Country Women's Association of Victoria.

Also known as
The Country Women's Association of Victoria Inc.. (1928-)
Function
Community organisation
Libraries Australia
http://nla.gov.au/anbd.aut-an35084954
NLA Persistent Identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-469019

Biographies

The Country Women's Association of Victoria was founded in 1928. It is a non-sectarian, non-party-political, non-profit lobby group working predominantly in the interests of women and children in rural areas. It's first president (1928-1932) was Lady Mitchell. The Association was formed partly in response to the formation of similar groups in other states. A major objective since its foundation was to 'arrest the [population] drift from rural areas'-a problem which persists today. Its major activities have revolved around the provision of services to its members and the improvement of amenities in rural areas.

The formation of the Victorian Association was prompted by a meeting organised by Lady Somers (wife of the then state governor) in March 1928. It was quickly strengthened by proliferation of local branches and the decision of the seven Victorian Women's Institutes (the first of which had been formed in 1926) to join the new Association. By 1929 it boasted twenty branches with 1700 members.

Since its foundation the Association has been involved in an enormous range of activities. The early influence of the Women's Institutes ensured a strong emphasis on Homecrafts and Home Industries within the Victorian Association-a Committee was formed devoted to arranging classes and demonstrations in these areas. In 1932 the Committee established a scholarship to enable a country student to attend the Emily McPherson College of Domestic Economy. In 1935 over 900 members from 71 branches sent 3000 entries to the its Handicraft Exhibition. During the WWII the Committee coordinated much of the Association's war work and in the 1950s they organised craft classes for women prisoners.

One early initiative was the formation of 'Younger Sets' - for girls and young women. By 1932 there were 28 of these groups-increasing to 97 by 1949. They engaged in fund raising and community worked as well as holding crafts classes and lectures on numerous topics including home economics, travel and literature. Other early activities included the provision of 'rest rooms' in regional centres (to provide facilities for visiting farm women) and the purchase of a holiday home at Black Rock (which extended over the years into a large complex)-to provide members with affordable holiday accommodation. They also helped establish a bush 'Dental van' in the 1930s, ran a 'Home Help Scheme' from 1940-70 and established numerous welfare, relief and scholarship funds. During WWII the Association devoted much of its energy to assisting with the war effort. They made over 150,000 camouflage nets, as well as sheepskin vests for flight crews, numerous other woollen garments. They also established a 'Comforts Fund' for soldiers and sent clothing and bedding to women and children in London.

In 1929, the Country Women's Association of Victoria was one of the 23 rural women's organisation which attended a meeting in London, organised by the Marchioness of Aberdeen, to discuss the formation of an international rural women's association. The meeting led to the formation of the Associated Country Women of the World in 1932. From 1945 it became affiliated with the newly formed Country Women's Association of Australia.

As of 1978, the organisation's primary aim was 'By community service to improve conditions in the country more especially as they affect the welfare of women and children.'

Over the years the Association's branches have produced numerous cookery and handicraft books as well as local histories.

In 2004, the Association's website described its purpose and activities thus: 'The Country Women's Association of Victoria Inc. is an organisation based on friendship and self-development opportunities for women of all races, religions or political beliefs. It is an organisation where women from rural and urban areas can meet as one, as the Women of the Country. The CWA of Victoria is unique in that it does not have charitable status, is not totally a service club, nor a philanthropic organisation. It supports numerous charitable causes, particularly as they concern women, children and families. The CWA of Victoria is involved with Government departments in several programs including Wise Women Working and Diversity Victoria, which aim to bring together different cultures for a better understanding across racial borders. It also has input through the Victorian Women's Summit conferences which reflect women's opinions.

The Social Issues Committee's role is to research issues which effect women and children in our community, to lobby State and Commonwealth Governments to change things for the betterment of women and to keep members informed through "The Country Woman" magazine.' (Issues it has considered include: Problem Gambling, Farm safety, Workcare, Aged Care, Medical indemnity crisis, Shortage of obstetric specialists in rural areas, Funding for Breast Care Nurses, Suicide, Domestic violence, Privacy Laws, Child Employment). It makes submissions on behalf of Members to Government, and recently conducted a survey of issues to concern to Branches across the State.

'The CWA of Victoria is undertaking an adventurous program of establishing an Internet Branch to give women the opportunity to communicate with like-minded persons. Crafts are taught and encouraged at Branch, Group and State levels and choral and drama groups thrive at some Branches. A Statewide public speaking competition culminates with the final at the State Conference each year. A Scholarship Fund has been set up to assist with tertiary education for Member's children. Scholarships for non-members are also available. The Welfare and Emergency funds are used to help people in with household and personal items in time of disaster. A medical research program is the recipient of the Thanksgiving Fund each year. Many weary Royal Agricultural Show patrons enjoy the CWA hospitality in the cafeteria at the Royal Melbourne Show.'

They continue to hold regular craft schools.

View the full record at Australian Women's Register

Related people and organisations

Resources for Country Women's Association of Victoria.

Selected resources (28)

Australian Women's Register

  1. Tapestry of Achievement: 60 Years of the South Western District of the Country Womens Association
    [1988?]
    Published: South Western District of the Country Womens' Association
  2. Twenty-one Years: A Brief History of the Association Since it was Founded in 1928
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [1949]
    Published: Country Women's Association
  3. The Politics of Influence: The Work of the Country Women's Association of Victoria Incorporated in the Public Sphere
    Crook, Karen
    [1997]
    Published: University of Melbourne, Melbourne Business School
  4. Tea, Scones and a Willing Ear: The Country Women's Association of Victoria, 1928-1934Lilith: A Feminist History Journal 1 23-30 : Tea, Scones and a Willing Ear: The Country Women's Association of Victoria, 1928-1934
    Roberts, Pam
    [1984]
  5. Handicrafts of the Country Women's Association of Victoria
    Hamer, Janet
    [1968]
    Published: Country Women's Association of Victoria
  6. Official Annual of the Country Women's Association of Victoria: Annual Report and Balance Sheet
    [1939-]
    Published: Country Women's Association of Victoria
  7. Country Crafts/New Country Crafts
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [1930-88]
  8. Through the Years 1934-1988, Central Wimmera Group
    [1989]
    Published: Country Women's Association of Victoria, Central Wimmera Group
  9. Murray Valley Group, CWA Victoria, 1934-1984
    [1984]
    Published: The Group
  10. Companionship, Welfare and Achievement of Cowes Branch of the Country Women's Association of Victoria: The First Fifty Years of C.W.A. on Phillip Island
    Cutter, June M.
    [1985]
  11. The history of Drysdale C.W.A. (Incorporated) 1948-1988
    [1988]
    Published: Drysdale Country Women's Association
  12. 60 years of service: Bruthen Country Womens Association
    Sievers, Pat
    [1994]
    Published: Bruthen Branch, C.W.A
  13. The Briagolong Branch Country Women's Association Golden Jubilee 1951-2001
    Watt, Dorothy B
    [2001]
    Published: The Branch
  14. Sixty years of Sharing 1931-1991
    Terry, Lorraine
    [1991]
    Published: Country Women's Association of Victoria Frankston Branch
  15. A Touch of Time :Wangaratta C.W.A., 1929-1994
    [1994]
    Published: Wangaratta C.W.A
  16. Victorian Country Woman
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [1989-]
  17. The History of C.W.A. in Wedderburn
    Curnow, D. M.
    [1984]
    Published: Korong Historical Society
  18. Constitution, rules and aims
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [1938]
    Published: The Association
  19. Years of adventure, 1928-1978 : fifty years of service by the Country Women's Association of Victoria
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [1978]
    Published: Country Women's Association of Victoria
  20. The Many Hats of Country Women: The Jubilee History of the Country Women's Association of Australia
    Stevens-Chambers, Brenda
    [1997]
    Published: Country Women's Association of Australia
  21. Getting things done : the Country Women's Association of Australia
    Country Women's Association of Australia
    [1986]
    Published: The Association
  22. Brave days : pioneer tales
    Clegg, Mary A.
    [1962]
    Published: [Yarra Branch of the Country Women's Association]
  23. State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection: Taggerty Papers (1947)
    Minutes, cashbooks and correspondence books of various Taggerty organizations, including the Country Women's Association, Taggerty Branch, 1947-1952, 1952-1967 and 1967-1968.
    MS 12622
  24. Australian Historic Records Register: Country Women's Association of Victoria Inc. (1928 - 1987)
    Minutes of the Executive Committee which was originally the Provisional Organising Committee, March 1928-1987 (10 vols). Minutes of various committees such as finance, welfare, international, home help, 1928-1987 (29 vols). Minutes of about 80 Victorian branches, mostly defunct, 1929-1981, (c200 vols). Printed agendas for Annual General Meetings, 1929-1987 (59 agendas). Annual reports, 1929-1987 (59 printed reports). Country Crafts, monthly newsletter, no.1, December 1930-1987 (c600 issues). Minutes of Biennial meetings of the Country Women's Association of Australia, June 1945-1960 (1 vol.). Minutes of Annual General Meetings, June 1960-1987 (1 vol.). Scrapbook of newscuttings and photographs covering the Tenth Triennial Conference of the Associated Country Women of the World, Melbourne, October 1962 (1 vol.).
    267
  25. National Library of Australia Oral History Collection: Folkloric recording: Phyllis Oldfield speaks about living in the Ecklin district since 1933: Interviewer: Helen O'Shea
    Recorded at Terang, Victoria on 13 December 1989. 3 tape reels (ca. 90 min). Mrs Oldfield speaks about other local families; clearing the land; her husband Doug Oldfield; social activities; farm chores; living conditions in 1930s; her children; Ash Wednesday bushfire; her dressmaking business; her wedding celebrations; lack of medical services; and her involvement with the Country Women's Association. Part of a collection of recordings made by Helen O'Shea in the township of Ecklin South, Victoria in 1989 and 1990. The recordings aim to reveal the social fabric of life in a small rural community between 1900 and 1988.
    ORAL TRC 2439/61
  26. National Library of Australia Oral History Collection: Folkloric recording: Mildred Mattinson speaks about her life in the Ecklin area in 1930s, 1940s and 1950s: Interviewer: Helen O'Shea].
    Recorded at Sale, Victoria on 28 November 1989. 3 tape reels (79mins). Mildred Mattinson speaks about the two halls at Ecklin; her early life; her husband's farms at Allansford and Ecklin; Ecklin school; her involvement with local organizations; Ecklin post office; local dances and card parties; the send off for she and her husband when they left the district; Ecklin store; other local families; celebrating Christmas and birthdays; and her involvement with the Country Women's Association. Part of a collection of recordings made by Helen O'Shea in the township of Ecklin South, Victoria in 1989 and 1990. The recordings aim to reveal the social fabric of life in a small rural community between 1900 and 1988.
    ORAL TRC 2439/60
  27. Australian Historic Records Register: Country Women's Association, Robinvale branch (1945 - 1977)
    Minute books since its inception in April 1945 as the North East Mallee group until 30 June 1977, and as the Mildura-Millewa group from 1 July 1977.
    109
  28. Australian Historic Records Register: Country Women's Association, Merbein Branch (1925 - 1988)
    Correspondence relative to the formation of a health Centre in Merbein, Vic., 1925-1930 (1 file). Minutes, general meetings, including annual general meetings, 1938-1988 (6 vols). Correspondence, 1939-1988 (2 cases).
    270

Resources by Country Women's Association of Victoria. (24)

  1. Country crafts (Melbourne, Vic. : 1958)
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Periodical : 1930-1988 ]
    At 6 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 138.884)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 138.884)

  2. Official publication (Country Women's Association of Victoria)
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Periodical : 1989-1994 ]
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 101.166)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 101.166)

  3. Official annual of the Country Women's Association of Victoria : annual report and balance sheet
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Periodical : 1920-2014 ]
    Possibly online
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 90.496)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 90.496)

  4. New country crafts / Country Women's Association of Victoria
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Periodical : 1952-1957 ]
    At State Library of VIC
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 82.641)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 82.641)

  5. Years of adventure, 1928-1978 : fifty years of service by the Country Women's Association of Victoria
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Book : 1978 ]
    At 18 libraries
    Years of adventure, 1928-1978 : fifty years of service by the Country Women's Association of Victoria
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 74.431)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 74.431)

  6. Victorian country woman
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Periodical : 1995-2013 ]
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 68.311)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 68.311)

  7. The feisty phoenix : the real story of the Country Women's Association of Victoria, 1928-2008 (80th anniversary history) / Brenda Stevens-Chambers
    Stevens-Chambers, Brenda
    [ Book : 2008 ]
    At 8 libraries
    The feisty phoenix : the real story of the Country Women's Association of Victoria, 1928-2008 (80th anniversary history) / Brenda Stevens-Chambers
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 45.394)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 45.394)

  8. Handicrafts of the Country Women's Association of Victoria / edited and illustrated by Janet Hamer ; photography by Jack Lawrence
    Hamer, Janet
    [ Book : 1968 ]
    At 20 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 40.482)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 40.482)

  9. Cookery book
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Book : 1965-1992 ]
    At 6 libraries
    Cookery book
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 37.298)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 37.298)

  10. Constitution, rules and aims / Country Women's Association of Victoria
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Book : 1938 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 33.331)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 33.331)

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Resources about Country Women's Association of Victoria. (12)

  1. Country crafts (Melbourne, Vic. : 1958)
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Periodical : 1930-1988 ]
    At 6 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 137.022)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 137.022)

  2. Official publication (Country Women's Association of Victoria)
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Periodical : 1989-1994 ]
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 97.218)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 97.218)

  3. Official annual of the Country Women's Association of Victoria : annual report and balance sheet
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Periodical : 1920-2014 ]
    Possibly online
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 88.91)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 88.91)

  4. New country crafts / Country Women's Association of Victoria
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Periodical : 1952-1957 ]
    At State Library of VIC
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 79.35)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 79.35)

  5. Years of adventure, 1928-1978 : fifty years of service by the Country Women's Association of Victoria
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Book : 1978 ]
    At 18 libraries
    Years of adventure, 1928-1978 : fifty years of service by the Country Women's Association of Victoria
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 73.88)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 73.88)

  6. Victorian country woman
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Periodical : 1995-2013 ]
    At 3 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 64.337)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 64.337)

  7. The feisty phoenix : the real story of the Country Women's Association of Victoria, 1928-2008 (80th anniversary history) / Brenda Stevens-Chambers
    Stevens-Chambers, Brenda
    [ Book : 2008 ]
    At 8 libraries
    The feisty phoenix : the real story of the Country Women's Association of Victoria, 1928-2008 (80th anniversary history) / Brenda Stevens-Chambers
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 45.211)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 45.211)

  8. Constitution, rules and aims / Country Women's Association of Victoria
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Book : 1938 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 32.408)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 32.408)

  9. Twenty-one years : a brief history of the Association since it was founded in 1928
    Country Women's Association of Victoria
    [ Book : 1949 ]
    At 5 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 30.289)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 30.289)

  10. The politics of influence: the work of the Country Women's Association of Victoria incorporated in the public sphere
    Crook, Karen Maree
    [ Thesis : 1997 ]
    View online
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 14.888)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 14.888)

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  1. Sixty years of sharing 1931-1991 / Country Women's Association of Victoria Frankston Branch, [Lorraine Terry]
    Country Women's Association of Victoria. Frankston Branch
    [ Book : 1991 ]
    At Frankston Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 25.377)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 25.377)

  2. Through the years 1934-1988, [reproduction of CWA of Victoria logo] Central Wimmera Group
    Country Women's Association of Victoria. Central Wimmera Group
    [ Book : 1989 ]
    At 4 libraries
    Through the years 1934-1988, [reproduction of CWA of Victoria logo] Central Wimmera Group
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 21.195)

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  3. Tapestry of achievement : 60 years of the South Western district of the Country Womens Association
    Country Women's Association of Victoria. South Western Group
    [ Book : 1988 ]
    At 3 libraries
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  4. The backbone of the country : Country Women's Association Mansfield : 75 years of history 1931 to 2006 / Pauline Read
    Read, Pauline
    [ Book : 2006 ]
    At 4 libraries
    The backbone of the country : Country Women's Association Mansfield : 75 years of history 1931 to 2006 / Pauline Read
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 20.072)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 20.072)

  1. Papers
    Country Women's Association of Victoria. Taggerty Branch
    [ Unpublished : 1936-1967 ]
    At State Library of VIC
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    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 18.996)

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    Taggerty (Vic.)
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    Pan-Pacific and Southeast Asia Women's Association of Australia
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    A history of my times (Hellenica) / Xenophon ; translated by Rex Warner ; with an introduction and notes by George Cawkwell
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  1. Address. -at the Country Women's Association of Victoria Annual General Meeting (59th: 1987)-
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    Country Crafts
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    Women of the Arab world : the coming challenge : papers of the Arab Women's Solidarity Association Conference / edited by Nahid Toubia ; translated by Nahed El Gamal
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  1. Website: City of Stonnington
    www.stonnington.vic.gov.au
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  1. COUNTRY WOMENS' ASSOCIATION OF VICTORIA FORMING BRANCH AT SALE.
    Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 - 1954) Thursday 26 July 1928 p 5 Article
    ... COUNTRY WOMENS' ASSOCIATION OF VICTORIA FORMING BRANCH BILRNCH AT SALE. An effort is being made to form a branch of the Country Women's Association socirion of Victoria at Sale, and with this object ... Victoria, non-political and non-see tarialr Councils of Women who desire, by commun ity tervice,, to ... 364 words
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  2. LADY HUNTINGFIELD APPEAL
    The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Saturday 26 August 1944 p 6 Article
    ... LADY HUNTINGFIELD APPEAL Previously acknowledged, £1,254/3/9. 1,254/3/9. Country Women's Association of Victoria. £1/15/; Country Women's Association of Victoria (Melb), £1/1/. Total,' £1,256 19/9. ... 23 words
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  3. LADY HUNTINGFIELD APPEAL
    The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Thursday 2 March 1944 p 6 Article
    ... LADY HUNTINGFIELD APPEAL Previously acknowledged, £1,214/2/9. Catholic Women's Social Guild (Victoria), £26/12/6; Country Women's Association of Victoria (5th instalment), £2/1/; Vic Baby Health Centres Assn (further dona- tion), £1/1/6. Total £1,243/17/9. ... 31 words
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