In 1922 a group of determined women from both the city and the country joined forces to change the lives of Australian families in the bush. Many had found their voices campaigning for the right to vote. Now they had no intention of sitting quietly at home while women and children suffered and died in their thousands from preventable causes.

One hundred years on, the iconic Country Women's Association is famous for making scones, stitching handicrafts and raising money for worthy causes. But there is so much more to this national treasure.

Refusing to give up or sit back and wait for governments to act, the CWA has always taken a forthright approach to getting things done. And, despite its conservative reputation, it has often pursued radical agendas ahead of their time.

In the 1920s the CWA built hospitals and baby health clinics. In the 1930s it worked to save the Australian wool industry and encouraged women to take an interest in international affairs. During the Second World War it became a household name for reliability in a crisis. In the 1950s it set up branches in Aboriginal communities. A decade later it challenged public perceptions of mental illness. During the early 2000s it protested against new coal mines.

In The Women that Changed Country Australia best-selling author Liz Harfull reveals how the CWA struggled into existence, beset by clashing personalities and moments of high drama. In fitting tribute, it celebrates the CWA's astonishing achievements and the remarkable women who have led it, while coping with their own personal tragedies.

Along the way, generations of grassroots members created what one prime minister described as a 'power in the land'. And they're not done yet!