Burnett division president Irene Hamilton is calling for new members in Hervey Bay.
Burnett division president Irene Hamilton is calling for new members in Hervey Bay. Contributed

SOS call for Hervey Bay's Country Women's Association

IT'S an iconic institution in Australia, but the Country Women's Association - or CWA as it is well-known - is on life support in many regions as its traditional support base dwindles.

Its original members are aging and the call has gone out for the younger generations to step up and fill the breach.

That's now the case in Hervey Bay, with Burnett division president Irene Hamilton making a plea to local women to help keep the Bay branch alive.

In early 2010, the Hervey Bay branch went into recess. If a branch is in recess for three years, it can be officially closed.

Mrs Hamilton has called a meeting for Wednesday, May 1, "with the hope that we can save and reform this branch before it is to be closed".

She said many women had a perception that the QCWA was only for women "out in the country".

"This is not the case at all, as our members are both rural and urban ladies coming together to make a difference for the good of the community," she said.

The CWA - with the Queensland arm known as the QCWA - may be known for its tea and scones, but its community work goes much further beyond that.

Members raise money for a variety of causes, such as drought and flood relief, and also lobby governments on a number of issues.

At a grassroots level, branches provide a friendly environment for local women to get together once a month to enjoy each other's company and pursue a variety of endeavours, with some of the more modern inclusions being photography and public speaking alongside the more traditional cooking and craft.

"Many young women would like to join the QCWA because they have heard from their mums or grandmothers the good that we do for and in the community," Mrs Hamilton said.

If you are interested in joining the QCWA, head to 25 Bideford St, Torquay, on Wednesday, May 1, at 6pm.