CWA: A force to be reckoned with
IT'S difficult not to enjoy an encounter with the Country Women's Association.
After all most interactions with them involve a cup of tea and a fresh scone.
What many people don't know is that the NSW CWA is the most powerful women's lobby group in the country.
The Not All Tea and Scones documentary by Carmel Travers, which has screened on the ABC a number of times since its release in 2007, makes the claim that the CWA's 44000 members were strong campaigners on social issues and politicians were wary of the power.
According to the filmmakers, one politician said, "We haven't got a problem until we've heard from the CWA."
The Grafton and South Grafton CWA branches held an awareness day at See Park yesterday to introduce interested parties to the lesser-known activities of the organisations while sipping on tea and biting into scones.
According to past state president Judy Richardson, who now sits at the helm of the Grafton branch, the CWA was all about old-style countrywomen's kindness but offered much more including organised study groups, fundraising and political campaigning on well-researched topics.
Mrs Richardson, a grandmother of 33 and great-grandmother of 11, credited the CWA with some pretty big ideas in recent decades including low-alcohol beer, bio-degradable plastic bags and lines on the sides of roads.
The vote on medical marijuana was split down the middle when it came up at the annual conference, she said, 255 votes to 255 so she decided not to vote.
Other members spoke of the North Coast group's $1000 nursing scholarship which was currently up for grabs.
The CWA sells raffle tickets for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, members Volunteer for Meals on Wheels while others knit or crochet for Wraps with Love on top of the monthly branch meetings.
Anyone interested in finding out more can call Mrs Richardson on 6643 3813 or South Grafton CWA president Marion Coombes on 6644 9816.