Summary

Icon created for and displayed at the Women on Farms Gathering, Ouyen, 1998.

The bottle of mallee sands and soils are a symbol of the way individuals (represented by the different grains of sand and soil) can join together, become solid and are powerful in one united group.

'This was a true symbol of the Mallee, and the Mallee Spirit - prepared to join together and work together and be proud of what and where we are.' Colleen Morrish, member of the Ouyen Gathering Organising Committee.

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 and addressing the absence of rural women in mainstream histories and museums. 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.

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