CWA Zooms into digital era

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CWA of WA is embracing videoconferencing to get things done.
Camera IconCWA of WA is embracing videoconferencing to get things done. Credit: Jackie Farmer

The CWA of WA has held its first videoconference board meeting in history, propelling the 96-year-old organisation into the digital age.

The organisation held the two-day board meeting via Zoom on April 6-7, with the 11-person board, its chief executive and its administration co-ordinator tuning in.

At the meeting, the board appointed its new State treasurer Felicity Edwards and thanked her predecessor Margaret Hector, who has held the role for two years.

Ms Hector, who is a member of the Kings Park branch, will work with Ms Edwards, a member of the Perth Belles, until the official handover in November.

The group’s State president Elaine Johnson was re-elected unopposed.

CWA of WA state treasurer Felicity Edwards.
Camera IconCWA of WA state treasurer Felicity Edwards. Credit: CWA of WA

Taking on the CWA of WA State treasurer adds to a suite of achievement for Ms Edwards, who lives in Perth but grew up between Beverley and Albany.

She owns and operates a professional ironing business, called Pressed for Success, and is a member of the CWA of WA’s finance group.

While Ms Edwards’ appointment was the only major change to the CWA of WA board, there was a major change to its events calendar.

The CWA of WA’s annual State conference and annual general meeting will be held in November, instead of July, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have a great team in place and with the current members’ re-election it will allow us to keep our board composition consistent for the next 18 months,” Ms Johnson said.

“Having a long lead time will also allow for a problem-free handover to our new State treasurer in November.”

Ms Johnson said social distancing regulations had thrown up some challenges for the historic organisation, but members were adapting well.

She said several branches had held online meetings during the past few months.

“Travel and social distancing restrictions have created logistical problems for operational procedures and communication with members, but we have risen to that challenge,” she said.

“We are embracing technology wherever we can, as well as reverting to more traditional ways of keeping in touch such as the post and telephone.”

CWA of WA chief executive Jackie Farmer said the Web Branch, which boasts members from across WA, was well versed in holding digital meetings after forming in 2017.

Its members already meet monthly via Zoom to co-ordinate projects and catch up.

The Rockingham branch recently launched a Saturday Night Stitch-along session via Zoom at 7.30pm each week, with members asked to bring a craft.

The CWA of WA has also organised a weekly chat with Ms Johnson every Friday morning, which is available for members to join by videoconference or phone.

More than 25 members tuned in, from Geraldton to Esperance, with the chance to share stories and ideas, and take part in a show-and-tell for recipes and crafts.

This Friday’s meeting will have a hat theme, with members encouraged to wear a fabulous fascinator.

“CWA has always been about extending the hand of friendship, and we will continue to do so, whether by phone, mail, email or video chat,” Ms Johnson said.

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