Hundreds of Country Women's Association members visiting Albury on Monday heard their numbers had again started to rise.
A full house witnessed the opening of the NSW CWA annual conference at Albury Entertainment Centre, with up to 800 delegates expected to attend the week-long event.
Outgoing state president Annette Turner reported membership numbers had grown, not fallen, in the year from September 2017.
"While it's not by an enormous amount, it does represent a very significant shift," she said.
"For years prior to that, the number of members leaving the organisation has exceeded the number of new members.
"So for us the past 12 months shows we are bucking the trend and reinvigorates our efforts to ensure that CWA of NSW is around for generations to come."
Mrs Turner said the state body now boasted about 8000 members and 400 branches.
NSW Governor Margaret Beazley, who was sworn in to her new role on Thursday, opened the annual conference, saying the CWA had been "way ahead of its time" during its 97 years.
"It's quite obvious to me, having read through this history, that this is an organisation for everyone," she said.
"You can't these days make a difference unless you have the facts, unless you have the figures.
"As early as the 1930s, country women realised unless they were lobbying in the hallways of power, they were not going to be able to achieve what they had set out to achieve.
"In 1936 the NSW branch passed a resolution in favour of equal pay for women, so let's give a cheer for that one."
The keynote speaker also commended the CWA for its present work in areas such as health and housing.
"I've done cases about Q fever and one of your campaigns is for the Q fever vaccination to be placed on to the PBS," Ms Beazley said.
"And like a lot of issues, I say 'Why are we having this discussion, this should be over, this should be done', so if I can put a plea out there, that should be done without any more discussion.
"The older women in our community are the women who've grown up without the early access to their own incomes and without the early access to superannuation; that reflects in later life and that reflects in housing."
Mrs Turner said a NSW CWA structure review showed "members want more of the advocacy and support and less of the social club".
While a majority of members believed the association provided a social aspect, only 24 per cent thought that should be its most important function.
The conference continues with business sessions on Tuesday.
Cookery and handicrafts entries are being displayed in the St David's church and St Patrick's church halls.
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