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Wollongong City Council

Bonacina Walkway celebrates the Illawarra’s Country Women’s Association

Thursday 19 May 2022

Image: Country Women's Association of New South Wales [1976]

We’re celebrating the contribution of the Illawarra’s Country Women’s Association branches through a new art exhibition along the Bonacina Walkway.

The Bonacina Walkway — located between the Wollongong Library and Centrelink building — now is home to a collection of photographs curated by Lyndal Irons. The photos capture a glimpse of the achievements and contributions of the Illawarra’s CWA over the past 100 years, and replace the previous panels showing the ‘Suburbs of Wollongong’ exhibition.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said that although the CWA are well known for their cooking, their contribution to Australia and the Illawarra goes even further.

“Formed in 1922, the Country Women’s Association became an important organisation that worked to make the lives of their community better. Their work through lobbying, fundraising and providing community support to disadvantaged community members as well as babies and mothers did so much good,” Cr Bradbery said.

“This photograph collection along the Bonacina Walkway shares the history of one of Australia’s foundational community organisations. This exhibition celebrates 100 years of community in both Wollongong and the Illawarra and more importantly our city’s people.”

For those keen to delve deeper into the personal stories and recollections of CWA Illawarra members, scan the QR codes along the Bonacina Walkway to learn more through the Wollongong City Libraries oral history project.

The interviews with local CWA members give a deeper insight into the what the CWA has meant on a personal level to the lives of some of our community members.

You can listen to the interviews by visiting the Wollongong City Libraries oral history webpage.

“The CWA exhibition is part of Council’s Public Art Program, which seeks to transform our city’s public spaces with art and installations,” Cr Bradbery said.

“We know that public art can inspire, provoke thought and make our public spaces more inviting for people to explore. This particular exhibition is an interesting one that provides a unique insight into another aspect of our city’s local history.

“If you’re visiting the Wollongong Library or Council Admin Building, I encourage you to take a moment to appreciate this exhibition and engage with a part of our city’s local history.”