In service of Change

Having recently celebrated the launch of the Gattung Foundation, Global Women Chair and Member, Theresa Gattung, reflects on this legacy — while sharing plenty of pearls of personal wisdom — in a new interview with Business Desk

Matters of both business and life were explored with journalist Ella Somers in a My Net Worth column. From the art of recalibrating, weekend rituals, to her embankment on a journey of learning and embracing te Reo and te ao Māori, Theresa shared many interesting reflections. 

When asked what Theresa is proud of, she muses on the coming together of te ao Māori and the Pākehā world views. “The other thing I’m really proud of is we’re having a really honest, authentic conversation about how do we walk together in te ao Māori and the Pākehā world? I see that through so many of the corporates that I’m working with, and many of the people I know,” shares Theresa. She believes the world could learn a lot from this example: “I go, wow. That’s how we’ll avoid civil war. That’s how we’ll actually make this nation all that it could be and potentially lead the world.”

“I’ve been learning te reo for a while. It’s not just a language, it’s a whole way of looking at the world and the idea of being a good ancestor” — Theresa Gattung.

Not only that, Theresa shares how she’s embraced te reo. “I’ve been learning te reo for a while. It’s not just a language, it’s a whole way of looking at the world and the idea of being a good ancestor. Regeneration has turned up as ESG [environmental, social, and governance issues] in the corporate world, but indigenous people were there so far before us, so embracing that and walking together is something that I think is a very genuine and special part of New Zealand.”

Health, a focus for Theresa, was also reflected upon. A key priority Theresa mentions for herself, is not only to create a legacy foundation for generations of her family, but to stay healthy to keep creating the change she wants to see in the world. 

Additionally, health is key focus area for GlobalWomen advocacy. The recent fireside panel discussion ‘Healthy Women, Healthy World’ highlighted the ongoing inequities of women’s health and a clear message from members in attendance was to take action to be the change we want to see in the world, where girls and women thrive. 

As for her advice to younger people? Theresa stresses the importance of doing what you’re genuinely interested in — and that thinking about what you liked to do when you were a child can be a great starting point. The jobs that will be around in the future don’t even exist currently, you can change course as you wish, so it’s better to be swayed by interest over income. 

Read Theresa’s full interview with Ella Somers over on Business Desk.