Em­brac­ing the ru­ral life

QCWA re­builds its foun­da­tions

Central Queensland News - - NEWS -

MEET the fu­ture of the Queens­land Coun­try Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion in the sum­mer edi­tion of Ruth mag­a­zine.

Do they fit your per­cep­tion of the or­gan­i­sa­tion?

Th­ese are young, smart pro­fes­sional women who live in ru­ral, re­mote and ur­ban ar­eas of Queens­land.

They em­brace com­mu­nity ser­vice, per­sonal de­vel­op­ment and retro do­mes­tic arts.

When ar­chi­tect Nikki Ver­rall moved from her home in Dar­win to Mackay, she didn’t know any­one.

Hav­ing grown up with cook­ing, crafts and com­mu­nity she de­cided to join the lo­cal QCWA branch and see what it was like.

“Sud­denly I had all th­ese amaz­ing sur­ro­gate aunts and grand­moth­ers,” she said.

“It was good to have sup­port in the com­mu­nity out­side of work.’’

Now pres­i­dent of the Bris­bane City Nights Branch, Nikki said the friend­ships and per­sonal de­vel­op­ment were high­lights of the or­gan­i­sa­tion for her.

“If I’ve had a bad day at work, it is gone the minute I walk into a branch meet­ing,” she said.

“Ev­ery­one ral­lies for each other.”

This year marks the QCWA’s 95th birth­day and the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s state pres­i­dent Joy Coul­son is un­der no il­lu­sion about where the fu­ture lies.

It de­pends squarely on young women tak­ing up the man­tle.

“In its hey­day the QCWA boasted more than 20,000 mem­bers, mak­ing it one of the state’s most in­flu­en­tial and re­spected or­gan­i­sa­tions,” Mrs Coul­son said.

“But nat­u­ral at­tri­tion of up to 1000 per year re­duced mem­ber­ship to 4000 in 2016,” she said.

A po­ten­tial cri­sis has been averted with hun­dreds of happy, en­thu­si­as­tic 20, 30 and 40 some­things demon­strat­ing how to put a modern spin on this much-loved iconic or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The sum­mer edi­tion of Ruth mag­a­zine fea­tures in­ter­views with sev­eral young QCWA mem­bers who share their ideas about the fu­ture of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Ruth is avail­able at newsagen­cies through­out Queens­land and by sub­scrip­tion, phone

4690 9300.

All sales of Ruth mag­a­zine sup­port the work of the QCWA in com­mu­ni­ties through­out Queens­land.

PHOTO: RICHARD WALKER

YOUNG BLOOD: QCWA state pres­i­dent Joy Coul­son, vice pres­i­dent of Bris­bane City Nights Branch Rachael Har­tikainen and pres­i­dent of Bris­bane City Nights Branch Nikki Ver­rall.

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