ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Let's Walk the Talk Inside the Department

Messages to Government, Farming Associations and Agribusiness from the Women of Rural Australia

Jane Wilkinson and Margaret Alston

Published by the Centre for Rural Social Research
March 1999
ISBN: 1 86467 038 X

In September, 1997, the first of a series of data gathering sessions was run with Australian rural women at the Queensland Rural Women on the Land Gathering. The aim of these focus groups was to generate discussion amongst the rural women of Australia as to why, despite their love of and involvement in agriculture, there were so few women in public positions of leadership within the sector. This report is a culmination of that 18-month ongoing dialogue with the rural women of Australia.

In conducting the study, one of our major aims was to provide an opportunity for the voices of women in agriculture across Australia to be heard by major decision-makers in agriculture. As part of that process, the final question asked of all participants in the Women on the Land Gatherings was, 'As rural women involved in agriculture, what is the key message you would like to give to (state/territory and federal) governments(s)?'

This report collects together and presents their responses to that question, along with recommendations for change elicited from all of the project's participants. Overwhelmingly, however, the chief message these women provided was clear. They have a passionate commitment to agriculture which will not be silenced. Their contribution needs to be acknowledged and valued by all major players in agriculture.

Contents

Introduction

1. Executive Summary of recommendation

Actions for change for agricultural women in general

Actions for change for rural and remote Aboriginal women

Actions for change for rural Non-English speaking background women involved in agriculture

2. Why investigate women and leadership in agriculture?

3. What is in this report?

4. How was the study conducted?

5. What are the main findings of the study?

6. What needs to be done to bring about change?

7. Conclusion