Photograph taken at the 2004 Horsham Women on Farms Gathering depicting participants enjoying the Saturday evening dinner festivities. During this dinner women were entertained with the story of Brigitte Muir - the first Australian, and the first woman, to climb the 'Seven Summits' (the highest mountains on each of the seven continents). The Horsham Gathering Proceedings concluded that 'Brigitte showed how if you have a will, you have a way. How true this is in relation to women in farming and rural environments.' The entertainment on the Saturday evening also included a fashion parade that featured garments made from materials sourced from farm yards, sheds and paddocks. This was well received by the audience, who were humoured by the eclectic and innovative designs. Professional speakers Patricia Cameron Hill and Shayne Yates also presented their stories to Gathering participants during two 'Laughing Sessions', in which it was argued that 'laughter is the best medicine.'
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.

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Aerial view of a decorated and busy town hall dinner at the 2004 Horsham Women on Farms Gathering.

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Colour Digital Photograph


Celebratory dinners are a regular feature of the Victorian Women on Farms Gatherings. During these dinners women feast on local produce and wines and are also entertained with women's stories, speeches and performances, which have included songs, theatricals, fashion parades, comedy skits and dances. Often these performances have carried an underlying message about rural life from a woman's perspective, touching on a range of themes including farm succession, gender equality, community, work, and family life. The celebratory dinners provide an informal occasion for networking, sharing ideas and developing new friendships. They also allow women from across Victoria to relax, rejuvenate and recharge their batteries. Situated in the wider context of the rural women's movement in Australia, these dinners exemplify the importance of communication to the lives of rural women, as well as the varied ways in which women have networked, celebrated their lives and affirmed their rural identities.

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