Hilary Barry - Christchurch
One of New Zealand’s most beloved broadcasters, Hilary has graced our TV screens and airwaves for three decades, winning many awards along the way.
A co-host of TVNZ’s prime time current affairs show Seven Sharp, Hilary has previously been a newsreader on both radio and TV and a presenter for TVNZ’s Breakfast show. Her sharp tongue and no-nonsense attitude extends to social media, where she’s won many admirers for her strong responses to online trolls.
Hilary supports a number of charities including Leukaemia and Blood Cancer NZ, ChildFund New Zealand and Dress for Success NZ . Her success and longevity is testament to her warmth and quick wit, her integrity and her determination to get to the bottom of the big issues.
Georgina Beyer - Wellington
The world’s first openly-transgender mayor and Member of Parliament, as well as one of only a handful of former sex workers to hold elected office, Georgina has spent much of her life changing attitudes and tearing down barriers.
Georgina was instrumental in passing the Prostitution Reform Bill, which decriminalised prostitution and further protected the rights of sex workers, as well as the Civil Union Act.
Nowadays, Beyer travels the world talking to audiences about her experiences. Though retired from political life, she still fights for greater recognition and equality for the LGBTQIA+ community and uses her own sometimes-traumatic experiences to support New Zealanders who are questioning their own identity.
Jess Daniell - Auckland
A former Wairarapa farm girl with no formal chef training, Jess built her business from the underground up, growing it through word of mouth and rave reviews of her fresh, healthy meals.
Jess’ Underground Kitchen started out as a simple concept of selling home-cooked dinners to people who didn’t have time to make their own. It’s now expanded to an empire with bespoke catering, published cookbooks, four eateries and an ever-expanding array of ready-to-eat meals. Her philosophy is simple: “my weeknight dinners, but for hundreds instead of one”.
Although her recipes come from around the globe and are inspired by her love of travel, Jess is a believer in fresh, seasonal Kiwi ingredients, and producing meals in small batches that epitomises the kind of food she loves to eat. JUK operates as a centralised production kitchen in Auckland, stocking their own eateries and other retailers with fresh food and ready-to-eat meals daily.
Maha Fier - Wellington
Maha has racked up an impressive environmental CV for a 17-year-old. The Paraparaumu College student first made headlines in 2017 by helping design a rubbish-collecting robot for beach clean-ups.
Since then, she’s traveled to the Kermadec Islands with the BLAKE Trust, and Lesotho with the Paraparaumu College World Challenge Group, as well as helping with numerous local conservation projects.
Maha recently won an inaugural Jane Goodall Institute New Zealand Trailblazer award, which recognises people who are making a positive impact on animals, people and the environment. She says meeting the world-renowned conservationist and one of her heroes have given her fresh inspiration to fight for environmental causes.
Brodie Kane - Christchurch
Christchurch-born and bred, Brodie returned south in 2017 to co-host The Hits Breakfast show. Her ten year-career in journalism has included reporting stints for Newstalk ZB, Fair Go and Seven Sharp. More recently she was a presenter on TVNZ’s Breakfast show in Auckland.
No matter where she is and what the audience, Brodie loves to share stories and learn more about what makes New Zealanders tick. She’s earned a reputation as a tough, no-nonsense broadcaster, but with Brodie, you can always be sure that what you see is what you get.
Brodie is a strong supporter of improving Kiwis’ physical and mental wellbeing through exercise. She ran her first marathon in 2018 and competed in this year’s Coast-to-Coast.
You may not recognise her face, but you’ll almost certainly have seen the image that shot Ruby Jones to fame. Her artwork depicting two women embracing - one a Muslim wearing a hijab – following the Christchurch terrorist attacks was picked up around the world, and she was subsequently invited by Time Magazine to illustrate the cover of its April 1 issue.
"I've always been fascinated by human relationships, our connection with one another and the world. I think people just find joy in seeing that closeness and love depicted in an image," she says of her evocative drawing.
The 26-year-old is not even a full time artist, but she hopes that her work will spark conversations about who we are as a country and who we want to become.
Kanoa Lloyd - Auckland
Born in Gisborne to Ngati Porou whanau and raised in Dunedin, Kanoa is a rising star of New Zealand broadcasting, known for her warm, engaging and knowledgeable on-air presence.
Kanoa began her broadcasting career in children’s television before becoming a weather presenter on NewsHub. She’s now one of three co-hosts of Three’s primetime show, The Project, which combined news, information and quirky humour. In 2017, she was nominated in the ‘Best Presenter: News & Current Affairs’ category at the New Zealand Television Awards.
Kanoa has been praised for her bravery in speaking out on topics including mental health issues and the use of Te Reo Maori in primetime programming.
Farah Palmer - Wellington
Farah is an academic and former Black Ferns captain who became the first female appointed to the board of New Zealand Rugby in 2016.
Following a glittering career with the New Zealand women’s rugby team, which included three World Cup wins, she took on a variety of leadership and governance roles. This year she has taken on the role of Associate Dean Māori for the Massey Business School.
Farah’s recent work has focused on Elite Māori athletes and their cultural identities in sport, the leadership and organisational culture of the All Blacks, Black Ferns, Māori All Blacks, Māori women's experiences in sport management, and the involvement of mothers in elite sport as leaders and athletes.
Sophie Pascoe - Tauranga
Sophie is one of New Zealand’s most decorated sport people being a fifteen-time Paralympic medallist, nine of which are Gold.
A below-the-knee amputee following a lawnmower accident aged two, Sophie made her international swimming debut aged just 13 and shot to fame two years later by winning three golds and one silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
Away from the pool, Sophie is a staunch advocate for inclusion and equality, and a role-model for New Zealanders chasing their own dreams. She’s been a Westpac ambassador since 2010.
Already a winner of nine golds and six silver medals, Sophie will be looking at add to that tally in what will be her fourth Paralympic Games at Tokyo next year, not before competing at the World Para Swimming Championships later this year.
Jess Quinn - Auckland
Jess lost her right leg to cancer at the age of nine, but she hasn’t let that slow her down in any aspect of life. A model, brand ambassador, and health and wellbeing advocate, Jess uses her own experience of overcoming adversity and body image struggles to help others feel more comfortable in their own skin.
After discovering a magazine image of her had been photoshopped, Jess recently petitioned parliament to introduce a law requiring publishers to declare if a photo of a model has been digitally altered.
A self-described “accidental influencer”, Jess’s inspirational story has earned her a massive online following and a steady stream of public speaking work. She also won the nation over with her appearance on Dancing with the Stars 2018, raising awareness for the Child Cancer Foundation.
Jen Scoular - Tauranga
Jen is the Chief Executive of New Zealand Avocado. She has been called the most enthusiastic CEO in New Zealand, thanks to her passion and drive to promote avocados, the industry and the country. She has successfully raised both the profile and value of the industry, and continues to advocate for growers in the primary industries.
Jen joined NZ Avocado after a four year diplomatic posting heading the New Zealand Consulate in Hamburg, Germany. She was charged with driving commercial success for New Zealand exporters in Germany, Northern and Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey.
Before this she spent seven years with Zespri, most latterly as Group Treasurer. In London she became director of Barclays Capital following early roles with Unilever and IBM. These days, she and her family are happy to call Tauranga home.
Rikki Swannell - Tauranga
Rikki is one of the most knowledgeable, talented and versatile broadcasters in New Zealand sport. She’s also a trailblazer for women who have long struggled for equal footing in a male-dominated profession.
A native of Tauranga, Rikki smashed a glass ceiling in 2018 when she became the first female play-by-play commentator in Super Rugby. By then, she was already widely respected for her knowledge and expertise on a range of sports, including cricket, tennis, hockey and netball. Starting out as a junior reporter for Radio Sport, she’s also gone on to cover Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Although she plays down her own inspirational rise through the ranks of sports broadcasting, Rikki is a strong supporter of getting more female voices on the airwaves.
Abbie Reynolds - Nelson
Abbie Reynolds is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Council, a division of BusinessNZ representing more than 100 member businesses, including some of New Zealand's largest companies.
Abbie is passionate about business being a force for good in the world. Through SBC she works alongside organisations to help them embed sustainability, drive action on climate change and the future of work, develop their capability to respond to changing customer demands and to lead sustainability in their organisations. She argues that New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions economy is an opportunity for innovation.
Before joining the SBC, Abbie was the head of sustainability at Vodafone NZ and has led sustainability and regulatory work across a number of different industries.
The Chia Sisters - Nelson
The idea for Chia was born in 2012 when Chloe Van Dyke, a neuroscientist, set out to create a nutritious on-the-go drink for her sister Florence Van Dyke, a national champion triathlete. Fast forward seven years, and they’ve just been named on the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 list of game changers in the Asia Pacific.
Following the launch of Chia, made from hydrated chia seeds and antioxidant-rich juices, the sisters launched Awaka Sparkling Coconut Water and Bottled by the Sun Fresh Pressed Juice. All are natural and nutritious and free from added sugars. The pair have won numerous awards including Best Drink in New Zealand for 2019 and are now exporting to supermarkets and cafes across New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.
The Van Dykes’ business model is built around sustainability. In 2018 they opened New Zealand’s first solar-powered juicery and became Nelson’s first Living Wage accredited employers. They bottle their juices with recycled glass, maintain a zero waste policy and use low carbon ingredients.
Karen Walker - Auckland
Karen is New Zealand’s best-known fashion designer. Her eccentrically elegant style has established a stellar international following for her ready-to-wear, eyewear, jewellery, bags and fragrance.
Having launched her label at age 18 with just NZ$100 Karen has since created a much-loved brand with her designs worn by stylish women around the world including the likes of Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Adele and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex recently. Karen was made a Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014, for services to fashion design.
Social responsibility is important to Karen’s brand: she designs unique and well-crafted pieces with the intention they’re used for decades, and the brand demands a high ethical standard from its partners, manufacturers and suppliers. For the past six years Karen has consistently ranked in The Business of Fashion’s powerhouse BoF 500, reflecting her position as a global industry figure shaping the future.
Anna Willcox - Christchurch
As an Olympic freestyle skier, TV sports presenter and tireless mental health campaigner, Anna has seen more triumph and adversity than most 27-year-olds.
A member of New Zealand’s Winter Olympic team at the 2014 Sochi Games, Anna was forced to give up skiing after a series of injuries. She’s spoken openly about her subsequent struggle with depression, and earned a new set of fans when she appeared on Dancing With The Stars for the Mental Health Foundation.
Anna is now a sport reporter and presenter for The Crowd Goes Wild, and a passionate advocate for mental health awareness. "Opening up has actually helped me. Getting on by yourself can be a lot harder," she told Stuff recently. "We need to take the shame away."