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Women’s Council elects officers for 2015-16

3 July 2015

Multicultural New Zealand’s Women’s Council this week re-elected Lonie Martin of Wellington as President and elected a new Secretary and Treasurer for 2015-16.
 “I am pleased to welcome two talented women. Anita Mansell, former treasurer of the Federation and President of the Hutt Multicultural Council and Barbara Bedeschi whose experience in policy and advocating for gender equality and women’s empowerment will be of tremendous benefit to the executive and the Federation as a whole”, said Lonie Martin. 
Anita Mansell has been an active leader in both the Filipino and multiethnic communities in Wellington for many years. She has been President of the Hutt Multicultural Council since 2003. She revived the Ethnic Women’s Group in New Zealand and has played an active role in the Multicultural New Zealand Women’s Council and the Human Rights International Film Festival. She has also been involved in working groups on government initiatives such as the National Police Ethnic Strategy and the Refugee Health and Wellbeing Forum.  She is President of the New Zealand Filifest Cultural Group and has taken active roles in the leadership of Filipino organisations such as the Wellington International Filipino Society and the Mabuhay Association and has always been supportive of the Philippine Embassy’s socio-cultural activities. In 2011 she received the Queen’s Service Medal for her service to the Filipino Community.
Barbara Bedeschi is a board member of the Nelson Multicultural Council, a member of the Nelson branch of the National Council of Women and was recently invited to join their Executive. She is a Board member of the United Nations Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand. By trade, Barbara is a policy advisor on climate change and disaster risk reduction, governance and strategy, including advisory experience in the Asia-Pacific region. She is passionate about gender equality, diversity and youth. She lives in Lower Moutere where she runs her advisory company, her own farm and contributes her experience to the Federation and other NGOs.
The annual meeting of the Women’s Council was held in Upper Hutt last weekend and themes were safety, family violence and crime in ethnic communities.  Keynote speaker Inspector Tracy Thompson of the New Zealand Police spoke about diversity and encouraging more women to consider recruitment with the New Zealand Police.
The Women Council’s aim within Multicultural New Zealand is to give ethnic women a voice and to be an advocate for positive change. The new executive, in close collaboration with the women’s representatives of Multicultural New Zealand’s 18 regional councils, will be working towards a new women’s strategic plan and delivery with a focus on ethnic women’s development, empowerment, leadership, women’s rights and domestic family violence in ethnic communities.

For more information contact Lonie Martin at, mobile: 027 256 4430.

Women’s Council elects officers for 2015-16

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