VIEW Clubs of Australia 2017 national conference starts in Tamworth

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Just a section of the crowd at TRECC for the VIEW Clubs of Australia national conference. Photo: Peter Hardin 150917PHC165
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Just a section of the crowd at TRECC for the VIEW Clubs of Australia national conference. Photo: Peter Hardin 150917PHC165

“WE DON’T say we’re going to change the world, but 16,000 voices behind a particular cause … we can make a lot of difference.”

That was the comment from national president Gwen Wilton today on day one of VIEW Clubs of Australia’s national conference in Tamworth.

More than 500 women from clubs across the country were expected to attend the conference at TRECC today, tomorrow and Sunday.

VIEW stands for Voice, Interests and Education of Women, but Mrs Wilton said that with 320 clubs and 16,000 members, “we do have the opportunity to influence decisions” on policies that affect every Australian.

Day one’s theme was “inspirational people”, and speakers included medicinal cannabis campaigner Lucy Haslam; Smith Family chief executive Dr Lisa O’Brien; and Go Gentle Australia’s Shayne Higson.

Day two focuses on “the voice of VIEW”.

The resolutions to be debated and voted on include calling on governments to ban gambling advertising during family TV viewing times; and to make laws and regulatory systems to ensure patient access to medical marijuana.

The other two motions are to implement Rosie Batty’s five-point plan to reform Australia’s family law system; and to address the disparity in educational outcomes for students with disability.

Ryan Doughty spoke at the conference about how the Learning for Life program had helped him. Photo: Peter Hardin 150917PHC135

Ryan Doughty spoke at the conference about how the Learning for Life program had helped him. Photo: Peter Hardin 150917PHC135

“We’ve put our support behind a number of things … and I think we can make a lot of difference,” Mrs Wilton said.

Another way VIEW makes a difference is as The Smith Family’s single largest sponsor of disadvantaged Australian students through its Learning for Life program.

Young Tamworth man Ryan Doughty told the audience today how it had helped him to achieve through financial and educational support.

He is now a third-year criminology student at the University of New England, and aims to join the police force.

He said that without Learning for Life, he probably wouldn’t have been able to shoot for these goals.