McCrossin's Mill Uralla will celebrate prolific volunteers at the Wonder Women exhibition

WONDER WOMEN: McCrossin's Mill Museum exhibition curator Ann Hacker, photographer Aynie Houlahan and Ariella Van Luyn set up the Wonder Women exhibition.

WONDER WOMEN: McCrossin's Mill Museum exhibition curator Ann Hacker, photographer Aynie Houlahan and Ariella Van Luyn set up the Wonder Women exhibition.

A TINY silver propelling pen, books, children’s drawings and a pouring jug. 

The only thing they have in common is the quality of the women who own them.

And, each woman’s story will be told at McCrossin’s Mill in the Wonder Women exhibition.

Curator Ann Hacker said the idea was born when an anonymous visitor left a note in the guest book.

“Someone wrote in our book saying, “Where are all the women?” she said.

“Just about all of our exhibitions are men.

“I don’t know who it was, whether it was a male who was being funny or a woman who felt unjustly done by – we said why don’t we do something about women?”

Photographer Aynie Houlahan took portraits of the four women for the exhibition, that highlights their volunteer involvement.

Her main aim was to capture their stories.

“It’s great to have a head and shoulder shot but you really want to have something in their photo that tells their story,” she said.

“Whether that be having their personal artefacts with them or an action photo that gives a depiction of what’s happening in their lives.”

Ms Houlahan has been a photographer for more than 30 years and has only recently moved to Uralla.

She said she was impressed with how open the women were in sharing their stories.

“I was so impressed with the quality of the women and the heart they have for volunteering and Uralla,” she said.

“Being new to the area I don’t know many people at all, for me it was another eye-opener to how welcoming Uralla is and how amazing the people are, everyone has a story.

“These four are standouts.”

Ms Hacker said the impact of volunteering in a small town like Uralla is huge.

Even the exhibition’s location, McCrossin’s Mill, is volunteer-run.

“We’re totally volunteer-based and if The Mill wasn’t here there would be a huge gap in Uralla,” Ms Hacker said.

“There’s also Can Assist, there’s Driver Reviver, McMaugh’s Garden, a huge number of people volunteer and without them I don’t know where Australia would be.

“The story will touch on other areas of their lives but mainly the volunteering, that’s why they’re wonder women and that’s what it’s all about really.”

Ms Hacker felt very strongly about one of the women in the exhibition, but said all four have made incredible contributions to the community.

“Even considering they have such busy home lives, yet they just give themselves willingly to the public – even in dangerous instances,” she said.

“I think they’re fantastic.”

Wonder Women will open at McCrossin’s Mill Museum in Uralla on Saturday March 17, to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Tickets are $30 and include dinner, canapes and dessert.

For more information contact 0407 942 308.

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