Theresa Gattung

Theresa Gattung

"I grew up in a family where my sisters and I were told that women can be anything they want to be when provided with equal opportunities.  To this day I firmly believe that and for most of my adult life have supported groups dedicated to empowering women. 

In recent years, education of girls so that they have full opportunities in life has become one of my personal passions.  As Patron of the Cambodian Charitable Trust, which provides education for girls in rural Cambodia, I am actively involved in supporting many girls personally and fundraising to extend the reach of the programme.  The Trust now supports over 8,000 children in rural Cambodia, providing bikes, uniforms, stationery, book, toilets clean water and teacher training. It fully supports 16 schools and two teacher training colleges.

Through worldwomen I hope to be a catalyst for women being inspired to manifest amazing outcomes for themselves, and to create meaningful change in the world in the company of other women."

Professional Profile

Theresa Gattung is a leading New Zealand business personality and author of her best-selling autobiography Bird on a Wire. Named in Fortune magazine’s list of the 50 most powerful women in international business several times since 2002, she was also included in Forbes’ list of the world’s 50 most powerful women across any sphere in 2006.

Theresa was recognised in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List being made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and philanthropy.

Between 1999 to 2007 Theresa was CEO and Managing Director of Telecom New Zealand, a $5 billion telecommunications business in New Zealand and Australia.

Over the last few years Theresa has been involved in a wide spread of governance positions including Chair of AIA Australia and entrepreneurial start-ups including being co-founder, alongside Cecilia Robinson and Nadia Lim, of My Food Bag. 

Theresa is involved with a number of not-for-profit and philanthropic interests, including being Patron of the Cambodia Charitable Trust and Chair of the Wellington Board of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). 

She lives in New Zealand.