The Women in Sport Aotearoa Board currently has the following members:
Susan Sawbridge (Sooz), Chair
Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Daylight
(full voting member)
Sooz currently is a Managing Partner and co-founder of Daylight, a consultancy that focuses on the visitor economy. Her governance experience includes being Chair of the International Association of Events Hosts for advancing international advocacy, knowledge sharing and networking for the world’s leading major event hosts, and the Project Alliance Board for the entity established to build the infrastructure for the 36th America’s Cup. Sooz’s connection with WISPA began with the very first whiteboard sessions at NZOC to work through if, why and how New Zealand should bid to host the secretariat for the IWG on Women and Sport – delivered by WISPA. This was part of a wider drive to host multiple women’s events over a short period, creating some momentum for women in sport. For her part, Sooz led the government’s role in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Rugby World Cup and Women’s Cricket World Cup as the Manager of New Zealand Major Events.
Erin Roxburgh – Deputy Chair (Ngāti Porou)
Lecturer, Victoria University
Ph.D Student, Victoria University
Future Director, Sport New Zealand
Board Member, Netball Wellington Center
New Zealand Womens Beach Handball and Indoor Handball Squad Member
Erin Roxburgh-Makea (Ngāti Porou) is a lecturer and PhD student at Victoria University of Wellington. Her PhD research looks at governance in Māori organisations using a multimodal approach. She teaches sport management at the School of Management.
Erin is passionate about building a better world that provides equity of outcomes for Māori and women and girls, service to her community, and uplifting and empowering those around her.
Outside of academia, Erin is an excellent sportswoman. Erin plays in both the New Zealand Handball and Beach Handball teams and plays premiership Netball in Wellington. She is currently a future Director on the Sport New Zealand Board as well as currently serving on the Women in Sport Aotearoa Board, He Wahine Toa Kei te Kokiri and the Netball Wellington Centre Board.
Specialist in executive coaching, strategy and leadership development
Foundation Member, Women in Sport Aotearoa
(full voting member)
A champion of change for many years, Pauline is a specialist in executive coaching, strategy and leadership development. Formerly Chief Executive of England Netball, Pauline is now leading the global push for more female coaches in high-performance sport through the International Council for Coaching Excellence and also heads the Women’s Sport Leadership Academy programme, dedicated to developing tomorrow’s leaders of sport. She recently guided the second intake of retired New Zealand female Olympians through the programme, connecting them to a global network of over 350 graduates from 60 countries. Pauline is also the co-founder of Females Achieving Brilliance (FAB) in the UK, inspiring and empowering women to be great leaders. In 2019, she became Chair of IWG Steering Committee for the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport, which took place in Aotearoa New Zealand and online in May 2022.
Chief Executive Officer, HiNZ
(full voting member)
Tim is a highly experienced and passionate professional with a diverse and rich background in creating impact and change on a neighbourhood, national and international level. He has a strong background and experience in both the social and commercial development of sport. He is able to work ‘end to end’ from strategy to execution with a skill set that ranges from digital to innovation to leadership with a strong focus on engagement and customer experience. Prior to his current role, Tim held a wide and varied set of positions in conservation, healthcare and education regularly working closely with and learning from, Maori organisations. When asked, Tim describes himself as “a holistic ‘3D thinker’ comfortable working across cultures, industry sectors and from community level across to Board level”.
BCom, FCA, FCIS, CMInstD
Mary has been involved as a netball participant, coach, umpire and board member of netball, badminton and tennis organisations and continues to be an enthusiastic member of several interclub tennis teams. Mary’s career has primarily been in financial services and she’s held roles as Chief Financial Officer of Instant Finance and Radius Health Group, and Governance Risk Manager at Air New Zealand and KPMG (New Zealand, Germany and Australia). She is currently an Independent Director of Radius Care, Independent Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of Southern Cross Pet Insurance, Chair of Netball Northern Zone and trustee of Mangere Mountain Education Trust, an Auckland Council controlled organisation, and has also previously been Chair of Auckland Netball Centre and Badminton NZ. Mary is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, and Fellow of Governance New Zealand.
Mere Rangihuna (Ngāti Hine me Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara)
Team Manager, AVIS Magic Netball team Waikato Bay of Plenty, Event Producer Aktive
Mere Rangihuna has a wealth of experience in sports governance, leadership, management and administration. With over 30 years of hands-on expertise in the school, club, regional and national sports organisations and teams’ space, she is committed to delivering high performance in hauora, sports & events operations, management, administration, governance, and organisational leadership. She is the current Team Manager for the AVIS Magic Netball team (Waikato Bay of Plenty) that competes in the ANZ Premiership. Mere is also an integral member of WISPA’s rōpū He Wāhine Toa Kei Te Kokiri (Women Making Strong Moves) and, via the group, contributed to WISPA’s refreshed strategic plan and supported the delivery of the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport and its First Nations Workshop.
Jayne Jordan (Taranaki | Nga Mahanga)
Financial Controller, New Zealand Rugby
(non-voting associate member)
Jayne is a Chartered Accountant and has extensive finance and leadership experience, including roles at New Zealand Rugby, Xero, KPMG, NBC Universal and Government. She is a strategic financial advisor and has led major transformational projects, more recently with NZ Rugby with the aim of sustaining and strengthening their financial position during the pandemic. She was a finalist for CAANZ Outstanding New Member of the Year and New Zealand Young Finance Manager of the Year. Based in Wellington, Jayne enjoys being active with her family and also plays hockey and is a keen hiker.
EightyOneX – Account Director
Caroline has been involved in sport management for over 20 years, working mostly in New Zealand’s national game, Rugby. Hailing from the mainland, she has managed operational commercial, partnership and marketing responsibilities for New Zealand Cricket, Crusaders and Canterbury Rugby, and Rugby Southland. Caroline’s extensive sport management career includes time at CCC Clothing managing multiple relationships with sports organisations and Senior Partnership positions at New Zealand Rugby. Building excellent partnerships over the years has fostered a passion for people and culture, whilst simultaneously achieving objectives for organisations through inspiring action and cleverly thought-out strategies.
Jon “JT” Tamihere-Kemeys Ngāti Porou | Whakatōhea | Te Whānau-a-Ruataupare | Te Aitanga-a-Māte | Ngāti Rua
GM/Kaiwhakahaere Matua and Board Company Secretary | Touch Compass
Board member | NZEA
Wider Governance Reference Group | Community Governance NZ
Independent Advisor/Consultant | Collaborative engagement, Organisational strategy and Transformation, Māori engagement,Te Tiriti integration, Diversity, Access, and Inclusion, Cultural competency
JT brings 20+ years of experience in high-responsibility management and leadership roles across the community, corporate and commercial sector, and government-aligned organisations. As Kaiwhakahaere Matua of the leading disability-led arts organisation Touch Compass, and as a member of the governance group for the NZEA, he is a champion for real diversity, equity, a 11y, partnership and inclusion. Sporting a deep background in strategy, collaborative engagement, and the active principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi he brings a passion for shifting the narrative for marginalised communities and a unique perspective to governance and partnership-building. Bi-cultural Māori and Celtic ancestry, he infuses core values of Manaakitanga – Kotahitanga – Whanaungatanga – Wairuatanga – Kaitiakitanga into governance roles.
Kāre he take kia noho kātoa ki te waka eke noa, mēnā kārekau he tangata e mōhio ki te hoe ki hea, ki te urungi rānei!
It’s pointless in all being in the same waka if no one knows how to paddle or where to steer!
Our Former Co-Chairs and Co-Founders are:
Sarah Leberman MNZM, Co-Founder
Professor, Massey University
Co-Founder, Women in Sport Aotearoa
(full voting member)
Sarah is the co-founder and former co-chair of Women in Sport Aotearoa. She has been involved in sport all her life, both on and off the field. She is a leader in the field of sport management, helping to establish Massey University’s academic programme, and has had tremendous influence through her research into women and leadership in sport and academia. An advocate for facilitating opportunities for girls and women in sport at all levels, Sarah was recognised as NEXT magazine’s Women of the Year (sport) in 2018 and was a finalist in the 2016 Westpac ’Women of Influence’ awards in the diversity category. With previous board experience at Volleyball New Zealand, Western Netball and Hockey Manawatu, Sarah has also been ‘hands-on’ at the highest level as manager of the Black Sticks women’s hockey team. She was elected to the Massey University Council for a 4-year term, 2020-2024, and in 2020, Sarah was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to women, sport and tertiary education.
Julie Patterson – Co-Founder
Chief Executive, Tennis New Zealand
Julie is the co-founder and former co-chair of Women in Sport Aotearoa, finding the spark of inspiration when participating in the espnW Global Sports Mentoring Programme in the USA in 2015. Currently CEO of Tennis New Zealand, Julie has had an extensive career as a sports administrator and is one of just a handful of women leading a National Sports Organisation in Aotearoa. She was CEO of Netball South and the Southern Steel before moving to Auckland to lead Netball Northern and the Northern Mystics for five years; guiding the transition from a trans-Tasman netball competition to the domestic ANZ Premiership. In 2019, Julie was appointed to the Gender Equality sub-Committee for the International Tennis Federation. She is a vital and prominent voice of advocacy for women and girls.