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Meet The Women Of Wilderness Within

Laura Jayne
Guide on Canoe Journeys, Forest Immersions and Womens Cultural Immersions
Facilitator of Medicine Drum Making Workshops

Laura Jayne created Wilderness Within as a space to share her unique vision, medicine and mission with the world and is now proud to be working with a small team of women with shared values, vision and passions.

Laura is wilderness guide, ceremonialist and protector of the women's mysteries. She is a warm, kindhearted and grass roots woman of the Earth. She aligns herself with the archetypes of the wild woman and medicine woman which supports her mission. Laura worked in outdoor education for 10 years, providing her with the skills and knowledge to deliver many nature based programs. She has also worked with Red Earth Organization for the past few years where she has travelled to various remote homelands around Australia, working with many first nations Australians, spending time on country, hearing stories and learning from them. Laura is very passionate about bringing greater respect of indigenous wisdom into her life and all offerings with Wilderness Within. 

Laura discovered women's circles in her early 20s, a feeling of remembering was sparked and a passion to learn more which has led her on an extensive journey of reclaiming her rites of passage, connecting with her body and studying with the School of Shamanic Womancraft for 2.5 years. During her studies with the school she crafted her first medicine drum which awakened something deep within her and led her to complete an apprenticeship in Drum Making with her teacher Sarah Bird Miller, which is now a gift she loves to share. 

Laura lives in a small bush home on 6 acres outside of Castlemaine in Central Victoria with her beloved husband where she enjoys spending time tending the land she lives, walking in the bush, reading and cooking nourishing meals for her loved ones. Laura also offers monthly women's circles in her community and is a facilitator in her local Rites of Passage group offering yearly nature based rites of passage programs for young women and their mothers/aunties.

You can hear a bit more about Laura's journey on the Womancraft podcast:

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Annie Hughes
Guide on Canoe Journeys
and Forest Immersions

Annie Hughes volunteered on a canoe journey after reaching out to Laura at the end of 2022. From their very first conversation Laura felt deep resonance with Annie and on the journey that Annie volunteered it became very clear that Annie would make an amazing guide on future journeys with her passion for journeying gently through nature, her knowledge of the outdoors and her desire for supporting women to feel safe in nature and in community. Annie has studied outdoor leadership and worked within outdoor education for the past few years. She has also been a part of women's circles and conscious communities for a number of years and has a yearning to continue deepening into these spaces. Annie has a love of exploring, enjoys rock climbing and she is often found up high climbing trees. Annie is a strong woman with a soft energy, she makes those around her feel safe and at ease. 

Johanna Bodewes
Guide on Cultural
Womens Immersions

Johanna met Laura through Red Earth Organization when the staffing manager followed his spot on intuition and told us to get in touch with each other, from our first chat on the phone we shared such a similar language, vision and connection. Laura and Johanna have worked together with other members of Red Earth to craft our beautiful Cultural Womens Immersion to Culpra Milli and Lake Mungo. Johanna has a very warm presence, she instantly makes you feel safe and comfortable. She is a woman with her roots planted deep in the earth, deeply connected to place and the land she lives in Lower Mangrove, NSW. Johanna has organised many women's group trips to various parts of Australia to build relationships with local First Women's Culture. She has worked for Tjanpi Desert Weavers in the central desert and aims to foster connection with self, community and Country wherever she is. She is a passionate woman, sharing her gifts with her community in so many inspiring ways.


Deslei Wood
Baker of "Mumma Dez's
treats" and base support

Deslei is Lauras Mother and is very worthy of a mention here. Every canoe journey or forest immersion we run Deslei bakes us a delicious supply of homemade baked sweet treats to take with us which have become known as "Mumma Dez's treats". She says that this is her gift to the women, and it is often a highlight for many. Paddling down the river for 4 days and pulling out a homemade gluten free fruit cake to enjoy for morning tea is pretty awesome! Deslei also offers her support as an emergency contact for us when using satelite communication. We are so grateful for her loving support and encouragement and Laura is especially grateful for all of the nature adventures Deslei took her on as a child which were a part of inpsiring these beautiful offerings! 

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