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District Conference 2011 Manila, Philippines

The 16th District Conference was held in Manila, Philippines on 26-28 August 2011. About 430 delegates from 72 clubs from Philippines, HongKong, Thailand, and SIngapore attended the very exciting and inspiring conference held at the Sofitel Hotel in Manila. Dianne Curtis, Zonta International President, was Guest-of-Honor. She reported on the accomplishments and goals of Zonta International.

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District Governor Georgitta "Beng" Puyat who chaired the business meetings, reminded Zontains of our T.E.A.M.S.H.I.N.E goals for the bi-ennium. The acronym covers the Training of club members, Educating through public relations, Advocacy towards change, Membership increase and organizing new clubs, Sreamlining service projects, Harnassing club resources, Improving the stais of women, Networking with like-minded organisations and Empowering women with the right knowledge.

The theme of the 3-day conference was "Women Empowering Women" and three workshop sessions covering "Servant Leadership", "Education and the Job Market for Women" and "Women and Disaster Preparedness" were held. Singapore Zontians participated in the “Servant leadership” Workshop where the group used materials provided to come up with a collage depicting what they believed best encompassed the inherent qualities, skills, competence and willingness of a Zontian who contributed her time, talent for the advancement of women and girls.

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The conference also saw the election of new officers for the 2012-14 biennium. Winnie Teoh from Zonta Club of Kowloon was elected District Governor and Lalivan Karnchanachari, ZC of Bangkok elected as Lieutenant-Governor, along with all the other Area Directors and Vice-Area Directors. Linda Wang Quek from ZC of HongKong East is the new Area 2 Director with Winnie Wong from ZC of New Territories, as the new Vice-Area 2 Director.

Gretchelle Ann Co Santos of Zonta Club of Manila II, one of the 12 international recipients of the Jane M. Klausman "Women in Business Scholarships", as well as Arizza Ann Sahi Nocum, one of the 5 interntional recipients of the 2011 "Young Women in Public Affairs" Award came to the conference to share their inspiring stories of "Achieving Against all Odds" along with Maria Lourdes T Ocampo who shared her fascinating story of making handbags from cycled newspapers.

Finally, and not least, club members were treated to an in-house market bazaar where lots of pesos and finest Filipino products and handicrafts exchanged hands, as well as two exciting gala dinners with each local club putting up an amazing Broadway performance on the closing night.

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