Invisible Farmer Symposium | University College
Invisible Farmer Symposium

Invisible Farmer Symposium

16 Mar 2018 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

University College will host the 2018 Invisible Farmer Symposium.

Invisible Farmer is the largest ever study of Australian women on the land. This three year project (2017-2020) is funded by the Australian Research Council and involves a nation-wide partnership between rural communities, academics, government and cultural organisations.

Women in Agriculture: Past, Present, Future
A symposium in honour of  Irene Lowe: First female graduate of Agricultural Science at the University of Melbourne

In March 1918, Irene Rogers (Lowe) graduated B Ag Sc from the University of Melbourne, the first Australian woman to be so honoured. Please join us at a symposium to celebrate the centenary of the event on Friday 16 March, 2018. Hosted by University College (founded in 1937 as University Women’s College, the first female only residential College aligned with the University of Melbourne), the symposium will feature presentations from members of Irene’s family, researchers associated with the national Invisible Farmer project, young, women students of Agricultural Science and the 2017 recipient of the Victorian Rural Women of the Year award.

Program for the day includes:

9am – Welcome
Dr Jennifer McDonald – Head, University College
Professor Ken Hinchcliff – Former Dean, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Science, The University of Melbourne – Warden, Trinity College
Professor Joy Demousi – Chief Investigator, Invisible Farmer Project

9.30am – Irene Lowe: Life and Times
Judy and Al Thompson (family members of Irene Lowe) – Irene Lowe Biography
Jessie Matheson – PhD student, The University of Melbourne and Agricultural Science: 1900-30
Professor Joy Damousi – Rural Women and WWI: 1914-18

11am – Morning Tea

11.30am – Women in Agriculture today
Emily Webb-Ware – President, Melbourne University Agricultural and Food Sciences Society
Laura Coady – PhD student, Monash University

12.30pm – Lunch

1.30pm – Oral Histories: Herstory of Rural Women
Nikki Henningham – Invisible Farmer Oral History Project
Karen Twigg – PhD student, Changes to farming in the Victorian Mallee

2.30pm – Challenges and Futures
Dr Kirsten Abernethy, Victorian Rural Woman of the Year

3.30pm – Afternoon Tea

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Nikki Henningham on 03 8344 7803 or at

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