Rock which is part of a suite of three icons selected by the organising committee of the Women on Farms Gathering, Shepparton, 2007. The rock came from the wall of the Sugar Loaf Dam, built in the 1930s. The dam wall is not normally seen as the water in the reservoir usually covers it with thousands of gigalitres of water. It was selected to represent the committee's journey to host this event during a "one in a 100 year" drought.

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.
This item is 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.

Physical Description

Piece of rock with grey and terra cotta colouring.


The 18th Women on Farms Gathering was held in Shepparton at the Parklake Convention Centre, May 18 - 20 2007. These key objects, icons and documents reflect both the continued traditions of the gatherings (icons, history boards, promotional material and proceedings) and the unique flavour the 'food bowl' region bought to the gathering tradition (map). The theme for Shepparton was 'Rural Women on the Moove', and featured one of Shepparton's painted cow statues as it's logo. The committee received its inspiration for the theme and logo from the Greater Shepparton Council's 2002, Cow parade which is a world wide moving art project. The Proceedings and registration form are important documents of the activities and outcomes of the Gathering. The proceedings contain details of the Organising Committee, sponsor acknowledgements, program, speakers, and feedback from participants. The other items were collected from the Gathering, and represent what was given to all participants. They offer insights into the types of 'souvenirs', range of sponsorship, and the messages that the Shepparton Gathering wished to provide participants.

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