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Celebrating women of the river – 31 January to 18 March

Celebrating women of the river – 31 January to 18 March

A fascinating exhibition will flow into town next week, celebrating women associated with the Murray River and its tributaries.

Women of the River Country showcases the stories of 19 unique women from the mid 1800s to present day. It includes early pioneers, an internationally acclaimed sporting icon and a world-class musician, who each have connections with our magnificent river environment.

Many of the river stories that have been recorded to date relate to the men who played major roles in river and community development, with the contribution of women often overlooked. Women of the River Country aims to change this.

Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery Director Ian Tully said it was fantastic to have Swan Hill’s Jessie Dunstone included in the 19 core women of the travelling exhibition.

“Many Swan Hill people will have known Jessie or her family, or have heard about her famous damper. Jessie’s damper rose to fame in the 1970s while she was working at the Pioneer Settlement and she used that success to travel Australia promoting the Settlement,” Mr Tully said.

“But she was also well known for her kindness and inclusiveness – helping children and others in need, offering many respite in her own home. So she is a wonderful woman to have featured in this exhibition,” he said.

Mr Tully said it was equally fantastic that 11 other Swan Hill women would be included when the exhibition visited Swan Hill Regional Library – women who have played vital roles within our community over the years and still to this day. They are:

  • Caroline Knox Chapman
  • Lady Dorothy Byrnes
  • Queen Aggie
  • Jessie McCallum
  • Salva Marotta
  • Jeannie Finlayson
  • Marjorie McLeod
  • Emily May Ward
  • Melena Jager
  • Lorraine Connelly-Northey
  • Mary Trevor

Women of the River Country will be on at Swan Hill Regional Library from 31 January to 18 March. May Ward will open the exhibition on 31 January at 6pm, with the community invited to attend.

For more information on the exhibition contact the Library on 5036 2480 or the Gallery on 5036 2430.