A new book which brings together the inspiring stories of eight women who run farms has hit the bestsellers list for non-fiction in Australia just a few weeks after its national launch. Women of the Land captures their ways of life, their personal struggles and their remarkable achievements in what is traditionally considered a man’s world. Published by Allen & Unwin, the book has been written by award-winning rural journalist and Churchill Fellow Liz Harfull, who grew up on a farm near Mount Gambier in South Australia.
“Even though people generally realize there are many women farmers out there, I suspect there is a belief that women only farm in partnership with their husbands, or brothers or fathers,” Liz said. “That is one of the reasons why I was so keen to explore this theme, made even more pertinent by the fact this is the Australian Year of the Farmer.”
Liz said she was also particularly keen to write about parts of rural Australia not considered the Outback, which was already the focus of many books and movies about the bush. “The vast majority of rural Australians live in more closely settled areas, which are rich in their own stories, traditions and characters,” she said. “This is the world I grew up in and know best because my family have been farming a small property near Mt Gambier in the South East of South Australia since the early 1860s.”