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Inspirational leadership from the start

Ruth Beatrice Fairfax OBE

A remarkable and quintessential countrywoman, Ruth Fairfax was founding president of The Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA).

Raised in NSW, Ruth moved to Longreach after marrying in 1899. A move to Cambooya on the Darling Downs in 1908 saw Ruth immerse herself in community activities. Establishing a Sunday school and lobbying for bible-study in state schools.

1922 was pivotal with Ruth’s appointment as President of the newly established QCWA. Her personal commitment and travel throughout the state lead to the creation of 283 Branches with 13,000 members by 1928.

Her influence extended further when in 1929 she was instrumental in forming the Associated Country Women of the World.

Ruth was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1935 in recognition of her community work.

Ruth died in Sydney on 1 February 1948. One week later, the relocated QCWA state headquarters in Brisbane was officially opened and called Ruth Fairfax House.

Ruth’s legacy continues with philanthropic entities including the Ruth Fairfax Bursary to assist young Queenslanders pursuing agricultural studies; her only child (Sir) Vincent’s, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation ; and her grandson’s Tim Fairfax Family Foundation

“In our Association we are a great sisterhood of women and a democratic one, putting aside petty difficulties of position, wealth and pride. We are out to be a mutual help to one another, the town to the country and the country to the town and there is plenty of room for improvement in this way.”

“Branches meet together every month socially and to discuss the affairs of their district and help to further its interests, trying to break down the barriers that have gradually arisen between people and do away with suspicion and the fear of being belittled.”

The QCWA would like to thank the following for their valued support.

What bonds us is friendship and a strong desire to help others.
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