Women of Influence Forum

The Women of Influence Forum is an opportunity to hear from outstanding leaders on their experiences and views on resilience.

The Forum is a half day event restricted to only 300 people who aspire to lead at a senior level or significant way in their organisation or community. It’s an opportunity to, not only hear valuable insights from high achievers, but also an opportunity to meet and network with like-minded individuals.

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Keynote Speakers

Dr Lance O’Sullivan

Dr Lance O' Sullivan

Dr Lance O'Sullivan (Te Rarawa, Ngati Hau, Ngati Maru) is a GP based in Kaitaia, Northland. Born and raised in Auckland, he was educated at Hato Petera College before studying medicine at the University of Auckland.

O'Sullivan and his wife, Tracy, set up the low-cost health clinic "Te Kohanga Whakaora" (The Nest of Wellness) to make basic healthcare accessible for people in the Far North. In addition, he founded the "Manawa Ora Korokoro Ora (Moko) programme", Northland’s first full-time, school-based health clinic, providing medical care to 2000 children across the region. His belief that wellness begins in warm safe homes also led him to starting the "Kainga Ora (Well Home) initiative".

For his trail-blazing work in healthcare delivery, O'Sullivan has been acknowledged as a Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader, Public Health Association Public Health Champion, Maori of the Year and, most recently, Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. In 2014, he was also named the second-most trusted New Zealander by Readers Digest.

Cecilia Robinson

Cecilia Robinson

Cecilia is the Group CEO of My Food Bag. Her key focus centres on the strategic and operational management of the business in the Trans-Tasman area.

Cecilia and My Food Bag have also been finalists of or winners in several awards – Cecilia won the NEXT Business woman of the Year in both 2012 and 2014 and the 2013 EY Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards (awarded by Ernst and Young ) and she also won the 'Businesswoman of the Year 2012'. My Food Bag also won the TVNZ Marketing awards and was named the Rising Star of the year in the Deloitte Fast 50.

Touted as a serial entrepreneur, Cecilia has an extensive background in business management from founding and managing Au Pair Link, Australasia’s largest Au Pair agency, alongside her husband James Robinson in April 2007.

Under Cecilia’s and James ownership Au Pair Link was an award-winning business, enjoying appearances in the Deloitte Fast 50 (ranked 12th in 2012), Kenexa Best Workplaces (ranked 6th best workplace in 2013) and winning several awards in the HER Business Woman Awards including ‘Best new business’ and ‘Best SME’.

Captain Corina Bruce

Corina Bruce

Captain Corina Bruce is the first female commanding officer of HMNZS Philomel at the Devonport Naval base and a passionate supporter of flexible working arrangements for parents within the Navy.

After already breaking new ground by becoming the first serving female at sea in the New Zealand Navy after joining in 1983 as a software engineer, Corina went on to helped established a pathway for diversity within the country’s defence forces. She has worked with the Navy to provide ways for Regular Force members to work on a rostered (part time) basis, something that did not exist when Corina had her own two daughters. These mechanisms have been adopted into policy and this opportunity is now available across the Defence Force to anyone wanting to combine their commitment to the services and home life.

Corina also advocated for provisions which would help post-natal mothers return to service by recognising the physical factors following childbirth and the impact of separation on them and their child within the first 12 months.

The Navy now implements a one-year period which encourages mothers to return to work at a pace that suits their family, allows them to set up and prove family support plans, waives the physical fitness requirements of service and protects them from deployment during this period.

As a Reservist Corina lead the celebrations for 30 years of Women at Sea in partnership with Westpac NZ. She then re-joined the Regular Force to take Command of the Joint Operational Health Group.