Country Women’s Association of NSW (CWA) members bring an abundance of knowledge, energy and inspiration into Albury NSW for this year’s Annual State Conference. From business meetings, honourable guests and informative workshops… to social activities, historical tours and State Committee displays… there was never a dull moment. And I have caught it on camera, then compiled a video to share with you today.
I had the privilege to attend as a Delegate for Tamworth Evening branch along with my friend Kylie and a group of ladies from our region. Women from all walks of life coming together with their unique backgrounds, experiences and expertise to seek a mutual resolution of motions.
CWA aims to improve the lives of women and their families through their democratic process of a policy-setting agenda and an extensive range of activities. Many opportunities lie within all levels of CWA to be involved and seek the support of local issues of grave concern.
Starting with a combined Ecumenical Service and raising $2,884 for the Albury Wodonga Cancer Research Fund, members once again unite and connect socially. The Official Opening entertained and inspired members prior to the Business Sessions commencing. The keynote speaker was Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC Governor of NSW.
The CWA Medical Research Fund has raised $34,000 to donate towards endometriosis. A debilitating disease affecting many women with symptoms of pelvic pain and fertility issues. An interesting medical presentation has identified through research the importance of potential protein biomarkers of endometriosis. CWA members have voted to continue supporting endometriosis through their Medical Research Fund for another year.
Interestingly CWA has opened 12 new branches over the last year; 11 Evening branches and 1 Sunrise branch. CWA is now appealing to younger generations and working women that have a desire to become involved, having an opportunity to attend meetings that are more convenient.
Women join CWA for a variety of reasons such as friendships, social connections, educational opportunities, sharing of experiences, learning cookery skills, creating handicraft items, to discuss local agricultural concerns, the policy-setting agenda… and the list goes on.
International information was shared on the CWA Country of Study for this year which is Papua New Guinea. Other cultures are interesting and CWA members have the ability to learn new and fascinating information.
Business Sessions continued throughout the Conference where policy motions were discussed, amended as needed and then voted upon. A diverse range of topics arose in the scope of agriculture and environment, health and social security, transport and telecommunications and Constitutional changes.
Important resolutions were sought from CWA branches and successfully made CWA State policy for topics such as rural crime, improper use of drones, travelling stock routes, food safety standards for meat and milk, erecting a wildlife overpass, dairy industry issues, public cancer clinics, post mortems, supporting nurses, health industry pricing, drought relief funding, scoliosis, Automated External Defibrilators, horse traffic road rules, and truck-specific rest areas.
CWA, as the largest women’s organisation in Australia, plays an important role in lobbying the Government for change and improvements across so many aspects of our lives. I am very proud to be a part of such an hounourable and progressive organisation.
As a shy individual, with the thought of public speaking terrifying me all of my life, I chose to step up and speak at this year’s State Conference. This decision aligned well with my current journey of personal growth and challenging myself.
I spoke against a motion and explained my reasoning, without falter, in front of 500 other members. When a Past State President asked for me (and another member) to assist in the re-wording of the motion to incorporate the relevant concerns, it felt amazing to be part of this process, working together for the desired result. The motion was to review a weed classification, educate and research.
Another highlight for me, was winning 3rd place in an annual essay competition presented by the Honorary Editor of the CWA Journal. This was the first time I had entered a CWA competition, so I was very excited. The essay topic was “In modern times, do we have the capacity to harness the power of empathy for one another?” I found this topic very engaging and relatable, therefore very passionate to write about.
Socially we had a very entertaining week away, with plenty of laughter, great meals, dancing and friendly conversations. I also caught up with some old friends and was delighted to see them again. CWA brings a great bunch of women together with big hearts, thoughtful personalities, compelling stories and a myriad of experience.
Since the drought has been ever so heavy upon my shoulders, I valued my week away so very much. I spoke with my husband every night, checking that all was OK on the farm, and appreciated the time out with CWA members and the uplifted feeling that had surrounded me.
I would like to share my amateur video with you all reflecting on the fun, the engagement and the memories of the happenings with CWA State Conference in Albury… through my eyes.
Take care, Karen.
“Don’t let anything defeat you.”
~ Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley
Video Credit: YouTube and Karen Weller