Sunday, 8 May 2011

Trip Report - April 29: Zonta Area 2 Meeting

Here we go with my first ever trip report!

And all I have to show for it is the inside of a hotel conference room.

Also I missed a bit - well a whole day ...quite a lot really

Ummm .....anyway .... let's get started!

After a hairy scary drive down off the plataeu in the dark and the rain, Wollongong Club hosted us at the Novotel Hotel on beautiful North Beach at Wollongong and this is what I found in the morning!
It's still there! From Canberra, it's easy to forget that the Pacific Ocean exists
So we had a lot of Zonta updates such as:
  • District Governor Carolyn gave us an update on the new info flyers for clubs
  • Tina Lecke suggested different ways to use social media including Facebook and Twitter (I didn't tell her about this blog!)
  • Susan Riding gave us some of the history of Amelia Earhart
  • Kerry Brown spoke on Z Clubs, and included a speech from the immediate past Wollongong Z Club President Grace Freckleton
  • Bronlyn Shoer very energetically sold YWPA
  • Susan Bambrick reminded us on donating to the ZI Foundation
These presentations are great for newer members and people who perhaps are now willing to learn more about wider Zonta. Especially in a geographically isolated club it is easy to forget we are part of an international organisation with joint goals. Otherwise we just become the Breakfast Club of Niceness.
All good stuff
The key note address was given by Sandra Jones, Director, Centre of Health Initiatives on alcohol marketing to young women. This was so interesting that it deserves a post of its own.

At the end of the day the most important reason for why I went was to catch up with everyone. To have some fun and have some serious conversations with like minded people. Beyond drinking cosmopolitans and heckling the royal wedding on the large screen TV an Area Meeting is about the people.

yes - this is my main desire for any Zonta get together and those people: make it participatory and interactive.

This guy is gonna get a workout on this blog
keep reading after the jump
This is my mantra - if you want to be a Zontian, to get involved and stay involved in Zonta, it is highly likely you are an articulate, educated, successful, hard working, experienced "professional or executive in business". You are a senior manager or perhaps the owner of a successful business - with a wide variety of skills, networks, resources and ideas.

Then we call all these clever women together to the one place for Area Meetings and Conferences and this is where we have the opportunity to tap into their imagination, their ideas, their skills and anything else they would be willing to offer.

However too frequently these events are just so passive. And frankly, to deny my intellect by not allowing me to exercise it is just a tad insulting.

That's why I was so proud of my club this weekend - yes we pushed for the opportunity - and my Zonta buddies took up the challenge - design and deliver a piece that allowed the attendees to be participants and share their knowledge with each other. We were given a tough topic: "Great ideas for attracting great new members." From our interactive designand all the talk in the room, there was probably more ideas and insight generated than I could ever dream up.

If you're someone who wants academic proof, there is more of it you can poke a stick at. Lewin wrote about this stuff in 1944, Kolb understood the importance of having a tangible experience back in the seventies. Today we have action learning, servant leadership, appreciative enquiry and the list goes on.

Oh - this litte guy is gonna get a work out too

My favourite comment was from District Governor Carolyn who told the group she had been "re-recruited into Zonta" as a result of our exercise.

That's why I deeply appreciated Lorna Parker's fun approach to Nominating Committee. Literally a song and dance act. A bit of prep work and she had the whole room engaged and wanting to sign up.
Build your own District Board
Yellow hats and feather boas have been involved in some of history's most important events
So that's the challenge I pose to you - are you willing to join an organisation and get active?

In closing, I would like to thank all the women who organised the Area Meeting, made presentations and didn't baulk when I was taking their photo. Everyone looked like they were having fun. Have a look at my mad fotoflexer skills


  1. What about the food? In addition to all sorts of the same and similar great things at the Area 1 workshop, we had just the best lunch ever!

  2. downundersugarglider9 May 2011 at 20:11

    Oh - the food!! Of course!
    well - for lunch we went to the Novotel's Seafood Buffet. I confess I had a total protein lunch - oysters, prawns and cheese.
    What would a Zonta meeting be without great food