Hopetoun Women on Farms Gathering 2016

18, 19 & 20 March

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Hopetoun Women on Farms Gathering 2016

"Our Wimmera Mallee Life"


Registrations NOW CLOSED

Alternatively you can ring Helen on 0429006016 or email your choices to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Women on Farms Gathering is an annual event that circulates around Victoria with a new town as a venue every year. The event supports rural communities and rural women and their families. Women or couples interested in rural life and agriculture from around Victoria, nationally and sometimes internationally often attend. Register for the whole weekend or, if you live in the Wimmera Mallee, simply register for Saturday or Sunday. Take a Sunday drive!



The Hon. Linda Dessau AM
Governor of Victoria


In just the early months of my role as Governor of Victoria, I already have a heightened appreciation of the importance of our farmers, and of the outstanding contribution of farming women across Victoria’s rural and regional communities.

Against that backdrop, it is a great pleasure to be involved in the Official Opening of the 27th Women on Farms Gathering. It is an occasion that not only provides the opportunity to recognise the hard work of farming women, but it also provides the chance for our farming women to connect with each other.

The challenges faced by women on farms are many and varied. As well as the full range of environmental challenges, there are also the rigours of running a business, raising a family or caring for elderly parents and the vast array of volunteering roles that inevitably land on the shoulders of women.

This Gathering, based on the theme “Our Wimmera Mallee Life…Women, Community, Country”, will offer farming women the opportunity to take “time out”, away from daily demands, to check on their health, catch up with or make new friends, explore a beautiful part of the Wimmera Mallee region and invest in continuing education with a variety of workshops and presentations. I look forward to officially welcoming you all to the 2016 Women on Farms Gathering in March 2016.

PROGRAM - $160 for whole weekend or individual costs

Due to the drought funding from Yarriambiack Shire Council via DEDJTR, workshops for visitors are now $10 each unless otherwise listed.

Friday 18th March

Guests arrive 3pm onwards to register at RSL Hall and pick up extra information and registration bag, lanyard and name tag.

6pm – MC Peter Robins & Rainey Carrah welcome all to the Marquee at Lake Lascelles Foreshore

Appetisers provided by Taste-ee Creations

BYO drinks, some soft drinks and water available for purchase

7pm – Special guest arrives to open our event

Two course meal provided by Giants Football Club

Various key note speakers

Evening concludes around 10pm

Saturday 19th March

* Saturday morning

7am - Free Tai Chi at lake with Thea Jarvis

8am - Free health assessments from National Centre for Farmer Health commence and run every half hour all day, in the Scout Hall – appointments with Cheryl 50832000 or Helen 0429006016

9am - Workshops commence in eight different halls or facilities (you are never too late for any workshop, just turn up, some will have ten minute breaks)

* Gateway Beet – Council Chambers - AGRICULTURE

9.30 - Mary Raynes – Finger on Pulse Promotion – all about pulses IYP

10.00 - Sally Norton – Saving seeds for future generations

10.30 - Dr Sara Hely – Making a career in science

11.00 - Jeanie Clarke – enviro education for all

11.30 - Ciara Cullen – the role of Birchip Cropping Group

Lady Scientists will be available to speak with in the courtyard as well, plus displays available

* Education Centre at Rural North West Health - HEALTHY EATING

9.30am - Eating healthy – Jill Whelan

11am – advice on Food intolerances of all kinds – Coeliac Society of Victoria & Judy Ferguson

Visitors are also encouraged to visit the aged care section and view displays, say hello to residents

* Lutheran Church and Church Hall – Extensive Debutante display from Susan Hogan

Display of photos and gowns of several generations, and available to view all weekend.


9am - Everything you need to know about Cancer – A team of cancer support services including Kathy Poulton, clients examples, Wimmera Health Care Group Oncology unit etc

11am - Stress Less with Deirdre and Holly Brocklebank of Canberra – great ideas for managing your own stress.

Attendees are encouraged to stay for a cuppa with the Gardening Club, running Devonshire teas all weekend from the Memorial Hall

* Senior Citizens Hall – CHANGE – recycling and changing the way you think

10.30am - Waste not want not – with La Vergne Lehmann plus ongoing display for weekend

9am & 11am - Change the way you think – Maria Noble Hayes

Lunch time onwards all displays in the Senior Citizens Hall organised by Nina Gould will be open for all to view for free, photography, art, research projects, well worth a visit

* Uniting Church Hall

Financial workshops from Morgans via the VFF and Prime Super all morning

9am & 10.30am with Carol Corby – various investments and financial planning (half our sessions)

10am Noel Harradine –Prime Super - Financial planning for women (half hour session)

11.30 & 11.45 Nicole Ladds – Superannuation and personal insurance for women (15 min sessions)

* RSL Hall – Ros Ryan of Wimmera Regional Library will have three morning workshops

9am – 10am Delve into your history – use of ancestry and trove.

10am-11am Crafting your story

11am – Storing digital photos, preserving old photos etc

And there will be an ongoing display of several different attractions all weekend. Ipads and iphones information with Lynette Coulston after lunch, How to put a community story into a book with Deanna Neville, Book sales from Deanna Neville, Fleur Ferris and more. All on display.

* Hopetoun Bowls Clubhouse

9am to 11.30am - IPad and IPhone training with ITandCoffee representative Lynette Coulston from Melbourne – easy lessons, easy to follow - $10 per hour for group sessions or individual costs for one to one worked out with Lyn privately at any time over the weekend.

TOURS FOR ANYONE – leaving RSL Hall precinct – Saturday only

10.30am – Guide Les Jones will take you to Yaapeet, Wyperfeld and Rainbow and return you about 4.30pm to Hopetoun (may need to buy lunch in Rainbow or take your own) $20 (NOTE: Those who have booked on the Rainbow tour advised that Yurunga Homestead cannot be seen as previously arranged. We are sorry for this unexpected change. Maybe visit it next time you visit.)

12.30pm – Guide Buzz Bailey will take you to Woomelang via the Drovers Hut Gallery at Lascelles, the hotel and a tour of Woomelang, and High Tea at Woomelang Bush Nursing Centre – the community hub of Woomelang, where there will be many displays

12.30pm – Guide Boots Lehmann will take you to Beulah, there will be a pulse luncheon at the Business centre, speakers on value adding for women, online businesses and a chance to visit the op shop, a visit to the Brim Silos hosted by Shane Wardle (afternoon tea to be supplied) and back to touch base with Squatter Coffey and his horse-riding business before returning to Hopetoun at 5pm

12.30pm – Guide Eric Yetman will take you to Pine Plains and Patchewollock with an outback twist, talk about modern day farming, Janine and the Progress group at Patchewollock will provide afternoon tea and you will return to Hopetoun around 5pm

Later and shorter tours are:

2pm - 4pm - Turriff West Church Picnic – Guide Austin Grace, and driver Narelle Gibson will take you through the scrub to Turriff West to see the lost community, typical of so many in our districts, great bush feel.

2pm - 4pm - Rosebery – Guide Tony Naylor and driver Michelle Morrossi will take you to Rosebery for a Devonshire tea with Mallee Sunsets Gallery and view the history collection with Trevor Starbuck.

SHUTTLE BUS TOURS - All weekend 

Mini bus services as shuttle bus and local town tour – leaving from Memorial Hall and Corrong Homestead as bases, provided by O’Connors Farm Machinery. Drivers are Leigh Ballentine, Alan Malcolm and more to be confirmed.

Saturday Afternoon Workshops of interest to those not going on tours and day visitors

* Memorial Hall

1pm - Simone Dalton – drought support information and leadership

1.30pm – Kevin Sleep (moved from UC Hall) Making a Farm Plan

2.00pm – More Women in the CFA – information on lady members as helpers – Maxine Sleep and her role as Community Capacity Co-ordinator (NB moved from UC Hall)

2.30pm – Time to meet with Deirdre Brocklebank and learn more about her therapies and art therapy from Holly Brocklebank

3pm – Afternoon tea with Cr Susan Riley, Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne and Business Melbourne – small business owners are very welcome to discuss networks with Susan – join us – she may be of some help to you.

* RSL Hall

1pm – Ros Ryan and interested persons in family history continues

1pm – Lynette Coulston of IT&Coffee continues in offering one to one appointments for iPad or iPhone or general information

2pm to 4pm – We are very privileged to have the National Chairperson for Bully Zero, Oscar Hildiz, providing a presentation between these times for anyone interested and he will link up with Fleur Ferris at 4pm to sell his badges and give out information whilst Fleur signs and sells her famous book called RISK all about internet dangers.

Saturday night Dinner

MC Suzanne Gatz will welcome all at 6pm, followed by appetisers from Taste-ee Creations, and BYO drinks, some soft drinks available for sale

A very special program of special guests will be advertised separately for both dinners

Concludes 11pm

Sunday 20th March, 2016

7am – Tai Chi at the Lake with Thea Jarvis

8am – Breakfast with the Hopetoun Angling Club for public and some guests , some are dining at the Bon Bon Café and some will get their own breakfast. Let Angling Club know if you want breakfast.

9am – Ecumenical Church Service at Memorial Hall until 9.45am to enable time for a cuppa before heading down to the Lake

MC for Sunday morning is Jo Bourke

10.15am - surprise speaker from MCMA and launch of story

11am – 12.30am – cooking demo in open air on the lakes foreshore with Simon Bryant, for the International Year of the Pulse

1pm - Handover to the next town to hold a Women on Farms event in 2017, followed by special guests comments, Andrew Broad MP to do a presentation, other Politicians present will be Sen Bridget McKenzie, Peter Crisp MP and Emma Kealy MP

Opportunities for purchasing a signed recipe book from Simon available, CWA recipe books and information from the heart foundation available.


Public are welcome to organise their own picnics, BBQs or purchases from our shops for the afternoon.



Download the weekends program


Download the Registration Form if you prefer to post or go to our Registration page to complete your registration online.



Registrations NOW CLOSED

Alternatively you can ring Helen on 0429006016 or email your choices to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






Activities for Saturday:

Free Farmer Health and Lifestyle Assessments

Free Farmer Health and Lifestyle Assessments

From National Centre for Farmer Health.

Get your results immediately or next day – appointments taken for all day Saturday and Sunday. Book your time when you register for the Gathering

Booklet of Women's Stories

Booklet of Women's Stories

Random stories will be presented at various times throughout our gathering proceedings, but this beautiful collection in a booklet sponsored by GWMWater will be available as a GIFT.
Pampering and Presenters on taking care of yourself

Pampering and Presenters on taking care of yourself

Appointments taken for massage, hair and nails all day Saturday plus bookings will be taken for a 2 hour session Saturday afternoon on ‘taking good care of yourself when managing life’s challenges’. More details to come. When registering also let us know if you need a Tai Chi appointment with Thea on the Lake (early morning only).
Country Fire Authority

Country Fire Authority

The CFA are a major sponsor of the Hopetoun Women on Farms Gathering 2016 and will be running 2 sessions on Saturday afternoon; Making a Farm Plan and Women in the CFA.
Yarriambiack Tourism Trails

Yarriambiack Tourism Trails

Live in the region but never had a look over here, up there, down here, over there? Now’s your chance! Come meet Squatter Coffey at our event and experience first hand his love for horses and horse trail rides. Have a photograph with the rugged but gentle man of the outback.
Local Tours

Local Tours

Take a tour around our local towns and see what life is like in rural Victoria.


Displays and Demonstrations:

Case IH / O'Connors Machinery Display

Case IH / O'Connors Machinery Display

Local farmers are providing locally owned Case IH machinery for you to observe how huge these machines are these days and what they are used for. You will even be able to climb up on them for photos! Many thanks to Case IH and O’Connors for supporting our event and recognising the value of women on farms.
Simon Bryant

Simon Bryant

Chef and International Year of Pulses (IYP 2016) Australian advocate

An advocate of simple produce driven cooking, Simon will demonstrate cooking with pulses on Sunday morning at 11am.

GWMWater Display

GWMWater Display

Water in our region is paramount for liveability, and from the early days our water came from Lake Lonsdale, with many farmers selecting because of this back up supply from the Grampians and region. Many stories will be displayed to demonstrate the water story and none better than Lake Lascelles on show.
Yarriambiack Tourism on Show

Yarriambiack Tourism on Show

A wide range of pamphlets will be on show as well as the maps we use for Caravan Show displays & promotion. These pamphlets cover all towns in our Shire as well as camping and caravan options, 4WD adventures and trails.
Art & Patchwork & Photography

Art & Patchwork & Photography

There will be art and patchwork displays by La Vergne Lehman and local resident Nina Gould, as well as numerous photography displays including a special wildlife feature by Chloe Welch of Yaapeet. A rolling DVD made by local farmer Ben Gosling will show what the Yaapeet community experienced in 2014 with major bushfires raging in the area. A very special display from Dr Julie Bennett of her project “Creative Country Women” will also be on show.
Town Tours

Town Tours

Follow the map and take a tour of the local Hopetoun area or on Saturday hop a mini bus for a guided tour with commentary. We will also have full bus tours to Yaapeet/Rainbow, Patchewollock, Woomelang & Beulah and short tours to Turriff West & Rosebery.
Rural Northwest Health Display

Rural Northwest Health Display

Rural Northwest Health regularly provide different displays for their residents in aged care in specially designed display cases and also have a special wall for past celebrations of the previous Hopetoun & District Bush Nursing Hospital. Pop in with the consent of the residents, they will love to see you appreciate their home.
Deanna Neville

Deanna Neville

Focus on Community: Projects that support the community in a creative, meaningful & sustainable way

Displayed by Deanna Neville, Photo-narrative methodology is known for its capacity to elicit stories of hope, cohesion and resilience. Deanna explores strengths in communities and draws on messages that help participants and audiences recover from disasters or celebrate change. See a display of Deanna's work including her new book.

The GAP Girls

The GAP Girls

The GAP Girls are 3 rural Victorian women in business, based in the Horsham region who began sharing their adventures with the world almost by accident during what was the celebration of their 50th birthday in the NT in 2014. In order of birth, their brand name begins with G for Gaynor followed by A for Andrea and P for Pauline. Their adventures have a growing Facebook fan base and their strength is showcasing places throughout the Wimmera Mallee and beyond even the locals don't know about! During each adventure, these farmers daughters pay tribute to the memory of their best friend who lost her battle with melanoma in 2006. Their message is to encourage other rural women to get together and appreciate what we all have in our own backyards!
Corrong Homestead on Display

Corrong Homestead on Display

Corrong Homestead is the oldest homestead in the region. It was built in 1846 by the McGinnis family and is part of the early pastoral era. Entry to this house is $5.
Dr Melanoma

Dr Melanoma

Dr Melanoma will be available all day Saturday to talk about 'Prevention of Skin Cancer'


Thank you to our Sponsors

  • Case IH
  • Country Fire Authority
  • GWMWater
  • Mallee Catchment Management Authority
  • National Centre for Farmer Health
  • CASE & O’Connors Machinery
  • Shire of Yarriambiack
  • Prime Super
  • Rural Northwest Health
  • Sunraysia Counselling Serivces
  • Victorian Farmers Federation
  • Grains Research Development Corporation
  • Centacare
  • Rural Bank
  • Rural Finance Corporation
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • Simone Daltons office
  • PB Seeds
  • Jen Mathews - WGFoods
  • Beulah Business and Information Centre
  • Birchip Cropping Group
  • Bully Zero
  • Gateway BEET
  • Grampians Central West Waste & Resource Recovery Group
  • Green Taylor Partners
  • RBS Morgans
  • NBN
  • North West Ag Services
  • Shannon Bros.
  • Telstra
  • The Vogue Hairdressing Rainbow

  • Wimmera Health Care Group
  • Woomelang & District Bush Nursing Centre

  • Warrack Herald
  • The Argus
  • Dimboola Banner
  • Hopetoun Courier
  • Pea Co




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