Wed, Mar 8, 2023 6:30 AM

International Women's Day: Great expectations


Staff reporter

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the achievements of women everywhere while embracing equality. Here in Marlborough, we have plenty of talent thanks to the women who are paving the way forward and inspiring others to achieve great things too.

Food Bank manager Wynnie Cosgrove has been helping locals for more than 15 years. Photo: Supplied.

Winnie Cosgrove

Marlborough Community Food Bank manager Wynnie Cosgrove has put her heart into helping people through difficult times.

The food bank, which supports people in the community in their time of need, is busier than ever, it’s shelves often emptying as volunteers struggle to keep pace with the sheer need for help.

Wynnie is passionately protective about the foodbank and the people it is there to help. Her energy, drive and empathy have kept the crucial service going.

Care and respect are at the core of the service and when people need help they can expect to be treated with dignity by Wynnie and her team.

Marlborough’s Melissa Galloway is not afraid to work hard to achieve her goal of an Olympic gold medal. Photo: Sarah Brown.

Melissa Galloway

A World Dressage champion with her eye on the Paris Olympics. The tenacious horsewoman has set a high precedent for herself but remains humble about her achievements, crediting her family and faith for keeping her grounded.

Leaving Marlborough Girls’ College at 16 years old, the decision to follow her heart is one she has never regretted, she explains. Training overseas has sometimes been lonely but she remains determined to chase her dream.

“I’ve always been one of those people who once they’ve decided something, never give up. I always knew that whatever I did it wouldn’t be a normal job, so to speak.”

Bridgette Knox is determined to help others lead easier lives and is making that happen. Photo: Klint Vicedor.

Bridgette Knox

The fourth generation Marlburian is on a mission to help people in a remote Solomon Island village and her passion for the cause is inspiring.

Returning to the region after her and her husband visited, she knew she wanted to help make life just a bit easier for the villagers who had made her so welcome.

The photographer wrote and published her own children’s book, Benjamin’s Aquarium Adventure, donating 50 per cent of all money made. Now she has also started collecting books to start a library for the residents there.

“It’s probably the biggest reality check I’ve had in all my years on the planet. We’re desensitised as a society and because I’ve always had a doctor to go to, a job and an education, I thought it was my God given right and it’s not until you’re in a situation like that, that reality sets in.”

Eufrasia has been helping make the use of New Zealand Sign Language more common place. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Eufrasia Middlemiss-Peneres

Originally from San Paulo in Brazil, the former teacher taught herself sign language, her example now encouraging others to follow suit.

A REAP Marlborough tutor where she teaches NZSL classes, Eufrasia also uses sign language to communicate with some of her customers coming into Kmart Blenheim.

With her cheery smile, Eufrasia is always happy to help others if she can and is delighted to people taking an interest in sign language.

“I am so happy people want to learn,” she says. “I love Sign Language, it connects us with people who are deaf, it is a special language.”

Rose Platenkamp has been making her mark on Marlborough’s theatre scene. Photo: David James.

Rose Platenkamp

With a welcoming smile, a patient nature and a wealth of talent, Rose is helping nurture the next generation of theatrical talent.

A graduate from the prestigious School of Arts in the Netherlands, Rose founded her own performing arts school in 2019 and it has quickly gone from strength to strength. Helping her young actors grow in confidence is key, she says. An experienced actor herself, she wants her StageLab team to have fun and grow from there.

“I make sure the kids are laughing a lot. Making mistakes and experimenting is way more important than it must look good.

“Working with a wide variety of people in this job is a privilege.”

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