The CWA makes every step count for women across the world

Local CWA members have gathered for an important walking fundraiser. PICTURE: RENEE WOOD 2798008_01

By Renee Wood

The Country Women Association of Victoria’s Yarra Valley Group has made their steps count at Lilydale Lake, joining the global ‘Women Walk the World’ fundraiser to improve the lives for women and girls.

The annual fundraiser with the CWA and its affiliated group Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) is conducted on 29 April, something the local branches have been part of for a decade.

This event is the first major gathering they’ve had since the pandemic, and the group raised up to $700 dollars for the cause.

The funds go towards various projects including building concrete water tanks, educational schloarships, medical, hygiene and health supplies.

“Think of the women in Ukraine at the moment, what their families are going through, and in Africa, even the Solomon Islands – everywhere,” Tarrawarra Branch President Anne Faulks said.

“There are people who are struggling and if we can do our little bit to walk around the lake, it’s part of such a bigger picture and you’re part of a whole groundswell of women who are saying we need to support women.”

It’s one of the many fundraisers and community projects that the wider branch takes part in, which includes Monbulk Day Branch, Monbulk Ladies Night Hawks, Wandin Branch, Wannallock Night Branch and Tarrawarra Day Branch.

“It’s the empowerment of women together and we feel a strength of being women together – we really do. Just that camaraderie and to think that in doing that we can then support other women to feel stronger.”

All branches are encouraging women of any age to join, saying it’s not all just ‘tea and scones’.

Group president Carmel Mitchell said the CWA has strong ties to making a difference within the community, the country and within the UN.

“We have a voice with the Victorian and federal government. Resolutions that have been created from all the branches and groups, they go to the state conference [in May] and it’s voted on and then that’s presented to the government,” Ms Mitchell said.

On a local level, the CWA’s are also a part of other community initiatives including providing free meals at the Dinner at Darrons night at the Healesville Uniting Church – art exhibits also raise funds for local shelter services.

The ladies meet once a month and also work together in groups within other areas they’re passionate about, such as arts and crafts or fundraising events.

Tarrawarra member Jo Legge said it’s great for meeting new people when you move to the area.

“It’s a good way if you move anywhere, whether it’s a suburban town or a country town, it’s a good way of just seeing what the locals are like and getting to know people,” Ms Legge said.

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