The Country Women’s Association of Australia (CWAA)

Was formed in 1945 to provide a single voice to the Federal Government on behalf of the individual State and Territory Associations. The first of these was NSW, which formed in 1922. Other mainland states had formed by 1928 and Tasmania by 1936.

All Country Women’s Associations are non-sectarian, non-party-political and not-for-profit.

The National body is a Company Limited by Guarantee and interacts with the States and Territory under a Federated Model. It is the largest Women's NGO in Australia with over 17,000 members.

Its Objective is to advance the rights and equity of women, families and communities in Australia through advocacy and empowerment, especially for those living in regional, rural and remote Australia.

We are affiliated with the Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) which represents over 9 million rural women in 75 countries worldwide and works to, among other things, raise the standard of living, provide practical support for women and girls and eliminate gender discrimination.

Our membership is diverse and includes women from all age groups; from urban and rural areas; from indigenous and CALD communities; working and retired. 

To support those members and to grow our voice we have affiliations with or membership of, other like-minded organisations and representation on Government bodies. These include;

  • the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network,
  • the Regional Rural Remote Communications Coalition and a position on the Australian Communications and Media Authority Consumer Consultation Forum.
  • membership of the National Rural Health Alliance Council
  • a Board position on the National Rural Women’s Coalition.
  • Recently, we were appointed to the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Consultative Committee and
  • the Australian Energy Regulator Customer Consultative Group.


CWA of Australia is also currently participating in campaigns with;

  • the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education to ban alcohol advertising in sport
  • United in Compassion to change the current laws around patient access to Full Spectrum herbal medicinal Cannabis extracts and dried herb Cannabis
  • the lack of equitable access to mental health support for rural and remote communities.


Drought has also been a focus for CWAA and we have participated fully in the development of a National Drought Strategy, the Prime Minister’s Drought Summit and various round-table discussions. To date the states distributing drought aid have helped thousands of families and provided around $20m in assistance, with no administration fees taken from donated funds.


This list reflects only a portion of the groups we work with to influence change and improve the lives of women, their families and communities.

Our current policies reflect issues of national significance, brought to us by the member states and territory, from individuals within those associations.