Queensland Country Women's Association State Conference
Speech by Mrs Kaye de Jersey: Assistant Minister Ms Howard; Councillor Richards, representing the Lord Mayor; President, Mrs Coulson. Thank you for the invitation to join you today for the Queensland Country Women’s Association State Conference.
In August, I had the great privilege to travel with my husband to Mackay, which served as our base for the third Regional Government House.
On a visit to Charters Towers, we attended a Community Leaders Luncheon, hosted by the Charters Towers Regional Council, held in a lovely, deconsecrated Lutheran Church, constructed in 1885.
Such gatherings are always memorable – but this one especially so, because it was catered by members of the Charters Towers branch of the Country Women’s Association.
You might think I’m about to tell you that they gave me a warm welcome.
I felt instantly as if I were among friends.
But that’s not the purpose of my telling you this story today.
You might think I’m about to tell you that their food was delicious.
It was – but that’s not my focus either.
No, what was most remarkable, was the way in which those women moved purposefully around the room, speaking to each person in turn with kindness and with respect, listening and learning; taking the pulse of their community.
Paul and I meet members of the QCWA in almost every corner of our community.
And I have learned, during my tenure as your Patron, that if you really want to know what is happening in a community, you speak with the members of the QCWA, because they ask, because they listen, and because they care.
Every encounter sings with the friendship between the women of the QCWA, friendships that have endured through drought and flood, through disappointment and triumph alike, often enduring for a lifetime.
Non-government organisations are born every day in our Commonwealth, as people seek to come together in common cause.
Few survive, much less thrive.
And fewer still make it to celebrate their 95th anniversary year.
Those that endure do so because they speak to our best selves; because they reflect the best and strongest values of our community.
Ever since 1922, the QCWA has remained faithful to its motto of:
Honour to God
Loyalty to the Throne
Service to the Country
Through Country Women
For Country Women
By Country Women
I hope this Conference strengthens your bonds of friendship and nourishes your spirit of service to our Queensland community, and I am delighted to declare the 2017 Conference of the Queensland Country Women’s Association to be officially open.