Our Board

The Board Members of the UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand for 2021-2022

Board Members

Tara Singh, President

Tara’s philanthropic work and leadership has positioned her as a public advocate for women and girl child issues, clean energy/sustainability in business and environmental conservation, and animal welfare and rights. As a repeat delegate to the White House and United Nations, the essence of Tara’s professional life’s mission is to support women and youth and to empower our next generation of global leaders. Working with the support of the United Nations, Tara is a regular forum and session participant, serving on working groups and committees including the UN’s Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development’s (IANYD) Youth and Gender Equality and UN Women’s Business and Philanthropy Leaders’ Forum.  Tara is our Auckland representative.

Suzanne McNabb

Suzanne has been actively involved in women’s issues and gender equality over many years.  She has been co-convenor of the NZ Council of Trade Unions (CTU) Women’s Council; organised and chaired several Biennial Women’s Conferences; represented the CTU on NACEW (National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women) which reports to the Minister for Women for seven years; and been Convenor of the Pay Equity Coalition. Suzanne served as a Board member before being elected as President and held the role of Immediate Past President for the 2021/2022 year.

Riki Woods

Riki is an experienced financial accountant specialising in working with small and medium businesses and has 15 years experience working for accounting firms in Wellington including Associate Director at Deloitte Private and is now independently contracting as a VCFO.  In her spare time Riki mentors small startups and sole traders to help them understand the key financial and compliance skills essential to running a business.

Arron Peacock

Arron is an internationally experienced fundraiser who has worked for many years in International Development and specifically the cause of protecting children’s rights and well-being. He is currently Head of Fundraising, Marketing, and Communications at the Cancer Society. Previous roles include working at the United Nations in Geneva, as a global fundraising specialist for UNICEF, Head of Fundraising at ChildFund New Zealand, and Head of Direct Marketing at Oxfam New Zealand. His passion or obsession is donor experience with charities and how that is fundamental to fundraising and organisational success.

Catherine van der Muelen

Catherine van der Meulen is the founder of Entrepreneurial Women with Purpose curated to support women across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific with education, empowerment and investment, enabling an entrepreneurial mindset and creating a positive impact. Catherine spent most of her life immersed in her family fashion business Supre before the business was sold and realised that it was time to be educated beyond the family learnings. Catherine spent the next 5 years studying whilst having children and working full time… not something that she would highly recommend. It was through her university studies and curiosity that she realised that there was a diverse approach to business where all stakeholders win, especially the environment. Catherine moved to New Zealand in 2019 with her children and now lives in regional NZ to ensure she can balance out her commitments as a mother, business woman and champion for change.

Bhavini Doshii

As the, Founder and CEO of Porse, I am responsible for working closely with the company’s stakeholders and providing advice, recommendations and information to enable the company to grow whilst maintaining its regulatory responsibilities. A passionate leader with first class communication skills and a long track record of successful management. I am an inspiring and motivational manager with first-rate interpersonal skills and the ability and passion to develop the vision of the company. As a member of various prestigious global organisations like Global Women, Women’s Presidents’ Organisation and GOPIO NZ. Possessing vast managing directorship and CEO experience, I have always ensured that clear objectives and expectations are delivered and maintained. With a strong commitment to community development, I can sustain a company of high repute whilst delivering growth. With her effective management skills, I take the responsibility to assess how well the Group is promoting positive outcomes for children by facilitating proper child development. I evaluate the day-to-day, month-to-month, and year-to-year operations to systematically plan early childhood education activities and other Montessori school activities for child development. I utilize my remarkable skills to ensure that The Rainbow Corner Group delivers the best in the ECE industry. One of most exciting stretches in the recent times that we have created is being a Champion of the Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2022 and a proud sponsor to have child minding facilities across all stadia during these events.

Sarwat Tasneem

Oxford born, Sarwat is a recipient of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Hubert Walter Award in Reconciliation & Interfaith internationally. A Behavioural Change expert who has worked with Government(s) at high level in conflict resolution as part of the Coalition of Religious Equality and Inclusive Development, with an emphasis on women and youth in the Middle East, S.E.Asia and Africa. A UK Faith and Diversity Leader, she sits on several boards including UK Cabinet roundtables for anti-hate and outreach. She also advises Government agencies on inclusion and diversity. Sarwat is on the President Elect’s Faith & Diversity advisory for COP26, where she supports and advocates for women and girls in the global south and indigenous peoples. Sarwat has been selected a Unicef UK Covax vaccine equity faith supporter, and her work in social cohesion has been recognised by HM Queen.

Cassandra Slumskie

As a mother of 4 daughters and a business owner with a staff of 75% women Cassandra spends a large part of everyday championing women’s rights. One cause that is of major importance to her is helping women who are victims of domestic violence. She is passionate about working with young girls and educating them around their rights. Cassandra has worked exceptionally hard to get to where she is today, creating and operating a multi million dollar company, being able to provide a life for her girls that she once thought could never exist. Just 6 years ago  she was a single mum of 3 school aged children struggling to make ends meet. Now she wants to do everything she can to prevent other women from finding themselves in a similar situation to what she found her self in at such a young age.

Justine Ross

Justine Ross Co founded iconic vodka brand 42 Below with husband Geoff. The brand was the first product to go to the NZX purely for growth capital and pioneered a new way of marketing. She has been an active investor in the Trilogy group, Savour group and Turners. She is best selling author of Every Bastard says NO and is currently finishing her second book due out April 2022. Justine has been involved with charities for at risk youth including a six year tenure as a trustee of Play it Strange and six years as a judge of AMP Do your Thing Awards. She is currently living and working on Lake Hawea Station NZs’ first certified Carbon Positive farm. With husband Geoff they have introduced regenerative agriculture practices, disrupted the traditional model of shearing to improve animal welfare practices on farm and have taken their environmental beliefs into farming activism demonstrating that you can heal the planet and farm profitably. They have also introduced eco tourism to the historic property to educate visitors and farmers about their practices.

Our Team

2021-2022

Executive Officer – Operations

Madison Walker