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Community & Business

29 May, 2023

Gilgandra CWA News - May 16, 2023

State AGM held at Bathurst, hears of rural alcohol issues By Hilda Newstead

The CWA recently held their 101st annual general meeting in Bathurst, starting with an interfaith service held at the Cathedral of St Michael’s and St John, on the evening of Sunday, May 7.

Following the welcome by parish priest, Father Paul Devitt, others in attendance included, James Hodson from All Saints Anglican Cathedral; Margaret Anderson from the Baha’I’ Assembly; and Imran Said Enayat from the Al Sahabah Mosque at Kelso.

The service started with CWA NSW state president, Joy Beames, leading everyone in the CWA Prayer with music support by Dianne O’Sullivan of the Music Ministry of the Catholic Diocese Bathurst in what was a very moving service. The interfaith money collection, was later donated to Centacare Bathurst’s and community programs.

Official opening of the conference was then held on the Monday at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre on the theme, “Courage, Kindness, Strength” with the official party processional led by the Scotts All Saints Pipes and Drum Band followed by a Welcome to Country by Aunty Gloria Rogers, the Australian National Anthem, CWA Anthem, and CWA Motto.

There was then a special welcome by Bathurst mayor, councillor Robert Taylor, and a performance by the Allegri Singers.

Keynote speaker for the event was the distinguished CEO, founder, and creator, of the national charity, “Sober in the Country” — and 2022 “Australian of the Year Local Hero” — Shanna Whan. Shanna is an established national advocate, speaker, and presenter, who has single-handedly created radical social impact and change around how we discuss and use alcohol in rural Australia. This was a very powerful presentation on a topic which needs to be addressed.

This was followed by the state president’s address and the official party led out by piper, Roger Buck, and the conclusion of a wonderful first day of the 2023 state conference.

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