Successful Annual Conference of CWA in 1954

Recently I received a package from June Files in Broken Hill.  It looked to me as if it had been lovingly stored away and forgotten about for many years.  Reading through it I recognised some of the names as descendants who are still in the district.  The Barrier Miner was our evening paper and the Barrier Daily Truth was our morning paper – today the BDT remains but the Barrier Miner is ‘long gone’.

Below I have taken excerpts from the Barrier Miner 21 September 1954 –

“Members of the Country Women’s Association from several branches in the Far Western Division gathered at Wilcannia on Saturday for the 24th Annual Conference.  Many decisions of general importance to women were reached.  Domestic matters concerning C.W.A. were also discussed.

Delegates were present from Cobar, Collerreina, Coolabah, Hermidale, Marra Creek, Narromine, Nevertire, Nyngan, Trangie, Warren, Wilcannia, White Cliffs … apologies received from Bourke, Brewarrina and Girilambone.


Photo taken: Sydney 25 October 1949 – Mrs Rawlings, Mrs Snell, Mrs Eddy, Mrs Ryan and Mrs Burford.

The Opening …
“Opening points – The Association is State wide and branches/groups are only part of the machinery said Mrs Noel Thompson Metropolitan Vice President. She said the successful working of the association depends on the co-operation and support of all members.  The State Executive was after all elected by the branches and it was their task to carry out the branches wishes.”

The work of the Association had been formed to promote friendship and happiness among country women and thus make their lot a happy one.

Mrs Thomson asked for expansion of branches and membership.  The voice of the country women was already heard, but could be better heard by expanded membership.

Call to the Nation …
Miss Una Wilson welcomed Younger Set members and asked branches to foster this portion of the movement, for the Younger Set were the members of tomorrow.  They had a duty to the young people and if they did not help them someone else would and this could be the wrong way.

She also mentioned the association’s wish that the hand of friendship be extended to new migrants to the country.  Many things we took for granted were not understood by these people and we could be of help to them to assimilate our way of life by friendship and understanding.

General Work …
Miss Hall asked branches to be particularly careful when asked to attend various bodies as a representative of C.W.A.  This could be a dangerous practice for they may find their name linked where they least desired it.

Miss Hall also requested branches with a Baby Health Centre to keep accurate records of their expenses for it was headquarters wish to obtain.

A report from the secretary stated there were 19 branches with a membership of 1,074.

Motions carried from this conference …

  1. That the Railway department be asked to arrange for ice water on long distance country trains.
  2. That the association request the government to lift the means test of  the old age pension
  3. That the tariff to Keera House be raised to meet rising costs.


The meeting ended with all branches reporting successful years with many just completing new rest rooms or sufficient money to begin building.

My question to you in the year 2016 is … “what has changed”???


Opening of CWA accommodation in Broken Hill. Later all caught the bus to Silverton (ghost town 10 miles from Broken Hill) for a picnic.

Postcards from Tamworth – 93rd AGM

Tamworth and Wanthella Group welcomed us warmly for our 93rd Annual Conference where 20 motions were debated, new friendships made and existing ones renewed. The weather was favourable, the venue fantastic, the speakers most interesting and the displays well supported. For those of you who could not make it here is a brief pictorial snapshot and for those who were able to attend; a reminder of the week’s events.

To see more photos in The Land, click here.



State Office Bearer’s 2014-2015


Opening Ceremony


Official Opening Procession


His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of NSW officially opening our 93rd Annual General Meeting and Conference


Professor Mary O’Kane, NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer giving the Keynote Speech




Handicraft Display


Hospital Support Display


Beautiful flower displays


Cultural Display


International Display


Land Cookery Display


Agricultural & Environmental Display


Primary Product Display


Discussing Agenda Items


Relaxing between Business Sessions

SOB's 2015-2016

State Office Bearers 2015-2016 (Photo courtesy of The Land)

The Executive: State Honorary Treasurer – Ruth Cargill, Dubbo Evening; State International Officer – Joy Granger, Tarcutta; State Agricultural and Environmental Officer – Lorraine Sewell, Kellys Plains-Dangarsleigh; State President – Tanya Cameron, Rowena; State Honorary Secretary – Annie Kiefer, Sydney City, and State Vice Presidents – Annette Turner, White Cliffs; Colleen Yates, Gloucester Evening; Beryl Brain, Narrandera Evening and Stephanie Stanhope, Bega.

Outgoing SOB's

Outgoing Executive members (Photo courtesy of The Land)

Outgoing CWA of NSW executive members, State Honorary Treasurer – Kaye Anderson, Cooma; State International Officer – Gail Commens, Eurongilly Branch; State Vice President – Lois Stalley, Hillston Branch and State Agricultural and Environmental Officer – Julian Campbell AM, Warren Branch.

Pondering the Problem

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Sunset over my property in Rowena, NSW

October is the month to celebrate various events like Pink Ribbon Day, Halloween, International Day of Rural Women, Oktoberfest and our, not as well publicised but just as important, CWA Branch and Group AGM Days, to name but a few. There is rarely any beer consumed, German or otherwise and usually not a carved pumpkin in sight, although they could both add some interesting aspects that are possibly worth considering…..

map with dots22

Our 400 branches distributed across NSW

Our 400 Branches are divided into 30 Groups across NSW and members will be electing their new executive for the coming twelve months and celebrating achievements of the past 12. Encouraging and rewarding, respectively.

Group AGMs will also be focusing on discussion and debate of proposed motions for the State AGM which will be held at Griffith in May 2014. These motions will again focus on a wide range of concerns important to our members, their families and communities from health, education and telecommunications to roads, agriculture and mining, social, economic and political issues, setting policy and direction for the coming year.

We have harassed politicians for over 90 years on these and other issues and will continue to do so whilst ever the size of our electoral boundaries continues to increase and our representation declines, whilst ever our services continue to be downgraded or withdrawn, whilst ever domestic violence and homelessness continue to be ignored and until governments have a clear plan for rural NSW.

We apparently live in the best country in the world, yet most Australians could be deemed ‘fringe dwellers’, hugging the coastline with only a few venturing into the wilds of the interior on the occasional exploration with the family. Many do not drive the vast expanses for that adventure, preferring to fly, so how can we enlist their empathy and support for problems that require votes to fix?

As usual I have deviated from my original path, making use of some object to fashion into a soapbox, however it’s provided food for thought over an Oktober beer (local of course), while I watch the sun set; just one of the many advantages of being able to see to the horizon.