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New scholarships explore vital role of women in agriculture

Ever thought about telling the story of Australian women on the land? Women play a key role in every aspect of rural Australia, in communities, on farms, and as champions of industry.

“It is estimated that one third of Australian women live in rural and regional communities and 40 per cent of Australian farmers are women,” said the National Farmers’ Federation’s recently elected first female President, Ms Fiona Simson.

“The sustainable, vibrant and productive future of Australian agriculture and rural communities is linked to the contribution of our women, said Ms Simson.

A new project will explore just how women have helped shape Australian agriculture as a source of economic strength.

The Invisible Farmer is the largest ever study of Australian women on the land. It combines personal narratives and academic research to map the diverse, innovative and vital role of women in Australian agriculture.

The project is based on a creative partnership between rural communities, academics, government and cultural organisations, and aims to create new histories of rural Australia, reveal the hidden stories of women on the land, and develop new resources to stimulate public discussion about contemporary issues facing rural Australia.

Two postgraduate scholarships are on offer through the project – one documenting the history of the Australian Rural Women’s Movement and one analysing the contemporary position of Australian women in agriculture and how this affects their communities.

Suitably qualified candidates must be available to commence on 27 February 2017, and Expressions of Interest are now open.

Could you help tell this story? Why not gain your PhD while creating a piece of rural history?

For more information and how to submit your expression of interest, see here: https://invisiblefarmer.net.au/news/

[Expressions of interest are to be sent to Dr Nikki Henningham via email at n.henningham@unimelb.edu.au]

Formal position descriptions and information on how to apply will be made available as soon as possible. Candidates will need to commence their enrolment as early as possible in 2017.

Adapted from "Scholarships Expression of Interest" , Invisble Farmers website

Photo: Amy Paul of Ruby Hills Organics. Source: Museum Victoria, Catherine Forge

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