Below is the full transcript of my Mid year report which was given to all Districts at their District Meetings. held in October/November 2021.
This has also been videoed, so you may like to watch it here.
Who would have thought I would be sitting here in Auckland in Lockdown and unable to attend any of the District meetings across the country in person. However, I'm pleased that three of the four Districts could meet and share time together during October and November, and NZ291 met for a Zoom meeting.
It was a great disappointment that I could not attend any of these meetings in person, as I was genuinely looking forward to connecting with members across the country, making new friends, and spending time with many friends I have made over the years. That was going to be one of the highlights of the year.
The 2021-22 Inner Wheel Year started on 1st July with much enthusiasm and was full of exciting ideas for the year ahead. In the short time before lockdown on 17th August, I managed to visit 2 Clubs – Matamata and Oamaru as they celebrated significant birthdays. Both were extraordinary occasions to be able to celebrate with these Clubs. In addition, we managed to hold our National Governing Body meeting the weekend before lockdown. With the new Covid Protection Framework in place, I can hopefully share some exciting events and activities with members across the country in 2022.
The use of technology has been a significant factor in the Inner Wheel year, and I invite all of you to please reach out and connect. I have been working from home and living life on my little slice of rural paradise south of Auckland but sadly inside the City boundary. I am very fortunate to live in the countryside and have enjoyed taking time in the gardens and rearing our lambs. I did not leave the property very much during the 107 days of lockdown, and it took me 85 days to use a full fuel tank. I can tell you that our rural delivery driver made many visits to our front door, and online shopping has now become typical to our household.
It seems very strange to see and hear of our friends across the country managing to live their lives in the relative freedom that we could do here. I have been delighted to read Club newsletters that share images and stories of your activities and get together's. So please keep them coming, and please Club Editors, if you can send a photo and short report to Arshi at firstname.lastname@example.org, she will happily add these to the News section of the website.
Despite these Covid lockdowns and levels, Inner Wheel NZ has had a lot happening.
The IWNZ website has evolved and developed into a complete resource. It doubles as a public website aimed to attract new members and share our work and a members website and database where a secure login gives you access to many resources.
I invite you all to take the time to log into the website and check out the resources created for you to use in the library. Register to attend a monthly Digital Education session (or watch it later by going to the Past events on the events page), attend a bi-monthly Sunday session, find the resources for Clubs and membership tools, or share in the discussion forums – book club, knitters network, Gardner's patch and sewing bees. Take time to have a look around and see what is new.
Every Club has had a web page created. So that visitors to the site looking to join us can see what is available in their area and may like to join you. The new email accounts allow them to link directly with you too.
The database has been a massive piece of work to install, update and check all registered members. The member's details are kept private from all public users.
Limited access is granted to members through the directory, only accessible when members are logged into the website.
For your security, every person is automatically logged out of the website when they leave the site, and complete site protection and security are active.
Members will be sent communications related to:
- IWNZ events.
- IWNZ communications – from the National team – e.g. President's Communicator and Inner Link Newsletters.
- Important notifications.
Every member can choose their subscription level and opt out of receiving any communications.
Please remember to send details of new members to us so they can receive a personal welcome from me and logins created for access to register to attend IWNZ activities online. There is also a section in the resources library on "new Member Procedures" with a quick link to a form to send the correct information.
I'd like to personally thank the hours of work put into building this system by the team behind the scenes and especially the technical knowledge and assistance from Anthony Smith.
Last year, we registered with Google as a Non-Profit and gained free access to the Google workspace tools through our domain name iwnz.org.nz. Last year we launched the accounts with National and District roles, and this year we created an account for each Club. I know that these have made some anxious moments, and it can be frustrating to learn something new and find new ways to operate. However, the ultimate goal of these accounts is to provide each Club with a safe and secure online storage facility of all Club records on Google Drive, to be a communication tool for Clubs to save having private emails and contacts that need annual changes on the website and for the ability to host free online meetings using Meet, that has all the same features as Zoom.
To assist in all this work, IWNZ has contracted the services of a part-time administrator, Arielle. A young Canadian woman who has been a fantastic asset to the organisation and has been extremely active in setting up and maintaining the database, building and creating pages on the website, managing online meetings so much more, including personally connecting with many members who need her assistance. She is a precious resource for us, and although she has now left NZ, Arielle is not 'gone from the role. She will still stay on board as our Administrator and will still be contactable at email@example.com. Please reach out if you need help!
So what else has happened in the IW world:
Two Clubs have had official name changes after application to International Inner Wheel – Aotea Auckland, now Aotea and Blenheim, now Marlborough.
Dot Anderson Lee travelled to Christchurch to proudly present Nola Moffett with a Margarette Golding Award for over 50 years of service in the Hornby community, as I was unable to travel. I invite anyone to make a nomination for a Margarette Golding Award – forms and information are found on the IWNZ website under 'nominations' in the library.
Sadly there has been the sudden closure of the Tokalau Suva Club due to the Club collapsing, and all but two members remain in Fiji after migrating due to Covid.
IWNZ donated over $11,000 to JP Bayly Trust in Fiji in the emergency appeal. This was so gratefully received and will be used to provide essential supplies for many families in their care. Thank you to every member and Club who made donations.
Our Publicist and Vice President Aly is creating some tools for us. Later this year, each Club will be able to order beautiful Certificates for Honoured Active Awardees, and she has worked with a special team to create some promotional material that will be coming your way very soon.
We are preparing to launch a new membership category – Virtual membership.
As virtual members, people will join Inner wheel in an area where there is no physical club. They will have access to all the member's tools, take part in monthly online meetings, and be able to attend all IW District and National events and activities in person or online. In addition, we are planning for online "Discover IWNZ" events to promote and encourage people to join Inner Wheel. These were to happen in October, but we are reassessing when it will be a suitable time to launch these, so look out for notifications soon.
Clubs received the information about the LGFB Joy Crackers. Thank you to many Clubs who took the opportunity to not only support our National Project but also as an opportunity to do some fabulous Christmas shopping. Some Clubs even purchased crackers to gift to others in need through various charities.
We are holding our first Membership March promotion in 2022. I invite all Clubs to start thinking about a way to promote their Club and host some form of public event during March. We are working towards building a National advertising campaign for this in national magazine publications.
Internationally there have been some exciting articles in the regular "In The Pink" newsletters. So lookout for a few IWNZ articles coming in future issues!
Recently we received information from IIW President Ebe Martines, who has invited all Clubs to take action in an IIW Cervical Cancer Campaign. Information will be coming to you soon about possible ways you can support this cause.
On Sunday 21st November It was a real delight and honour to host IIW President Ebe online from Italy as she shared an hour with IWNZ Members. It was an opportunity to meet Ebe, hear what she has to say, for our District Chairmen to share what's happening in IWNZ and for some Question time.
Ladies, we are all living in highly unique times of uncertainty. It seems like our lifestyles and rules of engagement have changed significantly, which is very unsettling. The National Governing Body of IWNZ has discussed the messaging we need regarding the vaccination debate. As an organisation based on friendship and service, it is essential that we consider the safety and health of everyone we connect with. We will be following all government regulations and guidelines. Your venues and meeting places may implement vaccine passes. You may not be able to meet safely without vaccination passes. Each Club needs to ensure that they are meeting safely, following the Covid Protection Framework guidelines and consider the health and wellbeing of all members. Please help all your members by reaching out and checking they can download and print their vaccine passes, or for your non-vaccinated members, please ensure you follow the guidelines to ensure you can meet safely. Above all else, remember we are an organisation based on friendship. Each Club will be taking the positive steps forward to ensure all members are cared for within in the framework provided.
I hope you are excited about some of the ways forward and the future for IWNZ. Above all else, I love reading your news, seeing your stories of friendship and service and encouraging you all to continue embracing the opportunities the Inner Wheel offers you. Keep doing the great things you are doing. Together we will get through. Together we will continue to be the women's service organisation that you love and belong to, as women in action sharing friendship and service. Thank you for all you do!