Today was spent on a bus travelling around parts of the district. With recent storms there are now pockets of green, a few dams with water and the stock even seem content under the shady trees.
Another few kilometres up the road and the roadside is depleted, the dams are a muddy quagmire and the paddocks are bare of any stock, a few skeletons reminding us how dry and harsh this drought has been.
With rain we know this country will recover. It has in the past.
We look forward to the time when the heavens will open and wash our systems with life, filling water storages and rivers with richness that will feed the country and bring prosperity to our region again.
This drought has been one of the worst in history. It has been widespread, heartbreaking and brutal. It still is in many inland regions.
For years the rural community suffered in silence, until it could no longer. The country needed to know what was happening and the media moved in. Donations started to flow and were distributed by numerous charities, each offering help in their own way.
The rural and regional communities are humble and grateful.
Todays Advent Calendar for Making a Difference profiles one of these organisations. Not only do they make a difference now, in this drought but they have been making a difference for over 95 years. The Country Women’s Association, or CWA.
The CWA was formed in 1922 when country women were fighting isolation and a lack of health facilities. In the first years members worked tirelessly to set up baby health care centres, fund bush nurses, build and staff maternity wards, hospitals, schools, rest homes, seaside and mountain holiday cottages – and much more.
The women of the CWA have been initiators, fighters and lobbyists. They have made localities into communities by providing social activities and educational, recreational and medical facilities.
Many associate the CWA with bakers and cooks. They are that too and many can a whip a sponge and cuppa when needed. But they are so much more. This has been proven over the last year in particular.
The CWA “advances the rights and equity of women, families and communities in Australia through advocacy and empowerment, especially for those living in regional, rural and remote Australia.”
As of December 13th, the CWA in NSW alone had distributed over 6.29 million dollars through their Disaster Relief Fund (source Twitter @cwaofnsw). I know they will make sure there are hamper packs provided to farming families to enjoy something special this Christmas. They wont stop, they do not know how to stop.
It may be green as you travel to loved ones for Christmas, however it will take more rain and time to recover. The income wont flow again until a crop is harvested, stock replenished and debts repaid. You may like to make a difference to our farming community by supporting the CWA in their mission.