By Sally Alden
2013 Australian of the Year Ita Buttrose visited Werris Creek last weekend. The Australian journalist and businesswoman was Guest Speaker at the Werris Creek VIEW Club fundraiser luncheon.
Ita, the founding editor of Cleo, and later the editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly, is the youngest person to ever be appointed editor of the Weekly, which was then per capita, the largest-selling magazine in the world.
Held at the Werris Creek Bowling Club, over 130 VIEW Club members and their guests gathered to hear Ita speak on her career and personal achievements and the strength of being a confident woman.
“It’s a pleasure to be here in Werris Creek at such an important event, surrounded by so many amazing women,” Ita told the Quirindi Advocate.
The VIEW Club which stands for Voice, Interests and Education of Women, was formed in 1960 by the General Secretary of The Smith Family, George Forbes.
The purpose of VIEW Club then was to offer companionship and help deal with social isolation, particularly of rural women, and improve opportunities for women to have their say, especially at government level. The decades since have seen massive changes particularly in the family unit and women’s place in society.
VIEW is a nationwide, women’s organisation of 19,600 members and today VIEW Sponsors over 1000 disadvantaged Australian children though The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program which provides support in the form of access to literacy programs including reading, financial and digital skills-building initiatives.
Delivered by mentoring and tutoring, along with financial support for essential school items such as uniforms, books and excursions. Learning for Life programs support not only disadvantaged children but also their families who provide the crucial nurturing relationships and supportive learning environments that children need. Parents can access education opportunities themselves to help them develop and build their own skills and abilities.
VIEW women volunteer their time helping disadvantaged children to make the most of their education, including reading to pre-school children, mentoring at local Smith Family after-school Learning Clubs, sharing craft skills through the making of students stationary packs assisting with student breakfast programs at schools.
Fiona Brierley from The Smith Family who attended the Werris Creek event was thrilled by the turn out.
“There has been a long term relationship with VIEW women sponsoring over a 1,000 children in Australia. Today is a special day to celebrate our association.”