Deborah Bush QSM, Dip Tchg. LSB
Co-founder and Chief Executive Endometriosis New Zealand
Director EPP Coaching and Consulting (Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain)
Deborah has had a global influence on health promotion and prevention of endometriosis. Using her experience as a teacher, she developed the world’s first Menstrual Health and Endometriosis (me) school education programme in 1997. A unique well-health model promoting early intervention and appropriate management, ‘me’ is positively and profoundly influencing current data and improving health outcomes in this demographic.
Deborah has contributed to the medical literature through published articles and books and sits on International Boards, advisory and research committees for endometriosis.
She has frequently presented as key note speaker at international academic conferences and as MC at many functions. She was described by the judges at the 2012 Woman of the Year Awards as “a pioneer, a visionary, a highly effective lay person in a specialised medical world bringing relief from disability and pain to thousands.”
Deborah has established and maintains:
- Endometriosis NZ, a national charitable non-government organisation
- health initiatives and ground-breaking programmes for schools, workplaces, hospitals and CME
- EPP Coaching and Consulting; her private practice for women and girls with endometriosis and pelvic pain which integrates into treatment centres offering multi-disciplinary expertise.
Deborah’s achievements are reflected in the following awards:
- Queens Service Medal (QSM), Queen Elizabeth II Birthday Honours, 2003.
- Commonwealth Award for Excellence in Women’s Health (Endometriosis NZ under her leadership).
- Paul Newman Award, 2007.
- International Outstanding Service Award, 2011 (for 100th International Women’s Day).
- Zonta International Woman of the Biennium Award 2011 – 2013.
- Woman of the Year – Health and Science, 2012
- Woman of Influence Finalist 2014
- Ambassador to the World Endometriosis Society
Tayla first came across Endometriosis New Zealand when the ‘me’ programme came to her high school. This programme gave her the knowledge and encouragement to speak out and seek help for her symptoms which resulted in her being diagnosed with endometriosis.
It also influenced Tayla’s choice of career, as she wanted to join her love of helping others with her interest in health to be able to have a positive impact on other girls and woman going through similar experiences.
This lead her to study at the University of Canterbury completing a Batchelor of Health Sciences majoring in Health Education. During the degree, she carried out an internship with Endometriosis New Zealand which further fuelled her passion and desire to make a change for those with endometriosis.
Tayla is super excited to now be a national educator with Endometriosis New Zealand, and cannot wait to see where this new chapter with the organisation will take her!
Monique was introduced to Endometriosis New Zealand when she was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 17. She found the organisation extremely helpful when seeking more information. Monique studies Science at the University of Canterbury with a particular interest in Human Biology and Health. She is also passionate about dancing and theatre and teaches jazz and contemporary dance in Christchurch.
Monique is thrilled to now be working for Endometriosis New Zealand as a 'me' educator and enjoys speaking to young girls to raise awareness.
Olivia was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 13 and during this time, she had no idea what endometriosis was, let alone knowing anybody else who had it! She felt so alone and isolated because at that stage, it seemed as if she was the only teenager in Marlborough who had this disease which she said was “pretty scary stuff.” And like many other girls throughout New Zealand, her health was affecting her school attendance and most of the time she couldn’t do a full day at school. Her family then decided that the best option for her would be to complete her secondary schooling through correspondence.
Later that same year, she was “incredibly excited,” to learn that there was an organisation dedicated to helping girls and women with endometriosis. That’s when she got in contact with Endometriosis New Zealand and went to see our current CEO, Deborah Bush, who she said has made a big (positive) impact on her life. Throughout Olivia’s ongoing experience with endometriosis, she has had an underlying passion to help others who are also diagnosed with this disease.
With the help of Deborah, Olivia was able to fulfil her passion for helping others by travelling to different parts of New Zealand speaking to people about her experience with endometriosis alongside Deborah. Following these presentations, Olivia launched the first ever Marlborough Support Network for Endometriosis New Zealand and has now been promoted to a National Educator! She says she loves this role because she really feels like she is making a positive difference in teenager’s lives.
At the end of 2013, Olivia completed her secondary schooling through The Southern Regional Health School and gained NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance in the process. We think that’s a huge achievement for someone who did ALL her secondary schooling, on her own, by correspondence!
Olivia says she feels “honoured,” to be working for such an amazing organisation and can’t wait for whatever lies ahead!
Angela joined Endometriosis NZ in 2016 as the National Administrator.
"This is my first role in a not-for-profit or registered charity and I am really enjoying the change of focus in terms of an organisations values, vision and goals."
With qualifications in accounting and human resources, Angela's background is mainly in finance and human resource management in the private sector. She brings a wealth of knowledge around managing finances, human resource policy & practise, as well as general business management and administration. Angela's main role at ENZ is to manage the financial and funding requirements of the organisation including searching out and applying for grants and funds from all over New Zealand, as well as general administration and support. She is the first person you will touch base with when contacting us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angela is married with a young daughter. She spends her free time with her family and friends and relishes savouring the precious moments with them all.
Board of Trustees
Neil is a Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist in Auckland. In private practice at 105 Remuera Road with Auckland Gynaecology Group (that includes the old Endometriosis Auckland) and Repromed Auckland and in public practice as Medical Director of Fertility Plus at Auckland District Health Board. Neil trained in both the UK and New Zealand, and has a special interest in treating women with endometriosis.
Neil's main clinical interests are endometriosis, fertility, laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery, menstrual disorders, and colposcopy. With a national and growing international reputation for clinical research in gynaecology and fertility, his main areas of research interest currently include evidence based fertility treatments, endometriosis, polycystic ovaries and ovarian reserve.
He has developed an innovative treatment for endometriosis-related infertility, using lipiodol, a poppy seed oil. Neil is Honorary Associate Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Auckland.
He has served on the Trust Board of Endometriosis New Zealand since 2004 and on the Board of the World Endometriosis Society since 2008 and is President Elect of the World Endometriosis Society (2014-17). He is Immediate Past Chairperson of the RANZCOG Subspecialty Training programme in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, was the inaugural Chair of the Australasian multi-centre clinical research network REproduction And Clinical Trials (REACT-ANZ) and the Reproductive Medicine consensus group ACCEPT (Australasian CREI Consensus Expert Panel on Trial evidence), and is an Associate Editor of the Australasian journal ANZJOG.
For twenty years, Rachel has been providing assistance to innovators and ideators so that they can get their great ideas off the ground. During this time, her roles have included: working in private practice in New Zealand and the UK; heading an in-house legal team in the UK; and acting as Assistant Commissioner of Trade Marks.
Rachel is currently the General Counsel for Powerhouse Ventures Limited, and is the founder of aRc intellectual property. She is also on the Board of Trustees for Ministry of Awesome which supports early-stage entrepreneurs.
Joining the Endometriosis Board of Trustees in 2017 was another opportunity for Rachel to assist in removing barriers for those wanting to realise their full potential, through supporting the Endometriosis New Zealand team in providing information, education and support to women with endometriosis.
Rachel now lives in Christchurch where she is an amateur wife, trainee mum, and experienced earthquake survivor (with great tips on escaping a 20 story building when you’re 6 months pregnant if needed).
For the past 17 years Glenda has been facing endometriosis head on, with a daughter who has endured more surgeries than the years she’s been suffering. She is thrilled to have been asked to contribute and be a part of the board of Endometriosis NZ. Without the support of this organisation and Deborah Bush she can’t imagine where they may have ended up.
Glenda owns Harding Consultants, a small consultancy that organises conferences, seminars and events for a wide variety of organisations. She is one of only 50 certified Event Managers throughout Australasia. She also runs a very successful recruitment training business, where she trains recruitment consultants throughout New Zealand. Board roles in the past included Chairing the Board of Trustees at Paparoa Street Primary School (11 years) and Dress for Success Christchurch (5 years). Charity work has involved the Koru Care Charity Auction, Canterbury Cancer Ball and Lions Foundation Charity Dinner for Camp Quality (Children Living with Cancer). She is regarded as someone who 'can look outside the square' to help create and look at different and unique solutions.
Glenda is married to Julian, who has his own jewellery business, and has 3 children, Abby, Tyler and Rosie: a very new grandson – Huxley along with 3 fabulous partners to their children.
Glenda looks forward to contributing towards Endometriosis NZ, which already has a well proven track record in supporting the research and treatment of endometriosis; a significant education programme and ongoing support to the many thousands of sufferers.
Mel has 17 years of banking and finance experience both here and abroad and has spent the last 11 years with the Bank of New Zealand in roles across the South Island. She has considerable experience in both leadership and relationship management having led the BNZ Partners Team as the Senior Partner for Nelson/Tasman before returning to her home town of Canterbury to be closer to family and to take up a Corporate Partner role in early 2014.
“I am very privileged to work with people in business who are passionate about what they do, how they do it and the footprint they leave on this world. We play a small, but crucial part in our customers business and I love taking the time to understand their business and working with them to achieve their goals”
Personally, Mel is married with two sons, a hobby beekeeper, an active fundraiser for local charity, and loves spending time with her wider family and in the outdoors. “Empowering people to reach their full potential is something I am incredibly passionate about. When I was asked to join the Endometriosis Board of Trustees I jumped at the chance to be part of an organisation that is making a difference both by supporting, treating and working with researchers to find solutions and empowering women to demand better health outcomes.”
Sharon Woodings resides in Christchurch and has two grown-up daughters. Ten years ago she established Blue Mercury Leadership, a people development business which now works with some of New Zealand’s biggest corporations and smallest companies, not for profits, and individuals.
She has many years of experience working with people and organisations, having commenced her working life as a trained teacher she then developed and delivered community based programmes for a regional sports trust before heading a regional YMCA. Her other passion is as a sports coach and mentor which has seen her coaching Netball at local, regional and national levels in New Zealand. Sharon is a proud Rotarian and has been working for the community through this organisation for 16 years in both Southland and Canterbury. She has been a member, past president and currently holds a regional role as an Assistant Governor.
Sharon is excited about bringing her experience to the Endometriosis Board, an issue which, because of direct family associations, is very dear to her heart.
Why Lorelei loves Endometriosis New Zealand...
“In my job I am repeatedly faced with interviewing patients struggling under the burden of chronic illness and pain. Their bravery in the face of obstacles is humbling. But one can never underestimate the uplifting power and healing of genuine support … not just from dedicated medical staff and family … but also organisations agitating for their future health and happiness. The NZ Endometriosis Foundation is one such organisation … playing a vital role in educating young and old about the condition, encouraging support groups to flourish and agitating continuously for genuine improvements for women through the health system. Thousands of women and their families have benefitted from the Foundation’s strength and support ..it’s a national treasure”.
One News Health Reporter Lorelei Mason has been a supporter of the New Zealand Endometriosis Foundation for many years and is a former Foundation Board member.
The Christchurch mother of three children is a firm believer in the power of education and support to help women with endometriosis, and those who love them, forge a brighter future.
Why Jennie loves Endometriosis New Zealand...
“I was delighted when invited in 2010 to become an ambassador for Endometriosis New Zealand. My support for this organisation is unwavering. Deborah Bush and her team are doing a superb job in helping girls and women in NZ to deal with this cruel and often silent condition. The World Endometriosis Society was not even established when I was suffering from endometriosis, particularly affecting my fertility. I was extremely fortunate to have an excellent gynaecological surgeon who performed a number of procedures to enable me to conceive my daughter naturally. Prior to that I experienced many years of severe pain and discomfort, having no one to turn to and was quite ignorant of the cause of my condition. 30-40 years ago, there was no organisation available in NZ to offer the support and reassurance that is now available through Endometriosis New Zealand. Today this organisation is able to play a vital role in educating girls and women (and their families), giving them encouragement to face the future with more confidence in managing endometriosis."
Jennie Goodwin was New Zealand’s first woman network television newsreader – in fact the first woman to read prime time TV news in the British Commonwealth in June 1975. Jennie worked many years in radio and television and left broadcasting to have her daughter in 1985 at the age of 40. She is very happy to continue supporting Endometriosis New Zealand and the invaluable work they carry out.
Katherine Cottier and Gary McCormick
Bronnie and Sean Fitzpatrick
Nerida and Shane Cortese
Why Nerida loves Endometriosis New Zealand...
“I support Endometriosis NZ, as I have several close friends with this disease, who inspire me to help other women feel good about themselves, no matter what shape, size or time of the month it is! I encourage women to celebrate who they are through dance. Great music, laughter and fun movements help women to enjoy their bodies and escape from the everyday-even if its for just 45 minutes!!”
Born in Australia, Nerida moved to NZ in 2001 to turn Professional and teach with her Kiwi Ballroom dancing partner after traveling around the world to compete in international and world championships. In 2005, Dancing with the stars came along for the first time, where she came runner-up and met her husband Shane Cortese and had 2 beautiful sons. In 2008, she repeated the runner-up position with league and boxing star, Monty Betham. From here, Nerida has gone on to coach past and current NZ dance champions, choreograph for television shows such as “So you think you can dance” and the NZ television awards, NZ Fashion week, Christmas in the Park and for large corporates, such as Westpac and Vodafone. She now also enjoys guiding couples through their First Dance for their wedding day and taking Ladies Latin classes to boost ladies’ self esteem and get them enjoying the art she has loved for so long!
Dame Pieter Stewart
ENZ welcomed Kirstie James as an ENZ athlete in 2016.
John served voluntarily on the ENZ Board as a founding Trustee from January 1994 until his retirement in 2011. His commitment to the organisation was unfaltering until his unexpected passing on July 23rd 2013. ENZ has had tributes from women and families throughout NZ and afar expressing their sadness, loss and sincere gratitude to their much loved and respected doctor, obstetrician and surgeon.
In 2011 John was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of the RANZCOG for his work in Endometriosis and Advanced Endoscopic Surgery.
John will be remembered by his patients for his deep sense of compassion, hope and life altering treatment and by the medical community worldwide for his outstanding academic and clinical contribution, mentoring and camaraderie. Kua rakatira tenei ao I a koe me āu mahi – You have made this world a better place with the contributions you have made We have lost a dear colleague and friend whose influence will continue to guide and motivate to improve health outcomes for girls, women and their families.