This image is one of three photographs of Rien Silverstein at Orrvale taken by Tagen Baker on 12 August 2016 as part of The Invisible Farmer Project.

This particular image shows Rien Silverstein standing among a bare orchard on her farm.

Originally from New South Wales, Rien Silverstein relocated to Victoria after meeting her husband, Morris, who is a fourth generation horticulture farmer. Together, Rein and Morris farm apples and pears on two orchards in Orrvale and Tatura, spread over a total of 78 hectares. Rien speaks passionately about sustainability, land use and care, irrigation/water issues, and the importance of community involvement and social activism within the agriculture industry.

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.

Description of Content

Woman (pictured torso upward) standing among a bare orchard.

Physical Description

Digital colour photograph


As a visiting research associate for Museum Victoria, and a PhD student in Utah State University's Department of Environment and Society, Tagen Baker had the opportunity to explore the diverse landscape of Victoria and interview and photograph women farmers as part of The Invisible Farmer Project-to learn from them about their histories, responses to climate change, and how they adapted their agricultural practices to sustain themselves and their families. Tagen wanted to know how their experiences have been similar or different to women in her home state of Idaho, USA. How have women been key agents of change embedded in their environments? How do women farmers provide unique perspectives and contributions to the futures of agriculture and to their communities?

As part of her research process, Tagen asked several women farmers if she could photograph them with an item of value. This item opened up a unique opportunity to communicate and learn about the farmers' lives. The item chosen was not only symbolic as a physical item of value, tangible and necessary, but a portal into a storytelling journey, a symbol of their rich and unique life experiences.

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