Wednesday, January 11, 2012

CWA stories.

"She can't swim, she's a bit afraid of the water and she's also got two bung knees. But she just gets in there and paddles. And that's the character of the CWA, isn't it?"
Helen Wall, Caniambo CWA, Victoria

CWA stands for Country Women's Association and it is a network of women spread all over Australia.

If you like a book about strong characters, overcoming obstacles and a bit of a chuckle then I can recommend this book to you. 

My sister in law gave it to me for Christmas and I read it straight away.  I have always been in touch with my inner Nana (ie I enjoy making sponges and crocheting) so I was interested to see what the CWA was all about. 

Turns out, they do a lot more than knit crochet coat hangers and make scones. They do a lot of work with drought relief, rural health, caring for newly arrived immigrants. They seem have have some political clout as well, they were instrumental in leading the push for big shopping centres to include public toilets. 

I was saddened to read that the older women were concerned that the  numbers were declining all over the country. Although there seems to be some hope with younger women starting to be attracted to the organisation. Evening branches of the CWA have been springing up and these tend to appeal to today's women.

So what does that all mean for me.

Well a couple of days ago I made the CWA brandy snaps (from the included recipes). Master B raved about them and declared for the next two days it was the best dessert he had ever had. (love that boy).

I felt after reading the book that I should join. These women have set up a very impressive network and do so much to help rural women and their communities. City branches are also gaining in popularity.

I googled our local CWA branch and they do have an evening branch. So, when school goes back, I am going to check it out.  I am reminding myself of all my other commitments. But, I also believe in the old saying, "ask a busy person and you will get the job done". 

If it turns out it is not for me or the timing isn't right. No problem, at least I will have calmed a little voice in the back of my head telling my to do my bit to preserve this wonderful institution.

Have you had any experience with the CWA?


  1. Back in the UK, this is called the WRI - Womens Rural Institute - and my mum was a member for many, many years. I remember going along with her for slide shows, flower arranging classes and all sorts of fun things. I remember bake-offs being particularly competitive!
    I'm not sure what membership is like now of the WRI in my little corner of Scotland, but I hope it's still alive and kicking. I remember it as a very warm, welcoming, supportive and nurturing environment - a great support network for women, who can in their turn support others all the more.
    Good for you for giving it a go - let us know how it turns out!

  2. It sounds like a wonderful organization and kudos to you for your plans to join! I don't know if we have anything like it in the States, it would be interesting to find out.


  3. How interesting! Sounds like a fascinating read but cooler is that you might join. I reckon I'd do ok in the CWA as I think my raspberry jam is better than what I buy at the CWA. I know, that's almost sacrelidge!

  4. Sarah B wash your mouth out with soap this minute. goodness gracious!

  5. Good on you Deb. I have no experience of CWA but I think these grass root organisations make such a difference in our community. xx

  6. Oh good for you Deb. I've always wanted to know someone in the CWA! I'll check out the book as well...a bit of Aussie history never goes astray in my view :) I got a quick Hobart history last night over dinner with Jane and was wonderful!


Thanks for visting Let's go Moerkabout. Please leave a little message I love hearing what you have to say :)