2015 Westpac Women of Influence Announced
Congratulations to Supreme Award Winner, Joan Withers, and to all category winners of the 2015 Women of Influence Awards!
In its third year, the Women of Influence Programme is designed to identify, recognise and celebrate the 100 most influential women shaping New Zealand across 10 categories: Arts and Culture, Board and Management, Business Enterprise, Community and Not for Profit, Diversity, Global, Innovation, Public Policy and Rural.
With a record number of nominees this year, our panel of experienced judges said selecting the winners and overall winner was a challenging task.
Parris Goebel was awarded the Young Leader Award and has been honoured for her supportive, inspirational influence on young New Zealanders to pursue their dreams of becoming stars in hip-hop dance. At 23 years old, she owns a dance studio, pioneered her own unique style of dance, and has choreographed for stars like Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Janet Jackson and most recently, Justin Bieber. Parris spearheaded the success of a number of dance crews at the prestigious World Hip Hop International Championships, leading all-female dancers, Request, to win gold and put New Zealand on the global stage of hip-hop dance. (Parris' sister Narelle collected the award on her behalf.)
Arts and Culture
The Arts and Culture Award was received by Victoria Spackman for her role in reviving BATS Theatre Limited, transforming the board to one at the forefront of a vibrant and in-demand theatre. Victoria’s contribution and effort was crucial to the survival and evolution of the organisation and her continued work in the creative sectors is to be highly commended. The judges noted Victoria’s influence touches not only Wellington theatre goers, but our TV screens, and exhibitions and museums around the world.
Linda Jenkinson in the Business Enterprise category for her entrepreneurial successes in the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand.
Frances Valintine, education futurist and The Mind Lab founder, won the Innovation Award for being at the forefront of change in education.
Vicky Robertson won the Public Policy category for her continued focus on results and ability to work effectively across a wide range of stakeholder groups.
Stacey Shortall was awarded the Community and Not-for-Profit Award for the depth and breadth of her contribution and influence in her work with children.
Colonel Karyn Thompson won the Diversity category for her work as the most senior military woman in the New Zealand Defence Force, consistently advocating for diversity and inspiring women to enter a career in the military.
Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas recieved the Global Award, for such achievements as Chair for many respected organisations, and serving numerous arts and educational institutions, including being the first woman to chair The Royal Opera House in London.
Katie Milne won the Rural category for being instrumental in the agriculture and farming industry, regularly addressing issues that impact farming and agriculture on a provincial and national level.