Annual General Meeting 2022 – Chair Report

From Karen
The year that was saw my time as Chair of the Network come to a close. The handing of the baton to Trish was a seamless transition as she like me is a great advocate for all that the Network is, does and offers.

My years at the helm have been pretty much confined to the Covid era. Events on, events off, excitement and disappointment … Zoom, Teams, Webinars – they are new skills and have been our saving grace over these last two and half years but like all of you I am so very glad it is behind us!

Let connection reign, no more ‘virtual’ let’s do face 2 face, shoulder to shoulder, let’s share all things dairy and let the amazing women (and the occasional man) within it, be ever present out and about within the regions again. You bring depth to conversations that are from ‘life’, you are the heart and soul of the Network and will as past Chair Cathy Brown always says bring “the gold to the room”. So, I look forward to rooms full to overflowing with just that – the gold of conversations and connection that are real and relevant – on point, front
of mind, industry, and people critical. It is exciting and invigorating and I look forward to seeing many of you in the year ahead.

Tena Koutou from Trish
It is a pleasure to pick up the baton from Karen when the World is awakening from the Covid slumber! As we look forward to reconnecting with our members, partners, and stakeholders, we are conscious that there is a multitude of people and organisations wanting your time and want to thank all our volunteers and the whole DWN team for keeping us moving forward even when it felt like we couldn’t move at all.

To the management team and to Jules, you adapted our organisation over the last few years pivoting at every hurdle to keep trying to provide a way for our members to connect, learn or be inspired. Thank you ka pai.

Ever the optimist, I can’t wait to see what comes next. As our partners and sponsors look to provide real value to our members, there will be some amazing opportunities to connect. Please come along – it is now easier than ever to come in from milking, put your pj’s on and chill out. Or come in after sorting the farm/family/job in the morning and just sit down and look at what may be awaiting you at home or the office. But we have been doing that for the last few years. What we need to do is to push ourselves, get back to events, ask our neighbours for dinner, have a street potluck, jump over to a book club DWN event… the list goes on. Nau mai, haere mai.

Going into our 25-year celebration year in 2023, keep an eye out on what will be happening. You have a passionate board of trustees alongside the management team who want to ensure that the organisation continues to thrive for the next 25 years. To the Trustees now and the ones who came before, thank you for your vision for our organisation and all your hard work too.

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people

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