At a recent National Conference held in Darwin the members of CWA voted and passed a resolution to ask the government to conduct trials into the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes for the terminally and chronically ill members of the community.

This resolution has caused a stir within the general community as to why a conservative organisation such as ours would be dealing with this issue. One of the aims of CWA is address concerns that affect people and families within communities and we see this as a health issue and no different to any other.

Other items that were discussed at the conference included the declining numbers of General Practitioners and closing of birthing facilities in rural and remote areas. Another topic was country of origin labelling of packaged food products so that consumers know from which country their food originates.

CWA is an organisation that has a membership throughout Australia of about 30,000. I am often asked how you have to be to be a member and my reply is anywhere from 15 to death. Although we are perceived as an old persons organisation we have many members who would not see themselves that way. We do have branches of younger members.

I have found that during my membership of CWA, which spans many years, I have gained some great friendships around the world, have learned lots of different crafts and then passed that knowledge on to others, and have gained leadership skills.

CWA members are also about friendship, having fun and teaching. We entertain with Choral and Drama members holding competitions and entertaining in schools, homes and other areas. Members also value the crafts e.g. knitting, embroidery, cooking, etc and spend many hours teaching these skills to others.

CWA is also a member of The Associated Country Women of the World which has over 9 million members in 61 countries. We have a close working relationship with the members in the South Pacific including the Islands. There is an organisation in each State who would always welcome new members.

Peter Fray

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