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Trustees embrace NZ tradition of the volunteer


Media Release


Trustees embrace NZ tradition of the volunteer


The launch of the International Year of Volunteers is the time to thank New Zealand’s biggest group of volunteers – school boards of trustees – says Trustee Elections 2001 National Co-ordinator Janet Kelly.

Janet Kelly has called on parents to mark tomorrow’s launch of the United Nations International Year of Volunteers by celebrating the trustees who run their schools. She says the launch is an excellent platform to acknowledge their commitment and the invaluable work they do in running New Zealand schools.

Since self-management of schools was set up in 1989 more than 100,000 parent elected representatives have shown their commitment to children’s education by standing for their local boards of trustees.

“Trusteeship is all about people being willing to give something back to the community.”

“Like any volunteer organisation, those involved want to make a difference to those around them, and in this case it is their children and their school community. And just like other volunteer roles, those involved often end up taking something away from the experience, whether its learning new skills or the satisfaction of achieving goals.”

She says it is also fitting that the United Nations has selected next year for the International Year of Volunteers 2001, with the fifth election for boards being held next March.

“2001 is a big year for us. We are looking for the support of more than 14,000 New Zealanders who are willing to volunteer for the important role of setting the direction for local schools.”

Janet Kelly says much of the success of self-management is due to the fact New Zealanders are willing to get involved.

“This is a genuine Kiwi event: thousands of mums, dads, caregivers, and grandparents all taking part in the time-honoured New Zealand tradition of the volunteer and giving their time and expertise to help all our children. Our election theme of Stand and Be Counted underscores this.”

She says while trustees receive a very small payment, they take up the role because of their commitment to students and to education. In fact, many waive the fee to help their schools.

Nominations open on February 28, while the elections will be held on 30 March 2001.

[ends]

For more information contact (025) 229-6260.

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