LIKE the quilts they are famous for, members of the Country Women’s Association of NSW (CWA) transformed Griffith’s Woodside Hall into a sea of colour when they came together for day one of their 92nd annual conference on Monday.
Griffith mayor John Dal Broi welcomed the crowd of 650 delegates and 200 observers, congratulating CWA on the “invaluable work” they do.
“We’ve had our bits and pieces of bad publicity over the years so it’s good to see something positive like this conference in Griffith,” he said.
Keynote speaker, NSW Land and Water Commissioner Jock Laurie, said he admired CWA for its strength and consideration when it came to tackling important issues.
Mr Laurie said while in the past he had been criticised for “selling out” agriculture due to his attitude to Coal Seam Gas mining, that wasn’t the case.
“We need to look at this industry and how it can benefit a town like Griffith, look at the potential and what we can get out of it,” he said.
“We need to continue to diversify. I’m not selling the industry out. I want to make sure our communities stay and prosper.”
Tanya Cameron delivered her first report as state president, saying it marked the end of yet another successful year of achievements.
“On the other hand it means I must preside over an historic debate regarding the future of our Potts Point site,” she said.
“Letting go of the site won’t be easy.
“I’m the fourth president to be involved in the process
and I’d happily hand back the reins if someone would take them.”
Members began the voting process on the sale of the building yesterday and will continue today, with the result announced tomorrow.
Mrs Cameron said during all of this the good work of 10,135 NSW CWA members had gone on, helping donate a total of $513,369 for projects outside the organisation during 2012-13.
They donated $20,000 to the Mayoral Bushfire Appeal following last year’s bushfires in the Blue Mountains, $50,000 to help those affected by the typhoon in the Philippines and $50,000 for drought-affected families.
Art, china painting, handicraft and “The Land Cookery” entries will be on display and open to the public today and tomorrow morning, with some items available for purchase.
A gala event at the Yoogali Club will close the conference on Thursday night.