Members of the Country Women’s Association heard inspirational speeches as they built up friendships on Tuesday.
The CWA Far South Coast Group NSW’s 85th conference and annual general meeting was held in Bermagui, attended by members from 10 branches between Eden and Batemans Bay.
Guest speaker Helen Schaefer, a vet from Yowrie, shared some stories from her life, including her battle with postnatal depression.
She said it was important not to judge other people as you may not know what they have been through.
“Everyone has a story and the vast majority of us don’t know the story of the people we are with,” she said.
“Does it matter we don’t know? No, what matters is that we are aware we don’t.”
Nardy House CEO Denise Redmond opened the conference by saying there were about 2000 people under 65 living in NSW nursing homes. Many were young men aged 18-25 who had been in car crashes.
As the number of people in nursing homes was increasing, she said there was a need for more support to be made towards this sector.
“I think the world will only change when women force it to change,” Ms Redmond said.
“The CWA represents a group of women who are about change.”
During the reports, group treasurer Sandra Mott said financially the group was travelling well. But as there had been a reduction in membership, which had also been experienced state-wide, the income had been dropping.
Group president Mary Williams said the CWA affects women differently as they can take from it what they need, from the pursuits of cookery and handicrafts to friendship.
“It is also a very effective conduit for our voices to be heard,” she said.
The group’s new executive was elected and includes president Ms Williams, secretary Robyn Wright OAM, treasurer Ms Mott, international officer Stephanie Stanhope, ag and environmental officer Lynne Jones, cultural officer Vicki Hummel, handicraft officer Marion Cullen and Land cookery officer Danielle Brice.