The country’s most inspirational women have tonight been honoured at NEXT’s annual Woman of the Year awards.
The supreme winner of the evening was Sita Selupe, founder and principal of Rise Up Academy and CEO of Rise Up Trust, who was recognised for improving the lives of Maori and Pasifika children.
The 39-year-old, whose organisation delivers innovative and culturally-responsive programmes to more than 100 South Auckland families, also took out the Education category.
Olympic Gold medalist Lisa Carrington, who represents New Zealand in flatwater canoeing, took out the Sport category, and Miranda Harcourt, one of New Zealand’s most celebrated actresses, won the Arts and Culture award.
Cecilia Robinson, who founded food delivery service My Food Bag, took out the Business category, while psychologist Sally Merry, who designed a computer game to help teens fight depression, was named the Health and Science winner.
The Community award was presented to hospital grandmother Joy Clark, who spent three decades of her life volunteering at Starship Children’s Hospital.
NEXT Magazine editor Sarah Henry, along with previous NEXT Woman of the Year Supreme winners Julie Chapman, Julie Bartlett, Lesley Elliott and Dr Emma Parry, were on the judging panel.
The awards, which are the first of their kind to recognise New Zealand women in six distinct fields: Health and Science, Arts and Culture, Sport, Business, Education, and Community, are now in their fifth year. The awards are sponsored by Pandora jewellery.