12 July, 2017
Finalists’ diversity highlights influence of women in New Zealand
The finalists in the 10 Women of Influence categories have been announced for 2017 Awards.
From farmers to fund managers to fashionistas, finalists in this year’s Fairfax Media and Westpac Women of Influence Awards are drawn from a wide range of fields, but each has one thing in common: they have built on their personal and professional successes to help and inspire others.
Awards judge and Fairfax Media Group Executive Editor Sinead Boucher says the breadth in backgrounds of this year’s finalists highlights the significant contribution women from all corners of the country are making towards New Zealand’s growth and development.
“Every one of the finalists has a wonderful story to tell and the Women of Influence Awards provide a perfect opportunity to recognise our country’s outstanding women on a national stage,” said Ms Boucher.
Ms Boucher said the judging panel had a tough job ahead of it in selecting winners in each of the 10 categories and an overall winner.
“Many of the finalists are well-known and widely celebrated. Others operate more quietly – but all have made a positive difference to their communities.”
Westpac New Zealand GM Consumer Bank & Wealth Simon Power said the Awards were an opportunity to celebrate the nominees’ contributions to improving people’s lives.
“It gives us all a chance to recognise and thank these women for what they do to make New Zealand a better place,” said Mr Power.
“As much as we hope their achievements inspire the next generation, these awards are also an opportunity for an incredible group of people to gather together and draw inspiration from each other.”
Award winners will be announced on September 7 at the Awards Dinner at SkyCity Auckland. Previous Supreme Award winners include Helen Robinson, Joan Withers, Lesley Elliott, and Dame Therese Walsh.
2017 Women of Influence:
Arts and Culture
Carrie Rae Cunningham
Denise L'Estrange Corbet
Board and Management
Rebecca 'Liz' Elizabeth Mellish
Community / Not for Profit
Rebecca Elizabeth 'Liz' Mellish
Zhi Fen Yao
Innovation and Science
Shahed Abu Jwaied