WAB members unite

PENOLA Sports Club, colourfully decorated in Fijian style, was the venue for the annual Women in Agriculture and Business regional conference hosted by the Wattle Range branch of WAB on April 10.

Sixty-six women from across the State were welcomed by beautiful island music and singing provided by the recently formed Penola Ukelele Group.

A donation of $2000 presented to Barrie Moyle representing the Naracoorte CT Scan Fund was the result of fundraising by six branches of WAB in the SE region.

The "theme" for the afternoon was "impact of change" with Wendy Hollick speaking about changes in food and wine over the years. 

Wendy asked those present to think back to the 1960s when food was very simple and plain and compare that with the variety of food available today. 

The only take away food available in the 1960s was fish and chips.

Wine has become a bigger part of our lives these days with the number of wineries in Australia rising from 400 to 4000 in that time. Tourism has changed considerably with cost of fuel rising and people wanting to take quick week end type holidays or going overseas because of the cheap flights available.

Tanya Mourbey from Naracoorte Travel n Cruise spoke about WAB's country of study for the current year, Fiji. 

The people and the relaxing way of life in Fiji make that country a great place to visit, particularly for families. 

Political tensions caused Fiji to slide from the most popular destination for tourists from Australia in the early 2000s, but tourism numbers are now rising. 

Construction, infrastructure with schools and teachers are a feature of the modern Fiji compared to children learning to write on the ground in 2007.

WAB State president Elizabeth Calvert and southern coordinator Sandra Young conducted an "open forum" with motions being passed to express the feeling of the meeting. 

The first motion was regarding the number of police checks and the frequency of renewing such checks needed for volunteers and the second asking that all areas of SA below Goyder's Line be exempted from fracking.

The State president said WAB was heading towards its 100th birthday in 2017, but WAB would keep its vibrancy and impetus beyond that. 

WAB is the oldest continuously operating rural women's organisation in Australia and is an SA organisation.

Attendance awards were presented to Ronda Vogelsang and Eileen Matthews (50 years), Beth Gale, Heather Lambert and Joyce Mazzeo (40 years), Lorraine Rayson (10 years) Beth Ortlepp and Sandra Young (five years).

WAB international officer Helen Colliver visited from Moonta Bay to speak about the South Pacific Area Conference for Associated Country Women of the World to be held in Dubbo in July. 

WAB is a member of ACWW and along with CWA will send a delegation representing SA to this conference.

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