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Reports at Ten Years

Staying with 1975 this week, we will look at annual reports for three of our Units of Australian Church Women (ACW). What was happening back then in these units just ten years after ACW became a national organisation? These reports were included in the 1975 National Working Documents and presented at the National Committee Meeting (NCM) held in North Adelaide at Lincoln College from 19–22 August.

With Fellowship Day coming up in a few weeks, you may be interested in the comments below regarding this special day in our early ACW years.


This is the ninth Annual Report of Canberra Church Women. The year has consolidated the work of the group, though attendances at meetings was less, there was good support for our Special Days. The services prepared for these days were varying, sincere and thoughtful and for our composition of Fellowship Day Service, 1974, received many kind reports. Our thanks for the success of each of the Special Days is to the ladies of the Churches where these were held and who carried through the services.

World Day of Prayer Services were held at Baptist Church, Kingston; St. James, Curtin; Belconnen "B"; Fellowship Day at All Saints Church of England, Ainslie; and the Executive organised World Community Day at the Woden Church Centre. The messages of our speakers, Mrs. Young, Mrs. Bates, Mrs. Upton, Mrs. Gifford and Mrs. Anthony on each occasion were most inspiring.

The luncheon following Fellowship Day was well supported and enabled us to forward $125.00 to the Winifred Kiek Scholarship Fund. Our contribution to the World Day of Prayer Committee for the extension of Bible work was $145.00.

Fellowship of the Least Coin monies was active support to this special appeal and when we remember that each gift is given with a prayer for reconciliation and peace, the benefit to the giver and receiver must surely be truly great in the service of our Lord.

Our sale of pens and notelets towards our travelling expenses fund has enabled us to send our two delegates to N.C.M. of A.C.W. where their experience and insights into the working of A.C.W. helped our own group work.

During the year, the executive and some members were privileged to meet with the A.C.W. President, Mrs. Joy Smith, and on both occasions we learnt more of the working of A.C.W. and the Asian Church Women's Conference.

Might I conclude with special thanks to our President, Mrs. Gower for her special devotional thoughts at our meetings and express our sincere thanks for her leadership on all occasions.

R. Burmester,

Hon. Secretary/Treasurer.


Mrs. R. H. Dougherty completed her year in office as President in May, 1974 md was succeeded by Miss D. M. Mitchell, who was installed at a service in St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, on 27th May. Miss Mitchell brought to the Presidency the results of her experience in several Church and community organisations and the Council benefited from her leadership, particularly at this time of rapid change. Mrs. G. Bent assumed the Presidency at a Service of Installation at Belmore Church of Christ on 26th May, 1975, and we look forward to a happy and fruitful year under her wise guidance.

Mrs. D. Martin completed a three-year term as Hon. Secretary, during which she gave splendid service to the Council, marked by great enthusiasm and keenness. At the Annual Meeting, in April, Miss Mitchell, the retiring President, accepted nomination as Hon. Secretary. As Hon. Treasurer, Mrs. C. Perriam has given careful attention to our finances, and we have benefited from her wise guidance in this sphere.

The monthly meetings of Council have been well attended by the representatives of our nine member Churches and an interesting programme has been followed. We were delighted to have with us two members of the Working Committee of A.C.W. at one meeting, and on another occasion, representatives of the Queensland State Unit. Guest speakers have included Mrs. Marie Tulip, President of the A.C.C. Commission on the Status of Women, and Mrs. N. Loy, Co-ordinator of the Home Tutor Scheme for the Good Neighbour Council of N.S.W. Two of our own members, Deaconess Mary Andrews and Mrs. R. W. Stanhope, presented most interesting and enlightening reports of their visits overseas.

Services to mark Fellowship Day and World Community Day in 1974 were held at a number of city, suburban and country centres. In a number of places these are organised by local branches of the W.I.C.C. or Inter-church women's fellowships, which function throughout the year to maintain friendly links among church women.

We were, naturally, disappointed that Miss Rae Song could not take up the Winifred Kiek Scholarship in 1974, and our thoughts and prayers have been with her. We are looking forward to meeting Mrs. Mary Weme when she visits N.S.W. in August.

A special project undertaken in 1974 vas the collation and listing of early records of the Council, undertaken and carried out with great skill and care by Mrs. G. H. Briggs, a Life Member and former President. Our archives are now safely housed in the office of the Australian Council of Churches and further items will be added as they become available. At the recent Annual Meeting it was decided to arrange for a history of the Council to be compiled and a sub-committee has been appointed to undertake this work. We are becoming increasingly aware of our heritage, of the foundations laid by those women pioneers in ecumenism who set up the Council in 1938, on which later a strong and continuing fellowship has been built. The compiling of a history of the Council appeals to us as a suitable activity for International Women's Year.

Our Council was one of the one hundred and thirty women's organisations invited to be represented on the N.S.W. State Committee for U.N. International Women's Year. Miss Mitchell who, as President, attended the Committee meetings on our behalf, was appointed Convenor of the sub-committee on "Women and the Church".

Our Council was represented at the initial hearing in Sydney of the Royal Commission on Human Relationships and subsequently a submission was made by us and forwarded for the consideration of the Royal Commissioners. We were glad that some of our member organisations also made submissions to the Royal Commission, for we feel strongly that the views of Christian women on social and community issues need to be made known.

At the Council meeting hold on 23rd June, Mrs. G. Bent, President and Miss D. Mitchell, Hon. Secretary, were appointed to attend the National Committee Meeting of A.C.W. in Adelaide in August as delegates; Mesdames R. W. Stanhope and D. Woodhouse were appointed as observers. All are looking forward to meeting the members of the Working Committee and representatives from other State Units, as they plan for the future activities of Australian Church women.

To the retiring Working Committee we express our thanks for all they have done to forward the work of A.C.W. and to the incoming Working Committee our good wishes for a happy and rewarding term in office, with the assurance of our loyal and prayerful support.

D. M. Mitchell,




The W.A. Unit has met at monthly intervals from February to November. Meetings have been held at the Y.W.C.A. on the fourth Friday of each month, excepting July and October when our Special Days were held. During the year we asked each denomination or organisation represented, if they could increase the number of delegates to A.C.W. in view of our becoming the Working Committee next year. This has resulted in a slightly increased membership.

Fellowship Day

Services were held in one country area, three suburban areas and our main meeting at Ross Memorial Church. At this meeting, Dr. Donald Reid told us of his work at the Aboriginal Medical Centre. These meetings involved about 200 women altogether.

World Community Day

Services were held in Applecross, Busselton and our main Meeting at Trinity Church on 29th October. This was a particularly warm meeting as far as fellowship was concerned. There was a good representative group of about 80 women, who had braved the usual unkind weather we have come to accept whenever we hold a "special" day. One highlight of the meeting was the very beautiful singing of Mrs. Pandia of Indonesia, and another was the inspiring and very illuminating talk given to us by Sister Pat, from the Daughters of Charity. A new venture this year into an evening meeting, enlisting the help and co-operation of the W.A. Council of Churches, was not as successful as it could have been (one reason was the very bad weather, and another was the variety of excellent reasons why so many people who had more or less promised support, were unable to come!) We still had a small but most enjoyable meeting with Mr. Rollacon of A.C.C. who was the speaker and discussion leader.

Fellowship of the Leas Coin – continues to grow with at least six new groups being formed this year, bringing the known number of groups to 51. Our sincere thanks are due to Mrs. Pearl Cooke who so willingly took over this job this year, and has put so much time and devotion Into it.

We have had several excellent speakers at our monthly meetings this year, and would have liked to have more, but with so much business and discussion to fit into 1½ hours it has not been possible.

Our Women at Work paper produced by the National Working Committee each month keeps us in touch with what other branches are doing in the Eastern States and provides us with food for thought and discussion. We record our thanks to them for this work and also for all they do on our behalf.

Wo have been officially recognised by W.A.C.C. and now have a consultant at their General Meetings. These meetings are always most informative. Executive meetings have been held during the year when planning was needed for special purposes.

It is good to know that through our offerings and our prayers, we are sharing with women everywhere and especially those in the 'third world'.

Vera Dean

Hon. Secretary


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This Herstory Blog of Australian Church Women Inc. tells the stories of the women and activities of this national Christian organisation that was founded in February 1965.

Stories that inspired and encouraged me to begin this blog and share their inspiration with you. Stories that need to be told so that the women of ACW can be honoured and celebrated for their achievements and experiences in local, national and international communities of faith. And, most importantly, stories that demonstrate being disciples of Jesus Christ firmly underpins all that Australian Church Women represents.

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