News Parliament


The Country Women's Association is an integral part of the fabric of our country communities, with a proud history of both supporting and being a voice for country people. Today I wish to pay tribute to the Ilford-Running Stream branch of the CWA. The Ilford branch was established on 16 October 1924 and has been running uninterrupted since that day. The branch amalgamated with the Running Stream branch in the 1980s, and the branch currently has 12 members. Meetings alternate between the Ilford Hall and Running Stream Hall. Members come from all over the region, including from Ilford, Running Stream, Sofala, Clandulla, Bathurst, Mudgee and Carcalgong. Some members work full-time, others part-time; some are retirees; some are farmers. But they are all committed CWA members.

The branch members excel in many aspects of CWA activities. The agriculture and environment officer, Pam Hurley, has won the state's CWA Moore Award on three occasions for her ag and environment project book. The branch has contributed many items of handicraft to the state handicraft competition, enabling their group, Castlereagh Country, to come third in the state for the last two years. The Ilford-Running Stream branch of the CWA also has a state qualified tutor in knitting and crochet in Jeanette Sell, who conducts workshops throughout the state for various branches and groups. The branch president, Margaret Weatherley, is a member of the state Land Cookery committee and also the group Land Cookery officer. Well done, Margaret. The Ilford-Running Stream CWA branch offers a range of activities to support the communities, including catering for weddings, funerals and any other function where catering may be required. They were particularly pleased to be able to assist with the CWA Kandos Gardens Fair held earlier this year.

The branch's 90th birthday in 2014 saw them hold a high tea in Ilford Hall, which raised a thousand dollars for Macquarie Home Stay in Dubbo. They also support Ilford Public School, particularly on the occasion of its international day luncheon, where the children present an item on the current country of study. The branch provide them and the staff with lunch. They also purchase calculators for children from year 6 who are about to enter high school, and they make funds available for the school library to purchase books during Book Week celebrations.

I'd like to make mention of the other members of the Ilford-Running Stream CWA branch, including the secretary, Jenny Nott; the treasurer, Diane Groves; the international officer, Liz Goodfellow; the cultural officer, Alice Dryburgh; Sandra Sloane; Alma Ristau; Lynne Robb; Wendy Murphy; and Leigh Colledge. I thank the Ilford-Running Stream branch of the CWA for its important work and for all that its members do for country people. We are very grateful that they're out there supporting country communities. It's my privilege to honour them in this House today.