GWN was pleased to have the opportunity to partner with GirlBoss Edge on this year's Justice Challenge.

GirlBoss Edge is a unique career accelerator for high school girls and this year there were over 445 entries competing for a range of opportunities and prizes from sponsors. As partners this year, several GWN members, including a member of GWN's Steering Committee, volunteered to provide mentoring for participants. 

For GWN's Justice Challenge segment, judges were asked to review eligible finalists and the essay from Carmen Holdaway, a student and Head Girl at Riccarton High School, was selected as the winner for her outstanding, thoughtful, and innovative topic, 'Te Ao Māori and the Mental Health Courts for New Zealand'. One of the judges commented, “I personally haven’t ever thought about this and also it's very topical at the moment.” 

The overall calibre of the participants and their mahi, passion, and interest in law, policy, leadership and government was hugely inspiring. Leisa Adsett, GWN Steering Committee member, had the privilege of mentoring three impressive young women as part of the 10-day online Edge experience. Leisa shared with us her impressions of the mentees she worked with: "These future women leaders were so exciting to speak to... hearing their motivations, enthusiasm and ideas was truly an inspiration. And to have the opportunity to help guide them in their next steps was humbling and rewarding. I can't wait to see where their talent takes them."

Leisa's mentees were:

  • Leinati Taulealo – Leinati is a year 13 Samoan student at Timaru Girls High School and an aspiring international Criminal Defence Lawyer and Human Rights Activist.
  • Shuari Naidoo – Shuari is a student in Papamoa College, president of the Papamoa College Leos club and founder and Chief Executive of Moraka Menstrual Cups.
  • Lara Seaton – a year 13 student and the Academic Prefect at Columba College, Lara is passionate about diversity and inclusion and is looking forward to studying Law and Psychology at Otago University.

For her winning essay, GWN's Justice Challenge winner, Carmen Holdaway, was excited to receive a behind-the-scenes experience at the Christchurch Justice and Emergency Precinct. She'll have the chance to interact with a range of personnel in the precinct which could include probation officers, police prosecutors, case managers, psychologists and prison directors – giving her a rare inside look and valuable experience of policy making agencies and the wider New Zealand justice system.

GWN was very proud to be included in this amazing initiative and we wish all the finalists every success as they embark on their chosen careers.


GWN's GirlBoss Edge winner, Carmen Holdaway, takes a first aid class and demonstrates CPR.
Carmen Holdaway with her GirlBoss Edge Justice Challenge certificate
GWN Steering Committee Member, Leisa Adsett, with GirlBoss Edge mentee, Lara Seaton.
GirlBoss Edge mentee, Shuari Naidoo, shows off Moraka Menstrual Cups

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