In the life of a CWA branch the Cultural officers believe they have the best role! There are so many avenues for them to widen members’ interests and knowledge, whilst having sheer fun and promoting friendship within the Branch and with local communities.
CWA originally developed a cultural program to help isolated women in remote and rural areas. It encourages women as the “custodians of the past and future” since it is largely women who keep family stories, history, traditions, cuisines and languages alive.
The program now has competitions for artists, photographers, poetry and story writers with a wide range of topics.  This year, the “Woman of Note” for study is Marie Byles, conservationist, mountaineer, pacifist and first practicing solicitor in NSW. There are also opportunities to be more inclusive of indigenous culture and the cultures of recent immigrants.
In this framework each Branch plans its own program depending on its members’ interests. These may range from singing, behind-the-scenes activity at local plays and concerts, cinema visits, entertainment within nursing homes, games nights, fashion parades, trivia quizzes and book groups. There are visits to museums and galleries: and talks by both members and visiting speakers on topics ranging from health issues and local history to the cuisines of other countries.
The Wollondilly Group, comprising Branches from the Highlands to the Illawarra coast, will be holding a Cultural Day and a Festival day in the months to come.

Pat Hughes
Wollondilly Group CWA – The Highlands