The Lutheran Church of New Zealand’s Council of Synod chair, Dr Johanna Wood, has been appointed President of New Zealand Football (NZF).
Dr Wood, who became the first woman to hold the post when she was voted in by other members of NZF executive recently, also has been elected as the Oceania representative on the governing body of international soccer, the FIFA council. She was vice-president of NZF from October 2018 and previously chaired New Zealand’s Central Football Federation from 2010 until August last year, having served on its board since 2006.
The former high school principal told TVNZ that the New Zealand Football appointment was a ‘huge honour … and responsibility’. ‘I’m proud of where I am today, I know my father would be, who’s no longer with us’, she said.
She is currently a director of her family farming business with husband David, and says she ‘still gets to milk cows, feed calves as needed and manage the finances and compliance’ for the dairy and beef unit.
In addition, she completed a doctorate in education in February this year.
Dr Wood (pictured) was seconded to the role of Council of Synod chair in February 2016, at which time she also took on the role of finance advisory convenor. She was elected as chair at the LCNZ Convention of Synod in June 2017.
Formerly a long-term member of St Michael’s at Lower Hutt near Wellington on New Zealand’s North Island, she joined Manawatu Lutheran Parish, and attends St Lukes Lutheran congregation at Palmerston North, approximately 140 kilometres to the north-east, after a move for study. In the Manawatu Parish, she has taught Sunday school and today serves as part of a music team.
Dr Wood approaches each of her diverse roles with the same attitude. ‘In terms of my faith, I believe any role I take on is based on servant leadership’, she said. ‘My educational career has required listening, supporting and challenging individuals’ behaviour on many levels. Relationships are the key, remembering that everyone is important. Jesus demonstrated this to us in his ministry.’
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