Life Beyond Thirty founder Wendy Wilson is hoping to help women avoid feeling the same social isolation she did after moving to Australia.
Life Beyond Thirty founder Wendy Wilson is hoping to help women avoid feeling the same social isolation she did after moving to Australia. Renee Albrecht

Only the lonely? Not for this social club founder

WENDY Wilson knew she felt lonely and isolated, but it took a moment of absurd clarity to spur her to do something about it.

"My husband would ask me to water the grass,” she said.

"And I would stand inside the garden wall and water over the wall with my hose, because I didn't want to stand in the street and talk to anybody.”

Founder of Life Beyond Thirty, a social club for women over 30, Mrs Wilson said her own experiences gave her an understanding on why finding friendships in new places was important.

Moving from Scotland eight years ago with her husband after he fell in love with Australia, Mrs Wilson said she found herself adrift in a foreign land.

"I didn't know anyone,” she said.

"Not a soul.”

Socially isolated, often only going out with her husband, she said she noticed it became more difficult to meet new people the longer she went without trying.

"After a while if you don't get out you start to lose your confidence, you start to be a bit worried about speaking to people.

"I think for women over 30 if you don't work in a big office, or if you're retired it can be very difficult to meet other people and build that social network.”

Struggling to make friends, she placed an ad in the paper and found herself overwhelmed by the response.

15 people turned up for the first meeting, and while everyone was looking to meet new people Mrs Wilson said it had taken a bit to break the ice.

"None of us knew each other and there was a little quiet during where you could see the tumbleweeds going by the table,” she laughed.

"But after a wee while everybody just got on so well.”

Now with her own expanded circle of friends, Mrs Wilson said she loved living in Australia, which was quite different to what she had expected before moving here with her only education on Australian life coming from Home and Away and Neighbours.

"When I arrived - it seems really thick now -I was looking out the window the whole to see if I could see any Aussie animals. I thought there would be snakes and spiders and koalas all over the place.

"Obviously that's not the case, I've only seen one snake since I moved here.”

Gympie Times


Gympie's secret photography paradise

Gympie's secret photography paradise

Wildlife paradise in heart of Gympie

Mayor's bloody shirt in court

Mayor's bloody shirt in court

Forgotten promise, "illegal” settlement and whose blood was it?

FORBIDDEN: Incest threatens community's integrity

FORBIDDEN: Incest threatens community's integrity

Incestuous relationship risks "genetic integrity of the community"

Local Partners