The Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA) is in the throes of centenary celebrations.

In August 1922, the Brisbane Women’s Club held an open conference for ‘country women’ at Brisbane’s Albert Hall. It was decided at this conference to establish the QCWA, which was formalised on 11 August 1922. 

The QCWA has since grown to be one of Australia’s most important lobby and advocacy groups. 

Founding member Ruth Fairfax was elected the first QCWA state president. She travelled the mostly unsealed roads of country Queensland for six months during her first presidential year establishing branches and recruiting members. 

She held the role of state president until 1931 by which time the organisation had become very influential. 

Ruth went on to become the vice president of the Associated Country Women of the Worldwhich was formed to address the challenges women faced as a result of the isolation of their communities, discrimination against women, and their lack of standing in political processes. 

It comes as no surprise that the federal seat of Fairfax is named in honour of someone so deserving.

Palmwoods is one of 11 branches of the Nambour and North Coast Division of the QCWA. During this centenary year, Palmwoods has a number of events planned, including an open day on August 13 with children’s activities, displays, and talks by local historians, and a light lunch with the cutting of a centenary cake. 

Palmwoods Vice President, Yvonne Dalziel, says, “There is something for everyone at this free event. Historian Tony Millroy will speak at 11am, the Country Kitchens demonstrations will include pineapple recipes, and the Children’s State International Art Competition winners will be announced.” 

Newly elected president, Georgie Rule, facilitates sewing and patternmaking sessions, and in her first year as the branch president will help members run their craft, quilting, and other regular sessions each month. Ms Rule invites people to “come and see who we are, and what we do”.

Palmwoods CWA hall is a valuable asset to the community, says Ms Dalziel, who has overseen a heritage renovation of the facility, including the creation of an edible garden. 

The venue is fully equipped for group activities, workshops, meetings, small events, and weddings. 

“This year a 12-month Picture Yourself program funded by the Sunshine Coast Council will provide traditional and indigenous workshops.” 

The Open Day Program is available on facebook @CWAPalmwoods. Come along on Saturday August 13 from 9.30am to 1.30pm at 11 Main Street, Palmwoods. Contact palmwoodscwa@gmail.com 

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