Long-time Korumburra CWA member Norma Head thanked bus driver Tom Harley for playing a key role in “getting the branch going” by taking the group on trips to conferences and exhibitions across the state in an old school bus in the 1960s. Tom eventually started up his own coach company and drove the bus for the Korumburra ladies up until 2005.

CELEBRATIONS for the 90th birthday of the Country Women’s Association (CWA) in Victoria are continuing across the region, with the Korumburra CWA branch the latest to mark the milestone.
Friends from Woorayl, Leongatha and Mirboo North joined members of the Korumburra branch at the Austral Hotel last Tuesday, where they enjoyed flicking through newspaper clippings and meeting minutes from years gone by, before tucking into a homemade jam and cream sponge cake.
The Korumburra branch, established 87 years ago, is one of the oldest in the Gippsland Hills group of 11 branches, and members observed how much things had changed over the years.
The branch’s longest serving member, Norma Head, joined in 1958, when membership numbers were pushing 70.
Now, the branch has just six members.
“It’s not like it used to be,” said Bev Rowe.
“People have different lifestyles. The young ones are all working. We used to do craftwork and fancywork for our glory boxes but they don’t have those anymore.”
Bev and Norma, and Gippsland Hills Group president Jillian Matthies agreed they’d love to see some more women taking part in the CWA, not only to enjoy the companionship and sharing of craft and cookery skills, but to give back to the community through year-round fundraising.
“I love it,” said Bev. “You become a family. And it’s made me put myself out there to learn different skills.
“You don’t have to have skills to be in the group, but there are so many different things you can learn: knitting, cooking, painting, handcraft, cake decorating, beading, sewing, performing arts, growing plants, flower arranging…
“And through events like our afternoon teas and market stalls, we donate to schools, hospitals, the ambulance, the fire brigade and charities like the Leukemia Foundation. It all adds up over 12 months and then we decide where we want the money to go.”
According to Jillian, the key requirements of CWA membership are a sense of humour, an understanding of the needs of others, a willingness to share ideas and a hunger to learn.
“I want to see the branch grow so more women can experience the fellowship and share what they know because we’re all still learning. We’re always learning,” she said.
If you’d like to find out more about the CWA, join the Korumburra ladies at 1pm on the second Monday of the month at Milpara Community House.