Women’s History

What is past is not dead

Christa Wolf’s maxim exhorts us not only to know as much as we can about our history; but to also understand that our present existence holds so much of our past.

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Australia’s farming women have not been absent, but unrecognised

Top image: Sallie Jones and cows, Jindivick, Victoria, 23 Nov 2016 Photographer: Catherine Forge Source: Museums Victoria An old riddle goes: a father and son are in an accident, killing the father and sending the son to intensive care. When the doctor comes to see the boy, the doctor says, "oh my god, that’s my son!”. Who is the doctor? Some are quick to suggest that the doctor is the boy’s other father, adoptive father or biological father, before it dawns that the doctor could be the boy’s mother. It is in the same...

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The wonderful Mary Owen

Mary and I met at twelve years ago at a Footscray writing workshop organised by her daughter Wendy. Mary was the oldest person in our group, but had the uninhibited enthusiasm of a school child - the sort that was bursting to share their work, but instead of raising their hand, couldn’t help but blurt out what they needed to say. When Arnold Zable asked us to write about an object of special significance to us, Mary wrote about a hand-cranked sewing machine she called ‘The wonderful Withers Werthiem.’

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Remembering Jean Tom AO (1922-2017) Founding VWT Trustee

Committed to increasing opportunities for women, particularly for rural women, Jean played a key role in the final deliberations to set up the Victorian Women's Trust. Part of the formal minutes of a meeting in January 1985 records that Jean had to hurriedly leave the meeting after a telephone call to inform her that her Kyneton farm was ablaze.

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Vale Mary Owen OAM 1921-2017

Feminist, activist and trail blazer Mary Owen passed away on 23 March, aged 96. A lifelong advocate for the empowerment of women, Mary made a substantial impact on the road to achieving gender equality. A celebration of Mary’s life will be held on Thursday 27 April.

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