The lives of Australian women have changed greatly since organisations such as the Country Women’s Association (CWA) and Red Cross were at their peak.
In the days when women generally stopped working after having children, and through the hard years of WW2, these volunteer groups were popular places for women to spend their time, make new friends and help the community.
They are iconic organisations and it’s shame to watch their numbers decline.
However, volunteering in Australia overall has not lost its appeal.
These groups are struggling not because people don’t care, but because there are so many more opportunities available.
People can lend a hand to environment groups, donate their time to emergency services or spend time at their child’s school – just to name some options.
While it’s great to see these volunteering avenues thrive, it would be a shame to see groups such as the CWA collapse because they can still play an important role in our communities.
That’s why it’s encouraging to see younger women joining the Mt Barker CWA to guide the group into the future.
Sometimes it only take a few people with some drive and vision to bring an organisation back from the brink. Hopefully we will see the CWA running in Mt Barker for another 80 years.
Let the rivers flow
Ever since white settlement we have been interfering with the natural systems in our environment.
One of the biggest alterations in the Hills landscape is the reservoirs that supply Adelaide with water which has significantly reduced the flows in the Torrens, South Para and Onkaparinga Rivers.
There’s no way to turn back the clock but a new three-year project is attempting to buy some time for our rivers and the plants and animals that depend on them.
The project involves releasing certain volumes of stored water at specific times in order to replicate river flow patterns.
Scientists hope these “environment flows” will lead to significant improvements in water quality, river habitat and species sustainability.
Halfway into the project, they are already seeing some promising results.
One of those results is the netting of a pouched lamprey in the southern part of the Onkaparinga.
It was the first official recorded sighting of this unusual fish, which only heads into our rivers to spawn, in more than a century.
Such a positive sign demonstrates that nature is resilient – if we work with it.