First Filipino Woman President of Zonta Club of Wellington ends her 2014 term on a high note
Ms Agnes Espineda became the first Filipino President of the Zonta Club of Wellington in 2014. Originating from Bicol, Ms Espineda has made her home in Wellington, New Zealand for the last 23 years. As President, Ms Espineda has shown unwavering commitment and laser focused determination. She has helped to energise Zonta’s vision to Advance the Status of Women Worldwide through Service and Advocacy.
Ms Espineda embodies the Filipino spirit of ‘bayanihan’ (volunteerism, cooperative effort and unity to achieve goals for the good of the organisation and community). She has been instrumental in the Zonta Club of Wellington’s visibility and credibility and making a positive difference in the lives of women and girls. Under Ms Espineda’s leadership, members have enthusiastically participated in many fun-filled and meaningful events and wider partnerships forged with other community organisations especially the campaign against violence to women.
Some of the Club’s significant events and projects in 2014 included the Young Women in Public Affairs Award, the International Women’s Day Breakfast, the 13th Zonta Science Award, and an Inspirational Dinner to celebrate New Zealand Suffrage Day. A “High Tea " fundraising event was held to raise funds for Zonta’s local, national and international projects. Zonta members also joined the White Ribbon Day “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” march, taking a stand against violence to women. A special project dear to Ms Espineda’s heart. Under her leadership, the club has actively engaged with colleges and schools to inspire young women and support them in their career choices.
Ambassador Virginia H Benavidez was proud to host an inspirational dinner with the Zonta Club. This was attended by 14 female students from Wellington and Hutt Valley high schools at ” Ang Bahay”, the Philippine Ambassador’s residence. At the dinner, Ambassador Benavidez spoke at the dinner said “We at the Philippine Embassy are greatly honoured and happy to partner with the Zonta Club of Wellington, whose officers and members led by its President, Ms Agnes Espineda, distinctly and tangibly demonstrate in their activities and advocacies their single focus to improving the status and protecting the rights of women worldwide. This is the collective resolve and common pursuits that bind the Philippines and New Zealand which are in the forefront of highlighting the importance of women as the key driver to growth and development in the lives of nations and in the lives of peoples.”
Ms Espineda’s rewarding and remarkable journey of leading the Zonta Club of Wellington speaks volumes of a Filipino woman’s dedication, leadership and heart-centred service. Together with the full support and trust of the Club’s Board, its members and partners, she has championed projects for the empowerment of women. Ms Espineda truly showcases the best of what a Filipino can do in their advocacy, work and profession.
The Philippine Embassy is blessed to partner with Ms Espineda and the Zonta Club of Wellington. It has raised the positive profile and favourable reputation of the Philippines as well as the talents and contributions of its people to New Zealand’s multi-cultural society.
Ms Espineda is Managing Director of TACTICS Limited, a training and documentation consulting company based in Wellington. Under her inspiring leadership, TACTICS has grown to become one of the leading providers of performance support services in the Asia-Pacific region. TACTICS has successfully delivered many projects for private and public sector clients in New Zealand and internationally.