In a league of her own

Catholic Women’s League International Officer Margaret McEntee, State President Ann Pereira, Communications Officer Michelle Pedersen, Vice President Lorette Chester, David Gillespie MP, Secretary Irene O’Grady and Treasurer Lisa McPherson.Wauchope local Ann Pereira has been appointed president of the Catholic Women’s League Australia – New South Wales Inc.

While the organisation holds a strong following of 1,200 members, Ann has goals to keep the organisation relevant and sustainable in to the future.

Last month, the State Council meeting was held in the Timbertown Motel with more than 30 delegates. A packed agenda discussed items such as membership growth, particularly within the younger generations.

“Today’s society imposes increasing challenges on people as the dynamics and acceptance of change in our communities move with the times,” Miss Pereira said.

“The Catholic Women’s League movement offer an inclusive place to meet new people and share our journey together.

“Our key principle is to advocate for the dignity of the human personand support women and their contribution to the community.”

The League runs under the auspices of the Catholic church and has the approval of the NSW bishops.

“We focus on issues like social justice and bioethics.Social justice includes issues that affect people’s lives like government legislation, homelessness and poverty,” she said.

“Bioethics include issuessuch asthe abortion reform bills and themarriage equality bill because we believe they impact on families.

“These issues are often difficult for people to discuss which is why it is so important to have the conversation.

“Members undertake charitable works through the local dioceses, nationally and overseas. One example is the support offered to women who have crisis pregnancies, to provide options beyond abortion.

“Further up the coast, we haveassisted two women – one who gave upher babyfor adoption and another who kept her baby. Both needed clothing, furniture and financial help.”

The organisation was established in England and came to Australia in 1914.Ann says it’s about women supporting women and families.

“Through the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations, we are members of the United Nations,” she said.

“The Catholic Women’s League Australia has amember who is the Board member forthe Asia-Pacific region and another who attends the Council on the Status of Women each year in New York.

“The Catholic Women’s League is a great organisation for women to develop strong friendships and share the ups and downs of life together.”

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