The hierarchy of the iconic Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW is headed to Dubbo to launch a campaign aimed at improving the lives of women and children in regional and rural communities.
President Annette Turner, of White Cliffs, chief executive officer Danica Leys, of Sydney, and past presidents Audrey Hardman, of Mandurama, and Tanya Cameron, of Rowena, will be at the Railway Bowling Club in Erskine Street on Saturday morning.
Saturday marks the start of the CWA of NSW annual Awareness Week and Mrs Turner is keen to draw attention to a 2014 Australian Psychological Society study showing “financial issues and family issues remain the leading causes of stress” among Australians.
In response, the campaign includes a push for legislative change to the status of grandparents caring for grandchildren.
“Specifically, we are calling on grandparents as carers of grandchildren to be recognised as a family, rather than foster carers, and for changes to out-of-home care provisions for children being cared for by grandparents,” Mrs Turner said.
The president said the campaign also sought to help women go into business. “We’re calling for the establishment of business hubs in major centres to allow women who want to start their own business or already have, to come together for advice and support as well as access a one-stop shop for all the requirements and red tape involved in launching a business,” she said.
Mrs Turner said the campaign included a partnership with 10thousandgirl that would involve the sharing of online tools and resources to help women hone their financial skills.
Building resilience in teenage girls became a focus of the campaign after a Mission Australia report found they were “more than twice as likely as boys to be in severe psychological distress”.
New branches “catering to the needs of younger members” and mentoring by senior members are in the wind.
“We’re also partnering with the Girls Academy for Awareness Week, who are dedicated to empowering and developing Aboriginal girls in regional NSW,” Mrs Turner said. The academy expects to have 800 girls enrolled in its program in NSW by the end of the year.