Community & Business

24 February, 2024

Power of community saves hall

SOMETIMES it takes the potential to lose a local service or building for the community to stop and realise what it means to them.

Through the power of social media and the support of the community the Ravenshoe QCWA Branch has reformed and they’ve saved the hall from being sold.
Through the power of social media and the support of the community the Ravenshoe QCWA Branch has reformed and they’ve saved the hall from being sold.

This was the case at Ravenshoe when, in July 2023, the QCWA building went up for sale. 

Sitting dormant for about three years – through the loss of the group with COVID-19 being one of the group’s decisions to close – the building was passed through the Atherton Tablelands Division and then onto the State CWA Board who moved a motion to sell it. 

Sitting idle and costing money, the building was listed for sale at $299,000. 

That was until a community meeting was held on 29 August last year and the branch reopened the same night, with Toni Perrin stepping up to be branch president. 

“We grew our branch to 32 members. I don’t think there are any other branches (in QLD) that big,” Toni said. 

Toni said the newly formed committee, and group as a whole, fought hard to jump through a myriad of hoops to have the motion to sell the building rescinded. 

In a Facebook post following the successful stop sale motion, Toni wrote: “It has been a long process but the Atherton Tablelands Division and the State Executive Board were inspired by the dedication of our branch members and the support we've been receiving from the community.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last 5 months!”

This news is a positive as the branch gets ready to celebrate 100 years in 2025. 

With the sale behind them, Toni said they have attracted former members – who bring with them decades of experience – and a new era of younger women ready to learn the ropes and expand the group’s horizons. 

“We just got active and had so many conversations with the community. The community has been incredibly supportive,” she said.

Toni said some of the returning members had already made positive comments about young children being present and mums being involved. 

Since reforming, the group has been out and about in the community raising awareness about what it is they do, they’ve been part of markets and have big plans moving forward. 

Toni said social media had played a positive role in gaining support for the group and would be used regularly to promote events and happenings within the group. 

Looking at the hall and deciding its future, the group have decided to sort, clear and upgrade where possible to give it a new lease on life. 

Toni said they’ve received a $20,000 grant to upgrade the kitchen to a commercial status - providing more opportunities for the committee to hire the hall to various groups and organisations. 

They also plan to apply for grants to install solar and a reverse-cycle air conditioner to make the hall more attractive to potential hires, as well as hopefully eliminating/reducing power bills. 

“We are very much active and very ready to give back to the community that has been so supportive of us,” she said.

A celebration will be held on 9 March (the day after International Women’s Day) with a morning tea put on by the members. Toni said everyone was welcome to attend. 

She encouraged everyone to follow the group on Facebook to keep up-to-date with the happenings but to also consider hiring the hall for their next event. 

To hire the hall, email  


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