Celebrating 125 years of having the vote

Written by Emma Keeling.

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Is change happening fast enough?

It was a resounding NO from almost everyone in the room at the game changers evening to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the women of New Zealand winning the right to vote.

As we gathered in the penthouse of the High Commission, faces of game changes of the past and present watched as we sipped wine and prepared to be challenged and inspired, although we didn’t know to what extent.

So often in our everyday lives we get together with our friends for a wine that can turn into a whine. But on this night as men, women, Maori, pakeha and well, everybody, gathered at the feet of our six wise panellists (they were on a podium), it was obvious the organisers wanted this to be forward thinking, discussing how we, together, can put change into motion. How can we progress equality and diversity in society?

Money, a Love Story by Kate Northrup.

Written by Stacey Williams.

Mon£y – A Love Story

Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want by Kate Northrup
Review by Bronwen Horton

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This is the first book we’ve read which covers personal finances and from the outset there was consensus in the room that we were not brought up to talk about money and investments. As always we had some members completely finishing the book and others coming along with differing portions of the book left to read. For us, completing the book is not required but rather a willingness to discuss and give opinions freely and respectfully - especially in this instance where money is not a topic a majority of people feel comfortable talking about.

For most, the book was easy to read with the author using plain English and a layperson’s approach to the subject. If financial jargon was used it was fully explained. What was challenging was that each chapter ended with an exercise. Those around the table who had done the exercises found them useful but those who were reading the book while commuting found this a little difficult.

Our Stories: Bridget Walsh

Written by Linda Rose.

Bridget Walsh bw 2 GIMP smallMiss Bridget Walsh – as she is known professionally – has an impressive tour history. She has performed with bands in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France, Mexico and the Czech Republic to name but a few. Bridget got the touring bug early - she travelled with her school choir from Westlake Girls in Takapuna to both Hawaii and Vancouver.

But, of course, the music began before that. On her mum’s side, Bridget is the oldest grandchild in a large family of Irish heritage, and says her grandmother played the piano and her mum has a beautiful singing voice. “And I was bossy and a bit of a show-off, clearly destined to be on stage.”

A degree in Music at Auckland university seemed appealing, but at age 16 Bridget found she just didn’t have a passion for classical music. A paper in pop music led to an invitation to audition for the university’s pop programme, and after a quick six-month trip to the UK (where a job at Clare’s Accessories nearly derailed her into retail management) Bridget took up her place on the programme and completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts in 2005, majoring in voice and piano.

Our Stories: Linda McDougall

Written by Emma Bell.

Linda McDougall bw GIMP“I used to believe I could do everything, what a silly idea. I’d never think that again.”

Linda McDougall describes that she ‘leaps out of bed at 5am’ not only to tend to her latest manuscript, but also her house renovations and her voluntary work with the Barbara Pym Society, an organisation that celebrates the work of one of her favourite novelists. At 77, she doesn’t appear to be showing any signs of retiring from her work yet.

“Sometimes I lie on my back and tell myself that I don’t have to do anything, but I still don’t believe it.”

Linda first arrived in the UK in 1961 as a 19-year-old aspiring actress on a NZ Government bursary to attend the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. It was upon her arrival in the UK that she watched television for the very first time, unaware that she would go on to spend her entire career behind the cameras as well as in front of them.

What's the Goss?