- Lobby group
The South Australian Country Women's Association is a non-sectarian, non-party-political, non-profit lobby group and service association working in the interests of women and children in rural and urban areas. Although ostensibly non-party-political, in practice the group has tended to bolster conservative politics.
The State association was formed in 1929. The first branch of the Association in South Australia was actually formed in 1926 at Burra by Mary Warnes. By 1988, nearly every small settlement in South Australia had a CWA branch and the Association comprised 270 branches with 7,500 members (at its peak in 1956 the Association boasted 277 branches and 14,000 members).
The Association has engaged in an enormously diverse range of service and lobbying activities since its inception - from the provision of rest rooms and holiday houses for members, and handicraft and homecraft instruction, to the provision of health services in rural areas. Much of the Association's energy has been directed towards providing relief in times of recessions, droughts, floods, war and disasters. Its size and scope made it one of South Australia's most significant women's organisations.
It is the policy of the headquarters archives to call in all paper-based material relating to all branches when no longer required. For many years the South Australian Association was also responsible for branches in the Northern Territory.