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Fun and reflection the recipe for better well-being during virtual in-flight experience

Participants at Committee for Echuca Moama’s (C4EM) Take a Well-being Break were told to pack their bags on Tuesday night (well, figuratively) as they took off on a virtual flight with C4EM Well-being Airways.

Their entertainment was In-Flight Services Facilitator Cynthia Mahoney, coach, mentor, speaker and author who kept the crowd amused as she led them through various exercises to help improve well-being.

‘I’m here to provide a fun, but also a reflective, space for you to take stock, dream big, let go of habits or beliefs that don’t serve you anymore and give yourself permission to flourish,’ Cynthia told participants.

The three-hour session was based on research by Professor Martin Seligman into what he has called PERMA – or the five pillars of well-being:

· Positive emotions: experiencing positive feelings such as joy, calmness and happiness;

· Engagement: being interested and involved in life;

· Relationships: feeling loved, valued and connected with other people;

· Meaning: having a sense of direction, feeling that our lives are valuable and worthwhile and connecting to something bigger than ourselves; and

· Accomplishment: the belief and ability to do things that matter most to us, achieving goals and having a sense of mastery.

Other researchers have added a sixth pillar:

· Health: everything is just easier when you are physically active.

Now commonly referred to as PERMAH, each pillar needs different focus depending on each individual, but is the perfect way to map your path to well-being. There’s a free PERMAH workplace survey at

Tuesday’s three-hour session at Moama RSL was run in a fun, interactive way to help people identify practical strategies they can immediately implement to positively impact their well-being.

C4EM CEO Chris Janson said the night was a great success.

‘The feedback we received was very positive,’ he said. ‘Cynthia stressed that positive energy is contagious and that could certainly be seen.’

‘The session was made possible thanks to a grant from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal’s Strengthening Rural Communities Program of which we’re extremely grateful.

‘There are a lot of people in the community who are hurting since the pandemic and the floods in October have created a whole new level of pain and suffering,’ he said.

‘We hope a night with Cynthia helped in some small way towards the recovery process and give people the tools needed to deal with adversity.’

‘It’s really important during times of turmoil that people reach out and connect with others which helps reduce social isolation and foster stronger, more resilient rural communities.’

Prior to starting her business, Cynthia had an extensive career in the Victorian Department of Agriculture where she worked as a facilitator in the Dairy Business Focus and Farm$mart Programs, as a Business Improvement Facilitator, a farm management economist, an agribusiness project manager, a biosecurity program manager, statewide Rural Women’s Network co-ordinator and as a leadership facilitator in the wine industry.

She has a Diploma of Leadership, Coaching and Mentoring and a Certificate IV in Personal and Business Coaching. She also has a Master of Agricultural Science specialising in farm business management economics and rural sociology, a degree in Agricultural Science and a Graduate Diploma of Business focused on project and people management.

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