WHERE many community organisations just manage to stagger forward, Tamworth’s CWA Evening Branch has bucked the trend.
A mother herself, president Helen Cameron saw the need for a club that served working women.
“The majority of our members are young professionals, 35 and under – I think working women and young mothers are looking for a place to have a meaningful contribution,” she said.
“They’re time poor so they’re wanting something quick and accessible where they can feel like they’re making a difference.”
The club now has 39 members, up from just 16 last year and continues to grow.
Less about fundraising and more about lobbying government, this branch is far more political than most.
In one of the largest women’s organisations in Australia – the women can make a significant impact on the policy decisions that affect them.
The lifting of GST on tampons is one area where CWA women pushed the envelope, Ms Cameron said.
“The creation of exclusion zones around abortion centres, again, that’s something CWA has been lobbying for and so many people are surprised we give such a voice to women,” she said.
“I think in the current climate there’s certainly a strong undercurrent of women sticking together, women’s empowerment and CWA is a way for women to connect and feel like they’re being heard and respected.”
The evening branch has taken out the Elizabeth Scott trophy for highest membership increase for the past two years and they’re hoping to go for a third.
And, there’s still opportunity for more traditional CWA activities, women can be involved in cookery or handicraft if they like Ms Cameron said.
“Women say the friendship and connection has helped strengthen the numbers,” she said.
“Someone said to me yesterday the diversity in our group is something special, – you can get into agriculture, advocacy, cooking, international studies, there’s something for everyone so it has a broad range of appeal.”
The Tamworth CWA Evening Branch meets every second Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm.