Quirindi will host a group conference of the Country Women’s Association tomorrow with about 80 women expected to attend.
The conference will combine business with pleasure as the CWA celebrates its 90th year and continues to act as a social barometer for country women across the state.
The Namoi group conference will bring members from branches as far as Moree and Bellatta, the Hunter, northern tablelands and Coonabarabran.
The conference will be opened by the president of NSW Farmers Fiona Simson, who is also a member of the local Blackville CWA branch.
Ms Simson will also give the keynote address.
Quirindi group secretary Colleen Wills said the CWA’s 90th anniversary of its founding would be celebrated and three local branches, Gunnedah, Emerald Hill and Boggabri, would be celebrating an historic 90th birthday too.
The business agenda for the conference includes three motions to be debated, including association matters, and one from the Gunnedah branch requesting a new strategy to encourage more males into the nursing profession.
Mrs Wills said the Quirindi branch will also ask for an urgency motion to lobby Hunter New England Health to provide VMO Rights to all qualified general practitioners willing to provide medical services independently within the area.
Mrs Wills said the issue of one doctor wanting to have hospital visiting rights, but so far being denied them by the health system, because he was an independent GP, was close to the hearts and the tradition of the CWA.
“The CWA has fought for years on health and education issues, and this issue is pretty much exactly what our members seek to develop,” she said.
“I think the conference will give this overwhelming support. We need to have rural doctors with the right to visiting rights in our hospitals. What’s the use of having a family doctor if he can’t put you in hospital.”
“Quirindi Health Services used to have five doctors at the local health service. The fact that a new doctor wishes to come to town and practice and the Hunter New England Health Service won’t give a guarantee for VMO rights is totally unacceptable.”
The conference is at the Quirindi RSL and begins from 9.45am tomorrow.