Imagine if all the women in the Griffith region were to go on strike. What would be the impact?
Would businesses open? Schools function? Households survive?
On International Women's Day we are reminded of the vital role women in the Griffith region play in educating, supporting and raising the next generation. They hold households together, but also manage businesses that keep this region alive, particularly in agriculture, and often their contribution is overlooked.
The Area News spoke with two generations of Storrier women about how they've seen their lives change over the years and to look back at the contribution they have made to the progress of their business and family.
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The Storrier family is fast approaching 150 years of living and farming at "Riverview", Hillston.
Carole Storrier is a former nurse, mother to five children, grandmother to 16 and a director of Riverview Farming. Her daughter Jenny Cleton is a trained massage therapist, mother to three children and now works co- managing the administration of Riverview with her sister-in-law Stacey.
Between Stacey and Jenny, they ensure Riverview Farming balances the books, pays their staff, keeps accurate records, pays taxes and in general, moves forward.
Mrs Storrier has seen unprecedented change for women over her life and although she looks back on how she managed essentially raising her five children without much support, she see her daughter's generation as run-off-their-feet.
"They just have such a busy life. I don't know if it's just because I'm older but that's what I see that's really different," she said.
"I look back now, having five kids at home and I think how'd I do it? I have a couple of my grandchildren with me now and I'm exhausted. How did I bring up five kids?
Mrs Storrier sees more shared responsibility between men and women these days, particularly fathers being more involved with their children's lives. However, her daughter acknowledges that she still manages the majority of the childcare in her household.
While Mrs Storrier took 13 years off to be at home with her children, Mrs Cleton returned soon after having her first child, and she says she had the support of her family, particularly her mother around her to do so.
"I think there is a lot more scope for what girls and women can do now," Mrs Cleton said.
"I think women now can do whatever they want to do if they have a passion for it."
Mrs Storrier has been a Jill-of-all-trades for Riverview over the years, taking up any responsibility that has been called for. From farm hand, to bookkeeper, staff manager to director, and all while juggling raising the children and managing a household, non of which she received a wage for until her children's generation had joined the business.
"It's the way it was back then," she said.
"In our farm now we have women doing everything, and they all get the same pay as the men."
While women of past generations had to travel to the cities for a university education, Mrs Cleton says that particularly over the last year, the changes in communication technology have now made study options so accessible for rurally based women, which is a huge step forward she says.
Mrs Cleton explained that a lot is moving forward to accommodate working remotely and with flexible working arrangements which is good news for women.
"Now women will have the opportunity to be able to pursue what they are passionate about and what they train in, being in a rural town," she said.
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