Wednesday, September 18

Canberra mums invited to cowork while the children play

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Mothers will be able to come together to work on business and employment projects while having their young children cared for in a new coworking program coming to Canberra.

According to Claire Harris, founder of the Cowork Coplay initiative, it’s a first for the Territory and fills an important gap in on-ground support for enterprising women with children.

“More women are running businesses than ever before but while some aspects of business, like operating online, may be easier than ten years ago, the caring responsibilities aren’t,” she says.

“As most mothers are the primary carers for young children and are managing the majority of household responsibilities, they generally cannot take advantage of business and professional communities. Time for business or professional development often gets squeezed to late nights and extra early mornings.

“Working with Duntroon Community Centre, we are providing a place for mothers to get all-important headspace and meet others in similar situations”, says Claire.

Cowork and Coplay sessions will run for four weeks initially from Monday 14 October and depending on demand may run as a regular program at the centre.

“It’s a good opportunity to test the market and build some momentum behind the idea,” says Claire.

Katherine Gordon, Coordinator at Duntroon Community Centre is excited that the centre is exploring a new program to add to the mix of the existing community-focused activities.

“I believe this program is essential for allowing women time to focus on their career, business or networking in a space where their children are cared for by trained staff. It provides connection and a community of like-minded women.

“Business and motherhood can be isolating but this program will help change that.

“In addition, as we have a strong Defence membership, this program will also allow women new to the area and just finding their feet, to be supported with making friends and returning to the work-space,” says Katherine.

“Claire hopes to expand the concept and is keen to talk to people that might like to support it.

“My big vision is that all coworking spaces and Defence community hubs have childcare and work facilities.

“These spaces have so much potential to be supporting flexible working arrangements to help mothers and fathers balance building their businesses or professional work with family care,” she said.

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