More than 200 members of the Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW will be arriving at the University of New England this Friday for a weekend-long examination of Scottish history, culture and society.
Scotland is the subject of this year’s CWA Weekend Country of Study School – an annual event held at UNE and organised by the UNE Conference Company. (Last year’s “country of study” was Egypt.)
Over the weekend there will be lectures from prominent speakers of Scottish heritage on a wide range of subjects including the Scottish clan system, tartans, music, and cuisine.
Mr Iain Steele from Scottish Development International will act as the delegate of the British Consulate-General in Sydney in presenting an “Introduction to Scotland”, and Professor Iain Young, Head of UNE’s School of Environmental and Rural Science, will speak – from a personal perspective – on “My Scotland”.
Mr Rodney McInnes, Convener of the Scottish Gaelic Association of Australia, will talk about the Gaelic culture of Scotland, Professor Anders Ahlqvist, Chair of Celtic Studies at the University of Sydney, about “Celtic Scotland, past and present”, Dr Frank Davidson, Deputy President of the Scottish Australian Heritage Council, about the Scottish clan system, and Mrs Wendy Watts, Chair of the Australian Celtic Festival Committee, Glen Innes, about “Tartans and the kilt”.
Local speakers will include Mr Sandy Phillips, the chef at “Squires” restaurant in Armidale, who will speak on Scottish cuisine, and Dr Darrell Fisher from the Armidale Pipe Band, whose talk will be titled “A journey through the uniqueness of the Scottish Borders”.
There will be a talk on traditional Scottish music by Mr Graham Aubrey, Director of the Australian Institute of Celtic Studies, and one titled “The Scotland Australia Cairn and Mosman” by the General Manager of Mosman Municipal Council, Mr Vivian May.
The presentations, on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January, will be in UNE’s Wright Centre, and the formal dinner, on the evening of Friday 29 January, will be at Earle Page College. During the dinner, the Armidale Dumaresq Mayor, Councillor Peter Ducat, will welcome the delegates to Armidale, and UNE’s Chief Development Officer, Mr Chris Patton, will welcome them to the University.
A Scottish “cultural evening” on Saturday will include music from the Armidale Pipe Band as well as poetry, singing and dancing, and solo fiddling and piping.
The annual CWA Study School is an expression of the long-standing relationship between the University of New England and the Country Women’s Association of NSW.