'4 Corners' and an ACW decision
The television programme Four Corners influenced the choice of project for Australian Church Women’s 1972 World Community Day. According to a brief report in the July 1972 issue of Women at Work, the ACW newsletter, this is how it came about:
‘DID YOU SEE IT? – A recent "Four Corners" Programme underlined the fact that developing countries and the students from those areas could best be assisted by helping them to obtain, in their own environment and suited to its needs, the tertiary education that would result in a more meaningful contribution to their own society. Because A.C.W. recognized this fact, it decided at its National Committee meeting last February to give much-needed financial assistance from 1972 World Community Day Offerings to women students at the Christian University, "Satya Watjana [Wacana]", in Salatiga, Indonesia. The University has sent the names and photographs of two talented young women who will not be able to finish their science courses unless financial help Is found for them. DEWI and ENDANG LIES HARIJANTI are both second year students. You will be able to see pictures of them which appear on the leaflet in your World Community Day Order of Service, and before then, we hope to be able to include a personal message from each of them in a future issue of 'Women at Work'.
‘It is gratifying to think that while this is a way of helping some needy students to secure educational opportunities in their country, the Winifred Kiek Scholarship offers the opportunity to obtain in Australia, study and training NOT available at home.’
The minutes of the 1972 ACW National Committee Meeting tell us a little about the decision-making process for this choice of project:
‘SUGGESTED PROJECTS FOR A.C.W. SUPPORT –
Reference was made to the listed suggestions (on display) of projects which might be considered for A.C.W. support.
Comment was made on areas of need In the Territory of Papua and New Guinea.
An information pamphlet on "International Social Service" had been added to the list and was also considered.
The merits of all suggestions were discussed and it was finally resolved "that the Christian University in Central Java, 'Satya Watjana [Wacana]', be accepted as the project for World Community Day offerings received in 1972."’
It’s always very helpful for understanding an organisation and its operation when the items of the minutes contain a concise record of the main points, rather than just the often seen unhelpful one-line summary of ‘it was discussed’. Minutes need to record the decisions and actions of a meeting.
And the 1973 Working Papers of the National Committee Meeting added further insight into the preparation of the order of service for the 1972 World Community Day, and decisions that were made for the following year’s services:
‘WORLD COMMUNITY DAY 1972 -
'The theme, "The Human Environment" with its immediate relevance to today's problems, had been excellently developed In the Order of Service prepared by the Committee on Co-operation [of the Australian Council of Churches], and was most thought-provoking. It has been gratifying to know that the service folders have been used subsequently among denominational groups who have presented the printed dialogue and discussed the questions raised.
‘In accordance with the National Committee direction, information concerning the offering project was obtained from the Christian University, "Satya Watjana [Wacana]" at Salatiga, Indonesia. A leaflet was printed and despatched to State Units for issue with the Service folders on World Community Day. As it had been Indicated that there was a decreasing number of participants in this day of celebration, only 8,000 folders were printed for distribution at the N.C.M. [National Committee Meeting] in 1972.
‘While some reports Indicate smaller attendances at the special services during 1972, there Is encouragement in requests from some areas where days were celebrated for the first time, for provision to be made for their inclusion in 1973. Reports on 'special days' from United Church groups in remote areas of the Northern Territory Indicate that the opportunity to share in the days and their associated projects Is appreciated.
‘Posters for advertisement of both Fellowship and World Community Day were prepared and despatched as requested to all States and United Church groups.
‘Impression Is gained from reports that enthusiastic promotion and an imaginative approach to presentation have been largely responsible where celebration was successful.’
An ‘enthusiastic promotion and an imaginative approach’ to ACW’s special days will continue to play a large role in enabling the future success of these events.