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Published on 13th November 2012
More than 250 returned VSA volunteers, supporters and staff members helped make VSA’s 50th anniversary Congress and Reunion Dinner a memorable occasion on Saturday 10 November.
Keynote speaker at the VSA Congress was Sister Lorraine Garasu, the inspirational head of one of VSA’s partner organisations, the Nazareth Rehabilitation Centre in Bougainville.
She told Congress attendees about the huge contribution that VSA volunteers have made to the Centre, including that of Nelson lawyer, Susan Hinkley, who spent two years on assignment as a legal adviser. She helped Sister Lorraine put in place the infrastructure needed to provide legal protection for women and children who have suffered domestic violence.
Returned volunteers from the last five decades also provided amusing and
thoughtful insights into the volunteering experience.
Roger Hall, the guest speaker at the Reunion Dinner, entertained the 250 guests with anecdotes from his long career as a playwright. He has an unlikely connection with VSA – in 1989 he wrote a play about VSA, You Must be Crazy, which was performed at parliament and then went on a tour of New Zealand schools.
VSA President Gavin Kerr and kaumatua Awi Riddell were also made VSA Life Members in recognition of their many years of service to VSA.
Read more about how VSA volunteers are working to strengthen education in the wider Pacific and Asia.