In 2022 the Country Women’s Association will be celebrating its centenary, with women coming together from all over rural and remote NSW to honour an organisation that has focused on everything from drought relief, hospitals, and family violence to preserving agricultural land, homelessness and medical research. As the saying goes the CWA is “more than tea and scones”. A Nimbin Branch was first established in 1928 and at that time there were small Branches springing up in such local places as Cawongla and Rosebank, a response both to rural isolation and the deep need for women to come together to address social needs of the time. This need still exists. And so does the CWA, always adaptable and coming into its new century with a focus, as always, on the grass roots power of women coming together in support of their communities.
Our Branch re-formed in 2019 after an hiatus of nearly thirty years. Of course, shortly thereafter we then encountered the worst fire season for many years. Our small new Branch found itself organising and leading a volunteer effort to feed and support both our local Firefighters and Defenders at local communities who were fighting the fires that threatened many of our own homes. Since those early tumultuous days, we have settled into our community further. We lease a beautiful large room at the Community Centre, nestled above the Fire Station, in the heart of the community. Covid has been a huge challenge for us, as it has been for all. It’s been hard to fundraise in a pandemic...however the CWA has proven itself adaptable for a hundred years and our sisters and mothers from the past have surely seen it all. We know that CWA Nimbin Branch made hundreds of camouflage nets for the Army during the second World War, as did many Branches. We no longer need to make nets however we come together in our new kitchen when we can and have way too many laughs.
Come and have a yarn with us on one of our stalls at the Farmers’ Market, the monthly Nimbin Community Market and pop-up Street Stalls. Fundraising from these efforts go towards a range of community initiatives such as our annual CWA Resilience Award for two students at Nimbin Central School and support for other community organisations such as the Widjabul Wia-bal Cultural Centre. Funds are also directed to the State CWA who recently, for example, donated $50,000 to Foodbank in Western NSW for emergency relief during the Covid outbreak there.
We meet at 4.30pm on the second Monday of the month at our room in the Figtree Building, Nimbin Community Centre. Follow us on Facebook at CWA Nimbin Branch.