29 August, 2023
Ladies swap gumboots for heels
MORE than 300 south west dairy farming women swapped gumboots for shoes for a special day out late last week.
The women enjoyed a sold-out annual ladies’ luncheon in Warrnambool on Thursday, hosted by the South West Ladies Luncheon Committee with support from WestVic Dairy.
The event is the largest in the region for women in dairy and provides an opportunity for those in the industry to connect.
Committee member Belinda Doolan said the event provides women with an opportunity to get off the farm and connect.
“We can be neighbours and milk next door to each other but never see one another,” Ms Doolan said.
“It’s an opportunity to check in and to share our successes and have a laugh.”
The group heard from a range of guest speakers including broadcaster, TV presenter, journalist and writer Myf Warhurst.
“I was born in Portland so it’s lovely to come back to the region and connect with local women,” Ms Warhurst said.
“I love a long lunch celebrating other people’s hard work.”
Westpac national general manager for regional and agribusiness Peta Ward spoke on the importance of supporting and acknowledging the vital role women have in the dairy industry.
Attendees also heard from local businesswoman Caroline Simmons who, along with her partner Tim, established and developed the now famous Timboon Fine Ice-Cream company in 1999 using fresh milk that comes from the Doolan family farm down the road.
Farm business consultant Fiona Smith spoke about Dairy Australia’s ‘Our Farm Our Plan’ program and the importance of setting long term goals to improve business performance.
The variety of speakers resulted in great discussion.
The luncheon would not be possible without the generous support of local organisations through sponsorship, gifts, hampers and lucky door prizes.