Rural Woman New Zealand Hampden branch president Leona
Trimble attended the organisation's recent Growing Dynamic
Leaders course in Wellington. Supplied photo
''Inspirational'' is how Hampden woman Leona Trimble
describes her recent experience.
''I gained inspiration, knowledge, confidence ... insight
into the corporate and political world.
''It has enhanced my leadership skills and I'm already
putting what I've learnt to good use.''
The Rural Woman New Zealand (RWNZ) Hampden branch president
was one of 11 organisation members from throughout New
Zealand selected to attend its Growing Dynamic Leaders course
in Wellington last month.
Agri-Women's Development Trust founder and Next 2013 Business
Woman of the Year Lindy Nelson led the first section and set
the tone for the three-day programme.
Speakers and workshops focused on ways the women could be
more effective as leaders in the community ''whatever we were
involved with'', Mrs Trimble said.
The opportunity to meet women members of National and
Labour's caucuses gave the group a chance to put rural issues
directly to the politicians.
''It was pretty amazing to have very influential people
listening to our stories.''
Watching sittings of Parliament was an ''eye-opener for all
of us ladies''.
Mrs Trimble said she found the session with Volunteering New
Zealand chief executive Vanisa Dhiru of particular interest
She spoke about the roles of volunteers in the community and
what skills leaders needed ''to get the best out of others''.
Ministry of Social Development representatives spoke to the
group about its collaboration with RWNZ to raise awareness
about family violence and the help available through a
letterbox sticker campaign, ''It's OK to ask for help''.
''We have to acknowledge there is violence in every
community, in all its forms, from bullying to physical abuse.
''People either don't know about it or don't want to talk
about it. The sticker programme is a silent way to let people
know we care and where they can go to for help."
Stickers are available from any branch of RWNZ and there is
further information on the website at: http://areyouok.org.nz/
Kiwiblog founder David Farrar spoke to the group about the
potential of social media to be an effective tool for
advocating for rural community issues, and the need for it to
be used responsibly.
The RWNZ group gave a presentation about the importance of
mental wellness ''which underpins everything we do on the
farm'' to Landcorp, who sponsored the programme.
- by Ruth Grundy