Our Stories: Bex Smith

Written by Ruth Keeling.

Bex Smith 1Many Kiwis watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia this year were swept up for the first time by the high performance level, the worldwide media interest, and the sheer entertainment value of women’s football. Retired NZ football star Bex Smith has long been convinced that the women’s game has even more global potential than men’s football. Now living in London, Bex has built a second career beyond her personal sporting success. She has promoted women’s sport internationally as a FIFA executive, media producer and now through her global consultancy Crux Sports.

Rebecca Smith played for the Football Ferns for more than a decade, and was captain of the NZ national team for the Women’s World Cup 2007 and 2011, and at the 2012 Summer Olympics. In parallel, she played professionally in the US, Australia, Sweden and Germany, finishing her club career in 2013 winning the Triple UEFA Champions League, German League and German Cup with VfL Wolfsburg. At the same time, she completed degrees at universities in the US, Germany and New Zealand.

Our Stories: Rebecca MacDonald

Written by Ruth Keeling.

Bex McDonald

An overseas experience in the UK is often a career-defining opportunity for young Kiwis to gain professional experience not available at home. But for New Zealand business women coming (or returning) to the UK later in their career, it is often the wide-ranging, high-level leadership experience which they have developed in New Zealand’s smaller markets that makes them the perfect fit for specialist roles abroad. Former Air New Zealand General Manager of Property and Infrastructure Rebecca MacDonald has experienced both types of ‘O.E.’. She returned in April this year, 14 years after her initial London stint, as the UK Director for Property Assets for the Marshall Group Property in Cambridge. 

Our Stories: Rosemary Coldstream

Written by Ruth Keeling.


Rosemary Coldstream’s flowering English garden is heavy with summer rain, so it feels strange to be sitting in it discussing heat-resistant and drought-tolerant garden design.  “Landscape gardening will change radically in the next 15-20 years, because of climate change”, she says. While her clients typically desire a traditional English mixed garden, with trees, shrubs, perennials and grass lawn, Rosemary is certain that the favoured pittosporum and hebes - and even birch and oak - in the UK will have to give way to a Mediterranean or South American plant palate. “With any garden, you've got to tailor it to the site,” she says.

Our Stories: Kim Palmer

Written by Ruth Keeling.

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Kim Palmer never actually set out to establish a global business. The inspiration for her award-winning health app, Clementine, grew out of her personal experience dealing with panic attacks during pregnancy and after childbirth. Her own mental health journey motivated her to develop the Clementine portfolio of hypnotherapy tools to help other women “in the trenches”. As interest exploded during the pandemic, this Kiwi FemTech innovator rapidly scaled her small UK business with impact investor funding, and is now taking the company she founded in 2017 into new international markets.