Meet Diane Symonds
WIZO Women come from all walks of life.
Let’s get to know some of our members and find out what WIZO means to them.
Hi Diane, tell us when and why you joined WIZO?
I joined WIZO in 1998 when I was pregnant with my second daughter Natalie. I wanted to be involved in a community not-for-profit organisation, and with my love of Israel being a big part of my life, it was a perfect match.
How would you explain WIZO to someone who has never heard of it?
I would say that WIZO is the largest welfare organisation in Israel, supporting women and children and that women all over the world raise funds for the very important projects. Each country is responsible for particular projects and we have over 250,000 members around the world.
What does WIZO mean to you?
WIZO has been a very big part of my life for the last twenty years. I am so lucky to have found an organisation that I feel totally connected to. In addition to my genuine love of Israel and the very important work WIZO does, I love going to Israel for the World WIZO conferences and meeting women from all over the world who share the same love and passion that I do.
Why is WIZO important today?
Unfortunately there is still a significant part of the Israeli population that is underprivileged. By being members of WIZO we are supporting many people who would not be getting the help that they truly need.
Is there a WIZO function or event that stands out in your mind? Why?
When I first became involved with WIZO we had an AVIV event for all the girls under 40 and it was for an entire weekend. There was so much fun and so much learning at the same time. It cemented my commitment to WIZO and I’ve never looked back.
I would love to help get that running again so that the younger generation can also have an opportunity to really get involved and start their own WIZO journey.
What would you tell someone who was unsure about becoming a member?
I would talk about the joy WIZO has given me from friendships with like-minded people, to the incredible projects we support and how we are truly making a difference in the lives of the people in our care.
Tell us about yourself outside of WIZO – your family life, work life, other interests.
I am very lucky to have three wonderful children who also share the same love of Israel and who have all been involved with WIZO their entire lives. They really do feel a part of the WIZO family. They look forward to the annual honey cake deliveries for Rosh Hashana, and recently they had their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, insisting that they share their gifts with WIZO to help others less fortunate than themselves.
Is there a WIZO project that you have a particular interest in? Why?
WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim will always hold a special place in my heart. My background is in special education and having worked in many special ed facilities in Sydney, I know first hand the importance of having a school for these children where they can really get the help they need and feel safe.
My children and I have visited WIZO Ahuzat Yeladim many many times and to see the incredible work that Yossi and his team are doing with the huge help of all our WIZO donors, is incredible.
I love visiting each year and seeing all the new programs and renovations that have taken place because of WIZO Australia. I always feel very proud.
Is it time you became a WIZO woman too?