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Women of Influence to be recognised

Women of Influence to be recognised on eve of 125 years’ suffrage

Eighty-three of New Zealand’s most inspiring and successful women have today been named as finalists in the 2018 Women of Influence awards.

The distinguished group includes a Paralympic swimmer, an author, a composer-pianist, chief executives, directors, lecturers, volunteers and community workers.

The Women of Influence awards, now in their sixth year, are backed by Westpac and Stuff, with honours conferred in 10 categories.

Awards judge and Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher says this year’s event will be auspicious because it falls on the eve of the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.

“There’s a special buzz this time around, coming 125 years after New Zealand became the first country in the world allowing all women to vote. We can now say we’ve had three women Prime Ministers and have made massive strides towards equality that women of previous generations could have only ever dreamed of.

“This year, we wanted to make sure nominations came in for all Kiwi women who are making a difference - not just those who are well-known or successful in business, but anyone going the extra mile every single day for others around them; whether they are nurses, social workers, teachers, or community volunteers.”

Westpac NZ chief executive David McLean says it’s heartening to see so many fresh names in the list of finalists.

“Every year the nominations are completely different and it just reminds us that there are so many women out there making a mark in their own way. It’s clear that 125 years after suffrage, the determination of New Zealand women to make society a better place is as strong as ever. I’m in no doubt that this group of finalists will inspire the next generation of women and men to achieve amazing things.”

The prestigious awards fall across 10 categories, including Arts & Culture, Community & Not-for-profit, Innovation & Science and Business. Some of the more recognisable finalists include: Composer-Pianist Gillian Bibby, Author Steff Green and Paralympic swimmer Sophie Pascoe.

Each year, one Women of Influence category winner receives an extra accolade as supreme winner. Previous winners include Helen Robinson, Joan Withers, Lesley Elliott and Dame Therese Walsh.

“The calibre of nominations and heartfelt stories shared this year make me incredibly proud to be a woman,” says Boucher.

The finalists are each invited to attend the Women of Influence Forum on September 18, themed around the last 125 years, what has been achieved for gender equality and where to from here. Following the Forum, the Women of Influence 2018 winners will be announced at the Awards Dinner at SKYCITY in Auckland.

For tickets and more information about the Forum and Awards, visit: www.womenofinfluence.co.nz.

ENDS

Full list of finalists:

Arts & Culture

Deborah McCormick - Executive Director, SCAPE Public Art Trust
Gillian Bibby - Composer-Pianist
Miranda Harcourt - Performance Consultant, Rata Studios
Nicola Marshall - Executive Director, Square Eyes Film Foundation
Professor Lydia Wevers - Emeritus, Victoria University of Wellington
Steff Green - Author

Board & Management

Dr Farah Palmer - Senior Lecturer, Massey University
Dr Lucy Baragwanath - Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement), Victoria University of Wellington
Heather Walton - Principal, Ray White Epsom
Jane Wrightson - Chief Executive, NZ On Air
Joanna Pidgeon - Partner, Pidgeon Law
Lani Evans - Head of Foundation, Vodafone Foundation, Chairperson, Thankyou Payroll, and Trustee and Founder, Thankyou Charitable Trust
Lara Ariell - CFO, Inland Revenue
Professor Rawinia Higgins - Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori), Victoria University of Wellington
Susan Freeman-Greene - Chief Executive, Engineering New Zealand

Business Enterprise

Alliv Samson - Co-Founder and COO, Kami Limited
Angela Meyer - Co-Founder and Co-Director, Double Denim Ltd
Angie Judge - Chief Executive, Dexibit
Anna Guenther - Founder and Chief Bubble Blower, PledgeMe
Eleanor Bodger - Director, Eldernet Limited
Greer O'Donnell - Director, The Urban Advisory
Jody Hamilton - Director, JMP Consulting
Kerry Jackson - Founder and Creative Director, MM Linen
Lillian Grace - CEO, Figure.NZ
Lisa King - Founder and Director, Eat My Lunch

Community & Not for Profit

Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh - Founder and Director, SheSharp and Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology
Jackie Clark - Aunty in charge, The Aunties
Jana Nee - Project Manager / Youth Worker, Te whānau o waipareira Trust
Jenn Hooper - Founder and Spokesperson, Changing Places NZ, Action to Improve Maternity Trust and Charley Supports Ltd
Julia Hartshorne - Founder and Trustee, Achieve2B Trust
Karla Sanders - CEO, Sticks 'n Stones
Leanne Hegan - Trustee, Guardian Angels
Lorraine Taylor - CEO, Variety - The Children's Charity
Merenia Donne - Charity Founder and Board Member, Kotuku Foundation Assistance Animals Aotearoa
Natasha Takutaimoana Kemp - CEO, Te Kaha o Te Rangatahi Trust
Ruth Money - Private Victim Advocate and Volunteer Advocate
Season-Mary Downs - Director, Tukau Law and Kaiwhakahaere, Tukau Community and Clothing
Sheryl Connell - Chairperson, Houhanga Rongo Trust
Stephanie Clare - Chief Executive, Age Concern New Zealand
Zoe Lawton - Legal Researcher, Ministry of Justice

Diversity

Dr Negar Partow - Senior Lecturer, Massey University
Naomi Manu - Director, Māori Student Success, Massey University
Sarah Lang - Project Director, Infrastructure New Zealand
Sheree Carey - CEO, Southland Chamber of Commerce
Shila Nair - Senior Advisor / Counsellor, Shakti Community Council Inc.
Sophie Pascoe - Paralympic Swimmer
Steph Dyhrberg - Partner, Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law
Victoria Lessing - Co-Director / NZ Sign Language Specialist, Merge NZ

Global

Amanda Santos - CEO, Tekron International
Cassandra Treadwell - CEO and Founder, So They Can
Samantha Rae Jones - Founder and CEO, Little Yellow Bird
Sarah Vrede - Recently Director, Financial Operations and Head of New Zealand Debt Management Office, The Treasury
Shahed Abu Jwaied - Founder and CEO, Integrate Women International
Yvonne Simpson - Immediate Past President, Soroptimist International
Ziena Jalil - Director - Business, Asia New Zealand

Innovation & Science

Dr Kosala Gunawardane - Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology
Dr Yvonne Anderson - Paediatrician, Liggins Institute, University of Auckland
Ezel Kokcu - CEO, Passphere
Kristen Lunman - Innovation Director, Kiwi Wealth
Kylie Price - Head of Research Technology, Malaghan Institute of Medical Research
Professor Julia Rucklidge - Professor of Psychology, University of Canterbury
Professor Maggie-Lee Huckabee - Professor and Director, The University of Canterbury Rose Centre for Stroke Recovery and Research
Professor Penny Brothers - Professor of Chemistry, University of Auckland
Professor Wendy Larner - Provost, Victoria University of Wellington

Public Policy

Charlotte Korte - Co-Leader, Mesh Down Under
Gael Surgenor - Director of Community & Social Innovation, Auckland Council
Hazel Heal - Law student, Otago University and Team Lead, Hep C Action Aotearoa
Helene Quilter - Secretary of Defence, Ministry of Defence
Keriana Brooking - Deputy Director Service Commissioning, Ministry of Health
Louise Harris - Executive Advisor, New Zealand Transport Agency
Sonia Wilson - Manager - Youth Justice, Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children
Victoria Manning - General Manager-Strategy, Deaf Aotearoa and Chairperson, New Zealand Sign Language Board

Rural

Kimberly Crewther - Executive Director, Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand
Rebecca Keoghan - General Manager / Director, Westland Milk Products & Pamu Academy
Sarah Perriam - Co-Host & Producer on Rural Exchange on RadioLIVE, MediaWorks & Perriam Media

Young Leader

Ashleigh Smith - Founding Member and Chairperson, Sticks 'n Stones
Brittany Cosgrove - Founder, NopeSisters Clothing
Iri Edwards - First Year Student Representative
Jacinta Gulasekharam - Co-Founder, Dignity
Maddison McQueen-Davies - Founder & Facilitator, Share a Pair
Mahrukh Sarwar - President, University of Auckland Muslim Students Association
Paige Sullivan - Chairperson, Selwyn Youth Council
Poppy Norton - Co-Founder, Collaborate


Key dates:
Sunday 29 July - Finalists announced
Tuesday 18 September (morning) - Forum, SKYCITY Auckland
Tuesday 18 September (evening) - Awards Dinner, SKYCITY Auckland

2018 Women of Influence Sponosrs:
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand – sponsor of Diversity category
DLA Piper – sponsor of Board & Management category
Hotpoints – sponsor of Young Leader category
Massey University – sponsor of Global category
Mastercard – sponsor of Innovation and Science category
Ministry for Women – sponsor of Public Policy category
MYOB – sponsor of Business Enterprise category
Spark – sponsor of Community / Not for Profit category
Zespri - sponsor of the Rural category
SKYCITY - Venue partner
Nautilus Estate – Wine partner

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