Entering a new chapter

Fifth-generation farmer Jackie Elliott stands in front of rustic blue farmhouse door

This time last year, Byaduk resident and fifth-generation farmer Jackie Elliott was welcoming almost 200 women from around Victoria to an inaugural event she organised at Dunkeld, Western Victoria, for International Day of Rural Women (15 October).

Her aim was to connect regional women, minimising their isolation and allowing them to network and support each other. The success of this event led to Jackie becoming  a finalist in the 2020 Victorian AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award.

Jackie’s plan to support rural woman to replicate the event this year around Australia were scuttled with arrival of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Undeterred, Jackie regrouped and decided 2020 was the year to bring out a magazine celebrating rural women and their lives – with a launch date to coincide with International Day of Rural Women on 15 October.

“This year we quickly realised we couldn’t have an event but felt it’s still important to take a moment to reflect and read about positive and inspiring stories of the women within our communities,” says Jackie.

She says the magazine supports rural women to tell their stories and feel connected to their communities. “It will be a timeless keepsake to remember a year like no other,” she says.

Jackie is founder and project manager for the magazine and is working with a co-project manager, editor and journalist Georgie Morrison.

Together they have gathered stories from women around Australia – and one in New Zealand – with themes of: Community, Collaboration, Celebration and Connection.

In most cases, women have written and told their own stories which Jackie says range from women finding support “among their tribe” to how they have overcome adversity.

The magazine will be printed on recycled paper and is available to purchase for $20 including postage Australia-wide via Rural Women’s Day, the not-for-profit entity Jackie has established.

Pictured above: Fifth-generation farmer Jackie Elliott is celebrating and connecting rural women in a new magazine launching on International Day of Rural Women. Photograph courtesy of Mavstar Photography

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