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Moira Curtain, Sheree Jackson and Catherine Woodham
Kumbia Queensland Country Women’s Association

There’s a sense of anticipation in the air as the Kumbia Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA) members - all eight of us - arrive at the Rooms for our October meeting. Everyone likes looking forward to a birthday, and with the branch’s Centenary fast approaching, spirits are high.

There’s much to be done, and discussed, and decided upon, and the enthusiasm is palpable. First event for 2024 will be a public function in February, the highlight of which will be a display of 100 different crafts, promising to be an amazing creative array.

The little Kumbia QCWA maintains its purpose and continues to serve through the commitment of our handful of members and supporters. Our catchcry of fun, friendship, frivolity, and a little formality keeps us grounded and in touch with our community. The activities of our branch are driven by the interests of our members, and our local circumstances, and our branch stays relevant because members adapt to the needs in the area.

And like so many country towns, the needs are always there.

We give support, via resources when available, to those individuals and families affected by family violence and coercive control. Our close connection with local Police has provided an avenue in which our resources are channelled directly to those most in need. In the past, discarded and outdated Police uniforms have been donated. These items have then been repurposed into young children’s clothing. In addition, we are available to offer support as a referral gateway, by connecting people to external agencies specific to their needs.

And because we are essentially an ageing community, this year we organised an information morning about accessing aged care in our area. Everyone who attended listened carefully to the advice given by the professionals and we heard later that quite a few took practical planning steps the following day.

We ensure young people don’t miss out either. There are weekly sessions with clients of the local South Burnett CTC, a community owned, not-for-profit organisation which delivers a range of programs to address the needs of disadvantaged people through the area.

The QCWA branch created a drop-in social hub for The Small Towns Skills Day held in Kumbia in April 2023. Visitors of all ages and abilities had the opportunity to Make and Bake Anzac Biscuits in our kitchen. A popular activity was Sew and Go with participants, young and old, rummaging through beautiful fabrics before sewing a very functional tote bag; and those with a gardening interest potted some Jade for the Plant and Grow activity.

This has led to a regular afterschool Crafternoon Youth Program providing fun and interactive learning opportunities. The programme varies, so one week we might be armed with crochet hooks, and another with glue guns creating timber crafts, dream catchers or hand sewn booklets. Baking is always popular, as is learning hand sewing and machine sewing techniques.

Everyone is made to feel welcome and at home with us, and is invited to join in meetings or craft, or any of the activities, including chats and cuppas, that bring our rooms to life on a regular basis.

And so, back to business for our Centenary … all indications are for a wonderful celebration, not only for our branch but for our little town of Kumbia which is well known for its proud sense of identity, history, and community. Together we recite the line from the poem by Harold Arnold Walters – I would look up and laugh and love and lift - and we do!

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