Auckland Future Leaders Camp

Year 12 and 13 Future Leaders got to attend our annual positive youth development camp at Piha Mill Camp in Piha last month. The girls attended learning workshops, conquered physical activities, and got to know each other more.

Words by Anna Beard — Fundraising Coordinator, YWCA Auckland

YWCA Auckland Future Leaders Camp

The girls worked collaboratively to put together a performance for their mentors and YWCA staff who joined them for dinner on the second evening. They showcased their talents through spoken word, dance, song and event management. Our camps are designed to increase each young women’s self-confidence, leadership skills and positive peer relationships and are a cornerstone of the Future Leaders Programme.

Here's what some of the girls had to say about what they took away from camp:

Future Leaders Camp

“I learnt: just turn up, keep turning up. Commitment, dedication and reliability pays off. Find things that satisfy, make you proud and exhilerate you. Take every opportunity.”

“Leadership for me means to lead your ship. Being yourself, learning to appreciate and love yourself. Being a leader by setting a good example.”

Check out our camp photos

Spoken Word Superstars Wanted!

YWCA Auckland are looking for aspiring poets and spoken word extraordinaires aged 14-25 to enter their inaugural spoken word competition in June. 

A free event, it's set to be a night of hot poetry, sizzling truths and even more fiery performances.  The theme is Gender Issues and Feminism. It's open to all genders and you don't have to identify as a feminist to submit as long as your piece is on topic. 

The winner will take away $500, the runner up will receive $200.

Food will be provided and good times guaranteed.

And if you just want to spend a night filled with creative, poetic magic, then bring your friends to the event and register at the link below! 

Venue: Youthline Manukau
Date: Thursday 28th June, 7.00 - 9.00 pm
Theme: Gender issues and feminism
Act duration: Under 5 minutes


Want to come along and be inspired by local poets?

Women In Governance Awards 2018

Last week, members of Auckland, Hamilton and National YWCA were were honoured to attend the Women in Governance Awards Gala Dinner. The awards are run by Women on Boards, who aim to achieve equality by elevating women in governance and leadership.

The winners! Kimberley Kilgour from the YWCA Hamilton board and National board co-president, second from right, accepted the Outstanding Pathway to Leadership award on behalf of the YWCA Hamiton, 

The winners! Kimberley Kilgour from the YWCA Hamilton board and National board co-president, second from right, accepted the Outstanding Pathway to Leadership award on behalf of the YWCA Hamiton, 

Susan Doughty from the YWCA National board was a finalist in the Inspirational Excellence, and  YWCA of Hamilton were the winners in the Outstanding Pathway to Leadership programme. This award recognises an organisation that has provided a pathway that aids the progression of women to governance leadership roles.

Core to our movement is a commitment to good governance and young women’s representation in decision-making.  With a Constitutional requirement for 25% young women (aged 30 years or younger) on our board, we are committed to the promotion of young women leaders. 

We are so proud of our Hamilton sisters for their success in the awards, and the work all of the YWCAs around New Zealand are doing in fostering strong female leadership. 

My Outward Bound Adventure

Last month, our first national Outward Bound Scholarship recipient, Lara, embarked on a life changing adventure.

Last month I had the opportunity to spend 21 days at Outward Bound School, which is located at Anakiwa, in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds.

To be honest I didn't have much of an idea of what to expect, having purposely not found out too much from friends who had completed the course in the past. I wanted to take the course as it came, and have a few surprises to look forward to along the way too. There were 13 others in my group, and on day one it was overwhelming - there were so many new faces and people to get used to. By the end of 21 days, we had become a tight knit family, and my life had changed for the better.

Every morning at Outward Bound begins at at 6am (or earlier!) with personal training, and a 3.2km run which ends with full submersion in the ocean. This is then followed by a cold, communal freshwater shower, a few moments to get dressed, have breakfast, and then meet with the rest of the groups (or 'watches') for assembly. All of this before 9am, which is when I might normally get up on a weekday! This definitely opened my eyes to how much it is possible to fit into a day as well as just how much better you feel when you exercise daily. Our days were usually jam packed too - with different activities, jobs and tasks to complete before the next day. 

Outward Bound Scholarship

Outward Bound pushed me mentally, physically and emotionally out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. I definitely already had an area that I thought was out of my comfort zone - where I try put myself regularly - but I soon realized that where I draw my lines should perhaps be a little further out. The courses's motto is "There is more in you," which gets drummed into you to the point you almost use it jokingly with others in your watch when you reach the point of complete exhaustion. It is truly incredible just how true that statement is though. I did my first half marathon on the second to last day of the course, something that I would've not thought I was capable of on day one. Don't get me wrong, it was incredibly tiring, but even at the end of that 21km, I could've kept going for longer which I would've never expected. The mind will give up long before the body starts to.

More than anything though, I am so thankful for the amazing bunch of people I was blessed to have alongside me on the course. We encouraged and supported each other, and it was incredibly inspiring to see people really putting themselves out there and being vulnerable in the group. I definitely have some lasting friendships, and incredible memories of my time in Anakiwa, that I know I will treasure for the rest of my life.

From the bottom of my heart - thank you YWCA for giving me this amazing opportunity!

Spotlight: YWCA Auckland

The Auckland YWCA are now thought leaders in the fight for Equal Pay, linking NGOs and businesses.

Words by Monica Briggs — CEO, YWCA Auckland


Back in 2012, there was a funny synchronicity. We were talking to a creative agency and to a business focus group and we were thinking a lot about how to reach more women. We all jumped in and the result was our Demand Equal Pay campaign.

It aroused massive interest in the media and the public and this surprised us. We realised that people were really confused about what constituted the pay gap in New Zealand. That’s why we started the Equal Pay Awards. We wanted to encourage businesses so that women can have a lifetime of fair earnings.

2017 Equal pay awards

2017 Equal pay awards

That was just three years ago and the general public weren’t nearly as aware as they are now. The feedback we used to get was that women thought their grans had fought for it back in the 1970’s and sorted it all out — wishful thinking! Men didn’t believe it to be a problem either. Businesses weren’t examining their pay data through a gender lens and so the cycle of unfair pay continued.

We need to ensure that positive shifts occur for the hard working women of Aoteroa. Businesses need to take the lead.

You can read more about #eqALL and the Equal Pay Awards on Auckland YWCA's website.


#EMPOWERED at Waikato O Week

Words by Riikka Anderson, YWCA of Hamilton

Hamilton YWCA O Week

Hamilton YWCA O Week

This year for the first time, the YWCA of Hamilton is expanding our programmes and workshops to students at the University of Waikato. We will be running one-off workshops once a month at the halls of residence on variety of subjects ranging from practical life skills to self-defence, from healthy cooking on a budget to Money Savvy and mental health.


To start this journey we were present at the TGIF Party at the O Week on Friday 23rd February. Our aim was to increase the students’ awareness of who we are and what we do. As a part of this promotion we ran several competitions: two on the day and two online. The (not so) Mini Prize was drawn from among those who gave us their email addresses. Thanks to this competition we now have over 150 emails for UoW female students! 


The two competitions on Facebook and Instagram are still running. To participate, students need to like our Facebook page or follow our Instagram account and tag someone who has #EMPOWERED them.

It was great (and very hot) day at the Village Green! It was awesome to meet so many young women and talk to them about issues we all face as women. We will definitely go back next year and look forward to seeing more of those who will join us this year!

If you are based in the Waikato and interested in getting involved, check out the YWCA Hamilton info page


International Women's Day 2018


Each year around the globe, International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women world wide. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality.

"[International Women's Day] is a great opportunity to reflect on our successes and the struggles that remain to achieve gender equality."

 - Barbara Williams, President of UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand

The UN Women theme for IWD 2018 is "Achieve gender equality and empower rural women and girls". Their focus is on accelerating the 2030 agenda, and building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals. It will equally focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step it up initiative and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.

Want to get involved? Find a 2018 International Women’s Day event in your area:

North Island Northland | Auckland | Hamilton | Tauranga | Gisborne & Hawkes BayRotorua | Whanganui | Manawatu | Lower Hutt | Kapiti/Horowhenua DistrictWairarapa | Wellington 

South Island Nelson | Marlborough | Canterbury | Otago | Southland


Did You Know? Three Facts from YWCA Herstory

A lot has happened in the YWCA's long history in Aotearoa New Zealand! Here are a few cool facts you might not know.

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The YWCA was a pioneer of sport for women.
The first YWCA recreation programme was held in Dunedin in 1883 and there was gymnasium work in Auckland by 1886, which was developed into Eurythmics by the YWCA Wellington in the 1940s.

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The YWCA provided support and shelter to young working class women arriving on immigrant ships.
This led to the first hostels – for these women. Later, they attracted young rural women coming to the cities. In the 50s and 60s they were used as student accommodation, and by the 80s they were focused on emergency accommodation and boarding houses.

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The YWCA ran The Girl Citizen Movement.
In the 1920s and 30s, thousands of 14-20 year old women learned the skills of running conferences and meetings, speaking in public, organising fundraising, holiday camps, plays and outings as part of The Girl Citizen Movement. Almost 100 years later, this spirit of developing young women leaders continues in the work we do with Future Leaders.

Hamilton Y Brunch & Focus session

YWCA Hamilton brunch & focus

The YWCA of Hamilton run a number of programmes that serve the needs of young Waikato women. They are looking for feedback from their community to find out what local Women need, so that they can create the best possible programmes for 2018. 

They will be holding three focus session & brunch on Saturday Feb 24th and Sunday Feb 25th. This will be a great opportunity to meet your local Y, make some new friends, and discuss ideas for how they can help local women. 

Head to their Facebook event page for more. 



Auckland Young Feminists Hui

AYF Hui Group Shot

70 eager and curious young feminists attended the inaugural Auckland Young Feminists Hui, held at AUT on a beautifully sunny Saturday, December 2nd. This Hui was aimed at high school students interested in feminism and to support the formation of a network of feminist clubs in high schools across Auckland.

Founded in 2017, Auckland Young Feminists (AYF) is a society run by a group of passionate women who intend to foster a more equitable, inclusive, and empowering culture amongst our youth. We work directly with high school feminist clubs to support them in their pursuits. The organising committee for the Hui and AYF comprised of representatives from YWCA Auckland, National Council of Women, the Auckland Women’s Centre, and the PPTA.

Attendees got to attend their choice of a range of workshops – Feminism 101, How to Activate Young Feminists in Your School , Gender Issues in Climate Change (run by YWCA Aoteaora/NZ Board Member Niamh O’Flynn), How to Raise Support for your Cause, Women in Urbanism, Gender Equal NZ, Women’s Rights in Work, Family Violence Awareness, and Rape Myths and the Media.

Auckland Young Feminists Hui 2017

Bookending the workshops were a duo of amazing speakers. Starting the day was Kiritapu Allan, (Labour MP for East Coast). She spoke to her journey from small town to her political career paying tribute to the strong circle of women around her who supported and encouraged her.

Dr Judy McGregor (Head of the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, AUT) inspired the audience with stories of her life-long activism and dedication to social justice that started in high school and saw her getting suspended for writing a letter to the Rotorua newspaper decrying the racist policies of her school.

Closing the Hui, was Green MP Golriz Ghahraman who spoke of her introduction to feminism watching her mother and aunts protesting the forced wearing of the hijab in 1979. She said “Feminism and Human Rights aren’t Western concepts. They are universal”.

AYF Hui 2.jpg

Dr. Melani Anae, (Senior Lecturer, Director of Research, Pacific Studies, Te Wananga o Waipapa, University of Auckland) spoke of her involvement in the revolutionary Polynesian Panthers (the anti-capitalist movement of the 70’s formed in response to Maori and Pacifica oppression) and feminism from a Samoan perspective.

All in all, it was an energising and positive event that was the best way to kick-start the AYF movement. Stay tuned!

YWCA of Christchurch seeking Manager and Board Members

The YWCA Christchurch is a part of a national and global mission to empower and support women.

Christchurch offer emergency and transitional accommodation for women and women with children. They also offer a programme to the women who stay with us which involves mentoring, up skilling, sharing skills, tutoring and peer teaching. 

In addition, the Y Christchurch assist women in the following:

  • Assistance with applying to HNZ, CCC and private rental options to get long-term and permanent accommodation
  • On-site counselling
  • Common lounge for friends and Whanau visitors
  • Shared meals on special occasions 

Manager, Full Time

Christchurch are looking for a highly flexible person to fill the role of Manager. The Management role is a full time position established to:

  • Work with the Board to manage all aspects of the YWCA Christchurch operations
  • Manage finances and administration
  • Seek funding and sponsorship for activities and programmes
  • Promote, network and advocate on behalf of the YWCA Christchurch
  • Ensure the daily running of the YWCA programs is effective and efficient

You can read the full job description and apply here:

Two Board Member Positions Available

Christchurch are also seeking two new board members with good skills in communication, strategic thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making and experience or strengths in any of the following areas:

  • Not-for-profit governance
  • Networking and advocacy
  • Legal
  • Social media
  • Strategy
  • Fundraising

This is an unpaid voluntary position, based from anywhere in Aotearoa. 

Read more about the board position or apply here

Outward Bound: Meet our Scholarship Recipients

The YWCA's purpose is to support individual and community change by empowering women, especially young women, to develop and exercise their individual and collective leadership through enhancing their spiritual, physical, mental, and cultural wellbeing. Our partnership with Outward Bound New Zealand is helping us to achieve this through our partnership scholarship.

In November last year, we launched our bi-annual Outward Bound scholarship (previously the programme was run by YWCA Hamilton) in which three young women between the ages of 18 and 26, are given access to a 2018 Outward Bound course at a greatly reduced cost. You can read more about our Outward Bound partnership and how it works here.

We are delighted to introduce our first three Scholarship recipients, Anna, Lara and Kellee, who will be experiencing this life changing course this year.


Anna Connolly, 19

Aspiring teacher, Anna, originally hails from Otorohanga. She is now living in Hamilton studying for her Bachelor of Teaching degree at the University of Waikato.

Anna is looking forward to becoming a YWCA advocate and strong female role model through her teaching career.

"Outward Bound has always been a dream of mine. It excites me now that I'm finally turning this dream into a reality. I've always wanted to push myself, and get out there and be adventurous.

I'm incredibly fortunate that I've been given the opportunity to do Outward Bound. I enjoy being pushed out of my comfort zone and I believe it will shape the person I am and set me up with life long benefits and skills, both physically and mentally which is why I am so happy to receive the scholarship."


Lara Hawker, 23

Wellington-born, Whanganui-raised Lara Hawker moved to Auckland to study special effects makeup. Graduating in 2015 as Student of The Year, Lara now runs a small business and freelances to film and television productions.

Lara has extensive volunteering experience and hopes to become a practising make-up artist with Look Good, Feel Better, to offer her skills to women fighting cancer. She also has plans to become a mentor for younger women entering the workforce, or starting their own business.

"I am incredibly happy and grateful to have been selected for the YWCA Outward Bound Scholarship. I chose to apply for the scholarship as going on Outward Bound was something I had always dreamed of doing as a teen, however due to financial circumstances at the time, I was unable to realise this.

I have always felt that I had l really missed the Outward Bound experience - the time to get know yourself and your own limits, while getting to know others and challenging yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. I am very, very excited to begin my OB journey -  I can't wait to get out of my comfort zone!"


Kellee Henton, 25

Hamilton based Kellee Henton runs her own fitness business aimed towards inspiring and change the lives of women through health and fitness. She is a personal trainer and runs an activewear website, The Kellee Collective, aimed at women of all shapes and sizes.

Kellee has done a lot of charity work with her personal training business to raise money for The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, as well as working with young women to help overcome eating disorders.

"I am so privileged to be receiving the Outward Bound Scholarship from YWCA, an amazing organisation whose values sit close to my heart. Outward Bound has always been on my bucket list, mainly to prove to myself that I'm stronger than I think. I want to share my journey with you all, to prove that you really can achieve anything you set out to - it's mind over matter, and everyone is capable of it. Thank you so much YWCA, I plan to do you proud."

Outward Bound is a not-for-profit organisation, helping people reach their full potential through challenges in the outdoors. "The course gives you the focus and perspective to decide on your future direction. A perfect balance of adventure and reflection, you’ll take time to consider your personal values and work out what’s important. You’ll find a sense of belonging, with new connections and with a better understanding of yourself and your relationship to the wider world."

Our next round of Outward Bound scholarship applications will open in April 2018. 

We wish Anna, Lara and Kellee the best of luck for their Outward Bound adventures this year and we look forward to sharing their stories with you.


December 2017 YWCA National Newsletter

Kia ora koutou

Thank you for your support in making Aotearoa a better and more equal place for women. We wish you a restful and restorative holiday break and look forward to working with you in 2018.

Tēnā rawa atu koe.



Auckland YWCA Future Leaders Programme

Last Monday saw 20 young women graduate from YWCA Auckland's Future Leaders programme. They are currently seeking new mentors to join this wonderful programme and help young women have the opportunity to reach their full potential.


Christmas at the Y

Christchurch YWCA and Hamilton YWCA are looking for kind donations from members of the community to make Christmas feel like Christmas for local women in need.


An Intergenerational Women's Movement

The YWCA Aotearoa NZ is a national association of women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs. In 2017, the simple founding principle has never been more relevant and powerful.






Liv Doogue
Executive Officer
YWCA of Aotearoa NZ

Auckland YWCA Future Leaders Programme

THE 2017 Future Leader of the Year - Te Po Masina

THE 2017 Future Leader of the Year - Te Po Masina

Future Leaders Graduation Night

Last Monday saw 20 young women graduate from YWCA Auckland's Future Leaders programme. 

Graduation is always an emotional event as we bid farewell and good luck to these girls who have been a vital part of the YWCA Auckland family for four years and we have seen them blossom into confident, resilient young women and postive role models in their communities.

Te Po Masina from Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate won the coveted “Future Leader of the Year” award for her committment and outstanding leadership attributes. In her emotional and humble speech she congratulated all her “sisters” graduating from the programme and declared: “Always remember: We are all leaders. Know your voice. Use your voice”.

- Anna Beard, YWCA Auckland

2016 Mentor Campaign.jpg

New Mentors Needed

Auckland YWCA are seeking new mentors to join this wonderful programme and help more young women like Te Po have the opportunity to reach their full potential. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or would like to know more about the Future Leaders Programme, read more at the Auckland YWCA website, or email

Christmas At The Y

Christchurch YWCA Christmas Gifts Needed

Christmas at the YWCA

The YWCA Christchurch offer emergency and transitional accommodation for women and women with children. Christmas time can be a particularly busy time of the year for the Christchurch Y's emergency accommodation unit. 

To create a fun and festive Christmas for the guests, the Christchurch YWCA provide food and presents for the women and children staying with them. This year they need help from the community to donate gifts to an expected 16 Women and 16 Children of varying ages.

If you would like to help make Christmas feel like Christmas for the women and children staying at the Christchurch Y, you can send a gift (or two) to:

YWCA Christchurch
285 Hereford Street
Christchurch 8011

Hamilton YWCA & Women's Refuge Food Drive

YWCA Hamilton Food Drive

In preparation of Christmas, the YWCA of Hamilton are running a food drive to help support the Waikato Women’s Refuge over the holiday season. Non-perishables such as canned food (including meats, fish, soup, beans etc), dry pasta/ rice, cereal, muesli bars, peanut butter, juice boxes, and other Christmas treats, are all welcome. 

The Hamilton Y are open Monday-Friday until the 20th of December for donations, which can to be delivered or dropped off at:

YWCA Hamilton
28 Pembroke Street
Hamilton 3204

An Intergenerational Women's Movement

It takes many generations to change an attitude.


No need to kid ourselves. When it comes to 100% opportunity for young women, there is still a long way to go. It will take the energy, ideas and commitment of women of all ages and beliefs to make the change we want.

The YWCA began in London in 1855. Two determined women on a mission proposed a simple idea. Women would create opportunities for other women: they would stand beside the young to improve their opportunities and shape a better future.

The movement quickly took root around the world. You are reading this today because women in Dunedin, back in 1877, also thought ‘women + young women’ was a good idea! Now YWCA Aotearoa NZ is a national association of women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs. In 2017, the simple founding principle has never been more relevant and powerful.

Image credit:  Womens March NZ

Image credit: Womens March NZ

During the international day of protest earlier this year, women walked together, demanding the right to a gender equal future. Cities in Aotearoa and around the world, rocked with the power of women and their determined voices. They were young and old, advantaged and not. They wore pussy hats and sun hats, hijabs and piercings. Many had started as teenagers back in the 1960s and would never have imagined that six decades later, they would still need to be marching. But here they were: this time walking beside their daughters and granddaughters and young colleagues.

From mini-skirts to walking frames, the mission and the determination is still the same. Women want the same thing for all women. Gender equality and all the fairness, opportunity and possibility that goes with it. It takes many generations to change an attitude.

Excerpt from our 2017 Annual Report.

November 2017 YWCA National Newsletter


The Equal Pay Awards 2017

The Auckland YWCA's fourth annual Equal Pay Awards went off without a hitch, and drew in the biggest crowd to date.

Beverage company Lion and the Human Resources Director of law firm Simpson Grierson, Jo Copeland, emerged as the 2017 Gold winners. 

The Silver winner was engineering company AECOM, and International tourism firm Magic Memories claimed the Bronze category award.

Read more.




YWCA Branded Cards and Reusable Coffee Cups

Do you want to support the YWCA movement to empower young women in Aotearoa New Zealand? Purchase YWCA greeting card sets and reusable coffee mugs! They make great gifts for Christmas. 

The design represents generations of strong women, layers of one's self, and stages of life.

Read more.


YWCA Aotearoa New Board Members

The YWCA Whānau are lucky to have four amazing new women join the YWCA Aotearoa New Zealand governance board.

Read more.






Welcome our New YWCA Aotearoa New Zealand Board Members

We are so lucky here at the YWCA Aotearoa New Zealand to have a diverse range of talented and dynamic women on our national board. We are excited to welcome four new amazing women, each with their own unique and impressive background, to the National YWCA whānau. 



Niamh O'Flynn

Niamh has been involved in community leadership and organising in Aotearoa since 2009, with an active focus on campaigning, strategic development, and volunteer management.

She is passionate about climate change, women’s issues, and social justice, and in particular, where the three issues meet. Since 2015 she has been based in Auckland as the Executive Director of 350 Aotearoa.

"Working with a feminist organisation that empowers and enhances the lives of young women in Aotearoa has been something I've been excited to do for many years. I'm so delighted to join the wonderful women of board of the YWCA to get cracking!"




Te Aue Addison-Te Whare

Te Aue has held various roles working across the public sector, including in Treaty settlements, environment and local government policy and strategy.

She has been involved in various volunteer women’s collectives throughout university and her early working life and is keen to continue her contribution to advancing women’s rights and interests. She brings skills and experience that can help support and shape the vision for YWCA, particularly in strategic thinking and building creativity and fun into programme design and delivery.

While Te Aue is new to the NGO sector she has been seeking opportunities that foster collective thinking and passion to empower others and affect action in the community. She believes that the YWCA is a platform for change to advance the collective aspirations of women and gender equality.

Te Aue is excited to start her YWCA journey and will bring an enthusiastic rangatahi, wahine Māori and environmentalist perspective to the YWCA governance table.

"I'm really looking forward to starting my journey with the YWCA as the organisation is kaupapa-driven in efforts to empower women.  Bring on the opportunity to collaborative with other passionate women to advance our collective aspirations for Aotearoa"




Sophie Thoreau

Sophie is a lawyer with considerable experience in intellectual property and commercial law.  

She is a strong advocate for women reaching their potential and more.  She would like to use her skills to empower women and to assist the YWCA movement as a whole.  

As a mother of three young children including two young daughters, the future of New Zealand’s young people is important to Sophie and she is passionate about being a part of a movement that seeks to proactively support young women in a rapidly changing landscape.

“The YWCA is at a pivotal point of change and I look forward to being part of a movement that seeks to uplift our young people and has women’s independence and equality as a key focus.  The YWCA is a on journey of which I am thrilled to be a part.”




Rachel Southee

Our new Board Treasurer, Rachel Southee, has recently completed a long bout of university study at both Massey University and the University of Waikato, and now working as an accountant in Wellington. During this time she has worked in various industries including environmental engineering, research, and management consulting. Rachel also founded a new branch of a Wellington high-school tutoring company in Hamilton which is thriving to this day.

Since early this year, Rachel has been an active board member for the YWCA of Hamilton and involved in the Finance Sub-Committee.

Rachel believes that it is imperative that we all actively challenge gender perceptions and to also raise awareness in order to create a change in our communities. 

"My experience with the YWCA of Hamilton inspired me to get involved with YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand. I am excited to continue with such an organisation that empowers the young women of New Zealand to continue to push the boundaries of what women can do and succeed in, so that every young women can have equal opportunity to fulfill her potential."


Welcome aboard Niamh, Te Aue, Sophie and Rachel. We look forward to working with you all to make the YWCA Aotearoa New Zealand stronger together. 

The Equal Pay Awards 2017

Minister Genter (MIDDLE) is pictured with auCKLAND YWCA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MONICA BRIGGS (LEFT); and EY's Susan Doughty. 

Minister Genter (MIDDLE) is pictured with auCKLAND YWCA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MONICA BRIGGS (LEFT); and EY's Susan Doughty. 

The Auckland YWCA's fourth annual Equal Pay Awards went off without a hitch, and drew in the biggest crowd to date.

Beverage company Lion and the Human Resources Director of law firm Simpson Grierson, Jo Copeland, emerged as the 2017 Gold winners. 

Auckland YWCA CEO and awards judge, Monica Briggs, said that the high calibre of entries in the Gold category made it impossible for the judges to pick just one winner. "We were very impressed with the level of internal communication, the desire to innovate and the visibility of Lion's CEO as an advocate for equal pay. Likewise, the personal commitment and drive shown by Jo Copeland at Simpson Grierson distinguishes her as a passionate campaigner for equal pay," 

The Silver winner was engineering company AECOM, who impressed the judges with their hiring policy of starting all new graduates on the same starting salary, and its strategic focus of encouraging more women into the industry.

International tourism firm Magic Memories claimed the Bronze category for their commitment to addressing equal pay in a short space of time.

Among the guest speakers on the night was the new Minister for Women, Julie Anne Genter. “Employers honoured tonight are leading the way for all New Zealand employers who want to close the gender pay gap. We can all learn from their example and reap the benefits for people and business.”

See more at the NZ Equal Pay awards Facebook page.