farm aims to help these vulnerable women to avoid relapse, reunite with their children and families, study, gain employment and find restoration through the farm activities.

Why is innovation important to you?

Innovative models of healing are of paramount importance, replacing traditional relapse prevention methods that, in isolation, have low rates of success. In contrast, because therapeutic communities are about people helping themselves and each other, they tend to be more holistic and promote deep healing of underlying issues. The Farm in Galong innovates beyond ‘standard’ TC models because of the additional healing that comes from connecting with the land, plants and animals.

What drives you to make a difference?

Addiction is a horrible affliction, stealing health, relationships and lives. The stories of these women can be shocking and painful. Helping them overcome addiction and find healing is so liberating. It is deeply rewarding seeing women graduate from the program at the Farm having turned their lives around, seeing confidence return to their faces and hope for the future rekindled.

Do you have any advice for getting more women into the innovation ecosystem?

The Farm opened its doors to clients in November 2019. Prior to that was over two years of very hard work renovating the buildings, fundraising, finding staff, setting up policies and procedures, and overcoming numerous obstacles and risks. My advice during the difficult establishment phase is to make sure you seek broad advice on all aspects of your vision and enjoy the journey as it takes shape and becomes a reality!

What are you proud of right now?

I’m super proud of the orchard we’ve established at the Farm over the winter months. The orchard project involved sourcing 25 fruit and nut trees with COVID supply chain constraints, taking into account the soil, climate, and cross-pollination requirements, transporting the trees, digging holes, planting and fencing them from the wallabies, and also purchasing and painting large pots for the 4 citrus trees, using over 400 litres of potting soil. With spring here, the trees have settled well and are now budding with their first blossoms!

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