Ararat Hosts 34th Annual Women On Farms Gathering

Ararat Rural City proudly hosted the 34th annual Women on Farms Gathering over the weekend of March 15-17, welcoming approximately 80 women from across the state and interstate.

The event organiser, Christine Rippon has been involved with the gatherings for over two decades, expressed immense satisfaction with the turnout. Attendees echoed her sentiment, providing glowing feedback on the event’s success. “Listening to local presenters deliver their ‘Life and Times’ stories was fantastic and in such a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere really made the event for all who attended” Christine commented.

 Local women, including Leila McDougall, Shelley Green, Nancy Panter, and Deputy Mayor Jo Armstrong, enriched the gathering with their participation in “Local Women’s Life and Times Stories,” sharing their unique experiences of life on the land.

The event, held at the Ararat RSL over three days, offered participants the opportunity to explore local cafes, tourist attractions, and even included a visit to JWard. With the majority of attendees hailing from outside the region, Ararat’s accommodation, hospitality, tourism, and retail sectors all experienced significant boosts, thanks to the forum’s presence.

Moreover, the positive reviews and feedback from participants indicate a likelihood of return visits to the region, potentially accompanied by their families, thereby further benefiting local businesses and communities.

Mayor Bob Sanders inaugurated the three-day event, emphasizing its importance, while Deputy Mayor Jo Armstrong fittingly concluded the event as the final speaker in the “Life and Times” series. The participants were thrilled to also have access to images from Grampians PCP FARMher project,  highlighting rural women to better understand their experiences and promote their contribution to life on the farm and in small rural communities – poignantly placed around the gathering space at the RSL across all 3 days of the event.

In a display of solidarity and support for fire-affected communities, the Women on Farms group also organized a fundraiser during the gathering raising a total of $2000 showing their commitment to the broader rural community.

“The 34th Women on Farms Gathering in Ararat stands as a testament to the resilience, camaraderie, and spirit of rural women, leaving a lasting impact on both attendees and the host community.” Cr Jo Armstrong commented.

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