This image is of Heather Du Vallon at Tatura taken by Tagen Baker on 15 August 2016 as part of The Invisible Farmer Project. 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.

This particular image shows Heather Du Vallon in front of her home.

In her earlier years, Heather Du Vallon became one of the first women to own and operate a dairy farm after her husband passed away three weeks before taking over the land. Undeterred by the lack of confidence show by her new neighbours, Heather found joy in the work and successfully navigated the dairy farming lifestyle for 20 years. Today, Heather owns 20 acres of land where she raises a dozen stud cattle. As a profession, she breeds Simmentals, and shows and sells bulls and heifers. Heather speaks passionately about sustainability, irrigation techniques, farming practices and common issues, and the importance of community within the industry.

Description of Content

Woman in a blue vest (pictured torso up)

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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