Women’s service recognised in mural.

A message from the Violet Town RSL Sub-Branch

An impressive mural representing women who served in, or supported, Australia’s and allied defence forces in times of war has been unveiled at the Violet Town RSL Sub-branch in Northeast Victoria.

It is the largest mural in Australia dedicated to honouring all women’s contribution to war. Painted by recognised mural artist Tim Bowtell, the largely black and white artwork tells the story of local women from the Violet Town area who served, but set in the context of Australian women’s service in all military conflicts.

The large mural is 17 metres long and nearly 2 metres high, and is located next to the town’s Boer War Memorial in Cowslip Street, just off the busy Hume Highway linking Melbourne and Sydney.

The RSL project to build the mural, which extended over several years, highlighted that while there were about 20 local women who had been identified as having served in the Army, Navy, Air Force or on the home front, they served only during the First and Second World Wars.

The project team was keen to create a mural that symbolically represented those who served across the spectrum – from the Boer War to the present – as well as those who helped on the home front.

The mural covers the major areas of conflict of the 20th and 21st centuries, and shows portraits of local women and other women, representing those who played their part. Other features are women at work in factories highlighting work on the home front, and high ranking officers, representing the rise of women in the ranks of military services. Storyboards highlight the different organisations which women joined and the roles they played.

The mural will become part of Victoria’s military history trail, extending from Seymour northward. The Violet Town RSL Sub-branch is proud that the RSL is recognising the women of the district as well as the men, as Australian women have been able to serve in all combat roles since 2016.


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