Gemma McCaw was born and raised in Tauranga and is a retired New Zealand Hockey Player. Gemma represented her country from 2008-2016, playing 241 test caps and competing at three Olympic Games. She is also a dual Commonwealth Games medalist.
With a degree in Sport and Exercise Science and a Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, Gemma co-founded Performance Wellbeing, working with individuals and groups to enhance their health and wellbeing and achieve their goals both inside and outside of work. At Performance Wellbeing, they combine the science of wellbeing with the tools from high performance sport to help people to thrive and make positive lifestyle changes.
Outside of work, Gemma is the proud patron for the Chalky Carr Trust which raises funds for those affected by cancer and is also a New Zealand Olympic Ambassador, visiting schools and teaching students about the importance of friendship, values and respect in sport and in life.
Dr Paul Wood
As an 18 year-old, Dr Paul Wood was completely off the rails. He wasn’t coping with the impending death of his mother, he was dependent on drugs, and was an unemployed high-school dropout who was committing crimes to feed his habit.
Two days after his mother died he lost control when his then drug dealer attempted to sexually assault him. Paul was convicted of murder for this offence and then spent more than a decade in some of New Zealand’s toughest prisons. During this period Paul became the first person in New Zealand’s history to progress through undergraduate and Masters degrees while in prison. He was also the first person to begin a Doctorate while incarcerated.
Paul’s educational pursuits dovetailed with a journey of personal exploration and change, both of which gave him a profound understanding of the ingredients required to successfully strive towards our potential, deal with the challenges of change, and build the mental toughness and resilience necessary to flourish in adversity.
On his release, Paul was able to translate this knowledge into strategies for improving leadership effectiveness and organisational culture. As a result, Paul rose rapidly through the ranks to become the senior manager responsible for Training and Development within the multinational professional services firm OPRA Consulting Group. Paul now runs his own practice and has served as a committee member and advisor to a number of boards.
From breakfast programmes to the 6 o’clock news, Melissa has travelled the globe covering everything from court cases in Tokyo for the Sea Shepherd’s Pete Bethune who’d been captured by a Japanese whaling ship, to the fiscal crisis and protests in Athens.
She’s covered the London 2012 Olympics and the Rio 2016 Olympics, Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Rugby World Cup. She was also the Newshub correspondent in Bermuda for the 2017 America’s Cup.
She’s reported on royal weddings and the births of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis (meeting the Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla along the way) but Melissa names her two career highlights however, as covering the centenary of the Gallipoli landings and the funeral of Nelson Mandela. She’s spoken with celebrities including One Direction, Usher, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson and more.
Jess brings more than 15 years in senior HR roles and two decades of coaching to support busy, high achieving career individuals. She helps them find more time for them, re-prioritise what matters, build resilience, beat the overwhelm and keep calm in the chaos, discover their true self and believe they can.
Jess believes that tapping into your potential doesn’t mean doing more or having to be different. It’s uncovering what’s already there and being enough as you are.
Working closely with charities that empower women and inspire the next generation is at the heart of what Jess does. She is committed to the value of collaboration as believes we are more powerful together than we are apart.
Lauren Parsons grew up in New Zealand as the non-sporty kid who lacked all confidence in herself physically. Then as an adult, went from being a workaholic gym manager with ‘no time to train’ to completely shifting her paradigms around exercise. She is passionate about helping others discover the easiest and most uplifting way to fit movement into their own lives to boost their health and happiness.
Lauren combines her wellbeing expertise with her background in business to bring cutting-edge solutions to organisations around world. She helps busy people re-discover how to feel vibrant, confident and energised, so they can truly thrive.
Sasha Dumaresq is a passionate advocate for living your best life by being truly connected to ourselves. Sasha partners with individuals, leading organisations, and social enterprises to deliver programs on career development, diversity and inclusion, and workplace wellness.
Sasha believes everyone is worthy and revels in inspiring others to believe in themselves. Sasha brings warmth, humour and lightness to her audiences while delivering world-class human behaviour concepts. Sasha champions her clients with unparalleled commitment and dedication.