The Northern Tablelands was strongly represented at the 2022 NSW CWA Centenary Conference at Royal Randwick recently, joining about 700 women from throughout NSW.
This included 15 delegates and three observers from Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Guyra, Guyra Evening, Deervale, Kelly's Plains and Armidale.
Glen Innes and Guyra proudly had state committee representation with Iris Willoughby Reynolds (Glen Innes) as the group state rep and Mary Hollingworth (Guyra Evening) as the state land cookery committee secretary while the group president Betty Strong (Glen Innes) was also in attendance.
In another coup for the Northern Tablelands, Christine Gellie (Guyra Evening) was announced as a member of the 2022 state land cookery committee.
There were a number of outstanding entries from Northern Tablelands members including in handicraft, cooking, ag and environment categories, as well as an essay produced by branch members which was submitted for the Garry Prize, an annual essay competition open only to members.
These dedicated members felt they had won already, simply by progressing from branch to group and onto the holy grail of qualifying for the state competition.
The conference theme was "embracing and celebrating diversity". Keynote speakers included the Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley (who opened the conference), former surfer Layne Beechley, and the longtime Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, Shane Fitzsimmons, who acknowledged the CWA's proud history as "an organisation of doers with lived experience of facing pandemics head on, while continuing to support causes of all kinds".
"You are 100 years old and ready to dance," he said.
Following the intensive four days of considered debate on the 38 motions, annual reports and awards, it was indeed time to dance - and danced they almost all did!
The conference room was transformed into a spectacular gala dinner venue as hundreds of proud CWA girls donned their finest in blue and gold, chatted, laughed, reminisced, then danced until the incredible sounds of the Australian Army Band stopped, literally.
It was an evening, indeed a week, that most will treasure as a once in a lifetime CWA celebration.
As these passionate CWA volunteers return to their communities across all parts of NSW, one thing is certain: that NSW CWA members, "chicks with attitude", will continue generously with care and compassion as they continue with ongoing 'Service to the Country, Through Country Women, For Country Women by Country Women' for another century.
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