Opportunities through change was the theme of the day when members of the NSW Country Women’s Association Wanthella and Northern Tablelands groups met at two separate events for their annual conference.
Immediate past state president Tanya Cameron was guest speaker at the events held in Tenterfield and Uralla, tackling the issue of falling membership in her address.
“There are lots of challenges and barriers to deter new members,” she said.
Ms Cameron said the issue should be seen as an opportunity to take a step back and examine how the system was currently working and where improvements could be made.
“It could be changing the time of the meetings or where they’re held, perhaps alternating day and evening meetings. Perhaps we could hold information sessions rather than just expecting people to come along to regular meetings. Maybe a personal invitation is what is required.
“Doing things differently is not necessarily wrong, it’s just different.”
Ms Cameron hopes branches will create a welcoming and supportive environment for new members, and to spread the message on the constructive work being undertaken.
Some branch treasurers may have been daunted by the new computer-based system they’re now required to use, but this should be viewed as an opportunity, Ms Cameron said.
The changes include a definite move forward from baking to advocacy, with the incoming president and CEO meeting with nearly every member of parliament, not only to introduce themselves but to discuss policies.
Newly-elected state president Annette Turner has stated there is a long way to go to bridge the divide between city and country and access to all that is possible on the internet is the first step towards achieving this.
“The CWA has a proud history of lobbying government and industry bodies to ensure the right decisions are made for regional Australia.”
Around 30 women gathered in Tenterfield for Wednesday’s conference while 80 members flocked to Uralla for Friday’s event.
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