Women of the Land
Making your living from the land in Australia is not for the faint-hearted. Isolation, hard physical work, long hours and the vagaries of drought, floods and fire make it a challenging environment for any farmer. But how do you cope when you are a woman in what is traditionally a man’s world?
Women of the Land brings together the inspiring and heart-warming stories of eight remarkable rural women who run their own farms, or in the case of one, manage a cattle station on behalf of an entire community. Often juggling the demands of raising a family, they have overcome tragedy, personal fears, physical exhaustion and more than a little scepticism to build vibrant futures that sustain them and their families, in the process inspiring their neighbours and communities with their entrepreneurship, humility and determination.
Despite the fact they come from diverse backgrounds and run very different types of farming enterprises in widely divergent parts of the country, the women have several things in common – they have made active choices to be farmers, they have a genuine love of the land and a deep, spiritual connection to the place where they live and work.
Each chapter explores the personal story of one woman and the people who have inspired her, the challenges she has faced as well as the humorous and heart-warming moments that have sustained her. The book also captures something of the rhythms and routines of daily life on their farms.
Most of the women are virtually unknown beyond their local area, or the industry in which they work. They agreed to participate because, in this, the Australian Year of the Farmer, they see the book as an opportunity to bridge the gap in understanding between city and country, and to explore issues that matter to them and their communities.