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20 May 2017

VIEW NA01 ZONE CONFERENCE HELD AT EAST MAITLAND BOWLING CLUB – MAY 20, 2017 - ‘Looking Forward, Looking Back’ 

109 women descended on the East Maitland Bowling Club on Saturday May 20, 2017 for the local VIEW Clubs’ Zone Conference. VIEW (Voice Interests Education of Women) is a national women’s organisation with 16,000 members in 320 communities exclusively supporting education charity The Smith Family. Members came from the following clubs– Abermain, Cessnock, Maitland, Myall River, Nelson Bay, Raymond Terrace, Stockton and Tilligerry as well as Branxton, Hunter, Muswellbrook and Redhead. Also attending was National Vice President Gloria Walter, Past National President Lorraine Montgomery and Past National Vice President Chris Newell.

The day’s theme was ‘Looking Forward, Looking Back’ with a hand held mirror on each table showing the original and current VIEW logo, reflecting the past fifty seven years of VIEW.

National Vice President, Gloria Walter, thanked those present for their continued support of, not only VIEW but also the Learning for Life students. VIEW is The Smith Family’s largest community sponsor of Learning for Life students supporting 1,200 disadvantaged Australian children with their education. Looking back Gloria spoke about five businessmen, who in 1922, walked into an orphanage with gifts of toys and sweets and, when asked by the Matron, who they should thank their response was The Smith Family. Little did these five men think that in 2017 we have continued their dream.

The guest speaker for the day, Kate Ryan, gave a very inspirational and moving talk on her childhood and beyond after she suffered a stroke at the age of 10. Kate spoke of overcoming adversity after the stroke having to learn to walk again with a limp and manage life with the use of only one arm. One of Kate’s dreams was to get her driving licence and she spent many hours pretending to drive but through her determination that dream came true and gave her some independence. She's written a book of practical tips for those who, like her, have been forced to adjust to an able-bodied world. Beyond the pragmatic, the frustrations and joys of her two-armed surroundings, her book ’Living independently with one arm’ gives a glimpse into a set of daily challenges that most of us simply never consider.

It was a great day and a chance for VIEW club members from the area to get together, enjoy the friendship and help support the Zone Learning for Life student, Ayesha.

Anne-Louise O’Connor NA01 Zone Councillor