This week Alliance staff were delighted to host Dorothy Coombe, National President of the Country Women’s Association of Australia (CWAA), for a full-day visit to our office in Canberra.
CWAA is a founding member body of the Alliance, and Dorothy is their nominated representative on our Council.
Since its formation in 1945, the CWAA has grown to become the largest women’s organisation in Australia, and currently represents 25,000 volunteer members in 1,500 branches within its member associations. Its aim is to improve the conditions for women and children and make life better for families, especially those living in rural and remote Australia.
CWAA’s national office is currently undertaking a strategic review of their policy and operations, with a new national structure and objectives due to be launched in July 2016. The Alliance is pleased to be viewed by the CWAA as a key strategic partner in this new direction for the organisation.
The program for Dorothy’s visit included a series of formal and informal meetings with Alliance staff members from its various policy and program areas, aimed at gaining a better understanding of the activities and interests of both organisations, and how these might intersect with, inform and support each other.
During the course of a very productive and collegial day, Dorothy and staff identified a number of different areas where the two organisations could add value to each other’s work - particularly around sharing information and resources, and developing new collaborative opportunities. Topics under discussion included ‘hot’ policy and advocacy initiatives such as aged care, palliative care, the voice and perspective of rural women, food security, domestic violence, oral health, children’s health, and rural scholarships.
All those involved in the discussions were energised and excited by the possibilities. As Dorothy observed: “there is plenty of room for us to work and grow together”.