Our Stories: Rae Parsons

Written by Eleanor McIntosh.

Rae Parsons finalIn an industry characterised by glitzy premiers and celebrities, film financier Rae Parsons has had her fair share of brushes with fame having met Matt Damon, shaken hands with Jude Law, and waved at Gwyneth Paltrow on the red carpet, and wistfully recalls two of the latest biggest blockbusters as “the ones that got away”.

A Hawkes’ Bay girl, Rae had no specific career aspirations at school but was strongly encouraged by her mother and step-father to pursue nursing upon completing high school. Gifted academically and with a strong work ethic, Rae quickly rose through the ranks to Charge Nurse at Hastings Memorial Hospital. However, after 10 years she felt that it was time to change direction particularly as she didn’t want to pursue further roles in management.

Our stories: Anna Hansen MBE

Written by Emma Bell.

Anna Hansen bw rev 567x800Having been born in Canada, raised in New Zealand and with Danish grandparents living just a stone’s throw away, it’s no wonder that London based chef, Anna Hansen takes her inspiration from cultures and cuisines around the world.

Her approach to food uses modern ingredients to liven up every day dishes and has won her not only critical acclaim, but has also seen her awarded an MBE. Anna’s love of being a chef stems from the creativity her approach allows her; not being confined by any particular cuisine or region means she can cherry-pick her favourite flavours and combine them in new and innovative ways.

Anzac Day 2017

Written by Toni Fyvie.

Anzac Day poppies“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; age shall not weary them nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”
Words from “The Fallen” by Laurence Binyon, read out by Reverend Jennifer Petersen at the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Cenotaph on Tuesday.

This year’s ANZAC Day marked the 102nd anniversary of the first major military action fought by New Zealand and Australian forces during the First World War. This important day remembers not only those who died at Gallipoli, but all who have served their country in times of war. Here in London, ANZAC Day is commemorated with a dawn ceremony at the New Zealand war memorial, attended by thousands, and a wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph followed by a service at Westminster Abbey.

Our Stories: Kat Smith

Written by Emma Bell.

Kat Smith bwLike most children, Kat Smith dreamed up many different paths her life and career might take her, including becoming a photographer, a Nancy Drew style spy and a vet (although this last dream was quickly put to rest when her dad pointed out “but you cry when cats are hurt”). Never in her most outrageous daydreams could she have predicted the course her career would take; from community psychologist, to travel agent, hair salon owner, author and ‘Queen Bitch of Everything.’

After studying psychology and zoology at Massey University, Kat spent 7 years working with a community organisation supporting people with schizophrenia. A ‘normal day at the office’ could range from helping someone out with their weekly grocery shop, to bailing someone out of jail after they’d smashed a shop window believing the mannequins were out to get them. On one occasion, even serving a trespass notice to a convicted murderer, and then being told-off by his mum!

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