Friends and a sense of belonging

QCWA have a very strong thread of International connections- each year a Country of Study is the focus. Branches often hold a special community gathering to acknowledge all aspects of the International Country of Study. This photo shows five of our members modelling our newly created Pineapple Glasses at our neighbouring Branch Peachester’s International Luncheon. The Pineapple features as another aspect of CWA which is our focus on a Primary Product…this year it is the humble pineapple.

By Tania Phillps

Retired educator Patsy Lee always knew she was destined to join the CWA but the North Coast Division President probably couldn’t have guessed the friends and adventures it would bring her.

Patsy, a member of the Maleny Branch, is now in her fourth year as division president watching over the eleven branches in her region – a job that keeps her busy.

“Yes, there are very busy times, there are lots of fun times especially when I get to go off to the branches, to their various functions. That makes it a really enjoyable time because you’re connecting with like-minded people. It’s a really important aspect of what I find with the CWA – you never know who you are going to meet today or the next day.

“I do a lot of helping in my role as Division president so if a branch is having a difficult moment, that’s one of my roles. I’m there as a sounding board to try and work through and come out on the other side to solve that problem.”

Patsy said she had always known about the CWA and intended to join “one day” but a posting to the Southern Downs, saw that day come maybe sooner than she thought.

“My background is education so everywhere that I worked for the Queensland department of education, there always seemed to be a CWA Branch,” she laughed.

“So I guess I knew about CWA because my grandmother and mother had both been members but then in all my working roles there was always a CWA branch around and so they might be needing someone to do this, or someone to judge that and I was always very willing to put my hand out to help out. I guess I remembered my grandmother and mother being part of a great organization.

“My last teaching position was in a small rural school in the Southern Downs, South of Warwick in a little village called Dalveen. They had a very strong CWA Branch and there was a great connection between them and the school and I thought, my connection with CWA just lives on.

“I became member in the end because the local Dalveen CWA branch said oh help we need members, we need people to join and I thought well I guess its now my turn to act. That was about eight years ago.”

It proved to be the right thing to do particularly when she retired four years ago and moved to Maleny. The first thing she did was join the Maleny CWA branch, giving her “an instant circle of friends”.

“It certainly has, you are connecting with the community and with a like-minded group of ladies who have come from a whole diverse backgrounds,” she said.

“I think that’s one of the things I love about CWA is that we come from such diverse backgrounds but we really are all together for the common good. We are close to the community, connecting with other ladies to be friends, to advocate for what ever we want to do.”

Patsy said in celebration of the 100th anniversary the local Sunshine Coast branches had a myriad of different events planned from high teas to Melbourne Cup days. To find out more head to QCWA.org.au.

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