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2002 Macedon Ranges (Kyneton) WoFG
Image: Digital Image - Tour, Women on Farms Gathering, Kyneton 2002
Source: Museum Victoria
Date: 12-14 April, 2002.
Location: Kyneton Town Hall.
Theme: Ranges of Opportunity. According to the Gathering Program, "Our theme depicts that from the top of Mount Macedon to the furthermost corners of the Macedon Ranges Shire, women are emphasising the region's opportunities for farm diversity, business and tourism. The enterprises value-add, generate uses for prime agricultural land and bring visitors to each community."
Icon: Ceramic Hands
Highlights: A highlight of the Macedon Ranges (Kyneton Gathering) was the sharing of women's stories. On the Friday evening Victorian Rural Woman of the Year Dr Carol Matthew invited three local women to share their experiences of living in the Macedon Ranges. Woodend historian and speciality sheep breeder Janet Hawkins shared her stories of establishing the Woodend Historical Society and farming Hampshire Down sheep. Paralympian Rider Melissa Charles spoke about her experience of suffering a riding accident that caused severe medical problems, and how she overcame these adversities. Finally, Country Women's Association co-ordinator and international rural women's delegate Elaine Baldwin spoke of her experience representing rural women in Australian and World Conferences.
On the following morning, the Gathering was officially opened and a keynote address was delivered by community leader Rhonda Galbally, who spoke on 'Women, Farms and Community - Australia's Past and Future.' This was followed by a speech by Museum Victoria's Liza Dale-Hallett, who described her interest in helping to develop the Women on Farms Gathering Heritage Collection. CEO of Australian Primary Superannuation John Ruskin also spoke of his 25 years of experience in the agricultural sector. These speeches by Liza Dale-Hallett and John Ruskin were delivered as part of the Gathering's 'Roving Professionals' feature, which was aimed at showcasing the professionalism of women (and two men)!
On the Saturday night, a dinner was held at Braemar College, which is situated on the top of Mount Macedon. The weather had changed for the worse, and Gathering participants were drenched as they walked into the venue! Nevertheless, the dinner was enjoyable and a highlight for many women. Libby Price of ABC Radio MC'd the evening, which featured performances by local women and offered an array of locally produced food. The following morning consisted of the customary ecumenical service as well as two speeches; Historian Kate Darien-Smith spoke of her research on agricultural shows in Australia and author Kerry Cue spoke of her career as an author and her interest in regional Australia. The Gathering was then closed with the 'handover' ceremony and an introduction to the committee of the following year's Gathering - the 2003 Yarram Gathering.
Tours: Farm Safety Walk, Meskills Woolworks, Barfold Gorge, Mt Macedon Gardens and Nurseries, Bringalbit Country Retreat and Farm Stay, Landcare River Revegetation Project, Olinda Nurseries, Kyneton Historical Society walk, Insectarium of Victoria, Flynn Silver, Band Hall Gallery, Macedon Grove Olives, Cope-Williams Winery.
Workshops: Energy Efficiency, Diversification Opportunities, Computers and Farming, Egyptian Dance, Farm Safety, Invest for the Future, Online Communication, Introduction to the Internet, Nurturing Body and Soul, Celebration of Self, Sustainability in the Home, Writing for Fun, Quality Assurance, Farm Machinery, Painted Finishes, Tourism, Farm Forestry, Organic Herb Farming, Small Farms.
"I was invited by a friend to attend the 12th annual Women on Farms Gathering at Kyneton. I recall the wonderfully friendly welcome and the feeling of 'belonging' when I mixed with the Kyneton women during the weekend. I discovered how enjoyable a weekend away with so many like-minded rural women can really be. The entire weekend was a real 'eye-opener' to me as I had never had the opportunity to attend anything like a Gathering before, having been so committed to my children and my 2,500 acre farm." Christine May, Memory Sheet Reflection, 2005.
"The main venue for this Gathering was the Kyneton Town Hall, which was one of the earliest buildings of the town. After registering we were taken by our bus to our accommodation, which from memory was a scout camp and had cabins that slept twelve. We had lots of laughs. The speakers are always an important part of each Gathering and give us food for thought, and an insight into the lives of others, and their journey." Janice Swan, Reflection, 2011.
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Registration form and program sent to participants in the lead up to the 2002 Macedon Ranges (Kyneton) Gathering.Images: 2