Our People

Meet The People Behind The
New Horizons for Women Trust

The New Horizons for Women Trust supports education, innovation and research which benefits women. The Trust achieves this by administering a variety of awards that help New Zealand women:

  • Into tertiary education
  • Into second-chance education
  • Promote research by New Zealand women on significant issues for women and girls
  • Support initiatives aimed at the elimination of family violence
  • Other proposals that benefit women

There is also an ongoing commitment seeking public support including financial support for the future of the Trust.

The Hon Dame Catherine Tizard ONZ, GCMG, GCVO, DBE, QSO
The Hon Dame Silvia Cartwright PCNZM, DBE, QSO
Dr Elizabeth Orr CNZM, DLit


The Trust is run by Trustees, who work voluntarily. We have a paid part time administrator and a call for applications for prospective Trustees is usually made in October each year. We presently have 9 trustees on the board who are located throughout New Zealand.

2017 Trustees

Jenni Tupu (Chair)
Associate Professor Jennifer Curtin
Colleen Dryden
Lynda Garrett
Lindsay Geenty
Dr Shirley Gillett
Noeline Holt


2017 Award Officers
Dr Jo Innes
Associate Professor Rosemary du Plessis
Sue Heggie

Jenni Tupu

Jenni brings to the Trust over 25 years’ experience of working in tertiary education in operational, academic administration, management and leadership. She has worked in Universities, Polytechnics and Wānanga across Auckland after being made redundant when NZ Post Office was corporatized and then became Telecom. Her roles have spanned much organizational change, which have not deterred her from the need to advocate for social justice and to lobby for the inclusion of diversity as the norm.

Jenni brings a background of iwi, urban community and sports voluntary work alongside union work in both the workplace and with national union bodies. Both her paid and voluntary work reflect her passion for higher education for all, especially Māori and Pasifika youth and the need for social change for the betterment of our future generations.

Jenni has iwi affiliation to Ngāpuhi, Te Aupōuri and Samoa; she is married with 2 adult children and 5 grandchildren, the oldest of which she has raised and who is now 15 years old. Having completed a Master of Indigenous Studies she has now embarked on a further research educational journey by commencing a PhD with Otago University which investigates the identity journeys of Māori adopted during the closed adoption period in Aotearoa.

She values the work of New Horizons for Women Trust and endorses the support it gives to women in their journeys of education, research and the contribution of well-being to whānau.

Dr Jennifer Curtin

Dr Jennifer Curtin is Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Auckland.  Prior to this she worked at the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and Monash University in Melbourne.  Jennifer teaches foundation, first year and upper level students and supervises a number of postgraduate researchers.

Her own research and publications have focused on women’s representation and participation in politics and the role of feminist entrepreneurs in creating substantive policy change.  In 2012 she received a Fulbright New Zealand Senior Scholar Award to pursue her research in the United States.  Jennifer is from Hamilton, and after leaving school worked as a bank officer here and overseas before taking up the challenge of higher education at the University of Waikato.

She financed her studies by joining the Territorials.  Jennifer believes passionately in the importance of ensuring the opportunities for higher education are shared equitably across society.

Colleen Dryden

After several years in the Probation Service at all levels of the organisation Colleen is currently the Executive Officer for the New Zealand Federation of Women’s Institutes and has been employed by the not for profit sector for the past 18 years. This includes the positions as Game Development Manager for Netball New Zealand and the Executive Director for Volleyball New Zealand.

Valuing the change of a new career, Colleen sees the New Horizons for Women Trust second chance awards as the opportunity for women to launch themselves, through further education, into a career they always wanted.

Colleen is also the immediate Past President and Treasurer of Parafed Wellington, an organisation which facilitates sport and recreation for physically disabled in the Wellington Region.

Lynda Garrett

Lynda Garrett is a Senior lecturer within the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland, with specialized teaching and research interests in gifted education. With 14 years’ experience in supporting students at undergraduate, graduate and post graduate levels, Lynda acknowledges a particular admiration for the personal fortitude and courage demonstrated by significant numbers of women, as they struggle to achieve their academic goals in the face of adverse personal circumstances.

She also acknowledges a clear need to facilitate women’s research relating to women’s issues via scholarship funding. Lynda is a committed Zontian who has served in leadership roles at a club, national, and at an international level in the forthcoming 2014-16 biennium.

She readily affirms the close alignment between NHWT and the mission and vision statements of Zonta, where the focus is on improving the status of women in all areas of society, including education. Lynda firmly believes that educating women and progressing research by women, for women, can only make our world a better place.

Lynda is married, with 3 adult children, and 2 grandchildren. She lives near the beach on the beautiful Hibiscus Coast, with husband Ray and Yoshe (a demanding but delightful Burman cat).

Lindsay Geenty

Lindsay is a Practice Manager with McCaw Lewis lawyers and within that role oversees all aspects of managing the McCaw Lewis office. For the past 20 years Lindsay has been involved in a variety of community organisations, most recently chairing the Waikato Diocesan School Association.

She believes firmly that if you have happy and fulfilled women with good jobs our communities will flourish.

Dr Shirley Gillett

I am a primary trained teacher and have worked in education for many years teaching at the University of Otago, New Zealand as a Lecturer, Teaching Fellow, and Tutor and am currently a Support Tutor.  I have a number of publications on motivation, learning, and international students. My teaching and life passions are philosophy of education and social theory, gender studies, empowerment for women through sport, pedagogy and theories of motivation.

In hockey, I have represented New Zealand and worked particularly with females for many years as a coach for representative and community hockey and as a Board member of the Otago Hockey Association. As current President of Graduate Women (Otago branch) and Member of the GWI international Education committee I have set up a twinning with Sierra Leone.

New Horizons puts into action my beliefs that providing girls and women with opportunities for further learning and research will advance women.

Noeline Holt

Noeline Holt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (1994) majoring in English literature with papers in Social Policy and Maori Studies. She has a public health background, with interests in family violence/animal welfare, workplace bullying, inequalities, women in business and governance.

Her experience includes participation in a taskforce to review the rules of an NGO, wrote the by-laws and policies. She has considerable past and present involvement in NGO and charitable committees.

Dr Rosemary du Plessis

Associate Professor Rosemary du Plessis was a Trustee from 2014 – 2017 and will become the Research Awards Officer for 2017 – 2018. She was involved in the New Horizons for Women Trust as a Society for Research on Women (SROW) representative when it was first established and has followed it’s work over many years.

Rosemary has a strong commitment to women’s pursuit of second chance education and training, research relating to girls and women and support for women’s work in the fields of peace, public service management, science and non-governmental organisations.

She has taught sociology for many years at the University of Canterbury and was active in SROW (Society for Research on Women) and the Women’s Studies Association and has worked for short periods of time in government agencies. Her current research interests include the NCWNZ (National Council of Women NZ) Christchurch Branch Women’s Voices project that has generated 150 stories about women’s earthquake experiences.

These stories are available in a digital archive at https://quakestudies.canterbury.ac.nz/store/collection/228. Rosemary has been a Co-convener of the NCWNZ Public Issues Standing Committee since September 2014 and is regularly involved in preparing submissions on behalf of NCWNZ. .

Dr Jo Innes

Dr Jo Innes is currently an Awards Officer with the Trust. Jo has had a long association with the Trust, initially as a trustee and more recently as the Chair (2015 to 2016).

Jo values education and research. Education has enable Jo to develop her career from occupational therapy, to health service manager, to services consultant and researcher, and research management. Jo is employed as the Cluster Leader, Research Development, Massey University; and is on the Board for Graduate Women Manawatu Charitable and Graduate Women New Zealand.