Summary

Icon created for and displayed at the Women on Farms Gathering, Tallangatta 1993.

The Magic Wand or Speaker's Baton was a gift from Liz Hogan, the Rural Women's Network Facilitator, when she handed total responsibility over to the organising committee. The Magic Wand was a symbol of the right to speak - she who held the wand had the ear of all present. There was no need for a formal meeting procedure, and with the wand there was equality and equity for each individual on the committee. She who held the wand had the ear of all present. The wand was used in the meetings leading up to the Gathering and at the Gathering itself.

Liz Hogan later wrote: 'It was a really positive experience to work with a group so committed to the idea of providing a forum for women, by women and in a way that was comfortable for women. A part of that positive feeling was seeing members of the group supporting each other in the planning process and willing to learn from one another. The culmination for me was to see those aspects strongly reflected in the Gathering.' - Proceedings of the Tallangatta Women on Farms Gathering

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.

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