Not a simple question to answer because as an organisation we do a great many different things. As a member you can choose what you take part in and how big your CWA experience is at any particular time.
- What Branches Do
- Groups and Committees
- State Events
- National and International
Most branches meet about once a month for ten months of the year, but this varies. Branches determine their activities, often driven by local needs or sudden larger emergencies but also with consideration of the Association’s current and ongoing projects. Fund raising supports the activity of a branch and its contribution to State affairs. Each year the Association selects:
- A country of study – to provide focus for getting to know our world neighbours better – currently studying Bhutan – recent countries have included Congo, Nepal, Iceland
- A Tasmanian Primary Product – keeping in touch with food and agriculture and the broader potential of different products – can they be used in crafting or other ways? Currently studying truffles – recent hits were hemp, rhubarb and lavender
- A Health Topic – encouraging us to stay informed about our health and about conditions impacting women and families in the community – currently studying endometriosis, a condition that affects 1 in 10 Australian women
- A charitable cause operating in Tasmania – keeps us in touch with the needs of our community and others working in the field – currently we are our cause as we seek to rebuild our crisis fund so we have flexibility to respond to community need in times of crisis – be it large scale or small
These topics help shape Branch programs – offering possibilities of guest speakers, projects, fundraisers and more. We also have ongoing financial commitments to various programs including a foster child, education programs and our membership and support of the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW). Our International Officer supports Branches in keeping informed of ACWW activities and supports the Country of Study program.
Our Community Service Officers (CSO) provide a liaison with community organisations with needs that CWA has traditionally helped to meet – in hospitals, nursing homes, refuges, community centres, for new and young mothers, for patients, for homeless – they have the difficult task of matching demand to supply from the branches and other donations from outside the Association (See our donations page for more information)
Groups and Committees: Tasmanian branches are divided into three Groups – South, North and North West – each group meets for an annual forum which is part social get together and part opportunity to share news and learn – again with guest speakers and activities. Often there are other Group hosted events during the year.
We also have committees that help to oversee different aspects of our operation. Members can nominate to serve on committees in areas that might interest them including:
- Handcrafts and Home Industries Committee
- Events Management Committee
- The Building Maintenance and Development Committee
- The Financial Advisory Committee
- The Hobart Shop Committee
- The Launceston Shop Committee
- The Hawley Holiday Home Committee
- The AGFEST Committee
There is work, both physical and administrative in maintaining various of our assets and services including upkeep on buildings, our responsibilities to the room we finance for patient accommodation at Spurr Wing in Launceston and organising our annual AGFEST presence, State Exhibition and Summer Camp.
State Events We hold an annual State Conference that includes the AGM and the business of the Association, discussion of resolutions demanding action by the Association as a body, announcements of the Topics for the coming year, awards, and our annual dinner. In recent years it has been preceded by a series of workshops on diverse topics.
There are other activities undertaken at a State level but involving members interested and able to be involved. An example is the Harvey Norman In-Store promotion of CWA in Tasmania happening in Launceston on April 17 2019. While organised at State Executive level this event will draw on the combined resources of the Executive and Northern members.
National and International You can take it as far as you want – Several Presidents of the Country Women’s Association of Australia, our National body, have been from Tasmania and the current President of the Associated Country Women of the World, Ruth Shanks, is an Australian. Internationally there is work for a wide variety of skill sets.