The Zonta Heartbeat – December 2023

Kia ora to you all!

As we draw close to another successful Zonta year, it is a time that we reflect on what an amazing time it has been. 

If you are like most Zontians, you’re bound to be thinking of others at Christmas with the charities you help, the extra presents you’ve bought for those in need, the baking of cakes for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren as I know some of you have done and all the other kind-hearted things. Let’s be thankful for what we have and help those who are less fortunate.

I like to think about all the difference we make locally, nationally and internationally, imagine all the lives you’ve all touched and changed. We know that helping local charities is a lot of what helps us feel so wonderful, as it is close to us and we can see the difference we make right in front of our eyes. However, please know that the work we do on a District level for our charity Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, that you’ve helped by providing the SALT courses for them, the love that you’ve shown with making their morning teas and being there for the facilitators as well as the grandparents does not go unnoticed. And on an international level, you only have to read The Zontian to see what we’ve been doing with the international projects. Also, you can keep up to date with the website which is full of the difference you are making and follow us working on our strategic plan. We’ve had a wonderful year with Awards and Scholarships in District 16, so thank you for helping these wonderful young women apply for these prestigious achievements more on this below. 

Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women! 

We are in full swing with the Zonta 16 Days of Activism for Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women and ending gender-based violence.

The number 175,000 sits in my mind as we have callouts all over New Zealand for that many Police callouts to Domestic Abuse. And think that 87% never report these acts. I’ve been to some wonderful events in my area over the recent week+, with the Zonta Club of Waimakariri having an open day with Sausage Sizzle working alongside the Waimakariri Council, Police and also the White Ribbon advocates and riders that are travelling around the South Island with their messages to end violence too. Their stand was great and vibrant orange, and a lot of the community came along to talk to all. Their “Stop Abuse Behind Closed Doors” was a super strong message too (Thank you Zonta Club of Mangawhai for those words). 

Zonta Club of Christchurch South put on an extremely wonderful evening at the Christchurch Art Gallery with six, five-minute speakers throughout the evening, a great way to hear from many and keep the focus. Zonta Club of Christchurch North has a drive around the wonderful Orange-lit buildings in Christchurch on December 6th (tonight as I write this) as part of a combined Zonta Clubs of Christchurch effort as we Orange the World for a Brighter Future.

The Zonta Club of Christchurch-Canterbury has initiated a Zonta Dragons, Dragon Boating team, I’ve even taken to the water to join them. A team of 17+ so far signed up, made up of 3 Christchurch Clubs (I am sure we will get some from the 4th Club too). It is not only great friendship and fun, but we also have been highlighting the Zonta Says No to Violence to Women as we wear our “bright orange” to brighten the future for women. We got third equal in the Regatta, we were quite chuffed with our efforts at our first Regatta a couple of weekends ago. With 400+ participants who had never heard of Zonta, all chanting Go Zonta, Go Zonta, Go Zonta as we paddled hard to the finished line, perhaps not all bad coming near the back of the field as people cheered us on! I am not saying you all need to do Dragon Boating to stand out, but having such great publicity has been excellent for our Zonta Says No to Violence Against Women campaigning.

Christmas Zonta Spirit! 

As you start back in the New Year, decide who you want to be. I have to stand back and look at myself often, to go, should I have said that? Should I have done that? And equally, say to myself, good on me for saying that, and good on me for doing that. It’s important that we give our best each day, that’s all we ask in a volunteer organisation. Let’s take the time to think about what kind of Zontian you want to be in 2024. We do notice that sometimes there are a few “queen bees” in clubs that often don’t let others excel with strengths, some call it leadership, but leadership is when you take people with you on a journey, not tell them what to do. Let’s take this time to celebrate each other and our strengths. We’ve often talked about your WHY for being in Zonta, as we did at your Area Meetings this year, let’s remember that, it’s not just for helping others, it is for helping develop ourselves too. Be the club that empowers from within. The Zonta Spirit is something close to my heart. I believe this is the fundamental base to build great clubs from, if we are kind to each other, we can help others more. I often get told how nice I look (I am sure you know I love clothes and shoes), and it feels wonderful when someone tells me that. Therefore I look to tell someone else how nice they look too, as I know this can really make their day. And equally, if someone does something nice for you, say something back. Perhaps even give a little gift to the Zonta Foundation to honour someone who’s meant a lot to you this year. By the way, I know many of you are using the Zonta Spirit, myself included, this is just a gentle reminder to make sure you enjoy your time in Zonta too! 

It’s a wonderful position to be in to be able to help others. But let’s start with keeping the vibe in your fabulous own clubs too.  

My trip to the wonderful Zonta HQ in Chicago

In October I was super lucky to go to Chicago. I just love Chicago, it is such a special city full of fun architecture, deep-dish pizza, easy-to-walk around the flat city and beautiful planter boxes throughout the streets. Magic. My husband, Russ was over there on a Harvard Business course run in a state nearby, so I jumped at the chance to be taken along. As you know, Chicago is also the home of our Zonta International HQ, so it was a privilege to have a lovely shared lunch with them all. As we talked about all of you in NZ that Build a Better World for Women and Girls! The head office team is wonderful and it’s been a privilege meeting them 3 times now. Hopefully, one day we will get back there to a Convention in Chicago. As I know many were disappointed to not get there with Covid stopping us recently. I gave the newly appointed CEO of ZI a Glass Mug from our Conference and also the Zoks from the Ashburton Club fundraising. They will need them now with all the snow on the ground! We will see most of the team at the Convention in Brisbane, so come along and meet them. 

Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

It is my great pleasure to announce to you not one but two scholarships recently. 

JMK, Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship, the recipient was Madeline (Maddie) Newman. Thank you to the Zonta Club of Metropolitan Dunedin. Maddie is studying at Otago University. However, she is very lucky that she has the privilege of travelling in 2024, first to the University of Edinburgh, then four months of travelling around Europe, and then to the McCombs Business School at the University of Texas. If her current plans work, she hopes to then go to East Africa for two months to volunteer in emergency childcare and back to Otago for the first semester in 2025. 

Maddie won $5000 USD and $1000 NZD from D16, so thank you to you all for your donations to both the District and International. we know Maddie will be making this a Better World for Women and Girls and we look forward to hearing more about her journey. 

Amelia Earhart Scholarship

Zonta International recipient, Minduli Wijayatunga
Doctoral Candidate, University of Auckland, NZ.
B. Eng Honours and BSc. (Usyd 2020)

Minduli was an Auckland University nomination, it was very exciting to see that system work so well. She has been at Auckland Uni for at least three years and became aware of the Amelia Earhart fellowship three years ago through advertising and listing in the Auckland Scholarship handbook. She was recognised at the Zonta Club of Auckland function at their recent Awards night. Minduli is a vibrant and intelligent woman, who has lived in Australia most of her life, however, born in Sri Lanka.

Minduli has been awarded the $5000 USD. We are very proud she is a successful winner of D16, Amelia Earhart Fellowship. We will find a time, perhaps at the Area 1 Meeting to present her with this prestigious scholarship.   

Website update

We are pleased to announce that the website is working well. Whilst we still have updates being done, ie: mostly your club history pages, we are happy that the new website has brought in 33 website enquiries for members to join Zonta from the 20th of September 2023. This is excellent, and we have a system in place to check if they have joined too. We will keep you posted. The webmaster, Nikola Bass is passing on these enquiries to the Zonta D16 Area Directors to put them with the clubs in the areas they’ve enquired from. 

We are still to add the D16 History in more detail. We will work on this over the next few months. This is not a small job. But what a great feeling to have this website up and working well. We hope you enjoy looking at it too. 

Just remember when you are looking for resources, log into the Zonta International website as all the forms, etc are on there. Hence, doing away with any double-ups. 

Women of the Biennium

Your Presidents have all been sent the forms to get this back to us in February 2024. You may need to do this over email if many of your clubs have closed for the year. 

We are looking for outstanding women in our community, so please think about this and talk to your President.

District Project

We are working on tidying up the form and the questions to make it relevant to “Building a Better World for Women and Girls” – we want the form to be clear on how you can all help around the country to support the next District Project for the next Biennium. This will go out to your Presidents shortly too. So keep an eye out for it. 

Conference 2023 Feedback Survey – Thank you

We would like to say thank you to those who did this survey. It is always good to hear constructive feedback, good and bad, as it may be hard to read the bad, but by doing this we can fix it in the future to make you even happier at a Conference. 

I was pleased to hear the main feedback was that it was excellent and great fun and a memorable experience. We really appreciate the comments re the costs for the Gala dinner, it’s actually quite a hard thing to budget any tighter, with the cost of the venue, Koha (gift) for the entertainment, if we’d added anything more to the costs, the price would have gone up even more, so appreciate that there is always a balance. The idea of the evening was to have a relaxing evening, where you could all enjoy each other’s company and I believe we did achieve this. We actually had $8000 sponsorship to make your weekend overall cheaper. We have given feedback to the caterer, we took this seriously and have given them your comments. Thank you for this. 

And we have already put into the conference notes for 2025 that the International Representative needs more time, we can only agree. Again, this is a hard balance, but the feedback was hugely important, and we thank you again for your time to do this. We know it’s always hard to please everyone. 

Zonta International Convention June 2024

Firstly thank you to those who also completed the Travel Survey. Fabulous feedback. 

We have been talking to AirNZ, but no go yet, we believe we need numbers for them to understand just how many of us are travelling. However, we are talking with a corporate travel agent and they will be looking into a deal next week so we will be in touch.
What I can say is that it is exciting to see so many of you saying yes and maybe going to the ZI Convention. 

I can say if you’ve not been to one, it is one of the highlights of being in Zonta. And it’s in our neighbourhood, you’re not going to get much closer to travel to, than Australia. It will be wonderful to support our D22, D23 and D24 by going over! 

We heard that some of you love workshop learning too. I can say that this is a good reason to go to the Convention. At a conference it is a shorter time, whereas the Convention is longer in time, allowing for these extra activities such as workshops to learn more about the areas of interest to you. In January you will be able to register and check out their fun video on the home page if you need some reasons to go.  Click on the links below to see more. 

Area meetings: This is where they are in 2024 

Thank you to the Area Directors for making it work with these dates, as Lt Gov Jen McKinlay-Birkin and I travel around to see you all.

Please put these dates in your calendars. There will be more information coming very soon. All I can say is that we had great feedback from the Area Meetings this year, and many who didn’t go wished that they had gone. So don’t miss out this year. Remember, when you are hosting an Area Meeting, you want great numbers, so please support those putting the time into organising these. Make it a fun weekend if you need to travel for it. I know the team from Ashburton had a great time going to Invercargill and the Christchurch Clubs made a road trip of it going to Blenheim. I totally enjoyed visiting you all last year. And we look forward to seeing you all again in 2024. 

Area 1. Mangawhai – 24th February
Area 2. Mana – 9th March 
Area 4. Tauranga – 16th March
Area 5. Timaru – 23rd March 
Area 3. Christchurch North – 4th May

Add Your Voice Membership ZI Campaign

Congratulations to the Zonta Club of Tauranga Area! Your club was in the top 3 recruiters in your size tier for the 2023 Add Your Voice Membership Campaign.

As a top 3 winner in your tier, your club will be recognised in The Zontian magazine. To show our appreciation, please find attached the congratulations letter from International President Ute as well as a US $200 gift certificate to the Zonta Store, and a graphic badge of excellence to use in club communications.

Thank you for your club’s efforts to strengthen Zonta with new voices!

Every Member, Every November ZI Campaign

How did you go donating to the Zonta Foundation? Did you manage to even give $10? Remember everything adds up. $9 can get a girl through School in Madagascar for 6 months. Perhaps you are in a position to make a monthly payment to the Zonta Foundation? You can donate here. You don’t have to log in to donate. 

Once again, you are making a world of difference by donating. Perhaps you’ve had a member in your club pass away this year, give a donation in Memory of them. Or someone has done something incredible in your community, (doesn’t even have to be someone from Zonta) you can give a donation in their Honour, and they get given an email to say you have done this. It is a wonderful way to honour someone in your community. 

Merry Christmas Season to you all!

I would like to thank you all for what you are doing to Build a Better World for Women and Girls. It’s hard to thank you for everything individually, however, I enjoy reading your Newsletters and am ever so grateful for all the work you do as amazing volunteers in our communities. I know this year, like all, has had its highs and lows that make our day-to-day lives hard at times and truly special at other times. Thank you to our wonderful D16 Board who have given their extra time to travel to Board Meetings, run President meetings and be there as a team for you all. It’s a true delight working with them all. To the D16 Committee Chairs who are doing amazing work behind the scenes too. And last but not least you as members whatever position you hold in your clubs, thank you! And I would like to wish you and your families and friends a wonderful 2024.

Nga mihi,

Phillippa Jacobs-Lory
Governor 2022 – 2024,
District 16
Zonta International,
New Zealand