We are excited to introduce the following speakers

Sir Graham Lowe

Sir Graham has forged a reputation that transcends his position as a football coach and rugby league icon. From a sport which places a premium on macho image and physical rather than emotional prowess, Graham has moved beyond traditional masculine boundaries to appeal to a broad cross-section of New Zealand society, well outside the game of rugby league.

Sir Graham began his coaching career in New Zealand in the late 1970s before rising to prominence at the helm of Brisbane Norths. He was the Kiwis' national coach from 1983-86 and spent three years at Manly (1990-92) and a season at North Queensland (1996).

In 2015, Sir Graham founded the Lowie Foundation which uses Lowie’s 12 Dynamic Principles to deliver a literacy and numeracy programme to 12 -19 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2018 Graham started working with the Department of Corrections New Zealand and developed the Kick for the Seagulls programme which uses sporting language to teach people in prison reading, writing and maths.

In recognition of his contribution to New Zealand, in 2019 he was knighted for his services to youth and education. Due to the immense success of Graham’s works with Corrections’ he was awarded Department of Corrections 2018 Partner of the Year and in 2019 became the first Corrections wing patron for a graduating cohort. In 1986 Graham was awarded and presented by HM Queen Elizabeth II the Queen’s Service Medal for services to the community of New Zealand. He was also the subject of a This is Your Life documentary in 1993.

NZSA Lowe Graham 2

Dr John McDermott

John is the Executive Director of Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. John is also an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University of Wellington and a Senior Consultant at Wigram Capital Advisors Limited. He received his PhD in Economics from Yale University. Before starting at Motu in March 2019, he was Assistant Governor at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand: Te Pūtea Matua. He previously worked at National Bank of New Zealand and the International Monetary Fund.

John has published numerous peer-reviewed articles on international commodity prices, real exchanges rates, and business cycles. He also writes a regular column on economic issues for the National Business Review.

NZSA John Mc Dermott

Martin Snedden

Martin is a highly experienced CEO who has vast experience in the business of sport, having held roles as CEO of Rugby World Cup 2011, Duco Promotions and Tourism Association NZ, as well as being a director of the World Masters Games 2017.

Martin’s background in the sporting world, started when he played cricket for New Zealand BLACKCAPS between 1980 and 1990, playing 25 tests and 93 one day internationals. Since then, Martin has worked on numerous large scale sporting projects in New Zealand.

In 2020, Martin became the chairman of the New Zealand Cricket board. He also currently holds positions as chair of Heart of the City, and Destination Auckland, is a director on the board of Women in Sport Aotearoa, and a trustee of the Cricketers’ Hardship Trust. Prior to becoming the Chairman, Martin had the role of consultant lead at New Zealand Cricket for the One Cricket project, a three-year initiative aimed at reviewing and improving the delivery of cricket throughout the country.

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NZSA Martin Snedden

Kathrine Switzer

Iconic athlete, sports and social advocate, author, and Emmy award-winning television commentator, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially register and run the Boston Marathon.

She has been honoured widely for her achievements, including being inducted into the U.S.A National Women’s Hall of Fame for creating positive social change. The ramifications of her work are both joyful and profound, changing forever the face of sports, health, and opportunities for women around the world.

Kathrine is relentless in her efforts to empower millions of women beyond the finish line, now through her non-profit 261 Fearless, Inc. and in her example, as 50 years after she first challenged the previously ‘all-male’ rules of the Boston Marathon, she trained hard and ran the prestigious event again, and only 24 minutes slower than she did at age 20.

Kathrine Switzer photo