Dame Hilda Ross Memorial Fund

The Dame Hilda Ross Memorial Fund was founded by Maureen Eardley-Wilmot (Woman Vice President), in the mid 1980s, to support and inspire women to be involved at all levels of the New Zealand National Party. Today the Fund has been revitalised by the enthusiasm of the National Board and is now managed under the umbrella of the National Foundation to support women in all areas of leadership.

Hon Dame Hilda Ross DBE JP

Hilda Ross, born on 6th of July 1883, was one of the leading New Zealand women of the last century. A woman of action, Hilda Ross was a music teacher, a JP, a war-time fundraiser, a business woman, an arts leader, a wife, and a mother.

Dame Hilda won the Hamilton by-election on the 26th May 1945 after serving as a member of the Waikato Hospital Board in 1941 and as Hamilton Deputy Mayor in 1944. When the first National government was elected in 1949, Dame Hilda’s elevation to Cabinet was significant; she was made Minister of Welfare for Women and Children; Sir Keith Holyoake made her Minister of Social Security in 1957.

Fund Objectives & The Women in Leadership series

A key objective of the Dame Hilda Ross Memorial Fund is to promote greater opportunities for women in politics. The fund does this by holding events and workshops to assist women in local & central government politics, or assisting women to attend suitable professional development programmes. A primary focus of this work is the Women in Leadership Series, a series of networking events held across the country annually with a keynote speaker designed to inspire, promote and engage local women in attaining leadership roles.

Funding Committee

The Fund is managed under the umbrella of the National Foundation.

The Fund committee will consider applications for the support of women pursuing a political career or a position in leadership. Applications can be made to: Greg Hamilton, Foundation Secretary, 41 Pipitea Street, Thorndon, Wellington or at [email protected]

Executive of the Dame Hilda Ross Memorial Fund

Patrons: Rt. Hon. Dame Jenny Shipley & Judy Kirk JP

Chair: Hon. Paula Bennett MP

Committee Members: Hon Judith Collins MP, Hon Amy Adams MP, Louise Upston MP, Pat Seymour, & Kate Hazlett

How to support the Dame Hilda Ross Memorial Fund

Your financial support can be made by donating to the National Foundation specifying the Dame Hilda Ross Fund as the destination of your contribution.