Inner Wheel

New Zealand

President's Post

This is a space where you can come and read about various ideas and inspiration.

Below you will find a selection of my blogs and messages. I will be sharing some of my speeches, ideas and motivational pieces. 

I hope you enjoy reading these over the coming months.

I te Whakahoahoa, In Friendship,

IWNZ National President & National Representative, 2021-22

  • 30 Aug 2021 2:57 PM | Michelle Atkinson (Administrator)

    On Saturday 28th August, I was invited to be the "Chief Guest" presenter at a Membership Training Event for New Generation Clubs at District 323, India.


    It was a great honour to interact with and present to the five New Generation Clubs in this District. It was a late evening for me, but I did my best to present some "words of wisdom" about being a New Generation Inner Wheel Club Member.

     I congratulate Arathi Narayanan on organizing such a successful and fun event. I particularly enjoyed the games and dance interaction fun at the end of the event.

    The questions and the positive comments were amazing!

    I'd also like to thank my dear friend Azhagu Annamalai, Past IIW Treasurer, for connecting me with Arathi in order to help her make this event happen.

     I wish the District all the best for all future presentations.

    Here is a link to the presentation on You Tube:

    For a Copy of my presentation, click on the image below:

  • 31 Jul 2021 4:30 PM | Michelle Atkinson (Administrator)

    "Thank you for being a friend" 

    It was such an honour and delight to attend the 50th birthday celebrations of the Inner Wheel Club of Oamaru on the 24th July 2021.

    Celebrating 50 years as an Inner Wheel Club was a delightful celebration of friendship.

    I decide to step outside my comfort zone and sing! Click here or on the photo to watch the video of my speech from the may like to watch the beginning and the end - as I serenade the Golden Girls of Oamaru.

    I would like to make a personal thank you to all the members of the IW Club of Oamaru and to all the lovely visitors as IW members from Clubs around NZ298 and your husbands. An extra special thank you to Dawn and Brian Perkins for your chauffer  driving and beautiful hospitality and to Jean Currie, my travel buddy.

    It really was a very special weekend to share with you all. My heart was full of friendship and many amazing memories were made from the special time I spent with you all. I look forward to seeing you all again, soon!

  • 20 Jul 2021 4:56 PM | Michelle Atkinson (Administrator)

    I recently attended the 40th Birthday Celebrations of the IW Club of Matatmata where I had an opportunity to share a few words.

    Below is what I shared:

    I am not too young that I cannot remember 1981 – I was 11 and entering the world of Form 1 (Year 7) at school in Auckland.

    1981 – The year that MS-Dos was invented, and IBM introduced the first Personal Computer on the market from Microsoft.

    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark debuted during June in the cinemas.

    Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer walked down the Aisle at St Pauls, London.

    Ronald Regan Becomes President of the United States

    The AIDS virus was identified.

    The first flight pf the Space Shuttle Columbia

    The first year that the world Internet was mentioned.

    In NZ

    ANZAC relations took a hit – at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds when The Chappell brothers were responsible for the famous underarm bowl incident.

    Violent incidents made it to the streets due to the Springboks tour.

    NZers travelling to Australia required a passport for the first time since 1972.

    And a little closer to home the IW Cub of Matamata is founded.

    Jumping 40 years on –

    And travel to Australia is now even harder than ever – due to a bigger virus than Aids and Trans-Tasman Bubbles opening and closing.

    The world wide web and technology has taken off. As IW members you are now being invited to log in to the website to view and review information and learning about new terms such as goggle workspace accounts.

    But above all else The IW Club of Matamata holds firm… amongst all the changes and developments in the world and around us a few things remain consistent… that is object of Inner Wheel – to promote true friendship, foster personal service and gain international understanding.

    Looking back to 1981 –

    A time when joining organisations and Clubs was the thing to do.

    People were keen to be part of something bigger than themselves, to enjoy the connectivity and involvement in Clubs as you worked together to make such a difference to so many others lives through service projects, social activities – you were and still are women in action sharing friendship through service.

    But what has happened to society? – why is it now so hard to get people to commit to joining something? The mentality in society is still there – and if 2020 proved anything – it proved that when times are tough and we are locked down, our normality is removed, then we join as a community to help others in need, to be kind, to go out of our way to help others. Is that not what Inner Wheel does? and has done for well over 40 years, in fact we celebrate the 98th year of IW international this coming year.

    I do not believe it is only NZ society that has this fear of commitment, this fear of being involved in something “organised” an organisation, a need to commit to something bigger than ourselves, but I believe it is a worldwide problem where people perceive life to be busy, to be too difficult and scary to commit to something outside of our bubbles. People enjoy the feeling of helping other on their terms, but to commit to be part of a Club or group is a mental block.

    We are not a secret society, we open our doors to welcome new people, but if only they know the benefits of being a member of something bigger than themselves, by committing to being a member of Inner Wheel is committing to being part of a group of friends, who meet once a month, sometimes a little more often for service projects or social activities. It is being part of a group that offers just as much to its members as the members give those in need. We are the something bigger than ourselves, that connection between our desire to help and not feeling like we are doing things on our own, we are not isolated, we have a voice, we have something bigger behind us So that if we promote ourselves and let the world know who we are we can have a bigger voice in supporting social services not only in NZ but abroad too.

    We are amazing ladies – women in action sharing friendship through service projects in our local communities. As a national body last year, we connected with 269 charities, giving 62000 hours of service, and raising over $279,000 in funds and goods to support those in need. That is pretty awesome! And so much bigger than any one individual can do. So, what can we do to help spread our wings, open our doors, encourage others to step out of the comfort zone and become part of something bigger than themselves, and become and Inspiration a Woman, and Inner Wheel woman, a woman in action sharing friendships through service?

    This year our IIW President Ebe Martines has set us a challenging theme, Pink First, Now on face value that seems a tough one to acknowledge and goes against the grade of so many stereotypes and ways of thinking, yet, when you read deeper into what she is asking us to do, we see that really, the message is not too different than what we already do and have been doing for at least he last 40 year as the IW Club of Matamata – supporting women – helping women and children in our communities through our actions. She is inviting us to think about the 4 areas of health, education, empowerment, and opportunity. These core areas lie within the United Nations mandate towards gender equality in 2030. On top of this there is very strong cross over with the IIW service project them for 2021-24 – strong women stronger world. Looking at both in combination provides a powerful base for us to continue doing what we already do – to support women, children, families in our communities that are in need. Whether it be thorough assisting with education – by reading in schools, providing books and resources, providing scholarships for girls to attend education facilities, events, or activities. Opportunities are vast but there may be an opportunity such as the local girl guides are currently fundraising to attend jamboree in January at Mystery Creek – Maybe your Club may sponsor a girl or 2 to attend? Health – so many of you regular club activities already support health related activities such as the National Project LGFB, Days for girls, Cancer Society, your knitting supplies and so much more. I encourage you to continue doing what you do and may look at ways to introduce just 1 new activity a year but stay within the boundaries of what is capable for you! You already do so much and should be very proud of all your achievements and activities.

    Friendship above all else is what makes a Club great, Visitors soon get a feeling when they walk in the room as a first impression if this is something they want to be part of or not, so keep the atmosphere positive, keep the politics and business at bay and take time to enjoy the friendship of each other, it’s amazing how quickly others want to be part of something when there are positive friendly stories coming their way.

    Ladies of the IW Club of Matamata – you have so much to celebrate and to be proud of. Congratulations on this 40th anniversary milestone, I certain hope I am here to celebrate with 50th with some of you in the future. Keep doing what you do, embrace the new, treasure the heritage and above all keep smiling as you all truly are women in action sharing friendship though service.

  • 15 Jul 2021 5:24 PM | Michelle Atkinson (Administrator)

    Let me introduce myself, Michelle Atkinson, Inner Wheel member since 2008 as a charter member of the Inner Wheel Club of Aotea, NZ291.

    To me, life is about taking opportunities as they come your way and to make the most out of every day.

    A passionate IW member, I soon accepting challenges along the way to test my limits and step out of comfort zones. District Editor for NZ291, 2011-14, then a massive leap of faith took me on to become International Editor/ Media Manager, 2014-17. Returning to NZ291 as District Chairman and Conference Convenor for the 2019 IWNZ conference.

    In my "day job" I work as a contractor to charities to assist with funding and fundraising opportunities, event management, communications solutions and organisational development. I enjoy creativity and dabble in design work, for example the creation and posting of messages on the IWNZ social media channels.

    Teamwork is the key and over the last few years I have been working alon

    Change happens but the fundamental principles of Inner Wheel remain as we strive to be the women’s organisation that people know and want to belong to. We have pride in the great things we are doing. We build bonds of friendship that span years and generations, we encourage others through a wide variety of service projects and ultimately, we care about what is happening to us, to our communities, to our country and to our world.gside a dedicated team of IWNZ leaders who are striving to ensure the future success of our organisation.

    As we move forward into the 2021-22 Inner Wheel year and beyond, we hold our heritage at our heart and yet embrace some enhanced ways of being as we implement the new database, website, communications and activities for all members to enjoy at whatever level of participation you choose.

    I look forward to being on the journey with you all as we share time together, keep connected and above all enjoy the friendship of being Inner Wheel members in the women’s organisation that we are all proud to be members of. We are Women in action sharing friendship through service. I am excited for what the future holds and for the challenges ahead.

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