Country Party meetings were usually all men, mostly old, all with the white ring around the forehead, caused by the hat – and they all wore very similar hats. The few women present were out the back preparing supper (I preferred the meeting).
This night they were discussing how to get the wool to the Wool Sales up in Sydney (Melbourne was ruled out). “Sail it up the Murray on paddle steamers - safe from theft etc., on the roads”. I put my hand up to ask the question, “Who owns the Murray, Vic or NSW? Staying in the middle in not between States. NSW owns the Murray!
The room fell silent. No one had thought of that! This was ultimately the end of the New State Movement as no one could think of a way to keep the wool clip safe en route to the Wool Sales. Either State would hit the trucks or boats with tax on the sales of the wool. Dad went to the West to talk to Prince Leonard – and was not impressed.
The cringe was – remembering how men came to Dad and congratulated him. “Geez she’s smart” said one of them.
“Yes” said Dad, “Pity she’s only a girl”.
This comment haunted me for most of my life – being a second rate HUMAN and life would be measured by my misfortune in being born a girl.
V. A. Dunin,