In Current News

Hello Members


I have been researching how to say ‘thank you’. This was in preparation for a number of ‘thank you’ notes this month. Gratitude is a universal emotion, but the way people express it can vary across different languages and cultures.

I will begin by thanking the members of groups I visited during August Group Conference rounds. I enjoyed hearing about the interests of each branch and group; the level of support to the Association, the local community and elsewhere; and the activities to engage members in reaching their potential. Thank you to Loddon Valley, Goulburn Valley West, Echuca, Murray Valley, Mallee, Mildura/Millewa, Beaufort, and Ballarat District Groups for your welcoming hospitality and productive meetings.

We trade, we share, we reciprocate. It is only natural in human relationship that we help each other out because humans are social creatures and it is only through relying on one another that we survive (

At a Special General Meeting of State Council on Wednesday 4 September Peg Higginbottom (Kyneton Twilighters) was elected Membership Committee Chairperson for 2019-2020 and State Treasurer Marie Vassallo (Umina) accepted my appointment as Acting Magazine/Communications Committee Chairperson. I am grateful to Peg and Lorraine for accepting the roles of Interim Chairpersons from the Annual General Meeting. I have appointed Lorraine Zimmerman (Ringwood) Editor following the resignation (for family reasons) of Joely Taylor (Boroondara). Thank you Joely.

The State Creative Arts Exhibition at Kyabram (Goulburn Valley West Group) was a great success thanks to the creativity of the exhibitors and the organising prowess of host committee leader Doreen Napier and Creative Arts Committee Chairperson Heather Scott and a large band of volunteers – thank you members. It was my pleasure to officially open the exhibition and take part in the presentations to prize winners. I was delighted to see the exhibits, speak to the press and engage with members and visitors.

In an occasional paper by the Dilenschneider Group titled The underappreciated art of saying ‘thank you’ the authors write: “Civilized men and women benefit from saying it as much as the one extending the kindness appreciates hearing it (

I have recently attended a number of functions as a personal member and as State President. These have included Rural Press Club of Victoria lunch with NFF President Fiona Simson; Milloo Branch 50th Birthday; Country Women’s Association of Australia three day meetings in Sydney; Royal Flying Doctor Service Going the Distance Dinner (with State Treasurer Marie Vassallo, MOH Carol Clay and Mitchell Group President Louise Taylor); Governance Institute of Australia Annual Conference in Sydney; Australian Bankers Association Bendigo Business Lunch; Weekly Times 150th Anniversary Lunch and Celebration (with Immediate Past State President Lyn Harris); Environmental Science Public Lecture at Government House (with Social Issues Committee Chairperson Jenny Nola); private family celebration of the life of Past State President Machelle Crichton (with a very small number of other invited members); final meeting of Yarra Branch; Umina Branch Association Day; meeting with members of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia – Victoria (accompanied by Executive Director Lynne Jordan) and the Royal Melbourne Show (21 September to 1 October) with an extra week for some of Bump In and one day of Bump Out.

An early thank you to Catering Committee Chairperson Lyn Fleming, committee members, core team and all volunteers. I am grateful to you all for your commitment to the Association and the public at the Royal Melbourne Show.

Instead of saying, “Thanks for…,” say you‘re grateful — and say why. Say, “I am so grateful you(

All Branch annual meetings will have been held by mid November. To those who have completed their term of office – thank you. To those who are taking on various positions – thank you. Best wishes to each Branch for a happy and successful year.

Determinations for 2020 were an agenda item for September State Council. Quite a number of possibilities were presented so a series of voting sessions took place to determine the final choices.

2020 Theme is Grow, Connect, Improve Council members found the words related to previous years’ themes, gave an impetus for change and offered an opportunity for self-development.

The three possible recipients for the 2021 Thanksgiving Fund are each very worthy and members will receive voting papers in early 2020. The result is announced at the 2020 State Conference. Please return your Branch voting papers in a timely manner.

2020 State Project is CWA of VIC IT and Systems Upgrade and Maintenance The IT stands for Information Technology and relates to the server that stores our back-up files, computers, programs, and file contents – such as the membership, finance and B&B data bases.

2020 Product/Resource is Australian Indigenous Foods Featured at the ACWW World Conference in April and again at the State Creative Arts Exhibition in August, investigation of Australian Indigenous foods will be a rewarding and tasty endeavour.

2020 Country of Study is Botswana Although it is in the southern hemisphere, Committee members felt Victorians know little about Botswana so this study will broaden our knowledge and understanding.

2020 Social Issues Focus is Building communication skills in times of stress This focus was recommended by the Committee after discussing the topics covered in recent years and noting how these topics relate to stress and its consequences. Stress may increase while coping with homelessness or suffering elder abuse, social isolation, mental health issues or family violence. Good communication will lessen stress.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings (William Arthur Ward).


Marion E Dewar

State President