Greer Bland (born in 1944) left school at sixteen to work first as a bank clerk in Melbourne and then, from 1963 to 1969, as an accounts auditor with the Royal Australian Air Force. In 1970 she returned to Gippsland in Victoria to work on the family dairy farm.
I remember about the age of twenty-four, twenty-five I’ve been nearly driven out of my mind with relatives and friends saying, ‘Well aren’t you married yet?’ They’d want to know the ins and outs of everything and I had nothing to say. I didn’t find it unusual. I never thought about it, to be quite honest but of course it was amazing how the attitudes of people would get to you at times.
Till the point where you sometimes when you’re down in the ebb, at your lowest, sometimes you think, oh, is there something wrong with you, you know, and you’d start to doubt yourself even. But I’d soon get out of that. I’d come out of that and think, well I wouldn’t be any good at it anyway. So you just reply to yourself like that. But I do remember the pressure didn’t let off until I was perhaps in my mid-thirties and it was, I’m nearly over the hill and it was too late, and they give up. But I do remember a great deal of pressure.
During my air force days, I think I was in the eligible period. I was that keen to get on and strive for a career, and you weren’t allowed to be married. If you got married in the air force you got out. So in those days you weren’t allowed to be married. You are now.
Credit: Greer Bland interviewed by Catherine McLennan in the Australian generations oral history project, ORAL TRC 6300/4, National Library of Australia. Recorded on 30-31 July 2011 in Glengarry, Victoria.