Thursday, 11 February 2010
Forrest Electorate: Country Women’s Association
On 23 October last year I attended the 60th birthday of the Country Women’s Association Dunsborough branch. As you would expect, CWA ladies came from near and far to celebrate this wonderful milestone and the success of the Dunsborough branch, formerly known as the Yallingup branch. This branch started in 1949. It had very few members in those early days, but that is not the case in 2010—they have a very vibrant group of members now. One of them has been a member since the very beginning. She found the association after she had moved away from her original home with her two children. She explained that once she joined the group she found much-needed support and comfort to get her through many issues in her life.
The CWA branch members are dedicated to providing for their communities, whether through establishing support networks, providing welfare in times of need or even assisting with educational opportunities. The ladies continue to make soft toys for the hospitals, they gather food and necessities for hampers during the festive season, and of course they are well known for their fabulous baking: their biscuits, their slices and their cakes for various events and functions. If there is ever a community emergency then you can guarantee that the CWA ladies will be there as volunteers helping out.
My afternoon with the CWA—which the ladies tell me stands for ‘chicks with attitude’—included listening to the local primary school choir and the Our Lady of the Cape choir. They sang an old-time medley. Many of the ladies were presented with badges commemorating their 10 years of service to the Dunsborough CWA branch. That is a wonderful achievement. We also heard the three-piece Dunsborough branch music group, who delighted us with a singalong. As you can imagine it was very parochial with songs like I Still Call Australia Home and Waltzing Matilda. They were a great group. Their celebration was a real chance for the CWA women to continue to discuss their concerns and issues.
We even had the local police officer, Craig Anderson, present. He talked about the upcoming ‘leavers event’ that happens in Dunsborough and throughout the south-west. I believe that this Dunsborough branch is an inspiration to the community. The motto of its members is one of ‘service to the country through country women, for country women and by country women’. I congratulate the Dunsborough branch on its 60th anniversary. I can guarantee that they certainly live up to this motto.