Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce has joined more than 50 CWA members at the 85th CWA Namoi Group Conference at Manilla.
The special guest speaker was World President Association Country Women of the World Ruth Shanks, who was voted into the position at the world conference in Chennai, India last month.
Mrs Shanks joined the Terramungamine Branch in 1969 where her mother-in-law was the Branch President. She transferred to Dubbo Evening Branch in 1977 where she’s been a member ever since. She has held many positions within the branch and in 2001 became the State President, a position she held for three years.
In 2007, Mrs Shanks became the ACWW South Pacific Area President, a role she has held until the recent ACWW conference (September 2013). During her time in this role she has visited ACWW projects in Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Tuvalu and Tonga.
Mrs Shanks said the women greatly appreciated Mr Joyce’s attendance at the conference.
“I know his family has a long association with the CWA and it is very positive he was able to come along and address our conference,” she said.
Mr Joyce said the CWA was among the most respected organisations in rural Australia because of its strong advocacy for issues impacting the bush.
“I think every single member from any rural electorate knows that when the CWA comes to you with an issue, we know it needs serious attention,” Mr Joyce said.
“The CWA is one of those quiet achieving groups that advocates for its issues without seeking any newspaper headlines. Yet the organisation is still very effective is achieving its goals because it is recognised as speaking for all rural people, and with a great deal of respect and authority.”
“I’m pleased to have my mother-in-law watch on today as I delivered my address to this CWA conference – now I can really say I’ve made it as a public speaker!”
Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, with World President, Association Country Women of the World, Ruth Shanks AM.