friendship force

New Zealand

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Overview of National Conferences and Club Awards

Members from the Friendship Force clubs in New Zealand gather regularly for a National Conference hosted by one of the clubs. As well as being a time of fellowship and friendship, it provides an opportunity for clubs to swap ideas about issues that they may be facing. To this end, a number of workshops are organised and discussion forums are conducted. Time is allowed for entertainment and socialising which are important to our organisation.

From 2018 these conferences will take place every second year, and the in-between year will be replaced by a one day 'gathering' in February at a central venue involving two leaders from each club.

The conference is usually attended by one or two staff from FFI international headquarters in Atlanta.  Because of that, to reduce travel costs, the New Zealand and Australian conference dates are often arranged to be close together.

At every conference, some annual awards and trophies are presented. Perhaps the most important of these are the Communications Awards, because communication is the key to not only keeping our members informed (the Newsletter Award), but also making sure we survive and grow by getting our message out there in the wider world (the Outreach Award).  In addition there is the Field Reps Challenge, the Bone Trophy and the Overlander Trophy. Details for all of these are given below.

Communications Awards

"Effective communication is the primary factor in the success of the Friendship Force programme".

To acknowledge this, the two Communication Awards have been revised and are now the Newsletter Award and the Outreach Award.   

Newsletter Award

All Clubs have regular newsletters to their members, and most of these are of a very high standard. This award recognizes the hard work and skill that goes into preparing these and the messages and information conveyed, and clubs are encouraged to enter their newsletter into this competition.

The criteria for entry is:

  • There must be at least six issues during the year.
  • Entries must be sent by email or by link to the judge(s) as each edition is produced. The judge for each competition will be the winning club from the previous competition.  
  • Content must include the following:
    • Information and photos of your Club activities, socials, news, and reports (excluding journeys).
    • Information and photos of your Club journeys, both international and domestic.
    • Information on opportunities for other journeys, both with New Zealand Clubs, other Clubs and through Friendship Force International.
    • Information distributed by both FFI and FFNZ (repeated in full or edited for relevance).
    • Other things such as layout and formats to be at the discretion of the editor and the judges.
  • Other things such as layout and formats to be at the discretion of the editor, but will be secondary to content.

The winner of the 2021 Newsletter Award (presented at the 2022 Lakeside Gathering) was the FF Club of Wellington.  

Download the entry form for the Newsletter Award here.

Outreach Award

This Award recognises the efforts and initiatives made by clubs to present themselves to the general public, and will include:

  • Brochures, flyers and other printed material used to advertise the club;
  • The club’s website, Facebook page or presence on other social media;
  • Displays at Shows, Expos, Libraries and similar demonstrations;
  • Articles in Newspapers, TV, Radio, or on-line;
  • Speaking presentations to groups and organisations;
  • Meetings to present FFI to the general public;
  • Anything else that externally promotes your club.

Please prepare a folder of your achievements and bring it to conference, where it will be judged by the FFI Representative or the Field Reps.

The Outreach Award was not presented at the 2022 Lakeside Gathering.

Download the entry form for the Outreach Award here


Other Awards

The Doug Dean Award

Previously called the Field Reps Challenge, this trophy is awarded to clubs who have shown great initiative in finding new ways to attract members.  

The Doug Dean Award was presented to the Northland Club at the 2022 Lakeside Gathering - with special mention to the Wairarapa Club.

Overlander Trophy

This trophy is awarded to the club that has the most members attending Conference, not including the Host Club.

The Overlander Trophy was not awarded at the 2022 Lakeside Gathering.

Bone Trophy

The trophy is awarded to the club at conference that does best in a competition held during the conference, the conditions of which are set by the host club.

The joint winners of the Bone Trophy at the 2022 Lakeside Gathering were the clubs of Hamilton-Waikato and Christchurch.

Facebook Award

This award recognises the efforts of clubs to promote themselves through Facebook and social media, and is judged by our Regional Support Manager, Kimberly Fraser.

The winner of the Facebook Award at the 2022 Lakeside Gathering was Kapiti Coast, with a special mention for Wairarapa.

Conference Venues

1985 Wanganui
1986 Napier
1987 Hamilton
1988 Christchurch
1989 Wairarapa
1990 Taupo
1991 Marlborough
1992 New Plymouth
1993 Wellington
1994 Wanganui
1995 Howick
1996 Kapiti
1997 Whangarei
1998 Manawatu
1999 South Taranaki
2000 Gisborne
2001 Christchurch
2002 Horowhenua
2003 Western Waikato
2004 Wanganui
2005 Nelson
2006 Taupo
2007 Wellington
2008 Western Bay of Plenty
2009 Marlborough
2010 Kapiti Coast
2011 Howick
2012 South Taranaki
2013 Otago
2014 Manawatu
2015 No Conference
2016 New Plymouth
2017 Christchurch
2018 Whangarei
2020 Marlborough
2021 Kapiti Coast (National Gathering)
2022 Taupo (Lakeside Gathering)

Updated 4 November 2022