Southland 2020 President AGM Report

Our year began with our Annual General Meeting held on 3rd March 2020 at New River Primary.

Our membership numbers continue to hold, which is absolutely fantastic.
Number of Financial members as at the end of 2018: 43
Number of Financial members as at the end of 2019: 57
Number of Financial members as at the end of 2020: 65
Number of Lifetime members has remained the same: 2


The year that was…


Books for Babies

Our year started well with a Books for Babies packing session in the New River Primary Hall on the 10th March.   Over 700 books were packed.  Funding for books continue to come from donations from Southland Community Trust, The Invercargill Licensing Trust Foundation and the Mataura Licensing Trust.  Each newborn baby in Southland is given a beautiful picture book along with a welcome letter for parents explaining the value of literacy in the home and library information. We continue to receive extremely positive feedback from new parents from this gift. After lockdown some new parents may have missed out on their new book and pack.  These were available from Young Reflections for collection.  In November 2020 there was an article in the paper about the SLA’s Books for Babies initiative which received favourable publicity.  Thank-you to the Books for Babies committee of Daphne, Joy and Adair who organise the funding, storage of books, bag orders, labels etc.  


Unfortunately some of our events and initiatives on our strategic plan had to be cancelled due to the covid lockdown which started in March  2020.


Isolation Poetry Competition

In Term 3 2020 (post lockdown) we ran a very successful ‘Isolation Poetry Competition’ for students in Years 1-10 to celebrate International Literacy Day.  This was very well attended and we had a presentation at the Library of the winners and placegetters.  It was so lovely to hear the students recite their poetry and see the proud whānau.   


Best and Worst Picture Books 

Also in Term 3 and in partnership with the Librarians, we held a ‘Best and Worst’ picture book session at the library.  We invited parents and students to come along and listen to librarians share their best and worst picture books.  This event was not well attended (except by committee members!) which may have been better aimed at teachers or, due for Covid reasons.  


Liz Miller – August 2020

Sadly, our treasured SLA life member Liz Miller left us in August of 2020.  Liz gave joy and light to thousands through her unique career as librarian and storyteller.  Her legacy will live on.  Thank-you to SLA members who supported Liz during her lifetime and contributed to sharing their memories of Liz after her passing. A special thank-you to Tania Faulkner-McKenzie who has worked alongside Liz for many years and continues to share her power for storytelling.   


Marie Clay Recipient 

Due to Covid there were no Marie Clay Recipient’s for 2020 and no NZLA conference was held.  


NZLA AGM 28th October 

This was held via zoom as committee members were unable to attend in person.  It was a short meeting but it was discussed that Southland were still committed to hosting the NZLA conference in 2023.  Also, the Forum is going digital and will no longer be printed in a hard copy


My second year as President has been an interesting one and once again I couldn’t have done it without the help of ‘jill of all trades’ Secretary Joyce Wakelin.  We made it through Covid in 2020 and have adjusted to cope as we continue to go in (and out) of lockdown levels.   A tremendous thank-you to all of the committee members for all the work you have done over the last year with all it’s ups and downs.  We continue to stay strong as a committee and keep future focussed.  Kia kaha!   


Gina Larson-White 


Southland Literacy Association