• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE4472

McMillan, Jennifer

(1950 – )
  • Born 1 January, 1950, Maffra Victoria Australia


Jennifer McMillan was a nominee for the ABC Rural Woman of the year Award in 1997. She and her husband ran a dairy farm near Rosedale in Gippsland, Victoria.


Jennifer McMillan was born in Maffra, Victoria, in the heart of the Macalister irrigation district. Her father was granted a soldier settlement block at Denison in 1951, and her parents dairy farmed there. When she finished school she worked as a herd tester (testing milk volume composition for fat and protein) in the dairy industry until she married.

Herd testing was a job that a lot of young women did at the time. She worked in the Bunyip district, visiting a round of twenty farms per month. Most testers stayed on the farms, coming home only on the weekends. The job has changed sign. They can collect samples and then bring them to the lab.

Jennifer’s husband was also a herd tester; that is how they – moved into a variety of share farming positions before buying their own farm at Rosedale in 1980. They bought and adjoining block of land in 1986.

Jennifer and her husband split the work between them. She is the herd manager and her husband in the farm manager. She also manages the financial records. She is extremely knowledgeable in the science of artificial insemination of breeding stock. She never had formal education in the process, she just picked up knowledge as she went along.

Jennifer has taken an interest in farming organisations beyond her own front gate. She has served as president of the Victorian branch of United Dairy Farmers and secretary of the district council of that same organisation. She has been vice-chair of the East Gippsland Rural Financial Counselling Committee; a board member of the School of Primary Industries at the local college of Technical and Further Education (TAFE); a board member of the Macalister Research Farm and has serves on the course advisory committee of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).



  • 1997 - 1997

Published resources

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection
    • Jennifer McMillan interviewed by Ros Bowden Women of the land oral history project [sound recording]
    • Women of the land oral history project