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The Nationals "100 years - 100 towns"

This year the Nationals are celebrating 100 years of unbroken political representation in Victoria.  As part of the "100 years - 100 towns" event, Underbool is one of the chosen towns because it is home to the historic and unique Underbool Nationals Women's Meeting RUnderbool Nationals Women's Meeting RoomUnderbool Nationals Women's Meeting Roomoom.

This is one of the finest examples of pioneering women's endeavours and is the only women's Nationals meeting room in Victoria.

The Women's Section of the then Victorian Farmers' Union began in 1921 and the need for a club room became apparent.

This was proudly completed in 1924 on land purchased at public auction from money raised locally, as a hub for isolated women to interact.

To highlight this achievement, an afternoon of celebration was held on Sunday, 29th May 2pm, at the meeting room which was open for inspection and to view historical displays there.

Everyone is welcome, so come along to listen and share your stories or contact Dorothy Brown 50946366, with any relevant information.


 The Underbool celebration was a successful event celebrating women and their contribution to their community through the National Party. Dorothy Brown welcomed all and invited Howard Crothers to introduce National Party official guests.

National Party Guests Noel Rankin, Meree Bath, Peter Crisp, Melina Bath, Steph Ryan, Bridget McKenzie with Dorothy Brown opening the eventNational Party Guests Noel Rankin, Meree Bath, Peter Crisp, Melina Bath, Steph Ryan, Bridget McKenzie with Dorothy Brown opening the event

Eileen Kilpatrick, Elaine Lockett and Joan Willsmore discuss the displayEileen Kilpatrick, Elaine Lockett and Joan Willsmore discuss the display











These included (from left to right in picture): Noel Rankin,  Victorian Women's NP Executive  immediate past president, Meree Bath, current  president Victorian Women's NP executive, Peter Crisp MLA (Mildura), Melina Bath, MLC Victorian Eastern Region, Steph Ryan MLA (Euroa) Deputy Leader of NP and Senator Bridget McKenzie.

Dorothy told some of the stories of the early women who worked to establish the Women's clubroom and other anecdotes highlighting the lives and activities of women who followed these pioneers. Joan Willsmore added some other anecdotes she remembered from her mother Maisie and aunties.

Following this time at the meeting room, the celebration continued at the Underbool Linga Hall where guest speaker Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie highlighted achievements of women in the National Party. Women who, like the pioneer women of Underbool, see a problem and work to solve it. Bridget was accompanied by deputy leader of the party Steph Ryan, MLA who said she was incredibly proud to be in Underbool for the event which celebrated the contribution of National Party women over the past 100 years.

Bridget, Steph, Melina and Meree proved themselves to be passionate representatives for rural Victoria and for women. They are to be congratulated for their commitment.

Local member Peter Crisp presented some interesting history of National Party members for our area and the issues they had battled with over the years, many of these issues are ongoing and are still priorities for our community.

The afternoon tea served was a typical country feast of delicious home baking thanks to local ladies.

The Women's clubroom will hopefully be maintained and continue to stand as an icon to the resilience and determination of rural women to improve their communities and will also serve as a history centre.