He hoonore, he korooria, he maungaarongo ki te atua,
He maungaarongo ki te whenua,
He whakaaro pai ki ngaa taangata katoa.
Ko Pirongia te Maunga.
Ko Waipa te Awa.
Ko Tainui te Waka.
Ko Waikato te iwi.
Ko Ngaati Maahanga te hapuu.
Ko Te Papa o Rotu te marae.
Ko Amy Nicole McLean tooku ingoa.
I’m a positive ‘Yes’ sort of person at the best of times, but when I sat down with Natasha Harvey for a cuppa about a year ago and she suggested I join her on the Waikato Women’s Fund’s Establishment Committee, I jumped at the opportunity to say ‘Yes’ for a particular very good reason.
Supporting, empowering and challenging women and girls has always been on my radar, even from a young age when I volunteered with GirlGuidingNZ. For eight years I immersed myself in different ways to excite and engage with young girls, and then women too, as I worked with others to empower them as leaders of girls.
Whether I knew it or not at the time, that role created the deep-set values I now have – to see women and girls be courageous, be proud, be celebrated and be valued.
When I became a mum to our two daughters Amelia and Maia, my whole world shifted. Suddenly it became even more important to me that women and girls have all the opportunities they deserve.
Motherhood has given me a sense of responsibility – that we need to be building a society that will embrace my daughters for all they are and all they want to be. A society that will encourage girls like Maia to be a firefighter when she grows up, or girls like Amelia to be business owners one day.
I look at the work I’ve done over the past 10 years, and whether it’s been in the community through volunteering, through my coaching business, through the Life On Purpose podcast, or through events and meet-ups I’ve hosted, women and girls have always been the focus. I love being able to create opportunities for women to do, be and share in our own unique ways.
Which is what the Waikato Women’s Fund does too!
The Waikato Women’s Fund isn’t about a few people giving large sums of money, it’s about all of us feeling empowered to give what we can give, when we can give it. Whether that’s $5 per week regularly, or $500 once-off, it all makes a huge difference, and it all goes to something bigger.
Just think if you and I, and our friends, and their friends, and friends of their friends, all pooled our money together, the impact we can make collectively is huge. That’s a giving circle. That’s the Waikato Women’s Fund.