Republic of the Philippines

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PHL Ambassador joins the Zonta clubs of Wellington and MANA Award for the 2015 Young Women in Public Affairs

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In line with the Philippine Embassy’s continuing priority to strengthen people-to-people ties and promote cultural understanding and sharing with the communities in New Zealand, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez attended the Zonta Clubs of Wellington and Mana Award ceremony for the 2015 Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) held on 29 January 2015 at the Begonia House, Wellington Botanical Gardens, Wellington, New Zealand. Hosted by Her Worship Celia Wade-Brown, Mayor of Wellington, the event highlighted the presentation of prizes and bouquet of flowers to Anna Collett, the winner of the Zonta Club of Wellington award and Brittany Young who won the Zonta Mana Club award by Dr. Jan Pearson, President of Zonta Club of Wellington and President Linda Hall-Thorpe of Zonta Club of Mana, respectively. Both winners’ achievements in their respective academic studies in high school, and community engagements, leadership attributes, advocacies and career pursuits at the Victoria University of Wellington, among others, were cited as basis for the YWPA awards. Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, former Mayor of Porirua, Ms. Jenny Brash, Immediate Past President of Zonta International, Ms. Lynn McKenzie were among those who shared their experiences, insights and advice on women empowered for service and leadership in various roles and responsibilities in the public, private and NGO sectors. Ms. Anna Collett and Ms. Brittany Young each spoke on their future plans, vision and aspirations in the fields of environmental science and law and science, respectively.

During the award ceremony, it was also pointed out that Ms. Collett and Ms. Young were among those who attended the Inspirational Dinner hosted by Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez for fourteen female students from Wellington and Hutt high schools and colleges at “Ang Bahay” (Philippine Ambassador’s residence) on 19 September 2014. Together with Zonta Club of Wellington led by its President, Ms. Agnes Espineda at that time, it was an avenue to listen to and interact with the young women who shared their career paths and advice and enabled them to talk about their future goals and express their views on different subjects during conversations around the dinner table. “It is heartwarming to know and to hear from Ms. Collett and Ms. Young and the Zonta Club officers the positive impact and enriching experiences they gained during the inspiring, educational and motivational evening. We are all interconnected moving together for the advancement of women in the local, regional and international arenas and inspiring young women to whom we will pass on the baton and the banner for women’s development and empowerment across all sectors and nationalities,” Ambassador Benavidez stated.

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