Showtime for Eroni’s Circus
Rural women leading change
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.wangarattashow.org.au/.
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.
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.