Advocating on issues surrounding telecommunications, Lyme disease, rural health, palliative care options, and so much more, the Country Women’s Association (CWA) is so much more than knitting and baking great scones.
More than 50 women from 18 CWA branches on the Mid North Coast, from Nambucca Heads in the north, west to Gloucester and south to Bulahdelah, came together in Kendall on October 30, for the 89th annual Mid North Coast conference, discussing everything from Poland to the United Nations Sustainable Goals.
“We have a very simple charter, to represent and advocate for women and girls especially in rural and remote areas, on the issues which affect them, so they can have a better life moving forward,” said CWA Australian president, Dorothy Coombe.
“With 22,000 members in 1200 branches across Australia many think we are all old women wearing cloaks thinking in the past, but really, we are women who advocate for local causes which are important and relevant to our members, Australia-wide,” Mrs Coombe said.
“We no longer fight for what elastic is in women's underwear, but rather, we fight for issues that are relevant today.
“We have recently adopted the 17 United Nations Sustainable Goals, covering everything from poverty to education to world hunger to life under the water, to building communities and infrastructure and each of them have goals.
“We are really excited because when national issues like electricity prices come up we now have a platform from which to advocate,” she said.
“It is important that ladies in these clubs, working with community, who know the issues facing them, and the issues they are working to change or fixed, can be passed through the chain and we can continue to advocate their issues on a state, national and international stage.”
The range of areas the CWA are currently working in, advocating on behalf of the community, and their members is quite broad, and Mid North Coast Group president, Margaret Breust said, it was a testament to CWA relevancy that members from all 18 clubs went to Kendall.
“We are an evolving group, who are trying to appeal to modern day women; in the 1920s when the CWA began. the ladies had a cause and stuck to it, these days we are active in a number of areas from the danger of button batteries to supporting family and domestic violence awareness campaigns,” Mrs Breust said.
“At the conference today we had an excellent turnout, with all 18 groups in our region represented in Kendall and we also two incredible guest speakers Wendy Hudson and National CWA president Dorothy Coombe,” she said.
Kendall local Wendy Hudson spoke to the women present about the work the Kendall Tennis Club has done in the community and the association with the Kendall CWA, in fostering a community in Kendall.