More than tea and scones?: Cross-racial collaboration in the Country Women’s Association of New South Wales and the ethos of countrymindedness

Jennifer Jones


From 1956 to 1962 the Country Women’s Association (CWA) in New South Wales attempted to assist the assimilation of Aboriginal women into white rural communities by establishing Aboriginal CWA branches on mission stations and reserves. White CWA members were encouraged to ‘mix’ with their Aboriginal counterparts at joint meetings, sharing their skills in cookery, craft and domestic management. This article examines the experiences of CWA women at Griffith in South Western New South Wales. Given the conservative world view of CWA members and the firmly entrenched colour-bar in rural communities, the paper questions how and why such an initiative succeeded. This article has been peer-reviewed.


Aboriginal women; assimilation; Country Women’s Association; volunteers; rural communities


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