Icon created for and displayed at the Women on Farms Gathering, Yarram 2003.

The Yarram organizers selected an open lock and key to encourage rural women to open themselves to the many opportunities to grow and use their full potential to 'secure the future' in creating sustainable rural communities.

'We've chosen the lock - which has purposefully been left open so that we're not locking things away; we want the opposite effect, an open, forward-looking future.' Merlyn Rendell, chairperson of the Yarram Gathering Organising Committee.

'The key unlocks all the stories that women have... all the doors that women need to open so that we enjoy our future and our children and grandchildren can enjoy their future by unlocking the doors. Opening new avenues from our commodities and our markets and our future in Australian farming.' - Val Colbert, Yarram Gathering Organising Committee

The closing of each Gathering and the anticipation of the next is celebrated with a formal 'baton changing' ritual, where a symbolic 'icon' is handed over from one organising committee to the next. Each item represents a story or message of some of the key themes and issues, which have shaped the meaning and experience of these women's rural identity.

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 and addressing the absence of rural women in mainstream histories and museums. 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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