Events 100 years of The Nationals

High Tea to celebrate old and new

13 April 2017


A high tea will be held in Euroa on Sunday 23 April to celebrate the 100 year centenary of The Nationals in regional Victoria.

Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said the whole community was invited to join the celebration. 

“This is an opportunity to celebrate 100 years of unbroken political representation in regional Victoria and, of course, the significance that Euroa has played in that history,” Ms Ryan said.

“Euroa has been at the centre of the party’s history from the very early years.”

Ms Ryan said The Nationals had started out as the Victorian Farmer’s Union (VFU), an association of farmers and primary producers which formed in 1914, became a political party in 1916 and stood its first candidates at the 1917 state election.

“In June 1916 John “Jack” Hall, an organiser for VFU, toured Euroa and surrounding areas giving farmers an ear and a chance to vent their frustrations,” Ms Ryan said.

“Jack spoke in Shepparton then Euroa and Violet Town, Balmattum, Shean’s Creek, Strathbogie, Gooram, Ruffy and Creighton’s Creek.

“Branches began to form in all these places plus Boho South, and by 1917 branches were also formed at Longwood, Terip and Miepoll.

“In February 1917 the The Farmer’s Advocate summarised the mandate of the party saying:

‘(The VFU) are neither Labor nor Liberal.  The Victorian Farmer’s Union exists because the major parties are essentially based and directed and ignored the needs of country people.’”

Ms Ryan said many of the issues discussed at branch meetings 100 years ago were still relevant today but the scope of the party had expanded significantly.

“We are still the farmer’s party but we also stand for our local towns, small businesses, sporting clubs and community groups,” Ms Ryan said.

“Regional infrastructure, bringing people to regional Victoria and giving country people a voice are as important today as they were in 1917.

“Anyone who is interested in finding more about The Nationals or would like to celebrate the pivotal role Euroa played in shaping Victoria's politics is more than welcome to attend.”

The event will take place at the Euroa Third Age Club at 3pm, Sunday 23 April and will cost $25 per person.

Please RSVP to stephryan.nationals@gmail.com.

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