Country people looking after our own

GIFT THAT GROWS: Mount Morgan Hospital representative Ann Dueyer (left) receives Ruth Fairfax Memorial Rose seedlings from QCWA Mount Morgan branch president Mrs Julie Whittaker. The pink rose, named after the QCWA’s founding president, has been bred as part of the organisation’s celebrations for its 90th birthday this year.
GIFT THAT GROWS: Mount Morgan Hospital representative Ann Dueyer (left) receives Ruth Fairfax Memorial Rose seedlings from QCWA Mount Morgan branch president Mrs Julie Whittaker. The pink rose, named after the QCWA’s founding president, has been bred as part of the organisation’s celebrations for its 90th birthday this year.

YOU open the curtains to a bright, beautiful morning.

Wild ducks feed in the front paddock. In the greenhouse, a visitor nests in a basket of ferns - the dove produced an egg which has resulted in a healthy baby growing. The nest is well camouflaged and wouldn't have been noticed except for the mother flying off one day.

Nearby trees shelter cockatoos as they prepare to fly on to the next group of trees heavily loaded with seeds.

The local paddocks are showing growth in the cattle herds, many cows having calves at foot. Their impish ways and ability to be nosy can lead to many funny events and photographs.

As the warmer weather begins to bring out many of nature's beauties, the heat and dried-out timber and grass are fuel for bushfires.

Yet amongst the dry, rotten, fallen trees are native plants flowering in all their splendour. A little green shoot breaks through then a beautiful flower opens, surrounded only by the charred remains of a burnt-out area.

Being aware of the conditions and being prepared are two important things to remember. There are precautions you can take and these can be obtained from your local fire brigade or SES branch. If you become aware of a fire, alert the brigade as a prompt response can save human lives, livestock and property.

IN its early days, in 1929 the QCWA set up hospital visiting committees and emergency funds to help sick or injured people. There was also a great need for pre and post-natal care for mothers in country areas.

In 1942, many services were required and there was a need to know who was caring for whom. This, in turn, meant a need for registration of matrons both in hospitals and homes. There was also a need to have more than 15 dentists who could take care of schools in Queensland.

In 1947, the QCWA requested the government to provide immunisation for whooping cough and tetanus but this was rejected by the government until a better vaccine against whooping cough could be produced.

In 1948, it was recommended that there be more bush nursing centres and clinic cars. This was also the year that Holland was the QCWA's country of study and Mrs Mac Smith, who was CWAA national president, proposed that "CWA Sunday" be introduced. This was accepted by the national conference and was to be held on the first Sunday in May each year.

This year also saw the Burnett Division help a local patient who needed an artificial limb.

It was due to the overwhelming need to help with improvement of medical facilities and obtain more professionals and health care in every community that QCWA members stood tall and started to become more involved in helping others. This was very evident when the children's hospital asked members to help children recovering from illness.

Health issues have always been a major item on the QCWA agenda.

Today, many branches donate toiletry bags to hospitals to give to patients in need and some donate items such as nappies, bunny rugs, knitted clothes, while the international section donates birthing kits to Pacific Islands which help save lives of mothers and babies due to infection.

Some branches have made donations to places such as the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and the QCWA has donated funds to external appeals such as prostate cancer, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, the skin bank and more. Branches hold Dress Red for Heart days and many support Australia's Biggest Morning Tea. Throughout the state, branches started holding craft days and morning teas as these were not just a source of fundraising but were therapeutic for some ladies, as they were - and still are - places to interact with others and be creative.

Years past saw men also attend craft classes so they, too, could enjoy learning these skills.

ANOTHER important area of work is in caring for the elderly.

In 1952, the QCWA opened aged care homes at Ipswich and Lota. The seaside home in Lota, then known as Helena Mylne Home, was transformed into an aged care home for country women.

There is a lovely QCWA aged care home at Oakey, which is very spacious with everything needed for the residents to enjoy comfortable living. There is a beautiful garden with walkways that residents use to admire plants and the wildlife that frequently visits.

In the Capricornia Division, we have

aged care facilities at Sunset Ridge in Emu Park, part of a joint venture between the QCWA and RSL in 2003.

In Emu Park, we also have the Capricorn Court units - which are rented - and next door there is Sunset Lodge, which comprises several cottages. Both are looked after by dedicated committee members.

Within the Capricornia Division, we also have the well known QCWA Rockhampton Hostel in Archer St, which provides both long and short-term accommodation. It is within walking distance of the CBD and the Fitzroy River. The warm surroundings that greet you when you enter the building make it like a home away from home.

THE Ambrose branch is set in a rural area and the hall is rented by local indoor bowls players, who have enjoyed many sunsets between games. There are many functions including regular cent sales and members welcome new people to these. For details or to become a member, contact Nola Dawes on 4975 1396.

Emu Park branch, like all QCWA branches, consists of a busy group of ladies. They provide their popular Devonshire teas in conjunction with the local markets in Bell Park, where the aroma of fresh scones entices market-goers to line up for the tasty products. The ladies hold popular patchwork and craft days. To find out more or become a member, contact Dorothy Condon on 4938 7300.

Goovigen branch have helped in their community for years and still provide a community service. The ladies have long held a regular bingo session in the lounge of the local hotel. For details or to join, contact May Campbell on 4996 5132.

Gracemere branch meet in the Gracemere Girl Guides' Hut. The ladies hold several functions through the year and welcome new members. To find out more, contact Eunice Gifford on 4933 1525.

Kalapa branch hold meetings and functions at the Kalapa Community Hall, a lovely, well-maintained hall set in a rural area. The branch provides help at community events, such as the community auction and horse sports. There is also a regular branch craft day. For details or to become a member, contact Dawn Nicholas on 4927 4844.

Marmor branch hold regular events including the annual trivia night. Recently, the ladies held their fashion parade and plant sale, where many outfits were modelled for all sizes and tastes. The hall was packed to capacity and the crowd had a wonderful time; the afternoon also included of cent sale. The ladies would welcome new members to join in the fun. For details, contact Heather Clark on 4934 6669.

Mount Larcom branch have been part of their community for many years and help at the local show. The branch supports Mount Larcom Younger Set in its ventures. To find out more or become a member, contact Carol Billings on 4828 6506. Mount Larcom Younger Set members are preparing for this year's leadership school in the Pioneer Division. For details or to join, contact Jemma Hill on 4975 3645.

Mount Morgan branch hold hoy days each Wednesday and Friday. There are grocery cent sales every two months, with the next due in November. The branch has its own cook books for sale. To become a member or for more information, contact Julie Whittaker on 4938 2465.

Moura branch hold functions and regularly hire out their hall. The branch would welcome new members. For details, contact J. Smith on 4996 2177.

Parkhurst branch hold functions in the hall of the Horse Riding for the Disabled. The ladies held a fun cooking day on September 10, where members prepared chosen recipes and had a fun time doing it. The ladies hold regular craft and patchwork days. For details or to join, contact Daphne Myles on 4936 3409.

Raglan branch hold regular, fun morning teas which include hoy, a multidraw, raffle and lucky door prize. On Tuesday, October 2, the ladies will hold their next morning tea, with all proceeds donated to Legacy; doors will open at 9.30am with activities from 10am. To be part of the morning, find out more or become a member, contact Dorothy Ramm on 4934 6565.

Ridgelands branch help in their local area and help others become skilled in the art of handcraft at their regular "stitch and chat"days. To attend the craft day, find out more or become a member, contact Joyce Chippendale on 4934 5120.

Rockhampton branch hold regular functions and are proud of their association with the QCWA Rockhampton Hostel, as they take care of the building. The ladies welcome new members. To find out more about the branch or hostel, contact Marjorie Buchanan on 4939 2191.

Theodore branch help in their community and if there is a need for emergency accommodation, the branch can offer it. To find out more or become a member, contact Lorraine Tysoe on 4993 1297.

Wandal branch are happy to see the work being carried out on their hall and the change it has made. The building has new stumps and now has a ramp to the front entrance. The branch holds a regular cent sale. For details or to join, contact Gloria Wakefield on 4922 4289.

Wowan branch hold regular functions and help in the community, as was evident at their recent show. To find out more or if you think you would like to become a member and make new friends, contact Irene Bond on 4937 1354.

Yeppoon branch hold a regular craft day and other functions. To find out more about the branch or become a member, contact Shirley Maguire on 4939 4068.

THE QCWA Capricornia Division Handcraft teachers offer their skills at the classes held in the hall beside the QCWA Hostel in Archer St every Friday. Ladies create individual items which are worked on meticulously. No two pieces are the same. Guidance is available either on an existing item of craft or the way to start working on a new craft. Friendly conversation and morning tea are also available. To find out more about handcraft classes, contact Helen Limkin on 4928 6120.

Capricornia Division Piecemakers share their skills with those wishing to take up patchwork. Straight edges and different trims combined with various-sized pieces of material can be converted into some of the most picturesque items. To find out more about the piecemakers, contact Joy Mackenzie on 4939 2914.

Last week, several members of the Capricornia Division attended the Central Region meeting and summer school at Monto. This is where members from many areas converge to meet with other members, learn how to deal with various situations and discuss important issues.

Members of the Capricornia Division have made many friends by attending these functions.

If you would like to find out more about the QCWA in your area, contact your nearest branch or contact Capricornia Division president Mrs Arlene Roberts on 4938 1595.

Until my next report, enjoy what you do and take care.


Arlene Roberts,




Capricornia Division.

Topics:  qcwa qcwa 90 years rural women

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