Meet the KSPW team
Natalia Albert - FOUNDER, Executive PRODUCER
Natalia is the powerhouse and visionary behind Kate Sheppard Place Women. She is a Mexican born – Kiwi citizen with a reputation for getting it done. Natalia is a passionate advocate for all things women, diversity and equity. As the driving force behind New Zealand’s first TEDxWomen’s event back in 2013, Natalia believes in women being at the forefront of leading and shaping our world from a kind and tolerant perspective. Natalia is an experienced IT project manager driving transformational initiatives, and recharges her batteries by shredding it up on Wellington’s many beautiful mountain and road bike tracks. She lives with her partner Mike and their puppies Mexi and Margarita, and calls Wellington home.
KATE GENDALL - PRoJECT MANAGER
Kate is our project manager, and general doer-of-things-that-need-doing. She has a background in genetics and statistics, and is keen to make a difference through working as a public servant. Kate's experience with a chronic illness left her passionate about intersectionality and making sure everyone's voices can be heard. Kate is a self-professed geek, and also enjoys crafts, Japanese culture, and learning all the things. KSPW gives her a chance to indulge two of her passions: awesome women and colour-coded spreadsheets.
Arzoo SyeddaH - Event manager
Arzoo is a Pakistani-Swiss who heeded her soul’s calling and moved to New Zealand recently. She is the perfect example of a third culture person who has lived in four countries and considers Geneva her home. She has extensive experience on the United Nations platform looking at synergies between women in trade, gender diversity and sustainability. Most importantly she is passionate about the issue closest to her heart - empowering women to be fearless leaders. She is a firm believer in the idea that the future is female!
She has an inquisitive heart that she nourishes by traveling the world, outdoor running, and teaching. She moonlights as a writer in her spare time and hopes to publish her work one day.
Kim Partridge - Communications Manager
Kim is a Belgian-British-Kiwi with over a decade's experience working in technology and communications. She's passionate about building common understanding and making things happen.
Kim is value oriented, with a Masters Degree is Human Rights Law and a history of volunteering for women's charities. She loves being part of the KSPW crew and working with people who help her raise her game.
Kirthika (Kiki) Prasad - Comms and social media team
Kirthika -- or Kiki, to those who prefer fewer syllables! -- grew up in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, India. She pursued a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism and ended up being the only 'media' professional in her family of bankers and engineers. Since 2011, she worked in the publishing industry as a photo editor for brands like Hello! and Lonely Planet magazine India, where she also got a chance to indulge her passion for travel photography.
In her new home Wellington, Kiki is gearing up to work in not-for-profit organisations in pursuit of meaningful work that can inspire and empower underrepresented communities. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the city with her camera.
Júlia Cerqueira Melo - Comms and social media team
Júlia is a Brazilian who is passionate about social justice, handicraft, football and Carnaval! Her background includes a Law degree as well as a bachelor in Science of the State for which she studied communities and popular participation. She is a CODA (child of deaf adult). She has been involved with the deaf community since she was born. Working for a non-profit in the community and as an interpreter of Brazilian Sign Language shaped her into a person who wants to help others. Júlia believes that social justice is the key to a better world and empowering women is a major step in that endeavour.
Liliana Martins - Health and Safety Advisor
Liliana is Portuguese and moved recently to the country with her husband and two daughters. She has a great passion for the outdoors and walking, always looking for an opportunity to get away and explore the beautiful nature of New Zealand. She is a Health and Safety Advisor with experience as a consultant in small and large businesses across a diverse range of environments and industries. Her background includes a degree in Quality at Work and another in Occupational Safety Engineering. She has a great passion for intrinsically understanding business and the consequences it can have on the bottom line. She constantly aims to develop herself further to offer a multi-faceted business model and to support organisations to create a zero accident zone. Liliana wants to be a good model and inspire others and especially her adorable daughters, Clara and Eva, that women can grow in their professional career and raise a family.
Cesca Branch - Speaker Liaison Team
Francesca or Cesca as she’s better known amongst friends and family hails from a tiny island off the South Coast off England. After specialising in Stage Management at University Cesca decided to take some time out and headed over to Australia and then New Zealand where she has lived for the past 8 years. After spending time working in a variety of industries as an administrator and PA Cesca is keen to go and study Art History in the near future.
In her free time Cesca is usually planning her next adventure be it abroad or in New Zealand.
Shirin Mortazavi - Stage Architect, Event Management Team
Shirin is a motivated Persian woman who came to New Zealand recently. Loving art and creativity besides having an eye for details led her to choose Architecture as a profession. She has broad experience in designing many different kinds of buildings and public spaces. Moreover, she has a strong passion for painting and believes women are the colours on the world canvas who could make the world more beautiful and better place to live. She is interested in learning more and developing her knowledge with a can-do attitude.
Being a big fan of nature along with enjoying climbing and adventure activities makes New Zealand one of her favourite places to live.
Priscilla Loong - MC, Speaker Liaison Team
Priscilla is a New Zealand born Chinese, who trained as a Graphic Designer, then turned Entrepreneur, then turned Museum person! In 2015, Priscilla co-founded The Misprint Co., a social enterprise startup company focused on re-purposing waste paper into notebooks. The collision of design and social entrepreneurship was enough to entice Priscilla to jump into the business world, and in 2016 she joined the team at Te Papa, to run the Mahuki Business Accelerator Programme and Innovation Hub. Priscilla's varied experience has led her to run many events for many demographics - because she passionately believes that business and entrepreneurship should be for anyone who wants it, no matter their background.
Grace Cabauatan - Performer, Speaker Liaison team
Grace is a Filipina New Zealander. She is a dancer at heart, and pursued her love of ballet and contemporary dance by studying and performing in Hong Kong and America. Currently, the wind has blown her in the direction of Computer Science, which she is now studying at Victoria University of Wellington. Grace enjoys teaching dance, choreographing and getting lost in time with creative projects that she wishes to inspire others with around her. She would love to, one day, merge both worlds of science and dance together to make a positive impact in the world.
Grace believes that anything can happen when you put your mind to it. She loves to learn and grow with her curiosities in various topics, and through people’s stories, most especially over a cup of coffee.
Christy Law - CHARITABLE STATE ADVISOR
Christy is our self-professed queen of cunning plans, bringing the triple-threat of grammar, numbers, and cool-as-a-cucumber calm. A born and bred Kiwi, she’s focused on moving us past the ‘she’ll be right’ gender conversation and into evidenced-based discussion and action. Christy is a senior change management professional found at her most work-happy when kept on her toes, channeling her inner CJ Cregg at the office. She’s also an avid believer in no regrets, explaining why she’s absolutely not a surfer… despite best efforts.