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Exhibition pays tribute to 90 years of the Australian Women’s Weekly

<i>The Australian Women’s Weekly</i> exhibition will be at the Bendigo Art Gallery until August 27.

The Australian Women’s Weekly exhibition will be at the Bendigo Art Gallery until August 27. Photo: Women's Weekly

Bendigo is playing host to two iconic Australian exhibitions this month, making it an ideal place to spend a winter weekend.

The Australian Women’s Weekly: 90 Years of an Australian Icon and Australiana: Designing a Nation exhibitions are now on display at the Bendigo Art Gallery.

Entry to both exhibitions is free and each offers visitors a lens into the arts, crafts and fashion that have shaped Australia culture throughout the decades.

Australian Women’s Weekly: 90 Years of an Australian Icon will look back at some of the inspiring women who have been part of the magazine’s history and how the many changing eras of fashion and style came to life on its pages.

Actress and writer Miranda Tapsell’s front cover gown was designed by Sonia Cappellazzo. Photo: Leon Schoots. 

Some of the trailblazing journalists who made it happen include reporter Dorothy Drain, who filed stories from the field during World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars, writing for the mothers and sisters of the soldiers she met. Drain worked for the Weekly for 38 years, including the last five as its editor.

Ita Buttrose was a copy girl there before famously climbing the rungs to become the youngest editor of the Weekly between 1975 and 1980.

Front-page appeal has always been a Weekly speciality. Over the years it has been graced by Hollywood royalty from Marilyn Monroe to Nicole Kidman, Australian politicians from Julia Gillard to Anna Bligh and, of course, the royals.

The late Queen Elizabeth first appeared on the cover in 1937 as a girl, then throughout her life up until her passing in September last year. The Weekly commemorated her death in September with a souvenir 164-page edition dedicated to the Queen.

The magazine has also offered a window onto the global fashion stage and this exhibition will display a selection of glamorous garments worn on recent covers.

These include the striking red Toni Maticevski-designed dress worn by legendary culinary entrepreneur Maggie Beer, a Sonia Cappellazzo gown for actress and writer Miranda Tapsell, and the Aurelio Costarella dress worn by Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

But it’s the cookbooks that will arguably have visitors feeling the strongest sense of nostalgia.

 

Australian Women's Weekly Birthday Cake Book

Beloved cake recipes in the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book. Photo: Women’s Weekly

Whether it was the swimming pool cake filled with blue jelly or the train cake with the carriages filled with smarties, everyone has a favourite recipe from the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book.

Recently the duck cake, which is made with two potato chips for a bill, surged back into popularity thanks to the beloved children’s animated series Bluey.

The famous cakes of the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book. Photo: Leon Schoots. 

If you’re thinking about a winter weekend away in Bendigo, now is the time to plan. Be sure to bring your appetite so you can follow the Sweet Treat Trail – a selection of goodies inspired by the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book and prepared by local Bendigo eateries.

The Australian Women’s Weekly: 90 Years of an Australian Icon iends on August 27 while the Australiana: Designing a Nation exhibition wraps up on June 25.

Topics: Bendigo
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