Country Women's Association of NSW 2019 conference

Last years CWA of NSW State Conference in Armidale attracted hundreds of delegates, members, observers and visitors from around the state
Last years CWA of NSW State Conference in Armidale attracted hundreds of delegates, members, observers and visitors from around the state

Members from around the state will come together in Albury in May for the Country Women's Association of New South Wales' annual conference.

It's the 97th time members have gathered to debate and discuss the organisation's policy via a list of motions proposed by NSW branches.

"I'm looking forward to the debate on the various motions on the agenda, actively participating in setting the direction of CWA of NSW for the next 12 months and the opportunity to renew old friendships and create new ones," she said.

"I have also been afforded some time to update the conference attendees on the work we are doing at the national level in my role as Australian President of CWA."

Current state president Annette Turner said there were more than 20 motions this year, including two motions of urgency on what the organisation sees as a potential water crisis across the Murray Darling Basin, and in many regional NSW communities when it comes to the quality of their drinking water.

"As is always the case, the motions delegates will be discussing at this year's conference reflect the diversity of our membership and the issues of concern to their communities. The CWA of NSW takes its advocacy role very seriously and each successful motion will shape our lobbying efforts for the year ahead," she said.

Motions include the need for more stringent regulations around the use of drones; urgent assistance for the dairy industry; increased awareness around public biosecurity regulations; and access to drought assistance for rural businesses that aren't primary producers.

Motions highlighting the state of regional healthcare are again prominent, with one calling for more public cancer centres in regional areas and another addressing the 'inadequate' number of registered and enrolled nurses in country hospitals.

"These are issues of the highest priority for our membership. The motions around the state of many regional town water supplies and the management of the Murray Darling Basin are representative of the urgency of many of the issues that will come up for debate at our May conference," Annette said.

An additional highlight at this year's conference will be the election of a new state president, as president Annette Turner has served out her three-year term.

Up to 800 delegates, members, observers and visitors will be in Albury for the conference, which will be officially opened on May 6 by the newly-appointed Governor of NSW, Justice Margaret Beazley, a former judge on the Federal Court of Australia and NSW Court of Appeal. Justice Beazley will also present the conference keynote address.

President Annette Turner said it would be a special conference for her as she welcomes her successor and reflects on an exciting three years at the helm of the largest women's organisation in Australia.

"It's been such an honour to lead the CWA of NSW and the hard-working and dedicated members who I have such enormous respect for. To be able to travel around the state and meet so many of them has been a highlight and to represent this organisation in advocating for what's important for rural and regional Australia, a privilege," she said.

"I look forward to welcoming the next president of the CWA of NSW who I know will derive the same pleasure and satisfaction from the role that I have. It's an exciting new chapter in our history and I'm pleased to continue to be part of it."

The program commences with a church service on Sunday afternoon (5th May), with the official opening from 9.30am on Monday 6th May at the Albury Entertainment Centre. The remainder of the program comprises business sessions, workshops, meetings and award ceremonies.

The CWA is the largest women's organisation in Australia, and since 1922 has been working to improve the living conditions and welfare of women and families.