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We may be locked down in our homes but in August and early September ideas have filled  the airwaves, risen out of the Cloud and have expanded opportunities to acquire knowledge  and communicate with others.

Have you been attending meetings, webinars and Zooming with friends and family? I have. The lockdown has allowed me to attend lots of events and activites for WIZO.

National Council of Women of Victoria

6 August 2020 meeting

The Honourable Diana Bryant AO, QC retired Chief Justice was guest speaker. She spoke  about the current review of the Family Law Court, and her assessment that the Court should  be a single structure with two divisions– Family Law Court and Federal Circuit Court, which  Diana believes is practical allowing one set of rules, one point of entry and one head for both  the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFC).

3 September meeting

Jean Hailes Patron and Interim CEO Janet Michelmore AO, spoke about Women’s Health  Week 7-11 September 2020, a national campaign presented by Jean Hailes aimed to  improve the health of all women and girls in Australia.

United Nations Association of Australia, Victorian branch, Status of Women Committee  (SOWC)

11 August 2020 meeting

I invited members of SOWC to WIZO Masada’s Zichron Yaakov tour and suggested  members circulate the invitation to interested people. This resulted in viewers from Japan, Philippines and India attending our zoom tour.

During the meeting I also invited members to the farewell to Australian Ambassador Hon Chris Cannan. This resulted in favourable feedback about Israel from a member of  Soroptimist International, a global women’s social welfare organisation

7 September 2020 meeting

I presented a workshop entitled Country Women’s Association (CWA) has credibility. Does  the United Nations have it?

We live in a time of challenge to some government policies. I wondered why we trust CWA  and to what extent we, civil society, trust the UN to provide global security, humanitarian  relief, orderly trade agreements and to promote gender equality.

Share the Dignity August Dignity drive

During August WIZO Victoria asked members and supporters to donate new pads, tampons and incontinence pads in support of women in need of these items. I hope we can continue  supporting Share the Dignity in 2021.

As Share the Dignity Patron Aunty Flow says” no one should have to choose between a  tampon and a meal.

Tours of Zichron Yaakov 16 August and Jerusalem 6 September 2020.

WIZO Masada’s tours of Israel have been a marvellous success! Tours have allowed many  non-Jewish people to visit sacred sights, learn about Israel’s the biblical and modern history,  be guided by an expat Australian and to view WIZO’s friendly faces on their computer  screens. Our tours have demystified Israel and brought diverse visitors to Israel and we have  informed about WIZO’s projects.

Invitations to tours were sent to the following:

  • National Council of Women of Victoria
  • United Nations Association of Australia, Status of Women Committee
  • Country Women’s Association of Victoria
  • Christian friends
  • Bahai Community of Australia
  • CW interfaith organisation
  • National Australian Chinese Women’s Association
  • Soroptimist International, Toorak and Queensland branches

Some feedback:

“I really enjoyed the Zichron Yaakov tour and all of the other tours that WIZO and David  Cherny have put on. They have been fantastic.”

“I now know that I would love to visit (Israel). It looks amazing and the history is beyond  words. David did an amazing job, ….to see the Wailing Wall and David placing the prayers  in the wall, the Mount of Olives, and so many other places of history, my heart and spirit  were so filled with emotion”

“Just want to say again how much I and the other Baha’i participants (about 6) enjoyed the  virtual tour of Jerusalem on Sunday. It really brought back a lot of memories and stirred a  desire to go back to Israel again, once all this COVID business is over!”

“It was a terrific and novel idea – congratulations to all those who made it happen.”

Country Women’s Association of Australia, Victoria (CWA)

WIZO Masada tours

I sent invitations to members of CWA Bayside, Mentone, Brighton, and Bentleigh I have received positive feedback

CWA Country of Study 2020

Each year CWA nominates a Country of Study. Botswana is 2020 Country of Study.

I organised guest speaker Mmaskepe Sejoe born in Botswana and a member of UNAA  SOWC, to be a guest speaker at CWA Bayside monthly meeting.

WIZO Victoria’s Challah Bake

I sent an invitation to WIZO Victoria’s Challah Bake to CWA Bayside. A member reported  that the Zoom was very enjoyable. A few days after the Challah Bake, this CWA member  visited Danish Nosh for a conversation with Yaniv and thanked him for his presentation.

Launch of Every Woman’s Guide to Saving the Planet, by Natalie Isaacs Natalie is the daughter of Pamela Huppert President of WIZO Queensland.

I attended the launch in which Natalie shared her journey from climate bystander to  international campaigner. She is the founder and CEO of the globally recognised climate  action organisation 1 Million Women, https://www.1millionwomen.com.au/our movement/about-1-million-women/. Launched in 2009, 1 Million Women is now a movement  of over 950,000+ women and girls.

Bahai Community of Bayside

WIZO Victoria has been contacted by a member of Bahai Bayside with the view to building friendship with WIZO and to invite our members living in Bayside to a gathering in  November. I will follow up on this invitation.

So, has lockdown 2020 been a quiet time in the Community Liaison portfolio? Not at all!

New invitations, new friends to reach out to and more and more community interest in WIZO.  Yippee!

Nina Richwol 
Community Liaison Officer
WIZO Australia

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