Diversity…something that’s lacking, somewhat, in the front benches of Federal Parliament at present and yes, a pretty cheeky comment coming from the President of the Country Women’s Association!
However we’ve never claimed to be anything else.
And whilst we may not be very diverse in terms of gender, that’s where the bias stops.
Our members live in cities, towns and on farms. They are wives, mothers, professionals, grannies. They range in age from 4 months (yes months and she has lots to say!) to 100 plus. They are fifth generation Australian and first generation Australian refugees. Their interests range from International affairs to agriculture, social issues, baking, education, languages, politics, policy and knitting.
As I have mentioned in previous blogs we launched CWA Awareness Week in Sydney and I have had the privilege of spending time with some exceptional women who represent the diversity of our membership.
Gabrielle – the former member of the Australia Defence Force who has a Masters of Philosophy in Indonesia-Australia Political and Defence relations and can speak Indonesian, Chinese, Arabic and German
Annette – a …. year old powerhouse who is currently overseeing a 64,000 acre property in remote White Cliffs whilst her husband is away earning off farm income. In her spare time she manages software and disability product companies, looks after her sister in law and trains to be a volunteer ambulance officer.
Isabelle – a 21 year old university student from the Sydney’s inner western suburbs, who joined at the age of 17 and has won prestigious blue ribbons at the Sydney Royal Show for her baking prowess
You will also have seen blogs from other inspirational ladies like Debra, a professional Sydney based woman with a passion for enabling women to make good life choices through literacy and numeracy education; Tin, a Burmese senior lecturer in economics who, as a refugee herself, has a passion for caring for the land and human rights and is building schools and creating education paths for kids in her home country; and stay tuned for Barbara the vibrant member in her 70’s texting and tweeting faster than her friends can knit one, purl one!
This week has seen us embrace and promote the elements of the CWA that most people never hear about, because we haven’t mentioned them. Our members are normally quiet achievers, getting on with what needs to be done in their communities with little fuss and certainly no fanfare.
This week, however, we have been shouting (in a lady-like fashion, of course) about our efforts in raising and distributing funds for CHARITY, driving CHANGE and celebrating our DIVERSITY.
No matter your age, background, location or profession, the CWA has a place for you
p.s. Good luck Julie Bishop, if you get tired of all that testosterone…. www.cwaofnsw.org.au