Hear our stories

My biggest influence was my grandmother, she was so loving. 

Ora Koia

“It’s a privilege to have grown up under Mount Hikurangi on the East Coast of Aotearoa. I’ve climbed that mountain twice, the last time at age 50.  I love new challenges, new opportunities, and learning new things, like learning to swim in my 40s and I'm currently trying to learn to play the flute (guess the decade!).  I wish I’d known when I was young that girls can do anything, including achieving in science and technology, getting a university degree or two, and/or creating and displaying a piece of art, if that’s your desire.   I've done it all later in life as well as worked and had a family.  Others can too. My advice for my grandchildren and others is to believe in yourself, that you can do anything (at least give it a go), take advantage of opportunities and above all be kind and loving to others.”

Why everyday inspiration is important

Miranda Burdon

Miranda Burdon is passionate about spending time with her friends and family, the arts and sport. After having her third son, Miranda stepped away from a fast-paced, executive-level career to spend time with her boys. Today, Miranda is the CEO of Global Women and Chair of Meadows Mushrooms, one of the largest horticultural businesses in the South Island. First and foremost, though, she describes herself as a mum, a sister, a daughter, and a wife.

Influencing positive change

Jo Avenell

Jo is an established Senior Executive with broad international experience and a proven track record spanning more than 20 years in the financial and professional services industries. She is passionate about working at the leadership level to transform and realise the potential of an organisation through the performance of its people. Currently on the Executive team at NZPost and GM People, Culture and Communications. Jo is also on the Board of Global Women.  

Value yourself and get rewarded

Chanelle Davis

I would like to see a kinder world

Vicki Culling

Chanelle has relentlessly followed her passion for songwriting and performing, which has seen her independently release 3 albums and perform across New Zealand. Chanelle spent 3 months in Boston honing her craft with songwriting guru Pat Pattison. Her craving for artistic development and inspiration has also taken her to Nashville, Hawaii and Australia, where she lived for a few years. 

Vicki is a bereaved parent and has been actively involved in 'Sands' for over 10 years. Her first daughter was stillborn at 10 days overdue; an experience which led her to utilise her skills in supporting bereaved parents and families and educating health professionals. It has also led to roles with the National Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee, the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) and the NZ representative on the Parent Advisory Committee and ISA Board.

Always be genuinely you

Paula Dixon

Educational success for Maori and Pasifika young people

Yvonne Daymond

Whether it is supporting senior leaders and their teams, lifting cultural integrity of an organisation, or helping someone identify and embrace their superpower - that's what Paula is passionate about. If there is something to be done or an idea to explore, Paula will be among the first to offer help. 

Yvonne is Chairperson for TAPANUI Charitable Trust, which provides services and support that unleash the potential and realise the aspirations of Tangata Whenua and Tangata Pasifika of Moana-nui-a-Kiwa. Their role is to educate, train, facilitate, advocate, mentor and coach individuals and families who are facing on-going challenges of disparity, discrimination and disadvantage with a priority focus in the Te Awa Kairangi Rohe (Hutt Valley region). Yvonne is also a proud mother of 8.

Lawyer turned refugee advocate reuniting families

Amanda Calder 

How discipline and mental health help me manage my energy

Natalia Albert

Amanda is a lawyer and before starting in practice in a variety of organisations, she worked as a volunteer in Mother Teresa’s orphanages in Mumbai and Manila. Since 1994, Amanda has worked as a voluntary refugee advocate for more than 23 years, and was instrumental in setting up a free legal service for refugees. Amanda is the founder and Chairperson of the Refugee Family Reunification Trust, a private charity that provides financial assistance to refugees for the costs of family reunification. 100% of donations go directly to refugees.      refugeefamilyreunificationtrust.org.nz

Natalia is the powerhouse and visionary behind Kate Sheppard Place Women, a new, women driven, Kiwi event that will happen in Wellington in March 2018. She is a Mexican born – Kiwi citizen with a reputation for getting it done. Natalia believes in women being at the forefront of leading and shaping our world from a kind and tolerant perspective. 

I try to bring my heart to leadership

Si'alei van Toor

Be on the watch for interesting and exciting things

Ady Nightingale

Si’alei van Toor is a NZ diplomat who works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, currently managing the team in the Asia Pacific Regional Integration Division. Her work life involves regional trade and security for NZ’s place in the Asia Pacific region. Prior to her current role she was the Director of the NZ Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei and spent over seven years working in Beijing for the NZ Embassy. She is mum to two teenagers and was proud to be NZ’s first single mum head of mission offshore. Si’alei is inspired by having a multifaceted life that is diverse and full of surprises.

The highlights of my primary teaching were the early years spent teaching in a small rural Maori community and those as Principal of a two teacher rural school. There were also periods in special education, general classroom teaching, specialised reading and communication courses and adult teaching. Feedback from a wide range of people – men, women, Maori and Pakeha, have been about how success in these courses has inspired them to seek higher level training and academic qualifications.