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99th Annual CWA State Conference officially underway

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The theme for this year's Country Women's Association State meeting is Strength in Adversity.  

The 99th Annual CWA General Meeting officially opened at the Bega Showground on Monday, with a welcome to country by Aunty Coleen Dixon, followed by a welcome from CWA State President, Stephanie Stanhope, Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick and a pre-record by The Honourable Margaret Beazley, AO QC, the Governor of NSW.  

CWA members from all over New South Wales gathered with  dignitaries and special guests for the annual meeting.

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Mayor Fitzpatrick gave a special mention to the 400 or so delegates who had travelled from across the state to attend, as well as the Bega Valley branches for their organisational skills. 

"I love the motto of the conference, Strength in Adversity, we couldn't have asked for more adversity than we've had in the last couple of years," Cr Fitzpatrick said.

"We've had nine natural disasters in the Valley the last three years, everything from drought... three lots of bushfires... six lots of flooding, so Strength in Adversity is something that really resonates."

Eva Campbell of the Camden-Illawara branch of the CWA and Chairperson of the State Cultural committee, said it's a great time for  members to catch up with friends from across the state, discuss policy direction and display their talents.

"Culturally It's an opportunity to showcase all of the talent that our members have from across the state in the competitions in both art, and the new category which is mixed media, also the literary competitions," Ms Campbell said. 

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"The Winners are all here on display and they'll get their prizes awarded this coming Thursday."

As well as the competitions, the women will be discussing major policy direction for the association. The Cobargo branch will advocate for the placement of prescribed cannabis medication on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme while the Pambula-Merimbula branch will Advocate for a review of organ and tissue donation policies, with consideration of an opt-out policy in preference to an opt-in policy.

The CWA Meet runs until Thursday 6th May.