For the 2021 inaugural Southern Summit, GWN and SGWN were able to sponsor seven women early in their public service careers to attend the Summit for the first time.

It was amazing to be able to support these incredible wāhine to attend their first summit. We gathered some of their thoughts on the experience.


Highlights of the day

“A very interesting current role, and awesome story. Very inspiring person.” – Sarah Hall, Department of Statistics on Megan Main

“Taking away keynotes, quotes and hearing how as women we can be a mum and still be a leader within our community and workplace.” – Sheena Ioane, Department of Statistics

“A highlight was the facilitation by Michelle. She was personable, dug into the questions with presenters in a manner that provided great takeaways and made Summit feel like something that we were still experiencing ‘together.” – Shannon Macmillan, Ministry of Social Development

"Arihia Bennett’s session deserved a standing ovation. I will never forget her reference to the 3Cs: Competency, Compassion, Character" – Chikita Kodikal, Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission

Top takeaways

“Leadership is not a title but an attitude. Integrity in the workplace is important, focus on strengths and work towards these. – Alana Brett, Customs NZ 

“Not everyone has a ‘planned’ or linear career and not having a linear career path can lead to opportunities you may not have otherwise considered.” –  Shannon Macmillan, Ministry of Social Development 

“When engaging with Iwi, listen to what whanau are telling us. Don’t squash good ideas. Work out how to enable, then get out of the way.” – Sarah Hall, Department of Statistics 


Favourite quotes from the day

“Leadership is not a title but an attitude.Megan Main  

“Stick your head above the parapet” – Sue Bidrose

“A recovery leader might be a different leader from the person who leads the immediate reactive leader” – Mayor Lianne Dalziel

“Navigate change with confidence” – Fiona Deehan

“If I’ve made them kinder for the next person, I’ve done my job” – Jo Neilson

Back to Southern GWN Stories & Profiles