Hume Group CWA members met at Junee Ex-Services Club, on Wednesday, March 6, for the handicraft day and council meeting.
Members were welcomed by president Tina Billing, and the meeting was opened with the national anthem and the CWA motto.
Treasurer Denise presented a very comprehensive report to the meeting, clarifying queries with financial returns. A very helpful tool for the branches.
President Tina brought news from the state executive outlining many of the projects occurring in CWA. A proposal relating to the group boundaries had been discussed. The annual conference will be in May in Albury and many of the workshops were tabled. ACWW are still in need of Coins for Friendship and used stamps.
Tina discussed the partnership CWA have with Food Bank in Sydney. A warehouse complex near Penrith was visited, where the Food Bank supports 143 disadvantaged schools in their School Breakfast 4 Health program. This support is often extended to families of these students.
Members of the state executive met with Jock Laurie, the NSW Drought Co-ordinator, explaining the conditions in NSW “have never been worse.” Some of the problems are: groundwater supplies need to be monitored, stress and tension in the communities, and how it will take months after rainfall for water to reach many towns. Funding was also discussed.
The good news was 17 new branches of CWA have been formed in the last 12 months!
Agricultural and environment officer, Jenny mentioned that with the prolonged drought, many trees are dying, but the one tree standing is the kurrajong tree.
The indigenous people of Sydney called the tree garajun, meaning fishing line, as these were made from kurrajong bark fibre. These trees raise the water table, bringing moisture to nearby tree roots.
Q fever was also outlined, as a serious disease with little awareness in the community. Q fever spreads to humans from infected livestock, pets and native animals.
Sue, our international officer, brought along many artifacts from Papua New Guinea, our country of study, which included a mask and kundu drums, which are often decorated with animal figures and used for religious and civilian occasions. Sue spoke about the coat of armour, and showed an independence souvenir paper issue from PNG.
Cultural officer, Helen talked about the proceeds of the cultural raffle going to the Moorambilla Voices Choir, a nationally awarded program that gives children in the NW region of NSW a rare opportunity to sing, dance and create performances with the artist of the highest calibre; 3500 children, one third being indigenous, are involved annually.
Helen also spoke of the current Cultural Woman of Note, Marie Beuzeville Byles, born in 1900 and educated at PLC Sydney. She was the first practising female solicitor in NSW, gaining her BA in 1921 and law degree in 1924. Her home in Cheltenham was bequeathed to the National Trust.
International Women’s Day was held on March 8th, the theme being “Balance for Better”. A thought as quoted by Hilary Clinton “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the World “.
Awards were presented in the afternoon for handicraft. Only five branches participated, and members were encouraged to participate in 2020 when members will make shopping bags.
The judge, Elizabeth Furner, awarded the champion entry to M Hayes, of Eurongilly branch. This was an elegant piece of stump work.
The bookmark was won by Jenny Birtles, also of Eurongilly. The land section, of pure fabric pieces and quilts, went to Eurongilly.
Hume Group trophy was awarded to Bellarwi branch.