Women of Influence 2015: Previous award winners

2014 Supreme Winner Lesley Elliott, mother of Sophie and founder of the Sophie Elliott Foundation.

2014 Supreme Winner Lesley Elliott, mother of Sophie and founder of the Sophie Elliott Foundation.

For the past two years the Women of Influence Programme has recognised and celebrated the important contribution that influential have made to business, our communities and society.

Meet our alumni of amazing winners and finalists from 2013 and 2014:

2014 Supreme Winner: Lesley Elliott

Lesley Elliott is the founder of the Sophie Elliott Foundation, an organisation aimed at preventing violence against women through education and empowerment. In 2008 Lesley witnessed the death of  her daughter Sophie, in their Dunedin home at the hands of former boyfriend Clayton Weatherston.  The crime shocked New Zealand. As part of her quest to educate youth Lesley has presented Sophie's  Story and the signs she missed over 200 times in towns and cities throughout the country. Audiences have at times exceeded 1000.

Lesley's Foundation is in a formal partnership with New Zealand Police and the It's Not OK campaign to develop and implement a one-day workshop called Loves-Me-Not for year 12 students examining  what is a healthy (equal) relationship as opposed to an unhealthy  (controlling) one. The programme  was evaluated as being remarkably successful and is available nationwide. Lesley has written two  books. Her first was the best-selling Sophie's Legacy and her latest, loves-me-not, gives sound  practical advice on what to look for in a healthy relationship. Lesley has also played a pivotal role in  lobbying Government regarding law changes including the defence of provocation. Loves-Me-Not is the legacy from Lesley to her much loved daughter.  Lesley was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

2013 Supreme Winner: Dame Therese Walsh

2013 Supreme Winner Therese was Chief Operating Officer for Rugby New Zealand 2011 Limited, the joint venture between  the Government and the New Zealand Rugby Union that was responsible for organising and managing  Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) in New Zealand. The tournament was an outstanding success and  was delivered in a flawless manner.

In 2011 the Minister of Foreign Affairs appointed Therese as Chair of the inaugural International Development Advisory and Selection Panel. The role of the Panel is to receive and evaluate applications from New Zealand based organisations to partner with the New Zealand Government and receive significant levels of funding for international aid projects. Therese's most recent role was  Head of New Zealand for Cricket World Cup 2015 (CWC 2015).  She was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours List.

2014 Board & Management

 Corina Bruce

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 Victoria Crone

 Christina Domecq

 Jo Field

Traci Houpapa (Winner)

 Jane Huria

 Grainne Moss

 Susan Peterson

 Julia Raue

 Vicky Robertson

2013 Board & Management

 Selena Fox 

 Traci Houpapa

 Barbara Kuriger

 Alison Paterson

 Jeanette Richardson

 Vicky Robertson

 Justine Smyth

 Susie Staley

 Jane Sweeney

Therese Walsh (Supreme Winner)

2014 Business Entrepreneur

 Pamela Bell

 Jenene Crossan

 Helen Darling

 Cate Grace

 Cilla Hegarty

 Sandra Iversen

 Dame Suzie Moncrieff

 Ranjna Patel

Dame Wendy Pye (Winner)

 Robyn Scott-Vincent

2013 Business Entrepreneur

 Tracy Banner

 Carol Campbell

Mai Chen (Winner)

 Erica Crawford

 Nicola Martin

 Sachie Nomura

 Ranjna Patel

 Jo Pennycuick

 Helen Robinson

 Rachel Taulelei

2014 Local & Regional

 Tessa Clarke

 Nicola Douglas

 Beatrice Faumuina

 Carla Forbes

 Mary Jensen

 Alexis LewGor

 Michelle MacWilliam

 Kaye McNabb

Kerry Prendergast (Winner)

 Karyn Riley

2013 Local & Regional

 Julie Bartlett

 Peggy Burrows

 Anita Finnigan

 Kiri Goulter

 Jenny Harper

 Jo Kelly-Moore

 Maureen Pugh 

 Sarah Trotman

 Leeann Watson

Fran Wilde (Winner)

2014 Emerging Leader

 Toyah Attwell

 Fiona Bradley

Althea Carbon (Winner)

 Jade Leung

 Zheng Li

2013 Emerging Leader

Mahsa Mohaghegh (Winner)

 Hana Olds

 Lisa Plato

 Nive Sharat Chandran

 Maya Shino

2014 Innovation & Science

Margaret Brimble (Winner)

 Deborah Bush

 Michelle Dickinson

 Nicola Gaston

 Kate McGrath

 Louise Parr-Brownlie

 Kylie Price

 Frances Valintine

 Erica Whineray Kelly

2013 Innovation & Science

 Minnie Baragwanath

 Margaret Brimble

 Michelle Dickinson

 Jessie Jacobsen

 Marlena Kruger

 Lindy Nelson

 Emma Parry

 Julia Raue

 Jacqueline Rowarth

Marilyn Waring (Winner)

2014 Community

 Rebecca Armour

 Janferie Bryce-Chapman

 Rebecca Culver

Lesley Elliott (Supreme Winner)

 Deborah George

 Susan Hassall

 Rachel Jenkinson

 Andrea Perez

 Michelle Robinson

 Cynthia Ward

2013 Community & Social

Emeline Afeaki-Mafile'o (Winner)

 Julie Chapman

 Elizabeth Charleston

 Nicola Coom

 Annette Fale

 Beatrice Faumuina

 Emily Gualter

 Heather Henare

 Diane Vivian

 Silvia Zuur

2014 Social Enterprise

 Makaia Carr

 Karen Fifield

 Angela Francis

 Dianne Glenn

 Rangimarie Hunia

 Vicki Lee

Anne Miles (Joint Winner)

 Cecilia Mary Sullivan-Grant

Jo-anne Wilkinson (Joint Winner)

 Qiujing Wong

 - Stuff

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