Some chicks with attitude

Mid North Coast CWA members have a bit of fun during recent council meeting held in Gloucester. Photo Anne Keen
Mid North Coast CWA members have a bit of fun during recent council meeting held in Gloucester. Photo Anne Keen

It's a great feeling when you walk into a room full of women working hard to help other women.

They may have jokingly referred to themselves as "Chicks With Attitude", but these members of the Country Women's Association (CWA) are behind some of the most important social and community service programs in the country.

Around 70 members from the Mid North Coast Group gathered at the Gloucester Uniting Church hall for a council meeting/cookery judging on Friday, November 29 hosted by the Gloucester Day Branch.

While the members of the 20 branches, stretching from Nambucca Heads to Bulahdelah and across to Gloucester, get together a few times a year to discuss any social issues affecting the women and children in their regional communities, the cookery judging only happens on one occasion.

Members brought their homemade goodies which were placed in the judging corner shrouded in secrecy for a blind judging by member of a different CWA group, who would chose the winner of each category that would go onto the State Conference in May.

After the judging was complete, the women were offered a few tips on how to improve their cooking skills for a better chance of making it into the State competition.

One of the tips was asking members to consider the quality of the ingredients they were using, like in the case of the honey jumbles, as it can affect the taste.

Aside from the judging, the women voted on several matters including the decision to take a resolution about domestic violence to the State Conference.

In order to have their resolution heard, they first need to send it to the State committee, which decides what matters will be taken to the conference.

The Mid North Coast Group is asking that CWA of NSW employ a policy that takes a stance against domestic violence and implores all levels of government to recognise it as a national emergency requiring action.

The group prides itself on working hard for its communities and extends that support to other regions as well.

Included in the group is the first online virtual branch, allowing women to be a part of a CWA branch via the internet regardless of their location, making sure that all women have the opportunity to be a part of the organisation.

They also decided at the meeting to start their own members' donation to help provide $50 gift vouchers for women in hard-hit regional areas to buy a little something for themselves.

Group president, Del Robson said she'd been working on making connections with other groups to ensure the funds go directly to women struck by disaster.

Gloucester Day Branch president, Ann Williamson said it was important for the group to give a little something to the women who miss out in order to give to their families above themselves.

"The money could go toward a cup of coffee or haircut. Something these women go without in order to make sure their families are taken care of," Ann explained.

One of the projects the group is most proud of is the drought aid program being run through the CWA State office which, according to Ann, has given $14.5 million to more than 8700 recipients.

To find out how to get assistance from the program or make donation, visit the CWA of NSW website www.cwaofnsw.org.au/droughtaid.html, email drought@cwaofnsw.org.au or call 8337 0200.