Please note, Gaile is embarking on a new direction and chapter in her life having resigned as a Nelson City Councillor and her membership in Rotary. Her 14 years of service have been valued and we wish her well.
Her original story follows below.
Gail has been a member of Rotary since 2008. Initially Gaile fitted her involvement around working in real estate and her teenage daughter, one of 2 children still living at home at that time. After a two year break from working Gaile stood for Nelson City Council in 2013 and has, over the last 9 years balanced her Rotary involvement around the demands of her role as a Nelson City Councillor.
“At the time of my joining Rotary I was rebuilding my life as had not long been widowed and saw Rotary as a safe place in which I could pursue my interest in Community with likeminded people. This allowed me to participate through volunteering for community events and fundraising projects to support grants to other groups providing services which otherwise may not have been sustainable. We also had a bit of fun along the way.“
In 2011 she became a Board Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), a mentoring initiative for vulnerable children started by this Rotary Club in partnership with the Nelson Police in 1997. Gaile remained in that role till 2022 when they awarded her a Life Membership which will enable her to keep in touch with the organisation. Gaile’s late husband had previously been the Chair for a time.
“Through participating in Rotary, it’s committees and BBBS I built confidence including in public speaking, leadership and governance.”
Her role as a councillor has allowed her to take on new responsibilities as chair of several committees as well as further Governance roles. She has also been able to identify areas of need in the community to which Rotary could contribute eg Project: Whare Haumaru (see story) Foodbank and a focus on mental health by bringing “Shot Bro, confessions of a depressed bullet” to Nelson.
“As a Councillor we become very aware of needs and gaps that are outside the scope and skills of Council and Rotary provides a great option to bridge those gaps and give back to the community we live in.”