CWA goes virtual

CWA of NSW starts a virtual branch


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A CWA virtual branch meeting. Photo supplied by CWA of NSW.

A CWA virtual branch meeting. Photo supplied by CWA of NSW.

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CWA becomes more accessible with an online branch started.

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The Country Women's Association of NSW has gone virtual with women given the option to join an online branch.

One of the virtual branch's 30 members and vice-president, Jacqui Herrmann from Albury said she was thrilled when she found out CWA were starting an online branch.

"I was moving towns and wanted to still belong to the CWA, and knowing I could do it in the evenings, in my own home, it was very convenient," Ms Herrmann said.

The idea was raised at the state conference last year and CWA member, Merrie Hunt from the Macksville branch volunteered to help get it started.

Mrs Hunt said its purpose was initially to enable travelling members to attend meetings when they were away but, it's now evolved to include a diverse range of people for a myriad of reasons.

"A lot of members were worried it would take members from the normal branches but we've found it's mostly new members that are joining," Mrs Hunt said.

"Women who can't get to a traditional branch meeting are given the chance to come online and meet and interact with people."

CWA of NSW virtual branch convenor, Merrie Hunt with virtual branch member, Jacqui Herrmann.

CWA of NSW virtual branch convenor, Merrie Hunt with virtual branch member, Jacqui Herrmann.

The initiative is not the first step CWA has taken to make the association more accessible. Evening branches have also been established to enable working women to become members.

Mrs Hunt believes the virtual branch fills another hole.

"It's been common for women to join the virtual branch because they work and there are no evening branches in their area," she said.

The branch only had their first meeting in December but have already come up with solutions that enable them to follow the philosophy and structure of CWA, online.

"We have had a bit of difficulty with telecommunications in the far west but overall the group has gone from strength to strength," Mrs Hunt said.

Ms Herrmann said they can share links on their CWA topics such as agriculture and environment or cookery and can send pictures to show the rest of the virtual group what they've been doing in handicraft.

"We're trying to work out how we fundraise because we are not bound by geographics, we've discussed virtual auctions or virtual morning teas," Ms Herrmann said.

Mrs Hunt said the group had also organised an online talk with an apiarist as their product of study this year is honey and had had CWA mentors from other branches join their video conferences.

If you are interested in joining the CWA virtual branch you can connect the secretary at cwanswvirtualbranch@gmail.com.

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