Management team

Philippa Shierlaw (Chair)

Philippa has a wealth of experience and knowledge and is a true advocate of the EA profession.  Having worked at the most senior level in central government, including Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and Executive Assistant to the Chair and Director of a small agency within the Department of Internal Affairs. Philippa now owns and operates her own company, BizPro Limited which provides professional remote executive assistance, board and business support services.

A member of PACE since September 2012 and on the Management Team from October 2014-mid 2016, Philippa was also PACE’s Professional Development Co-ordinator during 2015-2016 and became Chair in October 2017.


Antoinette Wilcox (Membership Coordinator)

Antoinette was appointed Executive Manager to the Chief Executive at the Ministry for Social Development in September 2017.  Prior to this she was the Executive Assistant to Dave Gibson, Chief Executive at the New Zealand Film Commission from April 2014 and for the six years before that was the CE’s EA at Te Papa Tongarewa.  Antoinette has extensive EA experience having worked in Government departments since arriving in NZ in 2000.  She previously worked in London for property and advertising companies for almost 20  years and has worked at CE level for more than 30 years.   She is passionate about animal welfare and in her spare time volunteers at HUHA, a non-profit, no kill, animal shelter based in Otaki.

Antoinette joined the PACE Management Team in 2013 and has been a member of PACE for more than 14 years. 


Sarah O'Sullivan (Meeting Co-ordinator)

Sarah joined ZEALANDIA in 2014 as EA to the Chief Executive, and she is also the Board Secretary. Sarah enjoys the challenges of working in a medium sized not-for-profit and the opportunity to contribute to such an amazing community organisation. Seeing kaka in the tree outside her office or Tuatara at lunchtime is an added bonus.

Sarah joined the Management team as a General Member in 2015 and is keen to contribute to the organisation that she has learnt so much from.


Brigid Kavanagh-Dee (Treasurer)

Brigid has worked at Massey University based in Palmerston North since 2004 and in 2008 was appointed Executive Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor.  Prior to returning to the Manawatu she had been employed in various administrative roles in the private sector in Auckland, the Australian local government NSW and the Royal New Zealand Air Force which took her throughout NZ and overseas.  Her spare time is spent at home working on the farm with her husband and enjoying the company of her many pets.

Brigid has been a member of PACE since 2015 and joined the Management Team as Treasurer in 2017.


Ciaran Hyslop (Secretary)

Ciaran has 10+ years’ experience in EA / board support & office management across both the public and private sectors. His current role being Executive Manager for the Banking Ombudsman Scheme - an independent dispute resolution scheme focussed on resolving problems between banks and their customers. His role includes oversight of all corporate and office services as well as supporting the Banking Ombudsman / Chief Executive and the board.

Ciaran was appointment Secretary of PACE in October 2017.


Rebecca Dobbs (General Member)

Rebecca is the Business Services Manager at Hospitality New Zealand, and has been in this role since March 2007.  The role encompasses all aspects of an EA role, as well as office management event management and managing one other person.  While working for a not-for-profit association is a challenge, it is an incredibly rewarding role providing opportunities to be involved in all facets of the organisation.

Rebecca has been a member of PACE since 2007, holding the position of  Membership Coordinator since 2010 and Chair from 2014-2017.


Sarah McNaught (General Member)

Gemma Turney (General Member)

Gemma is the Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive of Family Planning New Zealand and has been in this role since March 2016. Prior to this Gemma worked at Parliament for three years. While she had a few different roles for a government minister during this time, she was most recently a Private Secretary. Being a Private Secretary entailed all the same skills as an EA/PA, just with a different title! Gemma is loving her new path in the NGO/not-for-profit sector and is really enjoying her time with PACE.

Gemma has recently had some volunteer experience working with the Graeme Dingle Foundation as a mentor to a young women through Project K and offers a hand at another volunteer service in Wellington.

Gemma joined PACE in February 2017 the became a general member of the Management Team in October 2017.