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 off-site 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.


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.

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. 

Ciaran Hyslop (Meeting & Events Coordinator and Website Admin)

Ciaran has over 10 years’ experience in EA / board support & office management across both the public and private sectors. His current role being Manager, Office of the Chief Executive for EQC.

Ciaran joined the Management Team in October 2017.


Emma Holmes (Secretary)

Emma has been a member of PACE for around 10 years and joined the Management Team in October 2019. Emma works as the EA to the CEO and Board at WellingtonNZ, the regional development agency which markets Wellington to the world. Prior to that she was EA to CEO of the Industry Training Organisation for the service industry, ServiceIQ, which she came to after having worked at Parliament for 17 years, being Rt Hon Sir John Key’s EA for 12 years including 6 years as the Prime Ministers Personal Private Secretary. As relaxation Emma enjoys reading, cinema, travelling and medieval history - currently being Chair of the New Zealand branch of the Richard III Society.

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 a small team of two!  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.

Kirsten Campbell (General Member)

Kirsten joined the Management Team October 2018. She has been a member of PACE since 2016.

Kirsten is currently the Manager Office of the Chief Executive and Board at Callaghan Innovation. This involves both EA and governance duties, as well as managing a small team of two.

She has been in Wellington since 2000 and held a weird variety of roles from policy analysis, dressmaking and clothing design, to landscaping and creating hyper-tufa garden art. Administration roles have been peppered throughout her career, and she has been with Callaghan Innovation now for seven years.

Pam Berry (General Member)

Pam joined the Management Team in April 2018.  She has been a member of PACE since 2008.

Pam is currently the Executive Assistant to the Dean of Education at Victoria University of Wellington.  Previously, she has been the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive at the Education Review Office following 11 years at Foreign Affairs which included postings in Suva and Brussels.

As well as those postings, Pam has also spent time overseas where she had a three year VSA office training assignment with a small NGO in Buka, Bougainville, followed by two years in Newman, Western Australia, as a teacher aide for special needs students – something she always wanted to do. 

Her spare time is spent with friends and family (including three Wellington-based grandchildren), and she is an active member of the Karori Lions Club and the Port Nicholson Geriatrix Hash House Harriers.