Our speakers frequently inspire us, and Dame Diana Crossan's talk on 21 September was no exception. Not only did she share her enthusiasm for the organisations she supports, but she left us with calls to action should we wish to answer them.
Brenda Lazelle reports
Dame Diana started her working life as a probation officer, but her career included contributing to the formation of Contact Energy before she became the Retirement Commissioner, a role she did for 10 years. She is very proud what the Commission achieved and she was always happy to promote their Sorted website, considered to be the best in the world.

Her support for the charities she is involved in is what now lights her fire. Her commitment to giving generously had its genesis at their childhood Christmas table, when her Mother would place the ‘Rice Bowl’ on the table. For a child, the sixpence or shilling found in the Christmas pudding was a treasure, but it was expected that all the takings would go into the Rice Bowl to help feed the poor in China, sewing the seeds of giving very early.

By way of examples of her chosen organisations, Dame Diana financially supports Wellington Free; Women’s Refuge; the Sarah Lilly Fund; Fred Hollows; Refugee Unification; Action Stations and Oxfam. She also supports Changemakers – in particular, their drivers licence project teaching refugee women to drive. Dame Diana’s call to action (CTA) - 21 Wellington women are invited to fund one of these women each year.

As CE of Wellington Free Ambulance she struggled with the notion that the Ambulance service was a charity and still requires a percentage of their operating costs to be covered by donations. (CTA) - promote change to a fully funded ambulance service with your local politician.

Dame Diana is on the Board of Kaibosh and Wellfed. Wellfed is 6 year old Porirua based charity focussing on teaching women and men to cook and to understand what food to buy, how to buy and how to cook it. Wellfed operates out of the Cannons Creek Bowling Club where the bowling green is now a garden. When students complete the programme they are gifted equipment considered necessary to cook basic family meals. CTA – two (or more) people are asked to join her in being a Key50 sponsor of Wellfed. A brochure for this organisation can be found here.

Depression Recovery Trust is a new Charity she is supporting. They are starting a 6 week programme for people with moderate to severe depression.

So They Can is an African charity Programme started by New Zealander Cassandra Treadwell. It supports keeping children in school – particularly girls, to stop them being genitally cut and sold into marriage. CTA- join their one million donating just $1 per month sotheycan.org.

Do any of these call to action speak to you?