Women meet to plan rural future

Claire TyrrellCountryman

More than 300 women from as far as the Ord Valley attended the 88th annual Country Women's Association (CWA) State Conference in Subiaco last week.

WA Governor Malcolm McCusker officially opened the conference accompanied by his wife and CWA Patron of WA, Tonya.

Mrs McCusker awarded the Clarice Rudduck Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service to the Ord Valley branch.

The 19 members of the Ord Valley branch were commended for their service to the CWA in fundraising and general community activities.

Esperance's Kyle Hodgkinson won the CWA Young Volunteer of the Year Award for his role as a patrolling member of the Esperance Goldfields Surf Life Saving Club.

Kyle has been patrol captain for the past three years and has been a member of the club since 2007.

Kings Park branch member Marianne Hasson was appointed CWA's new State treasurer, taking over from Yuna's Heather Allen.

CWA State president Maggie Donaldson said the conference was highly constructive and paved the journey ahead for the association.

"We have some really good ideas and a lot of work ahead of us to make sure those ideas come into effect," she said.

Fifteen motions of 32 were passed at the State conference. The motions had a strong emphasis on the needs of WA's farming community.

The Lake Varley branch passed a motion for the CWA to lobby the Federal Government to urgently implement policies to protect farm income.

Members of Leschenault South Bunbury passed a motion to pressure the Australian Tax Office and Department of Health Services to amend land gifting rules to assist the retirement of elderly farmers.

The Yuna branch raised the issue of Year 7 education, passing a motion to request the State Government to allow geographically isolated families to bypass their local school and receive government allowances to attend boarding schools.

The Kings Park branch unsuccessfully put forward a motion to delete the rule that the State president had to be, or had been, a woman living on the land.

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