Things that Make You Smile…

While being President of CWA of NSW is a privilege and a responsibility that I take seriously, so is being a wife, mother and business partner. Whilst the role of President provides me with opportunities that I would probably not otherwise have, it’s good to be grounded and passionate about the things that mean the most. While driving all over the countryside (“ask the Leyland Brothers…”) to meet some of the members in our 400 Branches is enlightening and enjoyable, so is home base.

Taking a drive with Jeff yesterday afternoon to check a watering point gave me an opportunity to not only spend a bit more time with him, but to take a look at some of our cattle and numerous new calves, who would be revelling in the beautiful spring morning we had here today. I can actually blame the lateness of the blog today on the weather (and a power outage) which provided me some time to re-acquaint myself with the ‘D’ team, including a game of fetch with Marvin and some generous attention for Gemma who is fast making friends with the vet (for a sore eye – fingers crossed please).

Chipolata has also received some well-earned praise this morning for seeking out another mouse-hole for me to fill…old houses…they have so much character…but it’s home and I love my little mouse-seeking, indoor, missile!

dog1I also dilly-dallied outside this morning with a new addition to our D team family who we welcomed about a month ago. Say hello to Marc’s next best mate, Wallace.

Wallace (Wally) hails from Inverell and like Sarge has a somewhat mixed heritage, VERY large feet, long gangly legs that have not yet mastered coordination and (so far) a lovable nature. He has already injected himself into the rough and tumble games on the front lawn with the older dogs, being generally well accepted until he is reminded that his puppy teeth are much sharper than those of his playmates.

I think Sarge would have enjoyed his company.

birds1I’ve also spent a bit of time this morning gazing out my kitchen window which, more through sheer luck than good management, has two banksia roses less than a metre away that are covered in yellow and white blooms. The little flowers are spectacular and brighten even a dull day, however the biggest bonus is the family of wrens or finches – my bird book says wrens but I always thought they were finches! (?? Expert opinion welcome) that have taken up residence once again after our renovations. It’s such a good way to forget, briefly, the rest of the world and its problems.

The other thing I love about being home is my own bed and last night as I contemplated and appreciated its comforts I listened to our other homebody as he meandered slowly around under the house. An Echidna, who Emma believes should be called Eugene or Ernest, because she imagines he is old and would have glasses perched on the end of his nose, has been in residence for a few years now. He appears in the garden occasionally for a drink of water and a change of scenery, much to the consternation of the ‘D’ team who would like to investigate this strange creature more closely but for the prickles. The scraping/rasping sounds that Ernie’s quills make on the timber supports as he manoeuvres himself around the various spaces trying valiantly to keep the white ant population under control are a little disconcerting in the middle of the night, especially for any visitors we might forget to forewarn.

Then of course there are the beautifully scented Murraya and their visitors…


What brings a smile to your dial?

A Week Is a Long Time In … a Violent Relationship

Last week more women lost their lives at the hands of their violent partners.

Last week we had a Prime Minister who said “enough is enough” and that action not words was what was needed.

Last week one high profile television presenter asked Tony Abbott to step down as the Minister for Women: where to now?

This week we have a new Prime Minister who earlier this year said “…there is zero tolerance for men hitting women” whilst defending a budget that would provide just over half the funds needed for an awareness program to confront the issue [1]

The members of CWA of NSW, like every other rational Australian, are not interested in waiting for the dust to settle in the ‘cock-fight’ pen before we find out what our national government is prepared to actually DO for those in violent relationships or at risk of same.

We are raising funds to support the 1800RESPECT help and support line because 18,000 calls went unanswered last year.

In NSW we are funding personal development courses for health professionals and community workers in rural and regional centres because that’s where, per capita, the most domestic violence attacks occur.

This week’s antics should not be allowed to take precedence over last week’s horrors.


1800Respect "Dunny Door" Sticker

1800Respect “Dunny Door” Sticker


[1]

Find out more about CWA’s involvement at

Advocacy by Stomach Stealth

Many people are under the impression that The Country Women’s Association is for “older women” and something they might consider “when they have more time…” They also perpetuate the myth that we don’t do much except knit and take tea with our scones.

This assumption is usually evident when dealing with male politicians and some media interviewers, who mistakenly believe that their reference to the provision of scones for the sustenance of those participating in the current event is original.

Whilst it does get a little tedious at times, I remind myself (and sometimes those making the remarks) that it is the sale of those very same, simple but delicious delights that contribute significantly towards the projects our organisation has supported and the advocacy we have maintained, for over 93 years, in NSW.

Fostering an Aussie fetish for Scottish fare (say that, quickly, five times!) has raised millions of dollars over those nine decades which in turn has flowed to help millions of people, both here and overseas. Whether through funding for baby health nurses, parcels for our diggers, medical research, education grants, assistance following disasters, or raising our hands to help in the battle to defeat family and domestic violence; our little treats, via your stomachs and wallets, have allowed us to achieve much.P1020846

Keep an eye on the news over the next week or so because during our Awareness Week activities, which commence this Saturday across NSW, many of our members will be raising not only awareness, but providing funds, to help women and children deal with the effects of violence in their lives.

Each Branch will be undertaking different activities and whilst we’ve rarely shied away from the difficult conversations, for some the issue of Domestic Violence can be confronting, so some events will be focused on encouraging you to record your decision about becoming an organ tissue donor, on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

I can’t promise a basket of goodies and Grandma will definitely not be the wolf in disguise, but she will be happy to take your donation to keep him at bay.

Is your wallet up to the challenge of ignoring your stomach, for a good cause?

Mivale - high tea-edit (3)