The Board of the UN Women NZ National Committee

The Board Members of the UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand for 2017-2018

Barbara WilliamsBarbara Bedeschi-Lewando|  Hayley Lewis-Pullin | Joanne Lentfer | Angela McLeod | Baljinder Devgun | Christine CookEmily Lambie |  Julie Harris |  Kerry Maw-Smith |  Laura Dawson  | Sue Kedgley  | Suzanne McNabb  | Mere Ratuva | Cate Bell-Mork | Dayna Berghan-Whyman |

Board Executive

Barbara Williams Barbara is our President, International Projects and Organisation/Infrastructure lead. Barbara joined the Committee following her retirement as Director Pacific Bilateral Programmes in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Barbara has worked on development issues primarily in the Pacific throughout her career, in both the public and voluntary sectors. She is very familiar with the work of UN Women in Honiara and in Suva from her time as Development Counsellor in the NZ High Commission in Solomon Islands and her roles in MFAT. Her interest in both development and in the value of the voluntary sector to development was whetted when she was a school leaver VSA volunteer in Bougainville

Barbara Bedeschi-Lewando Barbara is our Vice-President. She is a policy advisor on livelihood and climate, governance and strategy including advisory experience in the Asia-Pacific region. Barbara has Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations and a Masters in Global Environmental Protection and International Policies. An experienced international development practitioner with over 21+ years in climate change, disaster risk reduction, resilience, and sustainable development. She is a member of the Pacific Infrastructure Advisory Centre and Adaptation Learning Mechanism as well as the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. Barbara lives in Lower Moutere where she runs her own advisory company and now contributes her international experience to UN Women.

Hayley Lewis-Pullin Hayley is our Secretary.  Hayley works as a Mental Health professional specialising in Addiction Services. During the course of her work she has fostered a keen interest in social justice for those disadvantaged by mental health illnesses.  Recently, Hayley has been channelling her passion for social justice towards gender equality. She has engaged in various forums across New Zealand to provide her insights and understanding through her role as a mental health professional. She is also a member of the Wellington Executive Branch of the National Council of Women.

Joanne Lentfer Joanne is our Treasurer.

Board Members

Angela McLeod  Angela is a current Upper Hutt City councillor. Angela was formerly the president of BPW New Zealand. Angela was one of the spokespeople for the successful Coalition for Quality Flexible Work Legislation and is currently media spokesperson for the Pay Equity Challenge Coalition. Other advocacy includes pushing for mandatory country of origin labeling of food, and has included submissions on alcohol law reform, women in combat, and reducing the rates of violence against women. Angela has a Bachelor of Agriculture and a post-graduate Diploma in Development Studies (both from Massey University). Angela is passionate about healthy and sustainable living and enjoys her small farm in Whiteman’s Valley, Upper Hutt along with husband Mac.

Baljinder Devgun Bal has worked for over 10 years in the Science, Engineering and Technology Communication Sector.  Recently she has been supporting various organizations in the Health & Disability, NGO, Women and Science Sectors.  Baljinder is passionate about supporting Gender Equality and Women’s Issues and the use of Science and Technology for the Empowerment of Women, in NZ, the Pacific and Overseas, especially in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals.  She is also a Justice of the Peace.

Christine Cook 

Emily Lambie

Julie Harris

Kerry Maw-Smith Currently, Kerry is Chair of the UN Committee for Associated Countrywomen of the World, a London-based organization advocating for, empowering and supporting women and families in rural communities throughout the world.   ACWW has consultative status with UN.  Kerry is also a Board Member of the Rural Canterbury Primary Health Organisation. She is the Rural Health representative on the Canterbury DHB Consumer Council and a consumer representative on the Ashburton health service level alliance.  She is also a member of the local Mid-Canterbury committees for Birthright NZ and the Families Without Violence network.  Kerry holds a Diploma in Child & Adolescent Psychology.  Kerry has previously served 8 years on the National Council of Rural Women New Zealand, and was Vice President.  During that time she was national spokesperson for Social Issues, Health and Education, and represented RWNZ on the Rural Education Reference Group.  Prior to raising her family, Kerry’s work experience covered both the private and public sector including office administration in advertising/marketing, executive support and management within Ministry of Agriculture meat inspection services, EEO, publicity/communications, and project management.  Kerry is a member of NZ Institute of Directors, UN Women, UN Assn of NZ, Rural Women New Zealand, BPW, and NCW.

Laura Dawson

Sue Kedgley Sue is a member of the New Zealand committee of the UN Women's Empowerment Principles, and #HeforShe Campaign coordinator. Sue is a previous President of the Committee.  Sue is a current Wellington Regional Councillor,  Capital & Coast District Health Board Member and Deputy Chair of Consumer New Zealand Board. She is a former Green MP with a strong interest in global food issues and development issues in the Pacific. Sue previously worked at the Women’s Secretariat for the United Nations. She has travelled widely in the Pacific and is a Member of Women’s Rights and Advocacy in the Pacific (WRAP).  In 2016 Sue won a Women of Influence award.

Suzanne McNabb Suzanne currently works as the National Women's Officer for the Tertiary Education Union. She has been actively involved in women's issues and gender equality over many years. Suzanne has been co-convenor of the NZ Council of Trade Unions (CTU) Women's Council and organised and chaired several Biennial Conferences. She represented the CTU on NACEW (National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women) which reports to the Minister for Women for about seven years. She is Convenor of the Pay Equity Coalition. Suzanne also represented the CTU on the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Asia-Pacific Women's Committee from 2011-2015. In that capacity she participated in the UNESCAP Conference on Gender Equality: Beijing +20 in October 2014. This experience prompted Suzanne to stand for UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand.

Mere Ratuva Mere is our Christchurch Representative.

Cate Bell-Mork Cate is our Auckland Representative.


Staff members

Dayna Berghan-Whyman Dayna is the Administrator for the National Committee and the Board of UN Women National Committee. Dayna was the past Women’s Right Officer of Victoria University in 2000, and National Women’s Rights Officer for the New Zealand University Students Association in 2001. She has 10+ years of information management experience in both the public and private sector. She runs her own business from home to support her daughter, Freya, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and Alfi’s Syndrome.

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