The Far South Coast Group of the CWA held its 86th annual conference, representing 10 branches, at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, on Monday, October 16.
Among the duties was the official appointment of the group’s officers and Mary Williams of the Cobargo branch was re-appointed as group president, which she said was a great honour.
A challenge for all Far South Coast branches was maintaining membership and attracting new members, with many branch members aging and attendance on the decline.
“My approach is for our existing members to be extremely welcoming to any new potential members that come along to our meetings or activities,” Ms Williams said. “Also to make people aware that the CWA is all about friendship and making new friends, and not necessarily about having cooking and handicraft skills.”
Ms Williams said Moruya branch raised a motion asking for the NSW Minister of Health to promote awareness of elder abuse, which was passed by the conference and would now be raised at the state conference.
Similarly, the Eden branch successfully raised a motion stating that the Federal Government be strongly urged to ensure equality in the distribution of My Aged Care packages across regional, rural and remote areas.
In the other appointments, Robyn Wright from the Moruya branch will be group’s state representative, while Lyn Lawson of the Cobargo branch is the new group secretary.
The new treasurer is Alison Jenkins from the Pambula-Merimbula branch and the new group cookery officer is Debbie Fisher from the Cobargo branch.
While there is a new international officer, Ursula Ziebcke from Pambula-Merimbula branch, cultural officer Vicki Hummel from Bermagui is staying on, as is handicraft officer Marion Cullen of the Narooma branch.
Also re-appointed were agriculture and environment officer Lyn Jones of Cobargo, as well as publicity officer Marisha Kelly of the Moruya branch.
The conference also had a number of guest speakers from Far South Coast Local Area Command of the NSW Police, including Inspector Angela Burnell, the professional standards duty officer.
Also speaking were Senior Constables JoAnne Flood and David Bates, from the Local Area Command’s domestic violence team from Batemans Bay.
“They spoke about the importance of notifying police immediately of any domestic violence, don’t leave it too late, that’s the main thing,” Ms Williams said.
The women were also informed about the importance of the elderly living at home to notify police of their next of kin, so they can be contacted in the event of an emergency.