Our Board

The Board Members of the UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand for 2022-2023

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 Meulen

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.

Sarwat T Ebbett

Sarwat is a multi-award winning Behavioural Change expert and Leadership consultant with international experience working with governments and global corporates on leadership, high-level conflict resolution, and DE & I services. Sarwat has served on the UN COP26 President Elects Diversity advisory for the global south, alongside her D&I role to the UNFCCC. She serves on the steering committee for an international coalition consisting of Governments & NGO’s addressing Human Rights abuses in places of conflict & war and has travelled to these countries meeting Nation leaders. Sarwat has contributed to the UN Social and Economic Forum, advocating for sustainable and successful development programs for women and girls. As a UK Govt advisor, during the pandemic, she led national strategies on mental health and supported the London Mayor on Women Empowerment programs. Sarwat’s experience in Workplace Culture & Wellbeing, and her contribution to HR legislation being passed addressing women in the workplace supports the delivery of her DE & I and People & Organisation best practice and profits. Guiding corporate institutions and agencies. Sarwat is Fellow of the RSA, a Fellow of the Institute of leadership and Management, a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Marketing, Board Member for UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand and serves on the NZ Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP’s) Committee.

Cassandra Knox

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.

Board Advisors

Erin Jurgeleit

Erin is an experienced governance, risk and compliance executive with a background in financial services and technology. She is a member of the Financial Advice Code Committee and consults on governance, product development and operations to technology businesses in New Zealand

Our Team


Executive Officer Operations

Madison Walker

Madison’s interests lie in the empowerment of women and girls, and ensuring that every woman and girl lives up to her full potential. Madison studied a bachelors degree in Psychology and Political Science, before working abroad with NGO’s in both Germany and the United Kingdom. Madison is passionate about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and has worked promoting Goal 5 – Gender Equality in a variety of voluntary and professional contexts.