Model windmill and shed was purchased in Yarragon by the Women on Farms Gathering, Warragul, 2009. It was symbolically handed over to Liza Dale-Hallett (Curator, Museum Victoria) at the closing ceremony on the last day of the Warragul gathering, 3 May 2009. There was a double theme for the Warragul Gathering , 'Celebrate Farming Women' and 'Water - Our Future', with the windmill being chosen to represent this theme. It is usually the practice to hand over these symbolic icons to the forthcoming gathering committee; however, on this occasion no nominations for the 2010 gathering had been made.
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.
A two-part model designed for assembly and to be left assembled. Made of copper finished sheet metal, dark grey on underside. 1. Model consists of a flat sheet, turned down at edges to raise the sheet from display surface. At the 'rear' a separate sheet stamped to resemble rocks has been spot welded to the base, together with 2 'tufts' of grass. On the base there are 4 strips of metal welded at one end only. They have been shaped to accommodate the base of the windmill structure and then probably welded or glued to the base. At the 'front' a model of a hut has been fixed to the base by means of a flange. The hut has a door and 2 windows suggested by strips of wire bent to shape. The window spaces have been roughly cut out and the doorway has a post and rail style door ajar, welded to the front wall.
The 20th anniversary Women on Farms Gathering was held at Warragul, the location of the first and 10th gatherings. The theme was 'Celebrate Women Farming' and 'Water Our Future', with a windmill as the logo. The 20th gathering covered a range of workshops on subjects including: sustainable farming families, permaculture, chain saw know-how and maintenance, water management trends in Victoria, self care, tai chi, yoga, folk art, 'paint yourself happy', and patchwork. It represented both the interest in contemporary agricultural issues and the need to provide opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation for rural women.
A major event of the gathering is the final handover ceremony on the last day. This usually features the handing over of a symbolic icon to represent the themes and location of that gathering to the forthcoming gathering committee. On this 20th anniversary, unlike all previous gatherings, no organising committee had been established at the time of the Warragul gathering to receive this icon. It was therefore handed over to Museum Victoria for inclusion in the Women on Farms Gathering Collection.
Donation from Warragul Women on Farms Gathering Organising Committee, 12 Mar 2010
Place & Date Used
Type of item
315 mm (Length), 150 mm (Width), 125 mm (Height)