CWA reflects on 60 years in Kwinana

CWA Kwinana branch members Margaret Dudley and Lynn Grundy, front, and Margaret Spencer and Maureen Soady. By Jon Hewson. D492959
CWA Kwinana branch members Margaret Dudley and Lynn Grundy, front, and Margaret Spencer and Maureen Soady. By Jon Hewson. D492959

THE Country Women’s Association (CWA) in Kwinana has a stall of handmade wares at the Kwinana Marketplace until Thursday.

The stall includes the popular CWA Cookery and Household Tips book for $30, a scone book for $10, plus baby knits, beanies, toys and blankets.

The group welcomes new members and will celebrate 60 years of service in Kwinana in June.

The branch started out as a country organisation but is now very much a city branch, according to CWA WA state president Heather Allen who used to travel largely through bush from Applecross to get to work at the nickel refinery in Kwinana.

She said six decades hadn’t changed the fact CWA branches still respond to needs within their local communities.

But the years had altered the way new members were recruited, how communication took place, and the method of passing on donations.

Branches collectively raise funds for medical, dental and nursing scholarships, support for struggling families, and for a raft of smaller projects in their locales.

More than $300,000 has been raised and donated to services like St John Ambulance, school prizes and Silver Chain this year alone.

“Members also make items for hospital and aged care facilities including fiddle rugs with buttons and other things on them for dementia patients,” Mrs Allen said.This year the CWA is raising money for the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation and donations can be made this week at the Kwinana stall.

But it isn’t all about country women, or even older women, with Facebook fast becoming a popular way for Millennials to join the CWA.

“We have branches from Kununurra in the north to east of Esperance and branches in the city,” Mrs Allen said.

“We’ve got members from 18 years to 100 years.

“I do think there’s an interest among younger people.

“A lot of people want to also learn cooking, sewing and knitting and we even hosted a smocking workshop at CWA House.”

She said the CWA cookery book was still as relevant as ever.

The CWA is part of a broader global group that raises issues affecting women from 70 countries, and it also lobbies government.

Ms Allen said there remains a focus on achieving greater equality between rural and metropolitan health services, including calls for an increased use of videolink to save rural residents from travelling to Perth for certain medical appointments.

For more information, visit https://www.cwaofwa.asn.au or pop in to a Kwinana meeting.

WHAT: CWA WA Kwinana branch

WHEN: Meets Wednesdays, 10am until noon

WHERE: Masonic Hall, cnr Christmas Avenue and Littlemore Road in Orelia