CONNECTED: Emuvale QCWA members Rita McIvor and Merle Rettke were recently presented with the association’s coveted Quiet Achiever awards.
CONNECTED: Emuvale QCWA members Rita McIvor and Merle Rettke were recently presented with the association’s coveted Quiet Achiever awards. Toni Somes

Quiet reminder: it’s more than just tea and scones

SOME 57 years ago as a young woman with small children, Rita McIvor joined the QCWA to curb what she refers to quietly as "a little bit of loneliness".

"I was a speech and drama teacher and I'd led a busy life," she said with a smile.

"Then I had little children on a dairy farm and every now and again I needed to escape."

While the need to connect with other woman brought her to the association - she was one Emuvale branch's founding members - it's enduring friendships that keep her there.

She's held a myriad of roles, including president, but what's been more important than the titles for her has been the role the QCWA has played in empowering women.

"It's given many women confidence to voice their opinions," Mrs McIvor said.

"In many ways it has been empowering for women and that's truly valuable."

Her close friend and fellow long-term Emuvale QCWA member Merle Rettke also joined for the connection with other women in her community.

And she too has held various roles as office bearer: "we've shared them about".

Yet it's been the support of the branch members, whom she now counts amongst her closest friends, that defines QCWA for her.

"When something happens or goes wrong we are really there for each other," Mrs Rettke said.

"They truly care and for me that friendship means everything."

The two long-term Emuvale QCWA branch members were presented with their Quiet Achievers badges by Border Division president Jenny Whitsed at their first meeting for the year.

Mrs Whitsed said the relatively new award recognised those, who "quietly" went about the work of the association.



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