M’boro celebrates first new VIEW Club in state for 10 years
DAWN Potter is not only the inaugural president of the Maryborough VIEW club.
She also epitomises the organisation's code of "Satisfaction and friendship through helping others".
Mrs Potter said she saw VIEW members recruiting in a shopping centre in Maryborough in September last year.
"I went home and Googled it and saw that funds stayed in Australia and helped disadvantaged Australian children. I thought 'This is for me" and opened a new chapter of my life."
After the club was officially chartered on Friday as the first new VIEW club in Queensland for 10 years, Mrs Potter was "tired but happy and looking forward to a new beginning next year with a great mix of ladies".
The VIEW (Voice, Interests and Education for Women) organisation helps develop women and has The Smith Family as its chosen charity. Clubs have raised $40 million for the charity, which supports the education of disadvantaged children.
Publicity officer Ann Morris said the fledgling club gathered members about a year ago. When COVID-19 struck numbers stalled before the minimum 25 was reached.
A renewed recruitment drive resulted in 50 women signing up and making the pledge.
"Many of the ladies who've joined have a passion for social justice in all areas of life, as they have been victims of a difficult past and are now strong enough to do something about it," she said.
"I think the isolation times enforced by Covid has given people time to think and evaluate their lives, and many feel a new sense of direction.
"Another factor is the funds stay in Australia and I think many including myself have become quite disillusioned by the large charities like Red Cross and Red Shield after the way money was donated to bush fire victims wasn't used as was intended."
Mrs Morris said the nurturing of Mrs Potter as president had been rewarding for members as it went to the heart of the VIEW motto.
"The road to getting a new club chartered can be challenging and Dawn has risen to the occasion in the most amazing way.
"She had never been a president or spoken in public but she has found strength in herself she didn't know she had."