NCWQ Arts Report: July-August 2022

Arts Report July - August 2022

By Jennifer Ann Davies, NCWQ Arts, Letters and Music Adviser (

Motto: ‘Do unto others as ye would that they should do to you.’

These months have exploded with visual Art, exhibitions, installations, performances, festivals, films, freedoms, laughter and refreshing joys which we were not able to experience through the grim spread of the demon virus, Covid-19!


Congratulations to our long-term sisters and members of the QCWA!

This year members celebrate 100 years of service to country, rural and remote women, of whom my mother was one – amongst many others. A Centenary Launch Dinner was held at Victoria Park Golf Club, Herston, Brisbane, to commence festivities to celebrate this wonderful milestone – against all the odds! The Centenary Calendar of Events will be officially launched at the opening of the Association’s Annual State  Conference in Gladstone, Queensland.  SDGs 10/5/4/17 Queensland Country Women’s Association.

The Cairns’ Greek Festival is still in full swing as I type this report! – Bringing together many  cultures, providing joyful music, dance, song and friendship, this festival engages many residents and families and invariably we have visitors from the South entertaining us with their music and song as well as wonderful chefs, providing tasty Greek food! Opa! St Johh’s Community Care:Cairns Sun 3 July 2022. Both hilarity and nostalgia pervade when many dance to the ageless Zorba the Greek beats that accelerate almost to dervish speed….the sounds of laughter, then, are truly Life Affirming!


My Last Arts/Letters Report for NCWQ

This will be my last Arts/Letters report for NCWQ, so I would like to pay tribute to some wonderful women – some of whom I have not met; some have paved the way for modern times; others have supported many of us in modern times. I would also like to reiterate the goals cited in the NCWQ Annual Report 2012-2013; the publication in which my first Arts and Letters Adviser overview appeared and which was then placed in the Parliamentary Library under the Libraries Act. Past President, Mentor and Friend, Noela O’Donnell forecast, that particular year, many of the changes with which we have been faced, socially and within our organisation. Salut! Very active networks existed, member’s events, milestones and celebrations were always included in reports and communication was at a premium. I am deeply grateful to Noela, Kathy, Avril, Kirsty, Georgina, Eva, Leonie and all our colleagues for a rich experience, exploring, researching, actively interacting professionally and socially and writing…writing…writing for all of you! Our goals were stated simply and made explicit in our humanitarian and educational objectives and activities.

Unite associates and societies of women, and of men and women, into an organization for mutual counsel and cooperation.

Work for the empowerment of women and families and to promote equal status for women in law and fact.

Develop policies and responses on behalf of women on a state-wide basis.

Act as a voice on issues and concerns of women at state and regional levels.

Link with the women of Australia and the International Council of Women through the National Council of Women of Australia and contribute to the implementation of their plans of action and policies. NCWQ Inc. Annual Report 2012-2013

Additionally, I was honoured to bring to you some of the photos and philosophies of artists who paved the way for Now! – The compilation was obtained by the Convenor of Arts/Letters in the State of Queensland, Mrs Shirley Murphy, following interviews with the women. This small folio was acknowledged by Barbara Firth Australian Convenor Arts/Letters/Music and ICW Consultant Arts/Letters/Music for the Asia Pacific Region, in September 1991. Artists include: Painter: Lynda Sampson-Searle; Textile worker: Denise Pommeranz; Sculptor: Dorothy Hartnett; Visual Artist: Debbie Scott “Yuluwirree” (Rainbow); Sculptress: Wendy Mills, whose installation “Acts of Silence” was placed in the foyer of the Queensland Performing Arts Complex in October 1990; Silversmith: Anna-Margot Millton; Artist: Clare Llewelyn, whose works were referred to in the language of Breton’s 1934 surrealist manifesto, as truly “…art poetique…”;Artist: Denise Sparnon; NQ Artist: Ellen Jose; London born Artist: Pamela Blair and Sculptor: Lyndall Milani. We are grateful to you all!

Woven, spoken, shaped and painted -threads and colours in paintings, sketches, textiles, performances, films, poetry, posters and presentations, are humour and laughter – never diminishing, though, the social responsibility, the serious, the chaos, the violence, the suppression – yet creating, for a time, a buoyancy, a genuine lightness, a feather-like lift to the spirit and new pathways for the Women to come….A/L NCWQ April 2019,

World Weavers collect, wind, trim                                                        World Weavers, feather-light, move

New threads, colours. patterns                                                              North, South, East, West

Into the cultural fabric                                                                            Synthesising the cultural fabric

Of Now.  Smiling.                                                                                    Of Now. Laughing!
Copyright: Jennifer Ann Davies

I have asked that MUSIC be restored to its rightful portfolio, as I am not an expert and it deserves its own place, as it sits in the Standing Committee for COMMUNICATIONS. I am hoping that a wonderfully informed person out there can take over the MUSIC portfolio, write knowledgeable reports and enrich us with your work. Reports do not have to be long, and advisors do not necessarily have to have academic qualifications, but lived experience and knowledge. Please contact our organisation if you are that person! I will also be available to support a new Arts and Letters Advisor. Very clearly, Standing Committees cannot possibly provide adequate, valid and current information without input from Advisors.

Standing Committees globally are as follows, with each element having its own portfolio and its own Advisor. It is inevitable that some issues will overlap and ‘spill’ into another portfolio or portfolios. This serves to unite rather than to divide, which generates rich responses, dialogue and action.

STATUS OF WOMEN: Human Rights. Implementation of Conventions. Legislation. International Relations and Peace.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Women and Employment. Economics. Consumer Affairs. Rural and Urban Women.

GENERAL WELLBEING: Health. Environment. Habitat. Nutrition.

COMMUNICATIONS: Education. Arts and Letters. Music. Mass Media.

SOCIAL ISSUES: Child and Family. Youth. Ageing. Migration.

Regional Councils and UN Partners: Asia-Pacific Regional Council (APRC). European Centre of the International Council of Women (ECICW). Regional Council of the Americas (RCA). African Regional Council of Women. (ARCW). Our global status is high and partnerships with UN (United Nations) Agencies, include: UN New York, UN Geneva, UN Vienna, UNESCO, UNICEF, FAO, ESCAP, ILO, UNIDO, UN Habitat.

July is the month of W20 – The Women 20 is an official G20 engagement group to consider that gender considerations are mainstreamed into G20 discussions, policies and commitments that foster  gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Delegates, stakeholders, investors, women entrepreneurs, companies and CSOs will bring to the fore the most pressing issues and formulate concrete recommendations to advance gender equality in G20 negotiations. Those of us at the APRC meeting in Avignon were invited to this important summit, but many of us have commitments which prevent our attendance in this busy month!  W20 SUMMIT, 19-21 July 2022. Lake TOBA, North   Sumatra, Indonesia. Extract from Uli – Handraini Uli Silalahi – Chair, W20 Indonesia and Giwo Rubianto, President NCW Indonesia: KOWANI. 2022

July is also a super-busy month for the wonderful team who continue work on the NCWQ Bursaries’ selections. Birth Mother of the Bursary Programme, Noela O’Donnell, has repeatedly been honoured for developing this wonderful programme. Noela, Kathy Cavanagh, Dr Pat Pepper and our hard-working team of women have not only promoted such a scheme, but have worked long and hard to select recipients from the many who apply for this support. Not only have they generated more bursaries, healthy network responses and more and more applicants, but they allow recipients the choice as to whether or not they will be photographed – they maintain an honourable confidentiality about the recipients’ background – and they conduct a simple ceremony to congratulate recipients of each bursary, as many of those backgrounds are heart-wrenchingly touching, open and sensitive. Such sensitively high standards reflect their humanity and the ethos that has existed in NCWQ.

Some background to milestones reached is available in the 2015 publication RESPECTABLE RADICALS – A History of the National Council of Women of Australia 1896-2006. Monash University  Publishing in conjunction with the NCWA 2015. Authors Marian Quartly and Judith Smart provide an extensive list of abbreviations (a rare thing indeed!) and a stunning and informative Select Bibliography. The book was launched in 2016, in Melbourne and we were all proud of the Foreword, written by our own Annette M. Lourigan, then Vice-President of NCWQ.

As I look back at correspondence with Justice Elizabeth Evatt, concerning my own written inclusions as submissions to Equality before the law, I see the distance we have yet to travel. Justice Evatt worked long and hard on Australian Law Reform and I was kept updated with publications and addendums. There is still much to be achieved. The Law Reform Commission: Report 67 Interim: Equality Before the Law: Women’s Access to the Legal System. Commonwealth of Australia 1994.SDGs I hadn’t been aware that another publication included my news from Australia on Coping with Covid-19 until I was given a copy in Avignon! – ICW-CIF Activity Report in response to Covid-19 had asked for news from Standing Committee members.  Ours included: Values. Population & Geographic Overview. Border Closures. International Long Term Care Policy Networks in Australia: Lee-Fay Low with Key Findings. Ideas from New York City, US, QAGOMA initiatives, University of Queensland Podcasts, News about Non-essential workers and ideas from international partners. Keeping Women Safe was vital and overviews of progress and pleas at varied levels of government, was also included, accompanying news of Jess Hill’s ‘See What You Made Me Do’ – another milestone of open ness and honesty and a plea to make Changes to the Law and changes within Education.

Extracted from Standing Committees: Jennifer Ann Davies: Activity Report in response to Covid-19 ICW Publisher: Jung-sook Kim. Editor: Mijin An.2021 pp11-22

The National Gallery of Australia and the National Museum of Australia offer some superlative and beautiful art works and installations, enjoyed by many. Our colleague, Wendy Rainbird enjoyed a marvellous display that animates images and sent me some of the images, complete with amazing sound! – I have not captured these for our newsletter, as there are some contentions, currently, about the use of images for publication, which we must respect.  SDGs 4/3/17

The National Library of Australia has written to me about one of their latest projects, to preserve online and celebrate our performing arts heritage! The story of our performing arts in Australia is a spectacular one – and whilst the very famous, such as Dame Nellie Melba and Sir Robert Helpmann may be household names, others are at risk of fading from history if this digital preservation does not proceed. In the Library, currently, until August, are collections you can visit, showcased in the On Stage exhibition. Philanthropic support is needed to preserve more of the performers’ histories. SDGs 3/4/17

Art Galleries all around our State and throughout Australia are currently thriving.  Exhibitions honour Aboriginal and Islander art and artefacts and installations enthral young and old! Live performances are also abundant and many are to honour our early Australians as NAIDOC week is celebrated. Venues, exhibitions, opening hours and fees, if and when applicable, are user friendly on most websites. Enjoy!


The World of LETTERS – The world of LITERATURE!

As this report is already long, I will abbreviate  information on books read and enjoyed – apologies for that! Some of the authors I bring to your attention are dedicated to the improvement of Language and Literacy* Originally we tried to review and promote Queensland writers, but there are so many more Australian and overseas authors who write, using universal themes and those who claim specific themes, which are compatible with our own themes and goals.

DEAD AND ALIVE (Book Three) – Dean Koontz’s FRANKENSTEIN. Harper Collins Publishers, London. 2009. This trilogy is dedicated to the late Mr. Lewis, who, long ago, realized that science was being politicized, that its primary goal was changing from knowledge to power, that it was also becoming scientism, and that in the ‘ism’ is the end of humanity! “I am very doubtful whether history shows us one example of a man… (or woman?)…who, having stepped outside traditional morality and attained power, has used that power benevolently.” C.S Lewis, ‘The Abolition of Man’…Bracketed words added by my. The reworked classic offers mystery, myth, terror and magick. Koontz and his wife, Gerda, actively encourage and promote Language and Literacy – a gift to the young, for whom Language continues to diminish and to whom we owe a legacy of literacy.

HIDEAWAY – Dean Koontz. Headline Publishing Group, UK 2016. ‘Koontz is working right where popular culture swells into something larger, just as it did for Homer, Shakespeare and Dickens. He’s got the gift.’ Weekend Australian. INTENSITY – Dean Koontz. Headline Publishing Group. UK 2016. SDGs 3/4/12/11

Australian born author, Nikki Gemmell, has been a hit in Australia, the United Kingdom and France! I found and read “LOVE SONG” in France. ‘…the novels of Nikki Gemmell capture the untamed taste of freedom.’ Le Figaro Litteraire.  ‘Her inimitable, urgent and demanding style makes her books impossible to put down or forget!’ Madame Figaro (Paris). SDGs 3/4/11/10

Milan born author, Beatrice Masini won the Premio Campiello prize and Premio Alessandro Manzoni awards for best historical novel.  “THE WATER COLOURIST” provides superb surprises! “A picture paints a thousand secrets”! SDGs 4/1/10 Tentativi di botanica degli affetti Milan.

Patricia Cornwell is an extraordinary Woman as well as being an extraordinary Author. She has sold over 100 million books in 36 languages in over 120 countries! As well as working as a Chief Medical Examiner, Cornwell tirelessly researches cutting-edge forensic technologies to include in her work. Outside the world of Letters, she co-founded the Conservation Scientist Chair at the Harvard  University Art Museums, and advocates for psychiatric research as a member of Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital’s National Council. She also helped fund the ICU at Cornell’s Animal Hospital, the scientific study of a Confederate submarine, the archaeological excavation of Jamestown and a variety of law enforcement charities. This woman cannot be underestimated!

CRUEL AND UNUSUAL – Patricia Cornwell Sphere UK 2020. CAUSE OF DEATH Warner Books UK 1997. TRACE Little Brown, London. 2004. DEPRAVED HEART Harper Collins Publishers, Australia 2015. BLACK NOTICE Warner Books UK 2000. DUST Cornwell Entertainment, 2013. Cornwell’s ability to translate psychiatric states is remarkable and endlessly interesting. SDGs 3/4/16


THE SINNER – Tess Gerritsen Transworld Publishers London, 2004. This bestselling author is also a doctor who brings to her novels first-hand knowledge of emergency and autopsy rooms. Her interests extend, also, to anthropology, and as an undergraduate she catalogued centuries-old human remains. She continues to travel the world, driven by her fascination with ancient cultures and bizarre natural phenomena.  SDGs 4/1/3


THE LITTLE PRINCE, Antoine de Saint-Exupery Egmont UK, London, 2017.   I could not find a copy of this, in language English, anywhere in Paris or Avignon, in 2022.  Magically, on my return, one of my children was packing to move house – et voila! – a copy purchased in Lyons, France, the home of the author, in 2018! Le Petit Prince was written whilst Saint-Exupery was self-exiled from occupied France, in the US. Enchanting, beautiful and so, so true, this small book is a gem and amongst classics of world literature. My copy is the original translation by Katherine Woods, with full colour illustrations. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”  SDGs 4/3

Le Petit Prince book cover


Whilst searching our histories, I noted: CANADA – A Call to Women – NCW Canada 1924, which can be downloaded. Canada has an impressive range of histories and events published and available online. Also available on this site: The National Council of Women by Dorothy Page Auckland University Press, 1996. STRATEGIC SISTERHOOD – Rebecca Tuuri,  1963. During a march on Washington DC, women were DENIED a major speaking role and Dorothy Height, head of National Council of Negro Women organised her own women’s conference for the next day! Some interesting reading and milestones.

I have received acknowledgement from my international co-ordinator and Board members that my ICW report has been received and will be circulated, so I will also include that, just so our members are conscious of connections and communications. Forgive any repetition from NCWQ report.


ICW Arts and Letters Advisor Report – April 2022 – July 2022

President of NCW Ukraine, Lyudmyla Porokhnyak, thanked all countries and individuals for their humanitarian assistance, in her report to the GA. Her plea for the pathway to PEACE is to provide fully adequate education for our children, to protect and preserve their physical and mental development, to preclude aggression, cruelty and manipulation. Honesty, Integrity, Resilience and Hope are keys to this state of full health. Lyudmyla Porokhnyak: p.84 Book of Reports 2018-2022 36th General Assembly Avignon May 16-21 2022. A heartfelt Wish for the People of Ukraine, on your Pathway to Peace

May you all

Enjoy books

Have ideas

Touch others

Believe elders

Love children

Watch sunrises

Blow bubbles

Read poetry

View art

Laugh loudly

Retrieve HOPE!                    (Based on publication 2017. Copyright Jennifer Ann Davies 2022.) SDGs 16/4/17

Supporting the notion of educating and resilience, I extracted a tiny portion from an important document from Eleonore Hauer-Rona, “Task Force Against Trafficking in Human Beings Ukraine” – “The resilience of YOUTH is of vital importance. (Protect, prevent, engage.)” Eleonore Hauer-Rona, ICW Main Representative to the United Nations in Vienna. Report has been circulated. 31st session: Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, May 16-20 2022. UN Vienna. SDGs 16/11/17

Britain, United Kingdom, has developed Counterpoint Art, a charity working with refugee artists creating programmes of varied art forms on the topic of migration and displacement in the UK and beyond. Development of this operation is inspired by the belief that ART can inspire social change and can contribute to the inclusion and cultural integration of Ukrainian refugees and migrants.   Ukrainian artists and cultural organisations also banded together in Cape Cod to organise fundraising through art auctions and sales, theatrical performances, concerts, film screenings and exhibitions. All this at the Cape Cod Art Museum US.  SDGs 3/4/8/10/17

Tunisia is to be congratulated on a wonderfully successful programme of adult education to teach  Language, Literacy and Numeracy. Huge differences can be made to the lives of Families – Women and children, when all members become literate. The history, development and stories of successes with this programme are available in their publication: UNFT – Union Nationale de la Femme Tunisienne: Newsletter N23/2022 D’Education des Adultes. SDGs 4/10/8 Avignon, France, also has a programme, in the City Place, for children, where they set up a small Library, complete with books, games, computer facilities and a circle of cushions, right opposite the City Hall, where we were welcomed by the Lady Mayoress! SDGs 4/10/16

An exhibition Anne Frank and Switzerland opened to the public in the Lundsmuseum, Zurich on 9th June 2022. Anne Frank has become a symbol of Holocaust remembrance. She and her family tried to escape the genocide perpetrated by the National Socialists, and Anne wrote her famous diary in the ‘secret annexe’ where they hid in Amsterdam. Post war, her father, the only survivor in the family, moved to Basel where he devoted himself to the legacy of his daughter’s diary. The true legacy of this is the contribution to a culture of remembrance which stands for humanity and tolerance. SDGs 4/10/16/17 Personal visit Zurich 2022. Jennifer Ann Davies SDGs 4/16/11/17

 France published: The Equality of Women and Men in Working Life Where We Stand: White Paper, Volumes 1 & 2. CNFF President, Marie-Claude Bertrand, includes in her Foreword Vol 1 and Preface Vol 2, the goal of a 50/50 world, and broadening fields of professions and functions of women and men to include Agriculture, Craft Trades, Digital Technology, Healthcare, Sport, Politics and the impact of the health crisis. SDGs 5/1/12/11

FRANCE is full of beautiful and interesting ART. In Avignon Le Cube Vernet held history, artefacts, modernism and Vernon Blake – 1875-1930, published in Oxford and London, to educate artists on Rhythms, Lines and Colour. Loving Musee d’Orsay in Paris, I had not realised that the three Van Gogh’s there: Thatched Cottages at Cordeville, Two Children and Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles are relatively rare, for there are NO Van Gogh’s in Provence! SDGs 3/4/8/17  Palais de Roure teaches culture and local traditions, in Avignon, with depictions of seamen from varied cultures and climes and a bizarre Croix de marinier du Rhone – a mixture of icons and cultural symbols, possibly from Haiti and Martinique

Paris still offers the world class performance LE ROI LION – The Lion King –   indefatigable favourite, with unsurpassed puppetry –  Elephants, Giraffes, Swooping Jungle Birds and fantastic Performers.  Costume, colour, sound, mystique and eternally valid themes swirl at the stately Theatre Mogador – where the original music from Broadway continues to delight and enchant  more than 100 million spectators from around the world. Spectacular! SDGs 3/4/12

Zurich offered another world class exhibition at Kunsthaus Zurich – YOKO “This room moves at the same speed as the clouds….” Born in 1933, Yoko Ono is one of the most influential artists of our time, who explored socio-political issues that are still highly relevant today. Committed to peace in the world and the feminist cause, her ideas vary- humourous, poetic, radical…her artistic oeuvre includes sculptures, works on paper,  installations, performances, film and music. The exhibition presented 80 works from all periods of her career. Huge audience interest demonstrated a blend of young and old. SDGs 10/4 There were hundreds of photos of Women’s eyes and their brief versions of abuse – I will include just one with this report. Copyright Yoko Ono: Kunsthaus Zurich. Curator Mirjam Varadinis, Yoko Ono, Jon Hendricks  SDGs 5/3/4/8/10

I wish you all well.  Thank you to our many readers, members and supporters.  May you all continue to enjoy the worlds of Arts and Letters and may a wonderful Advisor emerge, to represent the nourishing and uplifting world of Music.  Au revoir!

“Go raibh mile maith agat!” – Irish/Celtic: “That you may have a thousand good things!”




Jennifer Ann DAVIES
National Council of Women Queensland Inc.
International Council of Women/ Conseil International des Femmes




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