Summary

Audio interview with Julie Williams recounting her experiences with agriculture and rural life, and her involvement in the Rural Women's Movement of the 1980s-1990s. The recording was conducted with Catherine Forge at Julie's home in Warragul on 29 August 2015.

In 1992 Julie Williams wrote a report for the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy titled 'The Invisible Farmer: A Summary Report on Australian Farm Women.' This report was groundbreaking in that it highlighted the historical invisibility of rural women, and argued that 'farming has traditionally been seen as a male domain' despite the significant contributions that women were making on farms. This report emerged during the Rural Women's Movement and provides important documentation of the major issues and concerns that were encapsulated in this movement. Julie was chosen to be interviewed not only because her Invisible Farmer report was widely utilised during the movement, but also because she was active in the West Gippsland region, which is where a lot of the early networking and grassroots activism occurred.

This interview is part of the Invisible Farmer Project, which was funded by the McCoy Fund and involves a partnership between Museum Victoria and the University of Melbourne. This six-month pilot project aims to interview a small number of women about their involvement with agriculture, shine a light on the history of the Rural Women's Movement of the 1980s-1990s, identify existing public/research collections that document women in agriculture, develop a strategic collecting alliance that could further enhance these collections, and prepare a larger funding proposal that will address the urgent need to collect and preserve these histories.

Description of Content

Interview with one woman discussing her involvement in the Rural Women's Movement of the 1980s and 1990s and the major issues encapsulated in the 1992 Invisible Farmer Report - a government report that she authored in an attempt to raise the profile of rural and farming women. Throughout the interview Julie speaks about her studies at Longerenong Agricultural College, her work for the Victorian government's Department of Agriculture and her experience of being involved with the Rural Women's Movement in Gippsland in the early 1990s. She also provides some insight into why she wrote the Invisible Farmer Report, and what the major motivations were for documenting the experiences of farming women.

Physical Description

Digital Audio Recording: Digital Audio Recording: 2 WAV files.

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