7th Public Sector Women in Leadership Summit

Practical strategies to conquer obstacles and reach your leadership potential

  • February 24th - 27th, 2020
  • Grand Mercure Wellington


Download the brochure Download the brochure

- Build the confidence to lead change
- Drive inclusivity to thrive in the face of adversity
- Develop your authentic leadership brand
- Strategies for career advancement


  • Carolyn Schwalger
    Programme Director, NEMA Transition
    Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet NZ
  • Erin Judge
    Chief Legal Officer
    Ministry for Children (Oranga Tamariki)
  • Rahera Ohia
    Deputy Chief Executive, Policy Partnerships
    Ministry of Maori Development (Te Puni Kokiri)
  • Nina Russell
    Director, Diversity & Inclusion
    New Zealand Defence Force
  • Bill Moses
    Chief Information Officer
    Commerce Commission


Become a Sponsor


Become a Partner

Price & Discounts


Current discount ending!

7 Days

Prices start at


More people? More savings!

3 - 4




5 - 7




8 +




*Only one discount applies at any given time.


Download the brochure Download the brochure
Develop your personal leadership brand and legacy
Achieve & maintain high-performance in your organisation
Understand the value of mentoring
Lift as you lead
What I would tell my younger self
Don’t sell yourself short - Combating imposter syndrome
Network with purpose
Develop the culture for change to succeed
Create a culture where everyone thrives
Attract, retain & develop top talent
Connect with your community
Preparing to lead yourself & your team through an election year
Embrace change & manage disruption
Change leadership workshop
Pre-Summit Workshop

24 Feb


Recognising where your strengths lie and how you can build your values into your leadership style forms the foundation of a personal brand. This interactive workshop will explore how developing your brand helps define your reputation and builds your leadership legacy. Build the confidence to communicate clearly with your values at the forefront and strengthen how you are perceived by others.

Realise the legacy you want to have and how to get there

- What do you want to be known for?

- Understand your values and the kind of leader do you want to be

- Develop an understanding of why lifting others develops you as a leader

Develop your leadership brand

- Craft a leadership style that plays to your strengths

- Create a positive influence within your organisation and leave a lasting leadership legacy

- Promote yourself positively and influence others

Understand the environment you need to create as a leader

- Understand the correlation between emotions, information and behaviour

- Earn trust and respect through authentic leadership

- Develop an emotionally intelligent workplace culture

 Engage successfully with internal and external stakeholders

- Be prepared to have difficult conversations

- Be credible when communicating

- Develop an awareness of professional communication  

  • Jen Tyson Communication & Performance Consultant JT Consulting

Summit Day 1

25 Feb

Case Study

Creating a high-performing team can lead to better decision-making, higher engagement, and be your competitive edge - but first, you must establish trust and be prepared to manage underperformance. Jane's well-versed in team management, having turned around underperforming teams throughout her established career. Her wealth of knowledge will help you develop your leadership approach.

- Ensure team accountability and commitment

- Develop team cohesion and build trust

- Work towards a common vision

  • Jane Derbyshire Divisional Manager, Strategy & Coordination Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (Manatū Aorere)

Case Study

Career journeys are challenging, so why travel alone? Sourcing a mentor relationship (with the right foundations) is a win-win for both parties. Join Bill and Suzanne as they share insights about their relationship, beginning from a graduate career fair to working together within three organisations. Their shared understanding of clear communication has established a reliable, honest, and trustworthy relationship.

- Develop and build trust

- Embrace the opportunity to learn and give back

- Navigate the conflicts and complexities of mentoring

  • Bill Moses Chief Information Officer Commerce Commission

  • Suzanne Pullman Business Solutions Manager Commerce Commission

Case Study

To achieve your potential, you'll have to help other people. That means sharing knowledge and nurturing those around you. Having worked with influential female leaders throughout her career, Kim will share her story and delve into how you can lift as you lead. 

- Be the mentor you wish you had

- Inspire and empower at every level

- Leave a leadership legacy

  • Kim Wiseman General Manager Ko Awatea


No matter who or where you are in life, there will always be something you wish you would have been able to tell your younger self. Our panel of leaders will reflect upon the experiences that shaped their career journeys - and inspire you to reach the next step.

- Advice to an aspiring leader

- Build influence as a new leader

- Lessons learned on the road to success

  • Rahera Ohia Deputy Chief Executive, Policy Partnerships Ministry of Maori Development (Te Puni Kokiri)

  • Fionnagh Dougan Chief Executive Capital & Coast District Health Board

  • Jane Mills Pro Vice-Chancellor - College of Health Massey University

  • Russell Cooke Government Chief Privacy Officer Department of Internal Affairs

Case Study

Andrea has spent her career developing her leadership skills with an appetite for learning, though she's no stranger to imposter syndrome. Andrea has learnt that facing this mindset head-on is the only way to succeed.

- Know your strengths and be proud of them

- Defeat self-doubt

- Silence your inner critic

  • Andrea Morton Director, Strategic Sourcing & Supplier Management Homes & Communities (Kainga Ora)

Expert Commentary

No matter your environment, building a support network is a career necessity. But creating a meaningful network requires you to uncover your purpose. Agnes will help you invest in your future and create a purposeful, fruitful professional network.

- Realise the benefits of a strong support network

- Invest in your future

- Bring meaning to the relationships you create

  • Agnes Naera Member, Board of Trustees Global Women (New Zealand)

Summit Day 2

26 Feb

Case Study

Change can be unsettling for staff, bringing rescoping of jobs, new processes and unfamiliar people. However, with the right culture, it can provide rewarding opportunities for staff to step up and take on new responsibilities.

Carolyn is heading up the NEMA transition project, responsible for setting the new national emergency body and establishing its culture to provide stronger oversight with a community-centred strategy. Carolyn will talk about the value of creating the right culture to bring people along for the journey and ensure the success of new programs.

- Understand how organisational cultures are formed and sustained

- Changing and creating the culture in preparation for NEMA to become its entity

- The importance of speaking to your people and the public throughout the process

  • Carolyn Schwalger Programme Director, NEMA Transition Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet NZ

Case Study

With people from distinct cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds entering the workforce, it is up to their leaders to draw on the individual’s strengths and realise the benefits diversity can bring. Drawing upon her background, along with her working experience across New Zealand and China, Rebecca understands the need to create an inclusive and supportive environment. 

- Understand the power of cultural diversity

- Foster an open and mentoring environment

- Develop your cross-cultural communication

  • Rebecca Needham Assistant Vice-Chancellor (International Engagement) Victoria University of Wellington


To ensure the lowest possible turnover and that your organisation is achieving the best possible results, your employees need to be engaged and valued for them to remain within your organisation. Join our panel as they discuss the approaches they have taken to entice the right people and develop the leaders of tomorrow.

- Entice new talent

- Create dynamic and diverse teams

- Support and develop emerging leaders

  • Nina Russell Director, Diversity & Inclusion New Zealand Defence Force

  • AJ Millward A/General Manager, Strategic Programmes Branch Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (Hīkina Whakatutuki)

  • Hellen Swales Councillor Upper Hutt City Council

Case Study

As a public servant, your role aims to support and serve the community, ensuring they engage with your organisation with an approachable, trustworthy perception. Having been on the frontline as a firefighter, Rachael knows the importance of community confidence. Now in a leadership role, Rachael is involved with building strong links in the community to ensure they are supported and reduce the risk of emergencies. She will share some of the approaches that Fire and Emergency NZ are using to build community trust and the transferable lessons that you can apply in your organisation.

- Engage with the communities you serve

- Develop an approachable and trustworthy identity

- Understand the path from recovery to community resilience

  • Rachael Utumapu Manager, Women's Development Fire and Emergency NZ


The public sector is no stranger to change, and change is no more prevalent during an election year. During this turbulent time, it is up to leaders to hold themselves and their teams accountable. With Rosemary’s guidance, she will delve into what it will take for you to be a standout leader through the election chaos.

- Build unity, collaboration, accountability, and commitment

- Discover the untapped strengths within your team

- Develop shared understanding using values, principles, and behaviours

  • Rosemary Killip Learning Facilitator Switched On Learning

Case Study

Leading through reform is an increasingly common responsibility for public sector leaders. Reflecting on her experiences reshaping the Council’s legal services, enterprise risk management, and project governance functions, Hayley will offer advice on how you can manage organisational change.

- Effective change management strategies in the public sector 

- Professional techniques to maintain motivation, focus and build resilience

- Communicate priorities clearly to internal and external stakeholders

  • Hayley Evans Director of Strategy & Governance Wellington City Council

Post-Summit Workshop

27 Feb


Understand change and your response to it

- Explore the changes on your horizon

- Understand your response and the response of others to change

- Learn to embrace change disruptors as new opportunities

- Have the conviction and confidence to 'walk the talk'

- Acquire strategies to overcome organisational stagnation

Develop the skills to embrace and lead change effectively

- Unpack leadership styles that drive effective transformation and change

- Bring the best out of people and build powerful connections 

- Strategies to create diverse and inclusive teams to spur creativity and innovation

- Inspire buy-in through your network to achieve innovation and change through positivity and inclusion 

- Enable a consistent flow of ideas into the innovation pipeline 

Create your action plan for success in the public sector

- Identify and respond to both threats and opportunities for innovative disruption 

- Identify and meet the needs that change ignites in you, your team and organisation

- Determine your areas for development, your key resources, change agents and networks

- Plan your actions - identify and pursue opportunities beyond your to-do-list

  • Ruth Hamilton Managing Director Splice Consulting


Grand Mercure Wellington

345 The Terrace, Te Aro, Wellington, Wellington, 6001, New Zealand

(+64) 4385 9829

* Terms and conditions apply

All Event Categories

Find Your Next Event


Thank you for joining us!

Great! Keep an eye out on our updates and newsletters.