Joan reflects on sixty-five years of service with the CWA
A GREAT deal has changed since Joan Ainsworth first joined the Queensland Country Women's Association in 1950.
For one, many of the branches that Mrs Ainsworth was a member of have closed.
All of them, except Glen Aplin where Mrs Ainsworth was inducted into the CWA at the age of 22, and the Chinchilla branch which last week awarded Mrs Ainsworth a special certificate acknowledging her 65 years of service.
"They've gradually all faded out as other things have come in," the 87-year-old said.
While the CWA continues to face change, Mrs Ainsworth said the important role the association plays both in the local community and in the lives of individual members remains unchanged.
"I don't think people realise just how much the CWA does," she said.
"I distinctly remember going up to the mic at a big meeting we had once and saying, 'If the government were to pay us, they'd go broke'."
Born in Dalby, Mrs Ainsworth has spent most of her life on the Western Downs. She was first introduced to the CWA upon moving to Glen Aplin shortly after she married.
"I joined in 1950 as a way to meet people, which can be hard in new town, particularly being a new bride," she said.
Mrs Ainsworth's commitment to the CWA has since remained steadfast.
Her husband's career meant a number of moves for the family, and allowed Mrs Ainsworth to spend time with the Wandoan, Taroom and Dalby CWA branches.
While those branches have now closed, Mrs Ainsworth believes the future of the CWA is bright.
"The CWA have really come out of their shell over the last 10 years," she said.
"Once, we were more of a silent association working behind the scenes."
The CWA veteran will add her certificate for 65 years of service to her collection of certificates and awards recognising her years of community service.
"I don't do it for the awards," Mrs Ainsworth said. "I do it because I love helping."