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Paving the Way to a Diverse Future: International Women's Day Luncheon

Join us for an inspiring celebration of International Women's Week at our exclusive luncheon event, where we pay tribute to the achievements and contributions of women worldwide. This year, we are honoured to present a distinguished lineup of speakers and panelists who exemplify resilience, empowerment, and leadership. In collaboration with NZAS for this empowering luncheon for the role models, the decision makers, and the women of Southland. 

NZAS proudly sponsors Empower Her alongside the Southland Business Chamber to celebrate International Women’s Week.  We know when workplaces embrace inclusivity and diversity, they create environments that are safer, more productive, innovative and lead to improved financial results and decision-making.  We have dedicated ourselves to bringing more women to Tiwai to be part of a positive cultural shift, breaking down barriers and creating a workplace where every person feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute in a meaningful way.

Guest Speaker: Rowena Davenport
Rowena is an experienced commercial leader having worked in the finance and professional services sector, and in various governance roles. Her area of expertise is in funding, and strategy development and execution with a strong focus on people, culture and innovation.

Her governance career began a decade ago when she was the first woman to join the Board of Otago Rugby Football Union, then stepping not the role of Chair in 2019- the first female Chair of a major Provincial Rugby Union in New Zealand. Since 2022 Rowena has been on the Board of New Zealand and the New Zealand Rugby Foundation.

In recognition of her contribution to rugby governance, on International Women's Day 2022 she was one of 12 women from across the globe awarded a World Rugby Executive Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship saw her accepted to attend an executive leadership programme, Women Transforming Leadership, at Oxford University's Said Business School in October 2023


Michelle Henderson: Recognised as 'Leader of the Year' at the 2019 Safeguard Awards, Michelle is a Director at Meridian Energy and a former executive of Rio Tinto. Her leadership spans across industries in New Zealand and Australia, including her involvement with the Southland Engineering and Manufacturing Cluster.

Imogen Wyatt: Kia ora koutou, I’m Imogen Wyatt, a Graduate Process Engineer at New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter. My journey to Tiwai began in 2018 through the NZAS-Southland Girls' High School partnership, which inspired me to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at the University of Canterbury. Since joining Tiwai full-time in February 2023, I’ve found immense fulfilment working alongside my colleagues, and feeling part of a close-knit family. Advocating for workplace diversity has been a personal mission of mine, and I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to speak at this event.

Cynthia Fairley: As a Senior Sergeant in the New Zealand Police, Cynthia will share her story from being on the frontline and the diversity she has had to overcome working in this role. Discover the journey that Cynthia has experienced and how this showcases empowerment and resilience.

Our panelists will be brought together by our wonderful MC, Sheree Carey, a prominent figure in the local business community. She will facilitate discussions on paving the way for women in Southland and beyond.

Plan for the Day:

  • Welcome and Networking: Kick off the day at 25 on Don with networking opportunities and engaging conversations with our esteemed panelists.
  • Lunch at Euna: Indulge in a delectable 2-course modern European cuisine at the newest restaurant in town, Euna, while continuing to connect with fellow attendees.
  • Guest Speaker Presentation: Hear from Rowena Davenport as she shares her insights and experiences, inspiring us to pave the way for a diverse and inclusive future.

Limited tickets are available. Reserve your seat today to be part of this empowering and enlightening event.
Please be advised that a waiting list will be created once maximum ticket sales are achieved.

Let's unite in celebrating the strength, resilience, and achievements of women, and reaffirm our commitment to gender equality and empowerment. Join us as we commemorate International Women's Day with passion, purpose, and solidarity.

For enquiries, please contact Larni at