Whanganui Girls' College has just become the first school in a very large region to have an Interact Club - a young person's version of Rotary.

Shine Interact Club began at a school assembly when Rotary members made speeches and badges were given to the 10 first members.

The club will give young women a vehicle to serve their community and grow leadership skills, regional governor Simon Manning said. Because most are in Year 11, they will have another three years at school to bring others on board and develop their own style.

Whanganui councillor Jenny Duncan, speaking for mayor Annette Main, said leadership was essential to prosperity. Rotary members needed some of the same skills as councillors: common sense, teamwork and dedication to their community.


College assistant principal Prabh Mokha said the club came about through principal Tania King's husband, Shane, a Rotary member. Through him the Rotary Club of Wanganui Daybreak approached the school. It shoulder-tapped Year 11 student Caitlin Gedye, who agreed to be president. Sophie Griffiths is secretary and Brooke Rhodes is club treasurer.

Miss Gedye said the new club was an outstanding group of enthusiastic girls, and she hoped they would do the school proud. They had already done some projects, and would look to do at least two more each year - helping on a national and an international level.