Speakers

More speaker profiles coming soon. 

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    Anna Brown

    • Director
    • Toi Āria: Design for Public Good
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    Anna Brown

    Director, Toi Āria: Design for Public Good

    Anna Brown is a design educator, researcher and practitioner. Her research focuses on creative leadership, collaboration and design-led innovation. She leads Toi Āria: Design for Public Good, a research centre in the College of Creative Arts where she is an Associate Professor. Toi Āria helps organisations create and deliver people-centred policies and services. Clients include the Data Futures Partnership, Social Investment Agency, The Office of the Clerk at Parliament, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Masterton District Council.

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    Arran Birchenough

    • Country Director, New Zealand
    • Getty Images
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    Arran Birchenough

    Country Director, New Zealand, Getty Images

    Arran learned his trade as a picture editor for a UK publisher, before launching an agency representing the world's best ski and snowboard photographers.

    He then joined Getty Images in September 2001, launching Getty Images’ News and Entertainment business in the United Kingdom. During his time there Arran assumed responsibility for the Editorial photography sales and the company’s Creative images portfolio for the UK Newspaper and Magazines sector, including the Mirror Group, News Ltd, Express Group, National Magazine and all other major print media networks.

    In 2005, Arran returned home to Auckland to manage Getty Images New Zealand. In a short time, he helped to grow the company from a limited local offering to extensive national coverage capabilities and increased staff, and now manages the overall business and content development services in the country. In his 20+ years of experience in the media business, Arran has worked with major advertisers, creative agencies and media companies in both the UK and New Zealand advising them on visual needs: from brand campaigns to sponsorship activations.

    Arran has a management degree, a wife and three children, and a passion for skiing.

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    Brannavan Gnanalingam

    • Lawyer, novelist, board member
    • Film for Change Aotearoa
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    Brannavan Gnanalingam

    Lawyer, novelist, board member, Film for Change Aotearoa

    Brannavan is a lawyer and novelist, based in Wellington. He’s a senior associate at Buddle Findlay in the property and litigation teams. Brannavan has also published five novels through Lawrence and Gibson, including Sodden Downstream (2017) which was shortlisted for the Acorn Foundation Prize for Best New Zealand Novel at the Ockham New Zealand Books Awards 2018 and A Briefcase, Two Pies and a Penthouse, which was longlisted for the same award in 2017. He has also been on the board for Film for Change Aotearoa since 2015.

    Share a concept that changed your mindset

    Your silence will not protect you - Audre Lorde
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    Carl Davidson

    • Chief Social Scientist
    • Research First Ltd
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    Carl Davidson

    Chief Social Scientist, Research First Ltd

    Carl Davidson is the Chief Social Scientist at Research First Ltd (a company that sits at the nexus of market research, behavioural science, and strategic thinking). He has worked in the insights industry for nearly 30 years and brings a rare combination of academic rigour and commercial discipline to his work. He is the author of nine books about research practice in New Zealand, and a regular contributor to Stuff, where he writes about ‘the social science of everyday phenomena’. He was previously the Chief Commissioner of the New Zealand Families Commission, and in 2017 he was re-elected to the Board of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.

    Share a concept that changed your mindset

    Learning about confirmation bias changed how I think about my own opinions and how people argue for theirs.

    Confirmation bias is one of those mental shortcuts that are wired into our brains, and it means that we carry around a filter that promotes us to filter reality in a way that matches our expectations. We all look for evidence to prove us right, and we resist like crazy the things that contradict our cherished beliefs. The beauty of confirmation bias is that, once you really understand it, you start seeing it everywhere. Including in your own thinking and arguing.

    In that regard it’s like another bias I’ve come to love – one known as the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. That’s the notion that once you have stumbled on something obscure, suddenly you start seeing it everywhere.

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    Christine Langdon

    • Co-founder and Chief of Good
    • The Good Registry
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    Christine Langdon

    Co-founder and Chief of Good, The Good Registry

    Christine is the Chief of Good at The Good Registry ( www.thegoodregistry.com) — a social enterprise she co-founded with Tracey Bridges and Sue McCabe to put the heart back into giving. The Good Registry is a social giving platform where anyone from small kids to big corporates can give charitable donations instead of unwanted gifts. It’s about making giving simple, sustainable and kind. In its first year The Good Registry raised $165,000 for good by replacing 5,500 consumer gifts with donations to good causes instead — with the support of six-year-olds, 60-year-olds, and corporates such as Stuff and Kiwibank. Christine previously worked as Community Manager at Z Energy, and prior to that in communications and journalism.

    Share a concept that changed your mindset

    Never work - only do what you enjoy.

    I think joy is a much better currency than money for measuring our success in life, so I choose to do the things that give me joy — which includes my ‘work’. One thing I also know is that we get more joy from giving than receiving — and joy attracts more joy — and that’s why we created The Good Registry.

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    Henare Johnson

    • Cultural Development Manager
    • Air New Zealand
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    Henare Johnson

    Cultural Development Manager, Air New Zealand

    Henare Johnson has over 22 years experience in Māori tourism from back of the marae doing dishes, cultural performer, tourism business manager, cultural experience marketing, through to assisting with policy development to grow a region's Māori economy. Henare sits on the committee of Whāriki which is now the largest Māori professional and business network. He has a passion for broadening opportunities to grow Māori success culturally, socially, environmentally, and economically.

    Share a short concept that changed your mindset

    The realisation that cultural identity is an absolute strength in the changing of NZ’s society.

    Growing up, stories I’d seen and read in media made me think Māori culture wasn’t valued outside of the Māori community. It wasn’t until I was involved with marketing New Zealand to the world that my cultural identity was viewed as a strength. Since that realisation I’ve always wanted to be involved with initiatives based around growing cultural strength across New Zealand.

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    Hilary O'Connor

    • Director
    • Soul Machines
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    Hilary O'Connor

    Director, Soul Machines

    Hilary joined Soul Machines at the end of last year. She joined from Google where she worked for 4.5 years within their Cloud technologies business as Customer Engineering Lead, prior to that she spent 8.5 years at Microsoft, predominantly as Lead Technology Strategist. She has previously held consulting and, earlier on in her career, development roles, with companies such as Cap Gemini, Deloitte and Datacom.

    Share a concept that changed your mindset

    What would you do if you weren't afraid - by Spencer Johnson
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    Jackie Clark

    • Founder
    • The Aunties
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    Jackie Clark

    Founder, The Aunties

    Jackie Clark set up the Aunties to help women in need, particularly those who she describes as being at the worst end of abuse and assault statistics, and women living in dire and abject poverty.

    The Aunties' motto is meeting needs with love. They are a community of support, and hope to revolutionise the idea of what giving means, and what charity looks like.

    Jackie was the winner of the Community and Not for Profit category in the Women of Influence Awards 2018, and also took out the Supreme Award. She was recently awarded a QSM in the New Years Honours.

    Her husband, Ian, who was an integral part of her Aunties work, died on NY Eve 2018, and was tremendously proud of her.

    Share a concept that changed your mindset

    Getting my girls their shit.

    I have spent 6 years figuring out how to get women the right support they need. Though I work with 400 women a year, there are 20 of them in particular that I have spent time building deep and abiding relationships with. So how to get them their shit occupies me.

    The model I use has changed enormously, and the way I do my work, too. I’ll be talking about what that looks like, and why I think it’s important that we change the model of “giving” in NZ to become more effective and more dignified.

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    John Dengate

    • Collaboration Coach
    • Twyfords
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    John Dengate

    Collaboration Coach, Twyfords

    In the thick of tricky situations, John brings the special art of collaborative thinking to difficult conversations. Over the years he has developed a high level of effectiveness in growing client capability to think and act differently.

    Along with colleagues at Twyfords, he co-developed a philosophy and discipline of collaboration, a movement revolutionising the way governments, corporations, and nonprofits go about solving their most troublesome problems through effective inclusion of others.

    He works with professionals in high profile organisations and government projects, relied upon for his commitment to making things happen. He works hard, and is determined to do more, all the while retaining a reputation for being fun to work with and, more importantly, leaving the client more capable.

    Essentially, John is a “synergizer,” someone who is passionate about combining the strengths of many people through collaborative processes so as to achieve goals beyond expectations. He has found that the highest levels of individual and corporate performance emerge out of the wisdom of the group when it tackles wicked problems together. He sees his role in working with client organisations as a coach building collaborative muscle while the client solves the problem using different thinking.

    John’s excitement about the power of collaboration and his passion to share it with others is outrageous. If you spend a bit of time around him, you will want to ingrain the collaborative discipline into your organisation, and discover you love every minute of it.

    Share a short concept that changed your mindset

    Cards face up

    A big shift for me was the realisation that being vulnerable and sharing what I was feeling as well as doing helped build more effective relationships and better group dynamics.

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    Jim Macnamara

    • Distinguished Professor & Head of Discipline, Public Communication
    • University of Technology Sydney
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    Jim Macnamara

    Distinguished Professor & Head of Discipline, Public Communication, University of Technology Sydney

    Jim Macnamara, PhD is Distinguished Professor of Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney. He is also a Visiting Professor at London School of Economics and Political Science, Media and Communications Department. He is internationally recognised for his research into evaluation of public communication and organisational listening. Jim is the author of 16 books including The 21st Century Media (R)evolution: Emergent Communication Practices (Peter Lang, New York, 2014); Organisational Listening: The Missing Essential in Public Communication (Peter Lang, New York, 2016); and Evaluating Public Communication: Exploring New Models, Standards, and Best Practice (Routledge UK, 2018).

    Share a concept that changed your mindset

    Education changes mindsets – not one level or course, but lifelong learning for lifelong growth.
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    Joanna McLeod

    • Founder
    • House of Boom
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    Joanna McLeod

    Founder, House of Boom

    Joanna McLeod has a background in communications, marketing and social media, which did not at all prepare her for starting her own clothing company. However those years of public service have allowed her to realise that everyone deserves good service. Fat is not a four-letter word, and fat people deserve nice clothes too - preferably ethically made, in bright colours and with pockets in everything.

    Share a concept that changed your mindset

    Fuck it - if no one else will do it, I guess I'll do it myself then.

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    Laura O'Connell Rapira

    • Director
    • ActionStation
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    Laura O'Connell Rapira

    Director, ActionStation

    Laura O'Connell Rapira (Te Ātiawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Whakaue) is the Director of ActionStation, an independent, crowdfunded community campaigning organisation representing over 180,000 New Zealanders acting together to create what we cannot achieve on our own: a society, economy and democracy that serves everyday people and Papatūānuku (Earth Mother). She is also the Co-Founder of RockEnrol, a volunteer-powered organisation dedicated to activating the political power of young people.

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    Margaret Stuart

    • Head of Corporate and External Relations
    • Nestlé Oceania
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    Margaret Stuart

    Head of Corporate and External Relations, Nestlé Oceania

    Margaret heads Corporate and External Relations at Nestlé Oceania, where she is responsible for communications and public affairs across the region. In this role, Margaret manages issues shaping Nestlé’s operating environment in areas as diverse as nutrition, human rights, environmental sustainability, water and rural development, working across a broad portfolio of iconic food and beverage brands. She has a broad corporate affairs background, particularly in the healthcare, food and agribusiness sectors, including senior leadership roles in Novartis, Syngenta and Schering-Plough.

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    Ngaire Crawford

    • Head of Insight
    • Isentia New Zealand
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    Ngaire Crawford

    Head of Insight, Isentia New Zealand

    As Head of Insight, Ngaire runs a media research division at Isentia that includes a large portfolio of clients from blue chip corporates, government departments to small NGOs. She is also the Chair of the Global Young Leaders Group for AMEC, the International Association for the measurement and evaluation of communication, and the New Zealand insights team are one of the most recognised in the world by AMEC for their work. Ngaire holds a Masters degree in media, and taught students in her specialised areas of cultural identity, and the New Zealand media landscape.

    After working in such a dynamic and evolving field for more than a decade, she is a passionate advocate for research and measurement and can regularly be found speaking to the communications industry and students about how the right data is critical to business success.

    Share a concept that changed your mindset

    Someone else’s success is not your failure.

    When you are wired to be a competitive perfectionist, this one can take a while to sink in, but it’s now really central to how I operate professionally and personally. You have to celebrate and appreciate the success of others, and as a leader create a path for people to be successful and to outgrow and surpass you. This has not only made me a better leader, but a better colleague, friend, mother and partner. It is so easy to be insular and to view everything in relation to yourself, but it’s really rewarding to invest, care and nurture a wider definition of success.

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    Nigel Corry

    • General Manager, People and Customer
    • Greater Wellington Regional Council
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    Nigel Corry

    General Manager, People and Customer, Greater Wellington Regional Council

    Nigel is a people leader at Greater Wellington Regional Council who’s worked in the environment management space for the last ten years, but recently moved into a cooperate services role. Regardless of role, he has been interested and driven by enabling people and systems to work collaboratively and openly. He likes to enable ways of working that can empower both communities and organisations to design together, and collectively own the outcomes together. Trying to find lasting outcomes to the complex situations that they are trying to solve requires an understanding of peoples values, beliefs and motivations. Essentially, Nigel tries to gather and enable diverse groups of people to explore ideas and ways of working together that will lead to enduring solutions to common challenges. He sees this as ‘our work’, and collectively we need to get good at it through listening, openness, reflection and determination.

    Share a concept that changed your mindset

    It’s ok not to know.

    Understanding that it's ok not to have all the answers as a leader has allowed a big evolution in the way I collaborate. It makes me feel less pressured, enables people to share the development of ideas and thinking, enables them to exercise their expertise and skills in a creative environment of trust, and if authentic, shows a humility and openness in leadership that might traditionally have been seen as weakness. Better outcomes, all round.

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    Patrick Wagner

    • Head of Interactive
    • Weta Workshop
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    Patrick Wagner

    Head of Interactive, Weta Workshop

    Patrick is the Head of Interactive at Weta Workshop. Having shipped its first Mixed Reality game on Magic Leap One, Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders, is being co-produced by Weta Workshop and Magic Leap and is based around the science fiction world of Dr. Grordbort, the brainchild of Weta Workshop’s Art Director, Greg Broadmore, in development with Richard and Tania Taylor over the past eight years.

    Weta Workshop and Magic Leap have been working in close partnership to build mixed reality experiences, bringing extraordinary characters and imaginary worlds to life to forge a new realm of entertainment and experiential storytelling. Magic Leap’s spatial computing platform, which aims to seamlessly blend the digital and physical worlds, first shipped in August 2018.

    Before joining Oscar-winning Weta Workshop, Patrick has worked for 10 years in video games, first as Executive Producer for Gameloft in its Paris Headquarters where he supervised the creation of 40 mobile games, then as Region Manager for Oceania where he led the studio shipping 8 video games over 4 years from the Auckland office.

    Share a concept that changed your mindset

    It's about peanut butter.

    It’s about peanut butter. Having lived in Europe for most of my life and being born in a country that considered it a culinary nonsense, I was surprised to see it so widely ‘spread’ here in New Zealand. I had linked it to poor eating and American culture for so many years that it took me by surprise to see people here were consuming loads of it. I resisted it for 5 years before finally trying it. I liked it. After looking at the dietary label for the first time, I realised it was actually better for me than Nutella, which European kids (like myself) still grow up on. It’s now part of my diet and I consume it on a daily basis. Oh yeah, I have completely stopped eating Nutella too!

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    Patrick Reynolds

    • Deputy Director
    • Greater Auckland and Urban Auckland
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    Patrick Reynolds

    Deputy Director, Greater Auckland and Urban Auckland

    Patrick Reynolds is a perpetual student of the urban world: He is deputy director of influential public advocacy groups Greater Auckland and Urban Auckland, and serves on a variety of public sector boards covering the spheres of Public Art, Urban Form, Regional Development, and Transport. He has taught urban design papers at the University of Auckland’s School of Architecture. His writing about our urban futures appear in books and magazines, most recently a chapter in Big Questions (Penguin 2018) on the future of our cities.

    He is also New Zealand’s leading photographer of the built environment. His photographic books include New New Zealand Houses, Homework, Big House Small House,Country House City House, and Auckland Architecture all in collaboration with John Walsh, Architecture Uncooked with Pip Cheshire, Villa with Jeremy Salmond and Jeremy Hansen, and Bungalow with Nicole Stock. He is currently working on architecture guides to three further cities with John Walsh.

    Current Governance roles:

    • Auckland Transport
    • Auckland City Centre Advisory Board
    • Auckland Public Art Panel
    • Rotorua Lakefront Redevelopment Strategic Advisory Board

    Member of

    • Urban Auckland
    • Greater Auckland Incorporated Societies
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    Thea Knight

    • Behavioural Strategist
    • PwC Experience Centre
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    Thea Knight

    Behavioural Strategist, PwC Experience Centre

    Thea Knight brings the latest insights from behavioural science to help organisations understand how people actually think and behave in real life. Returning to New Zealand after seven years away, she will be joining the PwC Experience Centre this July, leading on the team’s behavioural science capabilities.

    Thea has extensive experience applying behavioural science internationally, leading on projects tackling medication adherence, energy use reduction, organisational culture change, employee performance improvement, driver safety and more.

    She led on award-winning work with Ford, designing an experiment to show how empathy can lead to behaviour change; creating ‘Wheelswap’ the first ever use of virtual reality to change both driver and cyclist behaviour on the road.

    Thea is a seasoned presenter with extensive experience hosting workshops for some of the world’s largest organisations. You can also check-out a TED talk Thea gave on how to get rid of corporate jargon here: https://www.ted.com/talks/thea_knight_lost_in_translation_the_joy_of_a_jargon_free_world

    Share a concept that changed your mindset

    Successful strategist design for how people actually think and behave, not just how they think they should.

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    Tracey Spicer

    • Award winning author, journalist and broadcaster
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    Tracey Spicer

    Award winning author, journalist and broadcaster

    Tracey Spicer AM is a multiple Walkley Award winning author, journalist and broadcaster who has anchored national programmes for ABC TV and radio, Network Ten and Sky News.


    Current Work
    The national co-founder of Women in Media and NOW Australia, Tracey is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers and emcees in the region. In 2019 she was named the NSW Premier’s Woman of the Year, and in 2018 chosen as one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence, winning the Social Enterprise and Not-For-Profit category. She was also named Agenda Setter of the Year by the website Women’s Agenda. For her 30 years of media and charity work, Tracey has been awarded the Order of Australia.

    She is currently working on a documentary about the #metoo movement, which she spearheaded in Australia through tireless investigative journalism. But her greatest joy is spending time with her husband Jason, and children Taj and Grace.

    Previous Experience
    Documentaries: Highlights of her outstanding career include writing, producing and presenting documentaries on women and girls in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Papua New Guinea and India.

    Ambassador: She is an Ambassador for ActionAid, World Vision, Cancer Council NSW, Domestic Violence NSW, QUT’s Learning Potential Fund and SISTER2sister, and Patron of the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance.

    Author & Speaker: Her first book, The Good Girl Stripped Bare, became a bestseller within weeks of publication, while her TEDx Talk, The Lady Stripped Bare, has attracted more than five million views worldwide. Tracey’s essays have appeared in dozens of books including Women of Letters, She’s Having a Laugh, Father Figures, Unbreakable, and Bewitched & Bedevilled: Women Write the Gillard Years.

    Share a concept that changed your mindset

    The #metoo movement is about joy.

    After sending a tweet in October 2017 asking for #metoo stories, I received more than 2500 responses. The majority initially expressed shame and self-blame, before an overwhelming feeling of catharsis. During an interview with Tarana Burke - the creator of the Me Too movement a decade before the hashtag - I discovered that this feeling was common among people who were finally able to tell their stories. This is why Tarana, who has worked with survivors of sexual violence in Alabama, says #metoo is about joy. It is an extraordinary unburdening to speak your truth, and be believed.

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    Wallace Chapman

    • MC
    • #PRConf19 'Changing Mindsets'
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    Wallace Chapman

    MC, #PRConf19 'Changing Mindsets'

    Wallace Chapman is a Radio and TV broadcaster. Wallace was the host of the unique ‘pub politics’ TV show Back Benches on PRIME - debating with MPs every Wednesday night across the road from Parliament at The Backbencher pub, before a crowded live pub of punters. Back Benches aired in April 2008 and ran for 10 years. Wallace has also been the host of Sunday Mornings on RNZ National – the country’s largest weekend radio show.

    Wallace is currently the host of long running show 'The Panel' at Radio New Zealand which features a range of panellists from across the opinion spectrum, together with expert phone guests.

    Wallace started out with a degree from Otago University in English and Education but got sidetracked into advertising/media with a 5-year stint as Creative Director for Radio One 91FM Dunedin, before being headhunted for the Creative Director position at 95bFM Auckland, which he held for 5 years.


    The move into on-air broadcasting came with the Breakfast Host position on 95bFM for a year, before time as breakfast host on Kiwi FM, before joining Radio Live for several years doing talkback radio.

    In television, Wallace has hosted Back Benches for 9 years - somewhat of a record in the media industry these days. He has presented a series for TVNZ7 called The New Old, about old trends that have come into vogue again, as well as a panelist for 8 years on ‘The Men’s Panel’ on (the now defunct) Good Morning TVNZ.


    His first book came out in 2013 - all about how to reclaim back your life, by slowing down, and being more ‘mindful’ in life. Out on Penguin, it is called ‘Don’t Just Do Something – Sit There’ – A Manifesto for the Slow Living Life. The international rights were sold last year.

    Wallace was born and raised in Manurewa South Auckland in a mixed heritage family. His father, Wallace Snr is from Levuka Fiji, Mum, New Zealand European.


    Perhaps being the classic Aquarian, Wallace’s interest span is large. He has a deep interest in fine arts (with a burgeoning art collection), politics, is well on top of current issues affecting NZ society, adores music, international relations, and population health issues. And let's not forget food!

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    Michelle Baguley

    • Lead Corporate Communications Partner
    • Spark New Zealand Limited
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    Michelle Baguley

    Lead Corporate Communications Partner, Spark New Zealand Limited

    About Michelle Baguley

    Michelle Baguley is the Lead Corporate Communications Partner at Spark, leading the team who are responsible for all aspects of Spark’s international and external communications portfolio. She has been with Spark for just over four years firstly joining as the Communications Manager for Spark’s enterprise business unit - Spark Digital.

    Michelle started her Corporate Communications career at Vodafone after several years leading the Events team. She was appointed Head of Internal Communications before moving to try her hand at External Communications.

    Now at Spark, Michelle is passionate about coaching a high-performing communications team in a challenging, and very competitive market.

    Michelle has a Diploma in Business from AUT and an Accreditation in Public Relations from PRINZ.

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