Official Opening of the 92nd State Conference of the Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA)
Speech by Mrs Kaye de Jersey: Thank you, Robyn, for your kind welcome. I acknowledge Queensland Country Women’s Association State Executive Members, Division Presidents, and Members. I was delighted to receive the invitation from the Association to officially open today’s Conference.
I was also honoured, shortly after Paul was sworn in as Governor in July, to be asked to be Patron of this lively organisation; it was a request I gladly accepted, although, admittedly, it was one I accepted with a hint of trepidation!
Trepidation, because this organisation is so dynamic – how does one go about representing and promoting the goodwill and work of an organisation – as a Patron should – that does so much good in our communities, and through so many different means?
The second reason I felt some trepidation in accepting the Patronage is because previous Patrons, particularly those who were also wives of Queensland Governors, have left such distinguished legacies! In many households around Queensland, the Lady Lavarack Cookery Book remains the authoritative source for all things cooking, 45 years after first being published! These are big shoes to fill!
Cookbooks aside, this week’s Conference is important. It provides an opportunity for women from across Queensland, from different regions of the organisation, to come together to exchange ideas, knowledge and information. That this occurs across a wide range of interests and areas of endeavour, from handicraft, to running programs that provide leadership and training opportunities for youth, to improving the welfare of women and children, particularly in country areas, makes this Conference all the more significant.
The real strength of this organisation is, however, all of you, the Members. Every day, Q-C-W-A Members are striving to make our communities better places in which to live. In doing so, you have formed lifelong friendships, which you rightly cherish. Together, you embody benevolence, and you genuinely care for your fellow Queenslanders. This is truly worthy of commendation.
The spirit and generosity of service of country women continues to shine through the Queensland Country Women’s Association, ninety-two years after it was formed. That spirit is summarised, so beautifully, through the memorable line from your Creed: look up – and laugh – and love – and lift!
On that chord of optimism, it is with great pleasure that I declare officially open, the 92nd State Conference of the Queensland Country Women’s Association.