Looking back at the Vic Unit
The Victorian Unit of Australian Church Women (ACW) continued to be known as the Women’s Inter-Church Council (WICC) of Victoria until June 1977. Therefore, this week, in looking back at Victoria’s Annual Report for 1970, we see the unit referred to as the Women’s Inter-Church Council. Our Victorian members will see many changes since this report was submitted more than 50 years ago.
In presenting the Council's 28th Annual Report in June, 1970, the retiring Secretary referred to the strong leadership exercised by the President (1969–70) and the team of enthusiastic Committee members who shared administrative duties in the promotion of the Council's objectives.
A Conference in August with the theme "CHRISTIAN CONCERN" was introduced by a fine address from Mrs G. N. Frost, Chairman of Freedom from Hunger Campaign. Groups discussed relevant questions and a summary of findings was later circulated to local Councils for information and possible action.
A Theatre Party and Luncheon proved to be a most successful function – both socially and financially. Proceeds were donated to travel expenses of delegates to the Asian Church Women's Conference.
The Newsletter, published bi-annually, continued to be a valuable means of fostering Interest In the work of the Council. 1000 copies were printed for the September issue.
Fellowship was enjoyed with Miss Veronica Kafa* and efforts were made to provide her with useful opportunities of contact with young people's work.
Mrs C. Devanasen, wife of the first Indian Principal of Madras Christian College was entertained by the Council. Members of all churches were invited to hear her address on conditions In India today.
Information of the respective activities of the Women's Guild at Temple Beth Israel and our Council was exchanged at a function in December and reciprocal hospitality was offered by the Jewish women at their Sukkot festival.
The Council greatly appreciated the privilege of welcoming Mrs Rathie Selveratnam to Melbourne. A meeting was arranged in the Independent Church at which she spoke on the subject of the Fellowship of the Least Coin.
The history of the Women's Inter Church Council of Victoria has been compiled by Mrs D.H. Peart – and the material awaits printing.
Local Inter-Church Councils have shown increased Interest In the central body – twenty two having responded to the invitation to affiliate at 'observer' level.
To develop further the relationship with these local groups and to encourage their attendance at regular Council meetings.
To explore the possibilities of community service which may be undertaken in specific local areas of need: e.g. visiting at Homes for Mental Patients; assistance to migrants on the advice of the Good Neighbour Council.
Through the Promotion Committee, to consider ways of ensuring that programs for Fellowship and World Community Days and other material may be distributed satisfactorily by responsible agents.
To express the aims of the Council more clearly and more often.
To hold a Conference in 1971 – possibly in November.
The format of the programs for the three special Days in which most groups are involved. Suggestions from the 1970 Conference – Women's World Day of Prayer – a Service as usual. (N.B. Although this occasion does not come within A.C.W. Administration it is noted that local groups forming committees for women's activities tend to embrace this particular Day with Inter-Church fixtures). Fellowship Day in July – discussion. World Community Day – a practical effort or raising money.
The adoption of the Name for the Council: In Victoria, the majority of Council members voted to retain the present name of the State organisation – "Women's Inter-Church Council of Victoria"
‘On behalf of the Council,
E. M. WARNER,
*Veronica Kafa, from the Solomon Islands, was the 1970 recipient of the Winifred Kiek Scholarship https://www.acw.org.au/post/a-devoted-teacher
National Archives of Australian Church Women
Booklet, History of the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Victoria 1941–1971, compiled by Doris Peart.
Booklet, A History of Australian Church Women Victorian Unit Jubilee 1941–1991, compiled by Miss Dorothy Fry, Mrs Berna Foster and Mrs Barbara Lacy.