Our Stories: Rachel Carrell

Written by Tracy Goodall.

Rachel Carrell bw smallDescribing Rachel Carrell as a high achiever is like saying that the All Blacks are a pretty decent rugby team. An Oxford Rhodes scholar, former CEO of the world’s largest online doctor service and now an award-winning and feted entrepreneur making frequent headlines in the UK press thanks to her online nanny sharing service, Rachel’s credentials make for formidable reading.

And that’s before we add in the fact that she was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader 2014, no mean achievement in itself.

So how did an ex-Southland Girls High School student from Invercargill achieve such success? It certainly wasn’t an overnight process, but rather a series of well-chosen and strategic choices and more than a pinch of good old-fashioned hard work.

Our Stories: Deborah McTaggart

Written by Linda Rose.

Deborah McTaggart bw smallDeborah has a CV many would envy: as a producer with over 20 years’ experience in international films, she has worked with Sir David Attenborough filming in the Galapagos archipelago; co-ordinated Ben Affleck’s visits to Sudan and Darfur for UNHCR and joined director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) filming Malala Yousafzai.

It was that previous work in documentaries - including long-haul flights, changing time zones and working long days – which gave her a real understanding of the effects of jet lag, stress and burnout. Now she is a qualified nutritionist helping others to discover the foods and lifestyle necessary to build health and resilience for sport, work and travel.

Our Stories: Bronnie Mayho

Written by Linda Rose.

Bronnie Mayho bw GIMP small“When research tells us that 26% of children in England do not enjoy reading then we have a problem to address,’ says children’s reading expert Bronnie Mayho. So, this year she and her husband launched Bookwagon, an online children’s bookshop. Alongside selling children’s books that they have read and recommend only, Bookwagon offers a weekly blog of reading news, reading lists and books for schools, arranges author visits and quality book fairs as well as providing a consultancy service for parents to support their children’s specific reading needs.

Our Stories: Louise Chunn

Written by Eleanor McIntosh.

Louise Chunn bw gimpEditor of In Style, Good Housekeeping, and ES magazine, and deputy editor of Vogue and ELLE, Louise Chunn’s writing credentials would make any fashion journalist green with envy. However, Louise describes her career path as “accidental”, although writing has always been in her veins even from a young age, when she won primary and secondary school writing competitions.

One of five children, Louise describes her childhood growing up first in Otahuhu then Parnell as “quite typical”, but felt that her Rotary Exchange to America in the final year of high school really “lit a fuse” as the country was going through an interesting time post Richard Nixon’s resignation. When she returned to NZ, Louise went to Auckland University to study History (as Journalism wasn’t available) but with no “degree of enthusiasm”, although she was the first women to become Editor of the University paper. Upon graduating, Louise freelanced for Rip it Up (a music magazine) followed by the Auckland Star, and it was at the latter that she was lucky enough to interview the likes of Tom Petty, the Ramones and Elton John. However, her front-page debut was an interview with Roger Donaldson, director of Sleeping Dogs, the first feature length film produced entirely in NZ, and the launch of Sam Neill’s movie career.

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