Women of war on display

Exhibition will tour internationally

AN exhibition created by a Bendigo district couple will travel overseas showcasing the women of World War I.

Women of Empire Exhibition 1914-1918 commemorates the centenary of World War I and comprises more than 30 rare and original costumes representing real women.

Eddington's Fiona and Keith Baverstock have received interest  from Canada and New Zealand in their collection, as well as several Australian cities including Canberra.

It tells the story of Australia and New Zealand's army of women whose lives were transformed by the war.

Ms Baverstock said many aspects of women's effort in the war had remained untold, for example, female doctors who were unrecognised by the government.

"Women doctors took themselves over to help and did incredible things," Ms Baverstock said.

Other roles included nurses, drivers, cooks and Red Cross aides.

"On the home front, they raised money, stitched uniforms, put together comfort packs, kept farms, business and households afloat and campaigned for better conditions for those were away or against conscription," Mr Baverstock says in the exhibition's brief.

We want to run it throughout the four years of the centenary. - Fiona Baverstock

The Baverstocks have been planning the display for the past two years. They have a business dealing in antique costume and run vintage fashion fairs across the country.

The exhibition will debut at Geelong's National Wool Museum in February.

Bendigo's Capital Theatre will show it from March 30 until April 16, 2015.

Ms Baverstock said Canberra's National Museum of Australia and Australian War Memorial were also interested, as well as museums in Melbourne and Adelaide.

"I have sufficient costumes to duplicate the exhibition," she said.

"We want to run it throughout the four years of the centenary."

City of Greater Bendigo major events manager Terry Karamaloudis said the exhibition was one in a series of events planned to commemorate the war.

There is more information at www.womenofempire.com

RELATED COVERAGE: Eddington's frock value – a Bendigo Advertiser feature on the Baverstocks and their collection.

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