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)

More than Tea and Scones

Each year members of CWA of NSW raise money for a specific medical research project.

On average over $30,000 is raised annually for research that attracts little or no government funding but which helps find answers for sufferers of chronic and debilitating conditions.

At present we are supporting Crohn’s & Colitis Australia and I asked if they would provide a brief summary of the work they do and how our donations have been used so far. It is reprinted below.

CCA Logo high quality jpeg (2)Crohn’s & Colitis Australia – recipients of the CWA of NSW Medical Research Fund Cheque 2014

Thank you so much to the Country Women’s Association of NSW for nominating Crohn’s & Colitis Australia as the beneficiary of your fund raising for the last 12 months.

For those who may not be aware, Crohn’s disease and colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases or (IBD) that affect over 75,000 Australians. It’s very much a young person’s disease normally diagnosed between the ages of 15 – 35. However, we know that children much younger than that are being diagnosed.

The number of people with an IBD in Australia is predicted to rise to over 100,000 by the end of the decade which means that we will have one of the highest prevalences in the world.

People with IBD live with a chronic illness that baffles the experts as to why we get it in the first place and what we need to do to cure it.

Until we find a cure, the best we can do is to treat the pain, the bleeding, fatigue, the weight loss and the crippling diarrhoea that characterise these life-long incurable diseases.

The funds raised by the CWA of NSW last year were allocated to two research projects:

The POCER Study and the Angela McAvoy Fellowship.

The POCER study has won a number of international awards for its ground breaking research which has found ways to significantly reduce surgeries in Crohn’s patients and keep people disease free for extended periods of time.

The Angela McAvoy Fellowship is researching the influence of diet and fat cells in causing inflammation, and is identifying ways to reduce inflammation in the bowel through diet. This research is being undertaken at the Monash Medical Centre.

The funds raised this year will again go towards research to continue funding projects that are leading the way in IBD research.

On behalf of our Board of Directors, and the team at CCA I want to extend a very warm thank you for your support and this incredible contribution to our work.

Lauren Mann
Fundraising & Events Coordinator


Big Bikkies


Well, what a great week we’ve had, so far, boasting about our achievements!!

Here in Sydney we’ve done radio interviews, a television appearance on Sunrise (you can click the picture above to see the footage) and some print as well, all great experiences for those of us involved, albeit a little nerve-racking at the time! We’ve been promoting our fundraising efforts which support children in their educational endeavours through various Branch, Group and State grants (over $177,000.00).

We raise almost $1 million a year for:

  • Medical research projects that do not receive any government assistance, like Lupus, Rett Syndrome, Haemophilia, Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cell Research, to name a few.
  • Support of women, families and communities, following tragedy/adversity through our own emergency fund, as well as our tax deductible Disaster Relief Fund which accepts donations from members of the public
  •  Medical retrieval services
  • Cancer research
  • Programmes for homeless youth
  • Medecins Sans Frontieres

Practical assistance like beautifully knitted items distributed to various hospitals, shelters and op shops. Assistance, both cash and ‘in kind’, is also given generously to women in the South Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea to help improve their skills, standard of living and the health of their families.

Read what some of our recipients have to say here.

Our fundraising is achieved by various means, including the making and selling of certain creations normally topped with jam and cream, but mostly through selfless hard work and commitment.

I am justly proud of the countless volunteer hours that our 10,000 + members (including me!) contribute, allowing us to provide help when and where it is needed.

thank you¡