Groundswell Presents...BWN Panel - Women in Innovation


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Rebecca Magdalinos

Engineer, RNZAF, Officer in Charge - School to Skies, Programme Lead – Operation Tangata Kanorau. 2019 Westpac Women of Influence Finalist - Innovation and Science

With a passion for bringing young people and diversity into the Air Force and into STEM subjects (Aviation Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), SQNLDR Rebecca Magdalinos (or George as she is known) - leads both the RNZAF's School to Skies programme and Operation Tangata Kanorau. School to Skies is a Tech and Aviation residential camp for Year 13 girls helping young women navigate the post-year-13 transition and find their ‘fit' in the Air Force. To date it has graduated 134 students. Operation Tangata Kanorau is an engagement and outreach programme in which Air Force personnel talk to students aiming to bring science alive, provide context to careers, identify pathways, foster curiosity and build confidence in STEM. To date it has engaged 45,000 school students.

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Ngaire Woodhams

NZ Lead, EY Wavespace

Wavespace is EY's global network of growth and innovation centres. Everyday Ngaire's job is centred around designing the digital and mental experience where people explore new ideas, unlock ingenuity, and make change happen faster. Ngaire's role encompasses the intersection of her two career journeys: that of event management, and design innovation. She gets a buzz out of seeing people learn about new ways of working and being challenged to think differently. She's worked in a wide range of industries both in NZ and the United Kingdom: government, financial services, not-for-profit, start-ups and professional services.

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Kirstin Mead

Innovation Manager, Tauranga Chamber of Commerce

If you are innovative, engaged and working on R&D then Kirstin is your conduit to the Government's innovation agency - Callaghan Innovation. Kirstin works with business owners to help them grow and succeed through technology. Her focus is on research and development (R&D) and innovation. Fresh out of high school, this small town Waikato girl, decided she wanted to see the world, so she signed up to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Over the next 6 years she worked for the Air Force's communications department with deployments in places like Samoa, Antarctica and Afghanistan, to name but a few. This early exposure to vastly different ways of life lead Kirstin to pursue a degree in development economics. She has since put her unique experience and impressive qualifications to good use in New Zealand's innovation sector, first working with accounting giant, Deloitte, before joining Callaghan Innovation.

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