So many reasons to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the State’s Country Women’s Association

The Country Women’s Association of NSW is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022 and in 100 days will mark the official 100th anniversary of the Association.

The NSW CWA made its debut at the Bushwomen’s Conference held in conjunction with the Royal Agricultural Show in Sydney in April 1922. The conference was initiated by Dr Richard Arthur, MP for North Sydney, and Miss Florence Gordon , who ran the homepage of the Stocks and Stations Journal.

Mr. Arthur had called for the need to improve the conditions of rural women, and Miss Gordon had published a plan for a “Union to help rural women” in 1921, in part inspired by women’s institutes in Canada and in Great Britain. -Brittany. At the conference on April 20, 1922, an organizing committee was formed, comprising Miss Gordon and Mrs. Grace Munro, of Bingara, who would become the president of the CWA Foundation of NSW.

The CWA focused on addressing the isolation and lack of health facilities, members immediately started working on establishing baby health centers, funding more bush nurses and to build and staff maternity wards, hospitals, schools, rest homes and vacations. getaways for rural and remote families.

“These women were initiators, fighters and lobbyists, passionate about improving rural and regional NSW for those who lived there. For 100 years, members of the NSW CWA have carried on the legacy of these pioneering foundation members by improving the social, educational, recreational and medical realities of their communities, ”said Stephanie Stanhope, President of the NSW CWA .

“This year is such an exciting year for all of us and we are so proud that the Association formed all these decades ago has grown into the largest women’s organization in Australia and continues to positively contribute to rural and regional communities in many. different areas. manners.”

Over the 100 years of the NSW CWA’s existence, its members have helped bring about major change across the state. From the early days of the Association, members have been tireless in their efforts to establish more hospitals, maternities and baby health centers in rural centers. Even during the Depression, when the members themselves struggled to feed and clothe their families, the NSW CWA continued to push for better health facilities in the bush, and in many cases succeeded. The Association continued to play an important advocacy role in the introduction of mandatory seat belts, white roadside lines and flashing speed signs in school zones.

Stephanie said the NSW CWA has plenty of events and activities planned for 2022, with the biggest celebration being the group’s annual state conference at Royal Randwick in Sydney, May 2-5, which will be officially opened by the boss. from the NSW CWA, Her Excellency the Honorable Margaret Beazley. Thirteen branches are also celebrating their own centenary this year.

“This is an important time to reflect on how far we have come and the successes of the Association to date, but just as important for looking ahead and determining our priorities, especially around our very important advocacy efforts on behalf of rural, regional and remote communities, ”said Stéphanie.

“The Country Women’s Association of NSW has evolved in so many different ways over the past 100 years to remain as active and relevant as it was when Grace Munro became the state’s first president, and we are proud to giving our members not only the chance to engage with other like-minded women, but to continue the tradition of improving the lives of women and families across the state.

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Andrew B. Reiter