Film to raise funds

Ru­ral Women kept busy

Whanganui Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - By PAUL BROOKS

Ru­ral Women NZ is a strong, na­tion­wide or­gan­i­sa­tion with an ac­tive lo­cal branch.

Next Thurs­day they have ar­ranged a screen­ing of the award-win­ning New Zealand doc­u­men­tary, She Shears ,at Em­bassy 3 as a fundraiser for the branch.

“Ru­ral Women started as an off­shoot of Fed­er­ated Farm­ers years ago,” says branch vice-pres­i­dent Carol Teutscher.

“It was started by Mrs Pol­son, here in Whanganui,” says Clare Ad­kins, cur­rent pres­i­dent.

“It has a long his­tory and was ini­tially sup­port for ru­ral women in the com­mu­nity and has grown into an or­gan­i­sa­tion that has be­come an ad­viser to the Gov­ern­ment, just as Fed­er­ated Farm­ers or Beef and Lamb are. Their in­put is asked for from time to time,” says Carol.

“It’s the big­gest women’s or­gan­i­sa­tion in the coun­try,” adds Clare, “And it has an ear in Gov­ern­ment.

“On a branch level it is still very much about ru­ral women sup­port­ing each other.”

That sup­port ex­tends to ru­ral chil­dren with two an­nual schol­ar­ships to the value of $1000 each through the lo­cal branch.

“One is for any stu­dent do­ing a ter­tiary course that will help in the ru­ral com­mu­nity, so it’s broader than just a Hort or Ag course. We also do a board­ing school bur­sary for a ru­ral child that has to board be­cause of dis­tance from sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion,” says Clare.

Ru­ral Women are also in­volved in fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties through­out the year to as­sist As­so­ci­ated Coun­try Women of the World through a pro­gramme called Pen­nies for Friend­ship. Some of the money goes to projects in the Pa­cific Is­lands.

“Lo­cally, we’ve also raised funds for the de­fib­ril­la­tor at Mangamahu School and its on­go­ing main­te­nance to keep it cer­ti­fied,” says Clare. “We’ve got cour­ses in Fe­bru­ary / March for lo­cals to learn CPR and how to op­er­ate the de­fib­ril­la­tor. Through an­other fund we have put in an ap­pli­ca­tion to help a ru­ral woman with a mo­bil­ity scooter, which will rev­o­lu­tionise her life. It will be a huge help to her fam­ily to have her home and mo­bile. It’s still very much about sup­port­ing ru­ral women.”

“We try to get a speaker along to most of our monthly meet­ings,” says Carol.

This month they’re go­ing to see the Roger Hall com­edy

So­cial Climbers at the Royal Wan­ganui Opera House. There are also re­gional and na­tional get-to­geth­ers.

“This year we’ve funded sec­ondary school-aged stu­dents — one to Out­ward Bound, one go­ing over­seas to an in­ter­na­tional sport­ing com­pe­ti­tion — that sort of thing: sport­ing, cul­tural or aca­demic projects,” says Clare.

It seems women in ru­ral lo­ca­tions do a lot of good with lit­tle fan­fare.

Ru­ral Women NZ helped to fund the mak­ing of She Shears, which is how branches got to use the film as a fundraiser.

“Ru­ral Women head of­fice of­fered us the op­por­tu­nity to pick it up and run with it,” says Carol. “We went to Gary Vin­nell [Em­bassy 3 man­ager] and he was will­ing for us to be the in­sti­ga­tors. We can set up ta­bles and props for nib­bles and drinks in the foyer be­fore­hand and they’re happy to clear it all away for us,” says Clare.

The film fol­lows five women in the New Zealand shear­ing in­dus­try who were ei­ther ex­pe­ri­enced shear­ers or who are work­ing their way up to be­come top women shear­ers.

The shear­ers are Emily Welsh, Jills An­gus Bur­ney, Pa­gan Ka­rau­ria, Hazel Wood and Cather­ine Mul­looly, all from dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try with dif­fer­ent back­grounds, but all with a pas­sion for shear­ing.

Ru­ral Women lo­cal branch has been spread­ing the news about the film and its fundrais­ing screen­ing.

Money raised from She Shears has not been eartagged for any par­tic­u­lar pur­pose yet, but Clare says they have a lot of bur­sary ap­pli­cants this year and a lim­ited pool from which to dis­trib­ute fund­ing.

“This is po­ten­tial to per­haps of­fer an ex­tra bur­sary,” she says.

■ She Shears screens on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 15 at 7pm at Em­bassy 3. Ad­mis­sion is $20 and is lim­ited to pre-pur­chase ticket hold­ers. It in­cludes pre-screen­ing drinks, nib­bles and spot prizes.

To or­der tick­ets con­tact any of the fol­low­ing: Leonora 027 908 5370; Clare 027 918 8001; Carol 027 331 6638; or Em­bassy 3 on 06 345 7958.

PIC­TURE / PAUL BROOKS

Ru­ral Women’s lo­cal branch pres­i­dent Clare Ad­kins (left) and vice-pres­i­dent Carol Teutscher.

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