Fiona McNamara

Chief Executive Officer

Fiona was born and grew up in Wellington. Her career to date has covered sexual harm prevention, gender advocacy and leading and developing organisations in the not-for-profit and arts sectors.

Fiona began working at RespectEd in 2013, as the Coordinator and sole employee. Under her leadership, RespectEd has developed into a national organisation, with a team of more than 30, reaching over 10 000 programme participants annually and is sought after nationally and internationally for expertise on sexual harm prevention.

Fiona has co-developed and delivered a wide range of sexual harm prevention education programmes to professionals and youth, including co-developing ‘Friends, Whānau and Flirting’ for people with learning disabilities, ‘It’s Our Business’ for the hospitality sector, and a suite of workplace and community sexual harm prevention and response programmes.

Fiona has held several national positions, including the primary prevention portfolio for tauiwi services on the Paetakawaenga (Executive Committee) of TOAH-NNEST since 2014 and was previously an independent sector representative on the government’s Sexual Violence Prevention Advisory Board. Fiona provides regular commentary in the media on sexual harm issues and in 2018 was recognised for services to sexual harm prevention with a Wellington City Council City Safety Award.

With a background in the arts, Fiona has worked nationally and internationally in theatre as a company director, trustee, producer and artist. As a performance maker, she has led projects on feminism, gender, sexual harm, social justice and criminal justice in professional, community and educational settings. She authored a chapter on sexual harm prevention and response in the theatre industry for the booklet “Working Together: Safety Respect and Wellbeing” (Playmarket, 2019).

Fiona holds a certificate in Professional Supervision in the Workplace from WelTec, a BA Hons and MA in German and Theatre from Victoria University of Wellington, and also studied at Freie Universitaet Berlin. Her studies in New Zealand and Germany focused on gender analysis, representations of gender and sexual harm.