The Women of Influence Forum is an opportunity for people who aspire to make a significant contribution to their community and to fully realise their own potential to learn from some outstanding leaders who have done just that.
As well as an opportunity to hear valuable insights from high achievers, it’s a chance to meet like-minded individuals and share your thoughts and experiences.
Women of Influence Forum 2017 - Keynote Speakers:
The Right Honourable Helen Clark
(Academic, Stateswoman, Leader)
During nine years as Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social, environmental, and cultural spheres. She advocated strongly for New Zealand’s comprehensive programme on sustainability, including on addressing climate change, and was a strong promoter of the role of arts, culture and heritage in expressing the unique identity of New Zealand. In April 2009 she was appointed Administrator of the United Nations Development Program and Chair of the United Nations Development Group, the first women to hold these positions. She served two terms, standing down in April 2017.
Dame Susan Devoy
(World Champion, Public Servant, Mother)
Appointed Race Relations Commissioner in 2013, Dame Susan Devoy has been a vocal advocate for raising New Zealand's annual refugee quota and urging politicians, decision makers and everyday Kiwis to treat people from ethnic minorities with respect, humanity and mana.
In 2016 she launched New Zealand’s first nationwide anti-racism digital campaign, “That’s Us” that engaged with more than half a million people in just over a month. A world squash champion for many years, Dame Susan is a former CEO of Sport Bay of Plenty and board member of many different community organisations and businesses.
(Sportsman, Entrepreneur, Husband)
Having cut his teeth as an athletic and sometimes fiery all-rounder in the cauldron that is international cricket, Dion made the transition into the world of business via 42Below, where by various acts of subterfuge, audacity and cunning he earned the title of Marketing Director.
A qualified Pilates instructor, Dion recently founded the men's grooming range 'Triumph & Disaster'. The brand now sells in over 300 stores world-wide, including Fred Segal in Los Angeles and Selfridges in London.
A keen but at times misguided guitarist, Dion spends much of his spare time writing ditties for Herne Bay band The Camel Toes.
(Lawyer, Company Director, Wahine Toa)
Inspired by her tupuna, Rukumoana Schaafhausen has strived to make a difference beyond herself, and do what is right for the people of Aotearoa. Ruku’s strengths lie in working across corporates, communities and iwi to make positive social change for all of Aotearoa, and in championing young Maori women to become future leaders. A lawyer, a director and an influential member of her iwi, Ruku is renowned as a hard-working, principled “bridge builder” and a diverse thinker. She is chairperson of Te Arataura, the executive arm of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato; managing director for Te Waharoa Investments; and a director of Regional Facilities Auckland. In June 2017, Ruku received a Blake Leader Award.