Thinking of all those who’ve served or been affected by war. And on this ANZAC day I wish to give tribute to those women who did it very tough on farms during WW2 to feed Australians as well as Australian, British and US troops. They faced often hazardous working conditions and unfamiliar machinery, animosity, little ready money and also many of the agricultural chemicals of the time had later effects on the women’s health.
The thousands of women who volunteered for Australia’s Land Army weren’t given recognition or allowed to march in ANZAC day parades until 40 years after the war, in 1985. And there still remains little, if any, acknowledgement of the many migrant women left to keep farms going alone during the war – with no Land Army help – after their innocent husbands were interned in precautionary measures.
It was a privilege for me to listen to and write about some of these women’s experiences. The photographs are mainly of Australian Land Army women because cameras were confiscated from Italian migrants at the time or they couldn’t afford them. So I’ve included an old photograph of women on my bisnonna’s farm from not long after the war. It does make me smile to see the Australian women in their summer shorts knowing the Italian women mostly wore cotton dresses while working. Yet all of them with the same purpose during very trying times – contributing through hard work, not giving up and working together. Con grazie di cuore. Zoë xx