New Zealand Girl Up Club Hosts The Country’s First Leadership Summit

Events , Supporters in Action

New Zealand held its first Girl Up Leadership Summit on October 11, International Day of the Girl. This was incredibly exciting because before 2014, there were no Girl Up clubs in New Zealand. And now, just one year later, we had more than 60 girls at our Leadership Summit!

New Zealand is a small country on the edge of the world. Although the internet and social media have provided ways for us to broaden our horizons, we’re can still feel quite disconnected from the rest of the world. Through our Summit, I wanted to provide a way for girls to learn more about the challenges that fellow girls face in developing countries. I also wanted to provide a way for girls in my community to meet other like-minded girls in the Wellington region. The friendships I’ve formed through Girl Up have been stronger and better than any others and I wanted other girls to have the opportunity to meet wonderful new people just like I did!

This is why the theme of the Summit was Connect, Create, Celebrate: Connect with other girls, learn and gain inspiration from experts about how to create change in your community and around the world, and celebrate International Day of the Girl.


Girl Up Club Officer Lisa Tweedie and Teen Advisor Sarah Gulley with Labour MP Jacinda Ardern at the New Zealand Girl Up Leadership Summit.

The expert speakers we had during the day were fantastic. Eve Bain started the day by providing a masterclass on reaching your potential as a woman leader. Later, the impressive Labour MP Jacinda Ardern spoke about gender disparities in the New Zealand Parliament. Lastly, we heard from Lesley Elliott of the Sophie Elliott Foundation who spoke about abuse in relationships, and how we need to look after our friends and ourselves. It was an honor having all of our speakers at the Summit; they are all role models to me.

The day was insightful, inspiring and I know that I was surrounded by New Zealand’s current and next generation of leaders. It was so successful that we’re planning another Wellington Summit for 2016!

As you look to create different ways for your community to get involved with Girl Up, consider hosting your own Leadership Summit!

This is a guest blog by Sarah Gulley. Sarah is a Girl Up Teen Advisor with the 2015-2016 class. She founded New Zealand’s first Girl Up Club.