What an exciting time to take on the role of Fraser Group President with new Branches formed and a growing membership of enthusiastic women with a wide range of interests.

 “The work of the Association is the work of the members and branches in their community”.  In other words, the members are the most valuable resource and my role is to support the work of the members.

Craft was the initial reason that I joined CWA about 9 years ago, and then I found all the other wonderful things on offer.  I joined the proof reading team and the Magazine Committee which then led onto terms on the Strategic Planning Committee, WEB Committee, Membership and now the Communications Committee.    I have been a tour guide for the Umina House and Garden on Melbourne Open House Days, worked at Government House on Australia Day, organised the ‘Yarn Event’ in 2015, spent a week in 2016 at the Royal Melbourne Show teaching children how to knit and crochet, worked on the Membership stand for the Stitches and Craft Show and the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show where I will be again this year on Friday 31 March.

Yes, there are many opportunities to get involved, at whatever level that suits you.

Alida Helleren,
Fraser Group President

Each year, the CWA sets the year with purpose.  This year:
Theme for 2017: Share the Friendship
Product/Resource: Dairy
Country of Study: Denmark
Thanksgiving Fund: Crohn's and Colitis Australia
State Project: Archives - Her Story-Our Story
Social Issues Focus: Homelessness and Affordable Housing
State Creative Arts & Home Industries Exhibition 2017: Warnambool, 4th & 5th August


TBA for 2018

Presidents Report                   Conference Theme is Change

Our communities are changing and CWA as part of the community is also going through changes.  There is a very old Buddhist saying along the lines - ‘The only constant is change’

I gather talking to long time members that CWA has always been changing in response to community needs.  Recently, what can make change more difficult, is the pace of change. It seems to be getting more and more rapid and sometimes it can be hard to keep up.  I am sure we can all think of some examples.  For me it stands out that when I joined 9 ½ years ago the debate was about writing minutes in pencil in a book or using the computer to record meetings.

Ahead at the State, Group and Branch level there are many changes being talked about.

State Council is looking at changes to the Constitution so that CWA can take the next step towards gaining charity status.  There is a sub-committee looking at Structural changes and examining a range of options which include creating a Board of Directors and more will be coming out about these different options as this committee reports to State Council.

A process for including Branch input into Forward Plan for the next 5 years is being developed.   At the last State Council Lynne Jordan, Executive Officer proposed a ‘Road Show’ to travel around the State gathering member input.  State Council members contributed ideas for gaining member’s input.

It is essential for CWA members to work out what to value, what to keep and where we can improve.  Change can be a good thing and offer lots of opportunities for efficiency and create greater benefits to members.  I know that the very word ‘change’ can bring about an emotional fear response.  This is quite natural as not all change is for the best.  The best ideas come from a balance of thinking and feeling.

In identifying what to keep it is essential to tap into the wisdom and experience of long time members as well as listening to new ideas and the enthusiasm and energy of new members. If we keep an open mind we can take the best ideas forward from what has been tried before and what worked what didn’t, does an idea just need to be tweeked a little to be worth trying again, maybe it’s time has come.

At the Group level, Fraser Group is in a very good position to handle all the challenges that change can bring.  We have a great new injection of energy with all the new Branches opening in the previous 2 years thanks to all the hard work of Vivian Chermali.  Also, we have the wisdom of long standing members in the established Branches and new members joining all the Branches.

Fraser Group has improved Communications with updated Branch contact lists and refreshing the information placed on the Blogsite, we have looked at issues around the use of social media and assisted Branches when asked.

The future for the Group looks good with more social activities and training planned. An increase in Craft activity is a particular focus and responding to the needs of Branches as they arise will continue to be a priority.  Building membership is essential for the continuation of all the Branches and especially important for the smaller Branches.

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