Show­time for Eroni’s Cir­cus

Ru­ral women lead­ing change

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Community Campaign - Ice - By SA­MAN­THA DICK 153rd Wan­garatta Show

Page 12 - THE CHRON­I­CLE, Thurs­day, September 28, 2017

ROLL up, roll up, and prepare to be en­ter­tained at the Wan­garatta Show be­cause Eroni’s Cir­cus is re­turn­ing to per­form for an­other year.

Eroni’s Cir­cus coowner Kelly May­nard said the cir­cus would de­liver a brand new show in Wan­garatta this year, in­clud­ing jug­gling, hand­stand ac­ro­bats,

LO­CAL pi­o­neers of the ru­ral women’s move­ment gath­ered as a panel in Wan­garatta on Tues­day night to dis­cuss the im­pact women’s lead­er­ship has had on the agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

Lo­cal mem­bers of Aus­tralian Women in Agri­cul­ture, grad­u­ates of the Aus­tralian Ru­ral Lead­er­ship Pro­gram and Nuffield In­ter­na­tional schol­ars joined mem­bers of the pub­lic and del­e­gates from the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Pro­grams for Agri­cul­tural Lead­er­ship at a din­ner at the Gate­way Qual­ity Ho­tel Wan­garatta.

At­tended by 50 peo­ple in­clud­ing 19 in­ter­na­tional del­e­gates, the din­ner dis­cus­sion topic was ‘Ru­ral Women Lead­ing Change: the im­pact of Aus­tralian Women in Agri­cul­ture, lo­cally, na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally’.

A panel com­pris­ing lo­cal MP Cathy McGowan ( MHR, Indi), Aus­tralian Women in Agri­cul­ture pres­i­dent Sarah Parker, and lo­cal agri­cul­tural econ­o­mist Dr Rowan O’Hagan was fa­cil­i­tated by 2010 Vic­to­rian Ru­ral Wo­man of the Year and Lurg res­i­dent, Alana John­son.

“Women were once seen as silent part­ners in farm­ing busi­nesses; nowa­days we have a voice,” Ms McGowan said.

Ms John­son, one of those steer­ing the In­vis­i­ble Farmer project at Mu­seum Vic­to­ria, which aims to high­light the role women have played on Aus­tralian farms, agreed with Ms McGowan.

“It wasn’t long ago that women weren’t con­sid­ered real farm­ers,” she said.

“Their on-farm ef­forts just weren’t recog­nised, their right to Oc­to­ber 13, 14 Wan­garatta Show­grounds mag­i­cal il­lu­sions, clown an­tics and aeri­al­ists.

“We’ve al­ways been well re­ceived at Wan­garatta and we’re look­ing for­ward to com­ing back,” Ms May­nard told the Wan­garatta Chron­i­cle.

“It’s a lovely lo­ca­tion. BRAND NEW SHOW: Eroni’s Cir­cus will in­tro­duce its new “aerial but­ter­fly” act at the Wan­garatta Show next month. su­per­an­nu­a­tion didn’t ex­ist, and there was no place for their voice to be heard.

“I’m im­mensely proud of the work we’ve done through Aus­tralian Women in Agri­cul­ture.

“The North East has been an epi­cen­tre for the or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­vid­ing three of the na­tional pres­i­dents and many found­ing mem­bers.”

Found­ing AWIA mem­ber Rowan O’Hagan re­flected on her time with the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“Look­ing back over the 24 years since we started there’s been a whole swag of changes to agri­cul­ture that have come about as a re­sult of women’s in­volve­ment,” Ms O’Hagan said.

“Our first meet­ing was in Wah-

“Our show aims to ap­peal to fam­i­lies... from lit­tle kids to grand­par­ents we have some­thing for ev­ery­one.”

Ms May­nard said the “ever pop­u­lar per­form­ing palomino horses” would make an ap­pear­ance, as well as a spe­cial per­for­mance by an aeri­al­ist called the “aerial but­ter­fly”.

Eroni’s Cir­cus will pro­vide free per­for­mances near the Gray gun­yah, and at the time we called our­selves the Wah­gun­yah Group.

“We’d get to­gether reg­u­larly to talk about is­sues and ideas that con­cerned agri­cul­ture and women’s lead­er­ship and how we might ad­dress these.

“Once we did get to­gether and start Aus­tralian Women in Agri­cul­ture, there was no stop­ping us.

“Since then, we’ve lob­bied for women’s voices in agri­cul­ture, pol­i­tics and re­search and de­vel­op­ment, and we’ve ad­vo­cated across the coun­try for the in­clu­sion of women on boards.

“We’ve also been in­stru­men­tal in in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences, and we’ve worked with women in other coun­tries to es­tab­lish their own Street gate of the Wan­garatta Show­grounds on Oc­to­ber 13 and 14.

The Wan­garatta Show is a drug and al­co­hol free event, which means no al­co­hol is per­mit­ted into the ground.

The sched­ule is avail­able at www.wan­garat­

The show of­fice is open on week­days be­tween 10am and 3pm.

For more in­for­ma­tion phone 5721 3280. women in agri­cul­ture or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“Twenty-four years later we can see the re­sults.

“We now have a fe­male pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion, and two states have women Min­is­ters for Agri­cul­ture.

“The Ru­ral Women’s Awards have helped raise the pro­file of women on the land.

“We now also see more women on agri­cul­tural boards and the boards of Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tions.

“There’s still lots of work to be done when it comes to get­ting equal num­bers of women on boards, but I feel our ef­forts have cer­tainly made an im­pact,” she said.

PHOTO: Tyler Smith

LEAD­ING THE WAY: Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi), Alana John­son, Rowan O’Hagan and Sarah Parker at the Ru­ral Women Lead­ing Change evening at the Gate­way Ho­tel.

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