The Country Women’s Association began in Western Australia in 1924 as a non party political, non sectarian and not for profit organization with the first branch being at Nungarin.
The aim of the Association then, and still, is to improve the wellbeing of all people, especially those in country areas by promoting courtesy, cooperation, community effort, ethical standards and the wise use of resources.
CWA was formed to meet the needs of the time – to help women in isolated rural communities and to provide a voice to Government to seek solutions to the difficulties facing families in such areas.
In 1928 the first purpose built Rest Room was built at Baandee. In 1953 the branch was flooded out of its home for several months, the piano sitting up on 44 gallon oil drums.
Rest Rooms provided a home for the branch and were used for many and varied activities. Rest Rooms became the hub of small communities and many are still used today.
This was followed by holiday homes in the Pilbara, Albany, Busselton and Dongara in the 1930s and South Fremantle, Esperanceand Geraldton in the 1940s. Current holiday homes were built more recently.
The Countrywoman of Western Australia was established as the official journal of CWA.
The Lady Mitchell Emergency Housekeeper Scheme assisted country families by supplying a housekeeper during times of sickness or emergency. However, the LMEHKS closed when it became impossible to find housekeepers who were able to go to the country to work.
Beginning of Leadership and Nutrition Schools for Aboriginal girls.
Given to the Education Department of WA.
For 55 years of caring and concern for the community.
National Conference of CWA of Australia hosted in CWA House. This Association withdrew from the National body in 2001.
Beginning of CWA Youth Leadership courses.
Statewide Fundraising activities enabled the purchase of an essential item of equipment for the UWA Rural Surgical Service. The services of this team alleviated many a desperate situation in regard to Rural Health Services.
CWA’s website launched.
The CWA Sir James Mitchell Education and Welfare Fund also received wonderful support from members, corporate and private donations to be used to assist individuals and communities.
'A Special Patch in the Dry' was published by CWA with assistance from Agriculture WA for distribution to families in 14 drought affected Shires in WA.
New “CWA House” completed
The history of the Country Women’s Association of Western Australia is recorded in publications – The Silver Years, Her Name is Woman and A Continuing Story.
CWA, and its membership, has a history of independence. The things members aspire to do, the service given and the building and maintenance of CWA properties are all financed by members. Hence the need to first raise the funds then set about using that money in ways approved by the members to give “service to the country, through country women, for country women, by country women”.