10 November 2018: Editorial
It’s Graduation season, and some of you will become graduate women for the first time. Some of you already are graduate women. Either way, there’s an organisation that you probably don’t know about that you should definitely join: Graduate Women Wellington.
Graduate Women Wellington is part of the network of organisations that make up Graduate Women International. Graduate Women International was founded in 1918, at the end of World War I, with the hope that by joining together to promote international peace, cooperation, understanding, and friendship, educated women of the world might assist in averting future disastrous conflicts. Across the world the local branches work to promote life long education women and girls as well as cooperation, friendship, peace, and respect.
Here in New Zealand, Graduate Women New Zealand also has a long and venerable history (Read more about it here). Since its establishment in 1921, women across the nation have used come together to network, support one another, and work together to promote education for women and girls.
Graduate Women Wellington, the Wellington branch of Graduate Women New Zealand, is also an organisation with an impressive history of supporting women’s education. Our graduation regalia is brought to us through the efforts of Graduate Women Wellington, who then use the proceeds to provide scholarships and grants to women and girls to more tangibly support women with their education goals.
The members of Graduate Women Wellington meet once a month to network, learn from each other, and listen to presentations from grant and scholarship awardees about the exciting research that they are doing. Graduate Women Wellington also forms part of the international advocacy network of Graduate Women international which has consultative status at the United Nations and its specialised agencies. Graduate Women International also works with four other international women’s organisations – Zonta, Soroptimists, Business & Professional Women, and the International Council of Women – to initiate and advocate for women’s education at the international level.
So as we all walk across the stage to accept a degree, let us consider those who came before us and the work they did to make our achievements possible. Consider those around you, locally, nationally, and internationally, and what you can do to support their achievement. Let us all cooperate in peace and friendship, to support lifelong learning and each other.
Elizabeth Olsen, PGSA Executive Member