Meet President 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 about your first year as President of WIZO NSW
Let me start off by saying what an incredible year it has been. From visiting our newest project, Makom Balev in Beersheva, attending WIZO’s Meeting Of Representatives (MOR) conference and working with our incredible volunteers for a successful campaign, it has been an action-packed and very rewarding year.
And now, going into my second year, I’m feeling more committed to WIZO than ever before. I am re-energised and ready for a big 2019.
How would you explain WIZO to someone who has never heard of it?
I would say that WIZO is the biggest welfare organisation for woman and children in Israel and that women all over the world raise funds for the very important projects that each country is responsible for. We have over 250,000 members from 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 that when I go to Israel for the world WIZO conferences, I get to meet women from all over the world who share the same love and passion that I do.
As the current President of WIZO NSW, WIZO had become an integral part of my life and means the world to me.
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 WIZO member?
I would talk about the joys 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 we support.
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 and help others less fortunate than themselves.
Is there a WIZO project that you have a particular interest in? Why?
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 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 been implemented because of WIZO Australia. I always feel very proud.
Is it time you became a WIZO woman too?