Top line-up of speakers for annual women’s gathering

Former NSW Governor Dame Marie Bashir.
Former NSW Governor Dame Marie Bashir.

The woman who wrote The Dressmaker and the producer of the film version will be among the guests at the annual Rural Women’s Gathering, whiuch is this year being held in the Riverina.

Former NSW Governor Marie Bashir will also attend the event at Narrandera from October 27 to 29, with author Rosalie Ham and film producer Sue Maslin.

Organised by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, the gathering this year has the theme Women, Culture, Land – Just add water.

DPI Rural Women’s Network project officer, Emma Regan said the NSW Rural Women’s Gathering, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, provides the opportunity for women to come together to build resilience by learning new skills, accessing information, sharing experiences and voicing an opinion to decision-makers.

“Organised by a team of dedicated women from the Narrandera and Leeton communities, the weekend provides participants with the opportunity to hear from a brilliant line-up of inspirational women, to attend a variety of educational and informative workshops and to explore beautiful Narrandera,” Ms Regan said.

“Some of the workshops on offer include: Blogging 101, Oral history, Legal check-up for your farm business, cooking, the secret to community engagement, novel writing, weaving, photography, drumming, wool brooches, marvellous mosaics and much more – visitors really will be spoilt for choice.”

“A highlight of the Friday evening will be Cad Factory’s Shadow Places open air installation featuring 20 video projections onto round hay bales, with sounds and accompanying textile installations.

Ms Regan said special guest speaker Dame Marie Bashir, who was born and raised in Narrandera, will tell her story of leaving a rural town to become the second longest-serving Governor of NSW.

“At the Silver Masquerade Gala Dinner we will no doubt be inspired by stories from acclaimed author Rosalie Ham, film producer/director Sue Maslin, and organic paddock-to-plate farmer Bettina Walker,” she said.

Ms Ham grew up in Jerilderie, as did Ms Maslin, who not only attended boarding school with Ms Ham, but produced the film version of her novel, which starred Kate Winslet.

As part of the event, the 2017 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll, annually recognising rural women volunteers, will be launched.

Interested participants are encouraged to register for the gathering before 5pm on Friday.

To register for the NSW Rural Women’s Gathering at Narrandera, go to the website.