Photograph taken at the 1996 Ararat Women on Farms Gathering. This image depicts a group of women holding up two different banners. One banner (pictured left) belongs to the Central Victorian Women in Agriculture, many of whose members were instrumental in organising the Ararat Women on Farms Gathering. The other banner (pictured right) is the Victorian Women on Farms Gathering perpetual banner.
Part of Museums Victoria's Invisible Farmer Project Collection. The Invisible Farmer Project was the largest ever study of Australian women on the land, uncovering the histories and stories of Australian women in agriculture. It began as a pilot project (2015-2016) and evolved into a three year (2017-2020) nation-wide partnership between rural communities, academic, government and cultural organisations, funded by the Australian Research Council.the absence of rural women in mainstream histories and museums.

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The closing ceremony at the 1996 Ararat Women on Farms Gathering, Ararat Town Hall. The banners being held by the 1997 Bendigo organising committee, (left to right): Merna Curnow, Cecily Thomas, Thelma Shearer, Joy Chambers, Jean McClymont, Colleen Radcliffe and in front kneeling Jenny Hosking.

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Colour Digital Photograph


The Central Victorian Women in Agriculture group was formed in the aftermath of the First International Women in Agriculture Conference in 1994. Many of its original members had helped to organise the conference, and the organisation aimed to support women of Central Victoria to achieve the goals highlighted by the conference: to establish a supportive network, stimulate women to recognise and value their skills and abilities, give women the chance to gain confidence and make a difference in their industry and community, encourage and provide knowledge and practical skills, and to strengthen Australian agriculture through strong partnerships. Many women involved in the Central Victorian Women in Agriculture group were also central to the organisation of the 1996 Ararat Women on Farms Gathering.

The perpetual banner for the Victorian Women on Farms Gathering was developed in response to a concern raised by one of the original organisers, Shirley Martin, at the third Gathering at Numurkah in 1992. This was that a uniform and identifiable heading or logo be developed for use by all Gatherings. Denise Kirk from the following year's organising committee (Tallangatta 1993) suggested an idea for a perpetual banner with a flowing font style and the prominent use of the women's colours of green and purple. This idea was accepted by the Tallangatta group and Denise, using her design and craft skills, created the original banner with room for an additional logo to be added annually. Since the Tallangatta Gathering in 1993, each host committee has created a textile patch to represent their Gathering. The patches are sewn onto the perpetual banner which is displayed for the duration of the annual event.

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