SACWA celebrates 90-year milestone

SACWA celebrates 90-year milestone

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CHEERS: SACWA treasurer Sharyn Muller, Josie Kenneally, deputy president Lyn Brew, president Roslyn Schumann, Jennifer Dowling and Rosalie Smith with 90th year mascot Mary the bear, named after founder Mary Warnes.

CHEERS: SACWA treasurer Sharyn Muller, Josie Kenneally, deputy president Lyn Brew, president Roslyn Schumann, Jennifer Dowling and Rosalie Smith with 90th year mascot Mary the bear, named after founder Mary Warnes.

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IN THE past 90 years, the SA Country Women's Association has played a pivotal role in SA communities, and that is unlikely to change, according to state president Roslyn Schumann.

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IN THE past 90 years, the SA Country Women's Association has played a pivotal role in SA communities, and that is unlikely to change, according to state president Roslyn Schumann.

"The place of the association hasn't changed a lot in 90 years," she said.

Formed in 1929 in Burra by founder and inaugural state president Mary Jane Warnes, Roslyn said there were some parallels with the early days and the present association.

"We were dealing with the depression and poor seasons," she said. "Lo and behold, what have we been doing since August last year?"

Since launching its partnership with Rural Business Support in August, SACWA has been busy using its emergency aid fund to provide assistance to families suffering the effects of the drought.

In the past nine months, they have handed out more than $1.1 million to in excess of 400 farming families.

Roslyn said most of these funds were donations from the public via Red Cross and Coles, as well as business donations, such as that from Dick Smith Foods.

She said it was "a vote of confidence" and a sign of the respect accorded to the organisation that it had been trusted with these funds.

"They know our system and process is easy to access," she said.

"We have very good turnaround, often the same day and usually within 48 hours."

Age doesn't matter in our association, it's attitude and the contribution you can make. - Roslyn Schumann

Roslyn said assistance was not just for times of drought - it had been quickly put in place during the Wangary and Pinery fires.

"We also do individual aid, personal emergencies or supporting people in domestic violence situations," she said.

"It goes to prove we are there to be a supportive and helping hand."

As well as community work, Roslyn said the SACWA supported its members through teaching new skills or creating social connections.

"It's a place where women get together and support one another," she said.

"The social element is sort of equivalent to the men's shed - we're the women's shed.

"We also touch on some millennial goals of reducing, recycling and stopping waste."

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In a sign of the continuing relevance of the SACWA in rural SA, the newest branch - the Goyder branch - was formed in its 90th year.

Roslyn said the association had members across a range of ages and locations.

"Age doesn't matter in our association, it's attitude and the contribution you can make," she said.

"SACWA is what you want to make it and there is something for everyone."

As part of the celebrations for the 90th year, the group launched a commemorative rose and is holding a series of events across SA during 2019.

  • Details: To find out more about upcoming events visit sacwa.org.au/about-sacwa/sacwa-90th-birthday
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