Te Kawarangi

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  • 16 Sep 2020 3:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kia ora koutou,

    Angie Simms, Wellington Group President

    I’d like to ask you all, how are you doing? In your personal life, with your whanau, your colleagues and in your team?

    This month we have Gerard Hoffman, a Clinical Social Worker, Counsellor, and Trainer in private practice, as guest speaker at tonight's face-to-face Group meeting, talking about “Supporting Staff Through Change & Transition such as a time of Covid 19”. Gerard presented to our group last year and we had a turn out crowd! Come join us and please ensure you follow Urban Hub’s COVID guidelines whilst attending this event. Do register; we look forward to seeing you there.

    Late last month, our Group Management Team (GMT) met for its annual Strategic Planning Day, facilitated by Claudia Gonzalez Barrio. Claudia was just what we needed to stay on course! We discussed forward planning; how we could improve what we offer our members by way of topics and themes throughout the year; what form our offerings could take and when, supported by presenters and Newsletter articles in a more cohesive way. We also worked on how we can make our GMT meetings more strategic and less process driven, as time is always precious for our GMT members who volunteer their time to the Group.

    Some of you will have attended the recent presentation to our members by Broni Carey, from Virtual Solutions NZ, about the role of being a Virtual EA, and how she started up her business. Her presentation certainly had many of us contemplating what it would take to set up a new business, work for ourselves, for the hours that we set and be responsible for sourcing that work. Very thought-provoking indeed! Broni happily answered many questions and can be contacted through her LinkedIn profile if you want to know more.

    I am looking forward to attending the upcoming ExecSecTech two-day virtual session later this month. If you are working from home especially, this might be a great way to keep yourself up to date with what’s happening with workplace technology. The cost is reasonable and AAPNZ members have been offered 10% off the registration cost as AAPNZ has an Executive Secretary Magazine subscription. Please use the unique code: “AAPNZ10” to claim this.

    Take care everyone, and if there is anything your GMT can assist you with, please email us.

    Naku noa,

    Angela Simms

    Wellington Group President

  • 16 Sep 2020 3:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sherie Pointon, AAPNZ National Social Media Officer, tells us how she started her own training, development and consulting business, and how her AAPNZ membership helped her along the way.

    Tell us about your company?

    Admin Advantage offers a wide range of services. From training solutions for admin teams to one-on-one mentoring and coaching. I have worked with some of the big four accounting firms, through to admin teams within schools. I have spoken for events like AAPNZ Group meetings through to international events such as the Executive and Personal Assistants Association (EPAA) conference. At this year's EPAA virtual conference over 300 people attended my session. One of Admin Advantage’s point of difference is that I also take contract administration positions to keep my skills current.

    What drove you to start Admin Advantage?

    Admin Advantage came about as I saw a gap in the market for training, assessment and consultancy on the business support profession by someone who is a business support professional. I was frustrated attending courses and events being told how to do my job by the trainer when that person had never been an EA. I spoke at length with Eth Lloyd, AAPNZ Life Member and my mentor, about the move. At this time Eth was looking at retiring from being an assessor for the business administration qualifications so the timing for both of us was right.

    The final push that I needed came when my close friend prompted me to take the plunge – her exact words were “I’m sick of hearing about it, just go and do it already!” Sometimes I think that we need to have that external cheerleader that has an unswerving belief in us to help us see the reality of opportunities.

    What is your background?

    I hold a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, with papers in Theatre and Film from Victoria University of Wellington. I then went on to complete a Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) at the then Wellington College of Education. I taught for a term and realised that teaching wasn’t right for me at that time, but having the understanding of the education sector enabled me to secure my first admin role at NZQA. From NZQA I moved to Basketball New Zealand and was in charge of running all the age-group events in NZ. I then went back into the Public Sector and Education, taking on an admin role at the Education Review Office, from there I was offered a role at the National Office as Personal Assistant to two of the National Managers. At this time (2005) I joined AAPNZ, became a member of the Group Management Team and had my first experience on the “speaking circuit”. Since ERO, I have worked at the Tertiary Education Commission, the Institute of Public Administration where I was the Executive Officer, Ako Aotearoa – the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, Onslow College as the Principal’s PA and finally fulltime in Admin Advantage. I gained AAPNZ Certification in 2007 and in 2019 I completed my National Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Teaching.

    You mentioned joining AAPNZ and becoming a member of the GMT; what roles have you had in AAPNZ?

    A lot! I almost immediately joined the Wellington GMT, Eth and Tricia Caughley had set up the New Member group (which was the precursor to the Module One Competency Certificate) which gave me tasks to complete within the Group and joining GMT flowed on from there. I have been the Sponsorship Officer, Website Administrator, Newsletter Editor, Vice President and President for Wellington Group. I also convened the Administrative Professionals Day events for three years. From there I have had national roles as the NET Administration Officer, a Director of AAPNZ Professional Development Limited, Central Regional Leader and 1st VP. I am currently a member of Professional Development Sub-Committee and the National Website and Social Media Officer, a contract position that is 50% sponsored by Admin Advantage.

    What part has AAPNZ played in your journey?

    AAPNZ has been a major contributor to me gaining my last five employment positions, because of the experiences gained in governance, event management, membership management and websites. The opportunities I gained through being involved in AAPNZ gave me not only the skills but also the confidence to create Admin Advantage. I would not have had the exposure to speaking at conferences without my connections to AAPNZ. The support and friendship from AAPNZ members has also been instrumental in being where I am today. I can honestly say some of my closest friends are people I initially met through AAPNZ.

    So what’s next for Admin Advantage?

    I have a few exciting initiatives in the pipeline. I don’t want to give too much away, but it involves online learning opportunities and resources. As always any of my products and services are available to AAPNZ Members at a discounted rate, this includes your workplaces if you initiate the conversation with me because of the AAPNZ connection.

    I am also currently representing AAPNZ as the peak body for our profession and work place assessment on two NZQA review panels for unit standards and standards being used for the nationally assessed qualifications and also part of the team from AAPNZ writing our own micro-credentials.

    Amongst all of that, I am looking to set up an AAPNZ Wairarapa Group too!

    What do you do in your spare time?

    Having moved into our new house just before Christmas, I am busy designing the landscaping with Spring having arrived. I am the Chair of the Board of Trustees of my girls’ school and support both girls in their sporting endeavours as well as being a rather vocal supporter of my husband’s hockey team! I am an avid reader, particularly of historical fiction with Tudor England being my favourite time period (Phillipa Gregory and Alison Weir novels), I think this all stems from my fascination with Shakespeare. I am also a closet Sci-Fi fan and we enjoy Saturday night family movie night. 

    Contact details for Admin Advantage
    Sherie Pointon (AAPNZ Cert, NZCATT, GDipTchg, BA)
    Director, Admin Advantage Ltd
    ph + 64 21 074 1654

  • 18 Aug 2020 6:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kia ora koutou,

    Angie Simms, Wellington Group President

    So here we are, beginning round 2 with an increased Alert Level lockdown, with most of us working from home again. But I feel assured that the majority of us are saying “I’ve got this!” We are well prepared, and in being so, displaying the natural leadership characteristics of our roles to our managers and teams in how versatile, flexible and indispensable we are!

    This is a timely reminder that we have Broni Carey, from Virtual Solutions NZ, as our guest speaker at our face-to-face August Group Meeting tonight, talking about the role of Virtual EA and how she got into this business. In this day and age, where some of us are experiencing job uncertainty, this may be an avenue you hadn’t considered in the past, but could well be an area of interest for your future. Please ensure you follow Urban Hub’s COVID guidelines whilst attending this event. I look forward to seeing you there.

    I have registered for the upcoming ExecSecTech two-day virtual session in September with speakers that are still being announced. This is promising to be a fantastic training event in which to keep yourself up to date with what’s happening with workplace technology. The cost is reasonable and AAPNZ members have been offered 10% off the registration cost as AAPNZ has an Executive Secretary Magazine subscription. Please use the unique code: “AAPNZ10” to claim this.

    Late last month, twenty of us networked the night away at the Thistle Inn, downtown Wellington, for our Mid-Winter Networking Dinner. Our National President, Vicki Faint, spoke briefly about NET’s aspirations for the coming year. A personal thank you to Vicki, who is also a Wellington Group member – you’re aiming for the heavens, and we would expect nothing less from you! A great night was had by all. Thanks also to the Thistle Inn for providing such a memorable night for our members and guests. See pictures in the August newsletter (above).

    The AGM was held virtually this past weekend. I hope some of you took the time to participate. We always get a great bird’s eye view of all the inspirational projects the regional groups are working on. Do get involved, it will make your role as a member more enriching and provides much needed assistance to the Group Management Teams throughout the country.

    I am pleased to announce that one of our two Remits at the AGM was agreed to. The Wellington Group will host the 2022 AAPNZ National Conference in Wellington to coincide with the celebration of our Wellington Group’s 50th Anniversary.

    Take care everyone, and if there is anything your GMT can assist you with during the further lockdown period, please email us.

    Naku noa,

    Angela Simms

    Wellington Group President

  • 18 Aug 2020 1:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by guest author, Sarah Warnock, Seed Planter and Master's student

    Many of you will balk at the title of this article.

    Indeed, the word ‘Spirituality’ can be simultaneously synonymous with Religion AND woo-woo new age ideals. Oftentimes mentioning the word spirituality is a social faux-pas akin to mentioning politics at the dinner table.

    It might interest you to know that over the last 10 years there has been a steady increase in the amount of research exploring spirituality in the workplace, or as it’s referred to in the literature 'Workplace Spirituality' (WPS).

    WPS is described as “informal and personal,” “distinct from institutionalised religion” and “non-denominational, broadly inclusive and tolerant” and exists as an acknowledgement that employees within an organisation are individuals who want to experience a sense of purpose and meaning both in their work and through being connected to others in their workplace community. As a concept, WPS grew in popularity as organisations began to explore how they could reduce turnover and absenteeism by increasing job satisfaction, after finding many employees felt disheartened and insecure about their lives (Hassan, Nadeem & Akhter, 2016). We could explore the many reasons why this might be (some of these are considered in my previous article about Emotional Labour and the cost managing our emotions at work has on our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing), however it is more interesting to me to move the conversation about spirituality itself forward.

    Over the weeks of our Nationwide lockdown I have no doubt many of you were kept busier than your usual, working from home with children etc. However, for others, how many of you were confronted with considering the meaning of life and work in the absence of collegial connection, daily routines and, in the cases of those of us not considered essential, actual job purpose?

    It is inevitable that the majority of us go to work because we must – to feed, clothe and house ourselves and our families. However, is this all that motivates us to work? Beyond our pay-check, what ELSE keeps us coming back to work every-day and, if/when we reach a point of no longer wanting to show up to work anymore, what has been lost or is not being fulfilled?

    In a PHD Thesis published in 2003, the author Joan Marque compiled a list of themes she proposed related to a Spiritual Workplace. These included notions of Ethics; Truth and Honesty; Respect; Openness; Understanding; Encouraging diversity; few organisational barriers; interconnectedness and, a sense of peace and harmony. I am curious at how many of you experience these at your workplace and how many of you are motivated to experience these in your lives both through your work and in general.

    As you sit at your desk today or as you make your way home tonight, perhaps you might like to consider what spirituality means to you at this point in your life? You might take a few deep breaths first, feel the chair beneath you and purposefully sit a little taller to really recognise that it is you that is sitting and thinking. Try having a conversation with yourself, inside your head about what the word spirituality conjures up for you.

    Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? Why? Why not?

    What do you think is the difference between Spirituality and Religion?

    Do you think Spirituality has a role in the workplace? Why? Why not?


    Growing up in the Hutt Valley, Sara was ready to disappear into the bigwide world and moved to Melbourne to pursue a career in recruitment consultancy post undergraduate study. Not only did that not work out but health challenges lead to attending an accidental yoga class on an early Thursday morning. Fast forward to completing a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training, Sara spent a year in India practicing yoga and nannying before returning home to the Hutt Valley to complete her Primary Teaching Diploma at Victoria University. As she moved into her first (and only) full time classroom teaching role she found yoga supported her and her children to settle into their day. The mental and emotional workload of teaching quickly took its toll on her mental health and she left the classroom but still felt strongly that there was something worthwhile bringing Yoga into the primary classroom. After a chance encounter with the Hutt City Council recreation team a yoga in schools pilot programme was born. Sara is now completing a Master of Education at Victoria University exploring Burnout in Primary Teaching. Her goal is to utilise this research to justify further doctoral research exploring mental, emotional and physical wellbeing in teaching and learning.

    Seedling yoga logo 

  • 7 Aug 2020 12:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Executive Assistant to Chief Executive

    We've been advised by the Ministry of Transport they are seeking an Executive Assistant to work with their Chief Executive. 

    The advertisement contains the position description for the role, along with the information on how to apply. Please visit the careers page on the Ministry's website.

  • 16 Jul 2020 4:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kia ora koutou,

    Angie Simms, Wellington Group President

    Our first newsletter post COVID lockdown. We’ve all had enough, I’m sure, of COVID this and COVID that in the news, our lives, and possibly even personally affecting our own whanau. The majority of us survived and even thrived! In the usual admin professional fashion, we’ve taken a negative and come out with so many positives.

    Most of us were working from home and this has ensured we were up to speed pretty quickly with connectivity, if we weren’t already, and getting used to the “new normal” of working in our home offices, on our kitchen tables, often with the kids doing school work, on a daily basis, and we survived.

    Alongside our work, we also used that time to upskill ourselves with technology, attending webinars and scheduling “upgrade time” around home life and whanau. Our employers also now realise they can trust us to work from home, get the work done, be more focussed and productive even, in a much more flexible way, whilst helping the environment. It’s a win-win, and we need to keep that conversation going in our workplaces.

    To help our members with having difficult conversations, we had international presenter, Anel Martin recently present to AAPNZ members nationwide. I’m sure those who attended will agree, she was well worth it! If you missed the session, we have a number of coupons to give away so you can watch the presentation retrospectively. More details are in our July Newsletter.

    Kim Chamberlain presented on Public Speaking at our recent virtual June Group Meeting and was a great success, with around 40 attendees from all over New Zealand participating and taking advantage of Kim’s knowledge, experience, and tips in this area.

    As administrators, we are now more than ever, required to step up and speak to groups, whether they be our work colleagues, community groups or with our AAPNZ group. Stepping out of our comfort zone is all about growth.

    Recently, I had the privilege of attending the virtual ExecSec Live Conference which was originally scheduled in Wellington this year. What can I say – the speakers were all top of their respective field, and although the sessions were pre-recorded, each speaker participated in the online chat, answering questions and participating. I always come away with something new from these conferences.

    Speakers such as Vickie Sokol-Evans, Peggy Vasquez and Bonnie Low-Kramen, to name a few of the 51 speakers! Attending this virtual conference allowed us to reap the benefits of additional speakers and to later review any the pre-recorded presentations we missed.

    I’m looking forward to catching up with many of you at our Mid-Winter Networking Dinner which is to be held at the Thistle Inn on Thursday, 23 July. Please see registration details here. Our National President, Vicki Faint, will be joining us and presenting briefly to the group so it should be a great night. Have a great month!

    Nāku noa,

    Angela Simms

    Wellington Group President

  • 16 Jul 2020 2:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Nominations close 30 September 2020!

    by Shona Dowden, Wellington GMT

    When we first started on the idea of the enhanced version of the Wellington Group Member of the Year, we wanted to be innovative in our approach to the Awards and the idea was born to make the Awards more than just the one supreme award. We also saw this as another opportunity for members to develop themselves. The GMT agreed that they saw the Wellington Group Member of the Year Award as a stepping stone towards going for the Administrative Professional of the Year (APOTY) Award. A number of Wellington Members have tried (and succeeded) with the APOTY Award and many of them will attest that it is not necessarily about the result but about the journey they take to get there. It is about receiving the recognition you deserve.

    AAPNZ ValuesA question we get asked about a lot is ‘what do you get out of AAPNZ?’. You get out what you put in. Had I not been shoulder tapped to become a more active member of AAPNZ and assist for a short period whilst someone was ill, I would not have taken my journey of achievement. I certainly wouldn’t have put my hand up to speak in front of 170 guests at an Administrative Day breakfast had I not had the support of AAPNZ. The opportunities are there - take a step into the unknown, you never know what you might achieve.

    We are a culture that tends not to blow our own trumpet and while we might like to hide behind a desk, it is also important that you are recognised, not only for yourself, but also for the admin profession. I’m sure many of us have had countless thank you’s over the years and just shrugged them off. I, too, have been a finalist in the APOTY Awards and while I was not the eventual winner, I received personal recognition from the Chief of Defence Force at the time, General Jerry Mataparae. In terms of putting this in context, I was a long way down the command chain to where I sat in the organisation and as General Jerry was passing one day, he stopped by to personally congratulate me. This, as they say, was priceless!

    Why am I telling you this? It is important that we are recognised. We are the glue that holds everything together and without the glue many organisations (and bosses) would fail.

    In our first Group meeting this year (this seems so long ago), Bernice Jackson (Alpha Recruitment) talked to us about CVs and job interviews etc. One thing that resonated with me was about showcasing the skills you have. What better way to put it out there than to say you’ve been selected for some awards because of the skills that you possess. Not only does it look good on your CV - it looks good on your Performance Report. Achieving an award (and going for APOTY) sets people apart from others. It is the icing on the cake.

    I encourage you to apply for the Wellington Group Member of the Year. Yes, there are categories that are AAPNZ focused, but there are also categories that could translate from your normal day job. Entries close on 30 September 2020.

    You can nominate yourself or you can nominate others in the group. You can even suggest it to your managers to nominate you. Remember you may not be the only person that will benefit from your nomination. It is like having a pebble thrown into the water and watching the ripples appear.

    We have received a number of nominations, but we would like to see more. To those who already submitted a nomination, unfortunately we had a technical malfunction at the start of the process, so we would appreciate you resubmitting these please.

  • 10 Jul 2020 2:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Networking dinner for members

    Woohoo! It's been a while, and we've certainly missed that face to face connection with you all!

    We're therefore celebrating the return to face to face meetings in style at the Thistle on 23 July. 

    Invitations have gone out to AAPNZ members in Wellington. If you are an AAPNZ member from another region, and you'd like to join us because you are in town, we'd love to welcome you! Head on over to our event page, and register your details.
    NOTE: we are needing pre-payment for your meal to assist the staff in ensuring the the evening goes smoothly for our large group.

  • 18 Jun 2020 12:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For those who are participating in this weekend's Executive Secretary LIVE Global, one of our brilliant Wellington GMT members, Shona Dowden, has put together the times for each session in NZ time:

    Friday, 19th June

    Saturday, 20th June

    Sunday, 21st June

  • 7 Jun 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Having difficult conversations

    AAPNZ Wellington is thrilled to be working with Anel Martin to bring a special online session to all AAPNZ members. Our special event is on 2 July - and you can register to attend this session on the event page.

    Anel is a former award winning C-Level Assistant and a qualified Results Based Coach. She is a solopreneur who is passionate about helping others achieve their goals, manage their time and increase their confidence. She has 15 years’ experience in the corporate world has been working in the training sphere since 2009 and became a full-time facilitator and small business owner five years ago, as demand for her programmes and services grew.

    She has worked with several premium companies across the globe for in-house training interventions and performance coaching namely SAP North America, Stanlib, Exxaro, MTN, Sanlam, Oppenheimer Group, Telkom South Africa, Discovery as well as various forums and training companies around the world.

    She has worked with audiences as large as 2000 from 24 different countries and this has given her a global view on her subject matter. She has participated in events hosted in Uganda, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Zanzibar, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, France, England, Scotland and the United States. Her travels have exposed her to delegates and clients from all over the world, different accents, backgrounds, cultures and industries.

    ​She has a special passion for female empowerment, executive assistants technical training and small business development with regards to digital skills and marketing.

    Anel's online training sessions can be found at The Academy – Online Learning Modules. Anel also conducts live sessions which you may be interested in: The Power Hour.

    In addition to this amazing online content, Anel has published a book which is available via Amazon in hard-copy or for your kindle.

    AAPNZ members attending our session on 2 July will be provided with information to obtain a 50% discount on Anel's online learning modules. 

    We really hope AAPNZ members from around the country will join the Wellington group for this session which we are very excited to bring to you.

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