Ballarat's newest Country Women's Association branch is bringing new ideas and fresh voices to the long-standing organisation.
The Eureka Rebelles group was set up in February with an aim to bring a new approach while maintaining and respecting traditions.
There are now eight members in the group and secretary Rebecca Van Hemert said she was taking phone calls on a weekly basis with new membership inquiries.
The group has chosen to advertise and set up a Facebook page, unlike other CWA branches in Ballarat.
We are passionate and we care about other people in the community. We are not just about tea and scones which is sadly what the stereotype is.Rebecca Van Hemert
Ms Van Hemert said nearly all were women who were not originally from Ballarat looking to form new social connections.
"We have a diverse range of voices and members," she said.
New members of CWA in Ballarat are joining the nationwide effort to rejuvinate the organisation's brand and show being a member is about much more than baking scones.
Ms Van Hemert said she was surprised CWA cared about social issues when she first joined the organisation.
"We are passionate and we care about other people in the community. We are not just about tea and scones which is sadly what the stereotype is," she said.
The objective of CWA Australia is to advance 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.
The Australian association was formed in 1945 to provide a single voice to the federal government on behalf in individual state and territory organisations.
It now has 17,000 members Australia wide and is affiliated with the Associated Country Women of the World which works to raise the standard of living, provide practical support for women and girls and eliminate gender discrimination.
CWA of Australia is currently participating in campaigns to ban alcohol advertising in sport, change laws around patient access to herbal medicinal cannabis, and raise awareness of the lack of equitable access to mental health support for rural and remote communities.
The CWA of Victoria has focused on disaster assistance projects this year, providing 400 individual $3000 grants to families suffering drought in Victoria.
Ms Van Hemert attended the Victorian CWA AGM held in Williamstown earlier this month where members discussed resolutions to advocate for snake anti-venom to be available at all rural hospitals, to approach the government to run a full train service to Horsham and to discuss strategies to address growing isolation in rural communities.
New member Elisabeth Weight said the CWA gave women a voice and the chance to share their opinion on social issues.
Liz Drain, also a new member to the organisation, said she joined for the camaraderie and the sense of a common goal.
"It has always been there in the back of my mind. My grandmother was a member. My family came from a farming background, so it has been what I have grown up with," she said.
"There are social issues and things you can actually get your teeth into, because I am the least crafty person going around. It is inclusive too. I think that is really important."
The Eureka Rebelles meet monthly on the first Saturday of the month.
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