Our Committee brings together a wide variety of skills, strengths, experience, and enthusiasm for the organization of 2019’s Gathering. The West Gippsland Women on Farms Group is the longest established group in Victoria, and having already hosted the 1st, 10th and 20th Gatherings, and will now host the 30th Women on Farms Gathering in Warragul.

Our committee have worked tirelessly to make this a memorable event, and hope that you’ll join us to celebrate the 30th Gathering.

Lyn Link

After 40 years at ‘my place’, I love living on the land. My place is at the head of a valley with two gullies forming a single creek, hundreds of tree ferns around the valley sides and tall gums higher up the hill. The grass in the valley is shared by horses, cows, calves plus lyrebirds, wombats, echidnas, goannas, wallabies, lots of birds and lately kangaroos, samba and fallow deer. Down the road there is the productive farm where we grow grass to turn into protein, steers are the current choice.

Women on Farms has been a wonderful part of my life. Beginning with skills courses on how to drive the tractor, calving, pasture management and more.  Thirty years with Women on Farms West Gippsland Discussion Group has been wonderful in furthering my knowledge of farming practices and opportunities. After attending 26 Women on Farms Gatherings I have made many great friendships, become more knowledgeable of other farming regions and been inspired by many women’s stories.

Jean Irvine

With my husband Geoff we moved to a 40 acre property in Warragul in 1997, where we built a home and commenced our farming career with cattle. We completed various courses in Beef Managment and Pasture Management and joined the local BeefCheque group. In the beginning we purchased steers to fatten for the domestic market. We started to attend store sales and commenced purchasing our own cattle.  Heifers were our choice to fatten, but before long we decided to keep a few ‘girls’ and breed.  We were selling our vealers at the local Warragul Saleyards. After taking 2 years off and travelling around Australia in our caravan, we decided it was time to sell up and look for a quieter life. In October 2016 we moved to a new home on 1 acre and we are just as busy now as we were on the farm.

Rosa Wedmore

My husband and I have lived in Tynong for over 20 years and breed mixed beef vealers on our 111 acre property.  Raising two sons on the land has been of great benefit, as some of the skills learnt early on can be applied to nearly any situation in their future.  I have been with Women on Farms West Gippsland for over 30 years, and Treasurer of the group for the entire time.  I make sure that l bring home at least one idea from any of our monthly visits. I have attended 21 WOF Gatherings and have made some life lasting friendships from these events.

WOFG19 committee Glenys Cliff

I’ve had a lifelong interest in farming and agricultural pursuits, with links through family and friends. We had a small dairy farm near Warragul for ten years and also ran an Angus beef cattle stud in conjunction with that. In recent years I have raised beef-cross calves and kept horses on a small acreage. I’m also interested in environmental & sustainability issues relating to farming practices. I very much enjoy the wide range of interests covered in Women on Farms meetings. I also enjoy gatherings, where we meet up with faming women from all over the state and a broad range of enterprises, to learn and have fun while sharing our stories.

Marion Denniss

On retiring, my husband and I bought a property of 81 hectares at Heath Hill.  We buy in steers at 250kg to 280kg then fatten them to bullocks weighing 600kg for the domestic and export markets. We also produce a number of Angus Limousin calves from our Angus cows and Limousin bull for the domestic market. We love the lifestyle of the farming life.

Leeanne Evans WOFG Committee

We bought 40 acres in Yarragon South in 1998 and it was purchased as a ‘Weekender” visiting most weekends from our home in Glen Waverley.  With the help of many friends and Landcare we have planted our gullies with over 20,000 native trees.  Since retiring I’ve joined the Yarragon Lions Club, Yarragon Bowling Club, Mazda MX5 Club, Women on Farms and I am now the President of our local Landcare Group.  2018 is going to be a hectic year for us as we have just started to re-build our home on our property.   

Marie Harding

A fruit grower in a small to medium family business with husband Chas (3rd gen.) and stepsons David and Ross (4th gen.) fruit growers. Harding’s Orchard & Orchard Cottage B & B are 5 kms north of Princes Highway in the beautiful Toomuc Valley. I am passionate about growing quality apples, pears, lemons and a small amount of soft fruit. I was involved for 13 years in a VicFruit programme teaching school children the benefits of eating apples with a colourful character called Aussi Apple. Unfortunately the programme ceased because of lack of funding.  Chas and I have 7 adult children and 13 grandchildren between us. My other interests are photography, involvement in the Uniting Church in Pakenham and a  member of the Casey Cardinia Tourism Group.  I have been involved with Women on Farms West Gippsland for 29 years.

Marion Harvey

My love for the country and farming community started as a youngster when the family ran a dairy and beef property in Sth Gippsland and then into the Western District.  I moved to the city for training in Children’s Services and Administration.  Now retired and living in Bunyip, I volunteer in the local community.  I’m a keen bird watcher and extremely interested in keeping our local fauna and flora protected. My hobbies are patchwork, needlework and mosaicing.

WOFG Committee Mary Hughes

Lives at Neerim, 27 km from Warragul, on a small but scenic grazing property. From a childhood on an orchard in NSW I have retained a life long interest in all things rural and farming.  Horses and dogs are my daily companions.  Trips to various farming communities are always a treat.  When off-farm I enjoy reading, overseas travel and involvement in many voluntary community roles.

Lyn Johnson

I was a city girl from Newport who married a dairy farmer and went to live in Neerim South in West Gippsland. I farmed in partnership with my husband Rob and became a co-founder and director of Tarago River Cheese Company. We retired in 1999 and moved to Warragul, but still run a small beef enterprise. I’ve organised and lead 3 dairyfarmer’s study tours to the USA, UK and Europe. I’m a foundation member of the Australian Women In Agriculture and a committee member of the first International Women in Agriculture conference. I’ve attended all 29 of the Women on Farms Gatherings and am on the Sponsorship team for the 30th Gathering. We have 2 adult children, twins, a daughter & family in Minnesota and a son & family at Neerim South. My hobbies include reading, travelling, Baw Baw Singers, learning French and being involved with the Danish community at Poowong East. I’m a member of the Uniting Church in Australia.

Judy Lackman

I grew up in the Goulburn Valley and my family owned & operated the local retail dairy. I’m a qualified Medical Scientist and worked for 8yrs in the Pathology Department at the Royal Children’s Hospital. I then worked for 25yrs as Lab technician in a Secondary College. Fifteen years ago, we purchased an 80 acre “hobby” farm in Yarragon raising sheep & beef cattle.

Evelyn Lillie

I moved from Melbourne to Yarragon South with my husband and 3 children 30 years ago for a lifestyle change in the beautiful West Gippsland Strzelecki Ranges. We have 140 acres of steep to undulating hill country producing vealer calves from a mix of Angus and Angus/Friesian cows. I’m involved with local organisations being Landcare, Yarragon District Communtiy group, Baw Baw Sustainabilty group, local CFA and have been a member of West Gippsland WOF for 29 years attending 28 out of the 29 Gatherings been held.

Quentin O'Keefe

Twenty-one years ago, we moved from Canberra to Yarragon South so that our three sons, all Canberra-born, would experience farming and see that Australia also existed outside Canberra. We have 17+ hectares of undulating hill country at the foot of the Strzelecki mountains.  Since then, we have bred Angus cattle and cross bred sheep as well as agisting neighbour’s animals when needed. At present, we have one horse, 18 Angus heifers and a lovely looking Angus bull. I am a retired solicitor and, besides being a board member of Traf News, I am a member of the Baw Baw Sustainability Network and the Baw Baw Arts Network, the St Vincent de Paul Society, Warragul Quilters Inc and Yarragon Craft Group Inc. I joined Women on Farms soon after moving to Gippsland and have attended as many of the 29 Gatherings as possible. My interests are Women on Farms, family, friends, stitching, reading, gardening, and renovating.

WOFG Committee Jenny Poon

Born and educated in Maffra, I spent my early years working in the rural health system, before marrying and raising my family. For many years I have devoted my time working as a veterinary nurse and currently work at Greencross Veterinary Clinic in Rowville. Volunteering with Widlife Victoria is another passion together with 4WDing, mosaicing and relaxing on our bush property in Briagolong.

WOFG Committee Hilary Steenholdt

I live on 13  acres on the rich fertile flats of the Koo Wee Rup Swamp at Cora Lyn. We have a small flock of sheep to breed prime lambs and also show and breed quality silkie chooks.  For several years  I bred working Border Collie pups but our two bitches have now retired.  In addition to our agricultural pursuits, we also have a sizeable vegie and flower garden which keeps us busy.

Joan Templar

Born and raised outside of Braidwood, NSW on a property which was home for a  Poll Hereford and Border Leicester Studs. Like all country children of that era I was expected to help with mustering, shearing, fire fighting, cooking for the shearers etc.  After I married we lived on Ocean Island, Central Pacific for 10 years where phosphate was mined. Returning to live in Pakenham Upper on a hobby farm, where we kept chooks, a goat, the odd cow for the freezer and a dog. Another spoilt dog is the only animal in my life now, so I joined Women on Farms West Gippsland to satisfy my farming interests 20 years ago.

WOFG Committee Leonie Woodham

I’m married with five grown-up children and six grandchildren. I am also a poet and published author. Growing up on a farm allowed me the freedom to explore the bush and develop a love for nature. My love of animals eventually led me to start my business ‘Animals on the Move’, which has been taking animal incursions to schools for 25 years. Through animals, I helped children to reconnect with nature. I do feel our natural connection with animals has been weakened with the move off the land and into the city that has occurred for the last few generations. I believe that the bond between animals, people and the environment needs to be given a higher level of importance if we are to become a more environmentally sensitive and humane society and my poetry reflects this.

Margaret Young

Nine years ago I bought the perfect house that happened to come with 15 acres in the lower Strzelecki hills. It came with a large garden of young and old fruit trees, specimen trees and too many roses. I added vegetables and native plants and shrubs.  My 6 chooks help in the garden – weeding and bug control. Two alpacas keep the foxes away and the 3 angora goats keep the blackberries down in the paddock. A local young farmer agists his steers to keep the grass down and help maintain fences etc.  which are jobs I can’t do. I also keep several local trades people in business dealing with pumps, mowing, pruning, spraying, building animal shelters etc. That is not to say I don’t work hard as well!

WOMEN ON FARMS - "Striding Forward"