As we head into the inaugural CWA Awareness Week, our themes of DIVERSITY, CHARITY and CHANGE exemplify the driving force and enthusiasm of CWA of NSW. There are many activities undertaken by the Association that often ‘go under the radar’ and this week is a time to promote the great work accomplished across this State.
As a professional urban woman living in Sydney I am proud to say I am a ‘city slicker’ member of the Country Women’s Association of New South Wales.
It may come as a surprise to many that 20% of the CWA membership live in the city.
Currently I am President of the Sydney City Evening Branch and the majority of our members are professional women aged in their 30’s or 40’s. Some have rural family heritage as daughters or granddaughters off the land while others were born and bred in the city and have no direct ties to rural NSW.
This DIVERSITY in our backgrounds is enriching as we share our different skills and experience.
Despite our city lifestyle, we are united by a desire to effect positive change within our local and state-wide community. The successes we achieve in driving this change are at the very centre of our pride in CWA.
While the tea and scones sold at the annual Royal Easter Show are a public emblem of CWA, the real business of our organisation is raising and distributing essential funds for medical research, supporting NSW families through scholarships, participating in humanitarian projects in Australia and internationally and lobbying government at all levels on issues as diverse as the environment, health, education and transport.
Our branch is part of Phillip Group which comprises 9 Sydney metropolitan branches plus Norfolk Island. The main focus for our fundraising is education. This year alone Phillip Group has distributed $26,000 in educational grants to applicants across NSW and another $13,500 through the Sylvia Osborne Scholarship for fashion and textile students.
This may be regarded as an act of CHARITY. However, these scholarships are a catalyst for progress. With improved literacy and numeracy skills young people are empowered to shape their own destinies through informed decision making.
Sydney City Branch members share a conviction that the CWA of NSW is an effective and mobilised women’s organisation which advocates for urban and rural communities. We believe we can enable positive CHANGE.
I would encourage anyone who really wants to get involved in a grass-roots organisation that is making a positive impact for women and communities in Australia and overseas to join a CWA branch in their local area.