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Meet the family: Rhonda Huntley, Office Manager

Rhonda is one of the legends behind the scenes that makes sure our bills are paid and our buildings don’t fall apart. We had a chat to her about coffee, finances and the craziness of working at Zeal!

How did you first get involved with Zeal?

Rhonda: I was looking for a role that I could pick up part-time and use my awesome admin skills. Zeal was looking for an Office Manager in Wellington and I applied as I like the idea of working for an organisation that cared about young people. I have 4 young people at home myself, and I felt it was important for me to be present in their space and understand them more.

What does your typical day at Zeal look like?

Rhonda: I wish I had a typical day! Generally I try to have some plan, but I don’t know why I bother as my plan never gets followed – all sorts of things come up everyday that I have to work on or solve. I actually like the fact that no day is typical or standard – stops me getting bored!

What do you do in your spare time?

Rhonda: I have 4 children so there is no spare time! But when I get a free moment, my favourite thing is to drink coffee in the sun.

You’re the office manager for a few Zeal centres around the country – how do you balance the different tasks and needs of each centre?

Rhonda: I am not actually sure, haha. One of the major challenges about being the Office Manager for Zeal Wellington, Zeal Kāpiti and also looking after the financial side of Zeal Hamilton is the way the different centres work and the individual requirements of each centre. I spend most of my time physically at Zeal Kāpiti, but I work on each centre everyday as the need arises.

What are some epic moments you’ve had during your time at Zeal?

Rhonda: Hui – love going to Hui with the rest of our teams from across the country and hearing the impact that other teams are having on our young people. I always come away feeling encouraged. Other epic moments would be the awesome conversations that I have with young people and our interns from time to time. It so amazing hearing their stories.

At not so much epic moment would be having to listen to the same song for 4 hours (Dancing Queen) in our old building in Wellington as the young people from Idea Services were having an ABBA a-thon but they sounded like they were having a great time.

What’s some advice you would pass on to someone wanting to get involved in the youth work sector?

Rhonda: Just do it. If you are passionate about working with young people, then find a way to make it happen. Young people need people who are passionate working alongside them.

What are you most excited about in your future?

Rhonda: Taking our caravan to the south island on a roadtrip for 5 weeks – not sure when that is going to happen but it is good to have a plan!

What’s your number one self-care tip?

Rhonda: Drink more water… I mean coffee… But seriously water. This I am terrible at. Coffee is my water.

Read more from Zeal:

If you want to work with youth, be open to learning from them. Listen more than you talk. Be honest with life and the ups and downs that are part of being human.

During Youth Week this May, the Zeal Wellington crew celebrated young artists and performers at AMPED, with over 80 attendees watching five acts play.