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Young woman achiever makes us proud

Venkat Raman – 

When Zonta New Zealand placed Vanisa Dhiru as one of the ‘50 Women Achievers’ on International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8, 2016, it was not only a moment of pride but also a moment of truth.

For, this young Wellingtonian has been a source of endearment and inspiration for a large number of people over the past ten or more years.

Zonta recognises women for their work in fields which deal with some of the most serious issues that women face in the modern world.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark and anti-sexual violence advocate Louise Nichols were among the 50 persons honoured by Zonta this year.

Woman to watch

Ten years ago, the New Zealand Management magazine described Vanisa as ‘A woman to watch.’ A month later, writing in Indian Newslink October 1, 2006 Diwali Special, she said, “This should help me in my efforts to serve the New Zealand business world. Share, live and experience something you never thought you could: help people in your community and see how good it feels to be giving back to your world.”

Vanisa is Vice-President and International Secretary of National Council of Women, and is involved in a number of projects. She is the Project Manager of the Civil Society Alternate Report for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an International Treaty adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly.

Impressive jobs

She has previously worked in several communication roles in the sectors of transport and business development in government, within various small and large corporates.

These include ‘Inspiring Stories Trust’ (Past Chair) and BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Global Network (the only New Zealander), Volunteering New Zealand (Chief Executive) ANZ National on its Corporate Volunteering Programme and ANZ Staff Foundation (Manager), of Wellington’s Trade Aid Store (Trustee) and other early-stage non-profit boards and committees.

She was one of three finalists for Young New Zealander of the Year 2010, and has since been an Executive Judge for the Awards since 2011.

Vanisa was until last week Executive Director of 2020 Trust, a national charity focused on closing the digital divide.

Research at Victoria

Vanisa is due to return to Victoria University to begin a research project into the number of women in leadership in the not-for-profit and community sectors of New Zealand.

She would also be completing her New Zealand Fellowship with the Australian Progress.

Photo Caption: Vanisa Dhiru

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