Women stand tall and proud

Last updated 05:00 24/08/2014
Julie Bartlett
JASON OXENHAM/Fairfax NZ

IN HIS MEMORY: Julie Bartlett was inspired to start StarJam by her late younger brother, Ross Moses.

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Women of Influence

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As the shortlist for this year's Fairfax Media and Westpac Women of Influence Awards is announced, Laura Walters profiles two women making waves in New Zealand. 

Julie Bartlett has helped young people with disabilities gain the respect and pride of their loved ones through her performing arts charity StarJam, now she's shooting for the moon.

Bartlett has been named a finalist in this year's Fairfax Media and Westpac Women of Influence Awards in the newly added arts category.

The Aucklander set up the Remuera-based charity with her husband, Roy Bartlett, in 2002.

Bartlett said she was inspired by her late younger brother who had Down Syndrome, after he gave an "inspiring, spontaneous" speech at her wedding that had a massive impact on her guests.

Even old friends started treating her brother, Ross Moses, like a real person for the first time, she said.

The charity, which gives young people with disabilities the chance to perform through music and dance, gives its "jammers" the opportunity to be themselves.

"Now their siblings are proud of them instead of being ashamed."

Bartlett said she was proud of herself for not being discouraged by people who said that her vision was not achievable.

She was also proud of the jammers for embracing the opportunities StarJam gave them.

Bartlett stepped down as chief executive in 2012 to focus on a "very ambitious" new venture that would hopefully make a "massive difference", she said. She would only say it would be "grander and wider-reaching" than StarJam.

Bartlett said it was "awe inspiring" to be a finalist in the awards because there were many New Zealand women doing amazing things. Unfortunately, they were often not given the recognition they deserved, she said.

Bartlett, who was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit last year, said it would be a step in the right direction if women's achievements were seen as normal rather than extraordinary.

FAUMUINA MAPS PATH FOR PASIFIKA LEADERS

Sports star and role model Beatrice Faumuina is helping develop a new voice for Pasifika through her work to create strong leaders in the Pacific community.

The former discus thrower and Dancing with the Stars competitor has been named a finalist in the second annual Fairfax Media and Westpac Women of Influence Awards for her work in fostering much-needed Pasifika leaders.

A world champion, World Cup champion, four-time Olympian, Halberg Award-winner and two-time Commonwealth champion and record holder, Faumuina began her leadership journey as one of New Zealand's sporting heroes and has achieved success again by forging a path of excellence for the next generation of Pasifika leaders.

In 2005 she was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to athletics.

Faumuina has headed the BEST Leadership Academy since its inception in 2010.

The leadership course aimed to lift incomes and living standards in New Zealand's Pacific Island community by increasing the number of Pasifika people starting and leading Kiwi businesses and organisations.

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The course teaches Pacific Island leaders to become better and stronger in their workplace, community and family life.

Faumuina told Fairfax Media earlier this year that her hope was to see all Pasifika people fulfil their potential with the support and encouragement of a team.

The cliche of "making a difference" as a Pacific person no longer sufficed as a purpose for working and leading, she said.

"We must know what kind of world, what kind of nation we want."

The academy provided a breakthrough for Pasifika leaders who wanted to go on a journey to leadership.

Almost 40 Pasifika business leaders have undertaken the Auckland course so far after being nominated by their employers.

The 38-year-old said the course helped Pacific Island leaders reach their potential by instilling them with more confidence in their abilities.

"Some of our Pasifika leaders are humble and are incredibly shy and would not self-nominate."

Faumuina said the course's success to date had exceeded her expectations.

The course also assisted employers by increasing awareness of traditional cultural and behavioural values of Pasifika people.

Her plan now was to deliver the programme outside Auckland.

THE FINALISTS

DLA Phillips Fox Board and Management

- Traci Houpapa

- Grainne Moss

- Vicky Robertson

- Victoria Crone

- Susan Peterson

- Jane Huria

- Christina Domecq

- Jo Field

- Julia Raue

- Corina Bruce

Local & Regional

- Kerry Prendergast

- Beatrice Faumuina

- Carla Forbes

- Kaye McNabb

- Alexis Lewgor

- Karyn Riley

- Mary Jensen

- Nicola Douglas

- Michelle MacWilliam

- Tessa Clarke

MasterCard Innovation and Science

- Margaret Brimble

- Deborah Bush

- Erica Whineray Kelly

- Michelle Dickinson

- Louise Parr-Brownlie

- Kate McGrath

- Frances Valintine

- Nicola Gaston

- Kylie Price

Community

- Lesley Elliot

- Cynthia Ward

- Rebecca Culver

- Deborah George

- Rebecca Armour

- Michelle Robinson

- Susan Hassall

- Rachel Jenkinson

- Janferie Bryce-Chapman

- Andrea Perez

AUT Business School Business Entrepreneur

- Dame Wendy Pye

- Dame Suzie Moncrieff

- Cilla Hegarty

- Robyn Scott-Vincent

- Ranjna Patel

- Sandra Iversen

- Helen Darling

- Jenene Crossan

- Cate Grace

- Pamela Bell

Arts

- Shona McCullagh

- Gina Dellabarca

- Libby Hakaraia

- Julie Bartlett

- Jeanette Richardson

- Victoria Carter

- Jessica Pearless

- Sarah Reese

- Piera McArthur

- Virginia Humphrey-Taylor

Social Enterprise

- Jo-anne Wilkinson

- Anne Miles

- Vicki Lee

- Qiujing Wong

- Rangimarie Hunia

- Angela Francis

- Cecilia Mary Sullivan-Grant

- Dianne Glenn

- Makaia Carr

- Karen Fifield

Hot Points Emerging Leader

- Althea Carbon

- Jade Leung

- Fiona Bradley

- Toyah Attwell

- Zheng Li

INSPIRING WOMEN

The Women of Influence Awards were established by Fairfax Media and Westpac last year to identify New Zealand's most inspiring women across a range of eight categories, acknowledging the invaluable contribution women make to the country.

Join us to celebrate the Women of Influence finalists at a gala dinner at SkyCity in Auckland on Wednesday, October 8, where the 2014 winners will be announced.

Tickets cost $220 + GST, or $2000 + GST per table of 10. Tickets available from Stuff.co.nz/WOINZ or Westpac.co.nz/ womenofinfluence.

For any award inquiries contact Nicola Fenwick.

- Sunday Star Times

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