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The Ambassador Team covers a wide geographic area to raise awareness for the Trust at a local level. We recognise the importance of being able to connect with the cause through local people liaising within their communities and networks. Our team of CatWalk Ambassadors lend their credibility and community connections to support the Trust and its commitment to fund a cure for spinal cord injuries. They are all people who have given their time freely to support the Trust and always go that ‘extra mile’, we would like you to meet them! Ambassadors represent CatWalk in the public arena, fly the flag and raise the profile and enhance the reputation of the Trust. Ambassador’s spread the word of The Trust’s Goals & Objectives to seek a cure for Spinal Cord Injury. Having valuable people in the community able to communicate to a wider audience just how close this is to being a reality – priceless!
Nick Mannix – 31 December 2014: The day a life changed in an instant. Nicko was at a party when he was run over by a car – twice – leaving him a high-level tetraplegic. Through his company Brothers Keep On Walking – BKOW, Nicko speaks to groups and schools about life with a spinal cord injury and the research to find a cure. BKOW also support research financially through the sale of their clothing line.
Needing assistance to do even the simplest things – dressing, bathing, even using the toilet – he also suffers from neuropathic pain on a daily basis. Yet despite this, Nicko has not let his injury stop him. He is determined he will walk again, and is dedicated to a future where SCI no longer means paralysis for life.
Kate Lambie – Kate was a member of CatWalk’s 2010 New York Marathon team. She has been involved with CatWalk since the beginning as a friend of Catriona’s. She works to prevent spinal cord injuries with her business importing and distributing air vests for horse riders and donates a portion of her profits from this to CatWalk.
Anna Hiatt – Anna is the Managing Director of Pure Chaos Ltd. The company specialises in Event Management and contracts to Major Events in New Zealand and is based in Wanaka . Anna has a love of friends, family, food, wine and keeping fit.
I spent three and a half months in Burwood Spinal Unit with a fractured T 5,6 & 7. I was fortunate to be one of the ‘lucky’ ones able to walk out of there so am committed to helping those less lucky than me. To be involved in CatWalk is an utter pleasure. After spending time with Cat Williams and Hamish Ramsden, witnessing their infectious enthusiasm, how positively they cope with daily challenges of life that we easily take for granted. I have a deep admiration for both of them and they are a constant inspiration to me personally and many others to positively live life no matter what cards we are dealt.
Penny Barnett – Penny has been a wonderful CatWalk supporter since day one and is always the first to offer when help is needed. Penny is the proud owner of the Trelise Cooper Wellington Flagship Store and the Designer Clothing Gallery in Greytown. She has held several DCG sales raising money for CatWalk and attended many of our events. Penny travelled to New York with Team CatWalk in 2010 and is a member of The BIG Cycle team for 2013 as well. Penny says she
“loves being part of such a dynamic and passionate group of people and Catriona is ever inspiring. It is exciting to be part of the team and see significant advances towards our goal through research which is aided by grants from The CatWalk Trust. Added to this is the fun and opportunities we have by being part of CatWalk! The BIG Cycle is certainly a BIG challenge for me: when my personal trainer winds up the resistance on my spin bike and commands “4 minutes, flat out, NOW!” I have to remind myself it’s all for CatWalk – otherwise I’d probably just hit him!!”
Carolyn Beaver hails from Whangarei and is a qualified vet who specialised in small animal health. Carolyn suffered her SCI in November 2006 which left her a C5/6 incomplete tetraplegic. After surgery and 6 months rehabilitation in the UK, Carolyn came home to NZ for further rehabilitation at Burwood Spinal Unit. Her goal was to be able to gain enough movement in her legs to walk down the aisle of her wedding 13 months later – a goal she achieved when on 28th Feb 2009 and with the support of her Dad on her right arm and her brother on her left arm, Carolyn married her fiance, South African vet, Doug Passmore.
Whilst carrying out her rehabilitation in 2008 Carolyn took on a job as a research assistant for the Burwood Academy of Independent Living (BAIL) who were involved in a SCI Life Histories research project run by Massey University. It was the first project of its kind in NZ to follow the lives of NZers affected by SCI throughout the first two years following their impairment, so see how their SCI shaped their lives, their choices and chances in life. Through her involvement with this project, Carolyn undertook postgraduate study in human rehabilitation through the University of Otago and graduated with distinction in 2012.
“It also became apparent to me, both personally and through talking to the participants if the SCI life histories project, that the first 2 years following SCI are very early days in the path to recovery and rehabilitation and where life may lead. So subsequently further funding was applied for to have a follow-up study with the participants some years later. This follow up study was approved and I continue my work with Massey University in this study currently”.
Ian Douglas – Ian suffered a spinal cord injury a number of years ago but was fortunate to be a lucky near miss! He owns the renowned Village Goldsmith and has supported CatWalk frequently with highly sought after auction prizes.
Charlotte Gendall is a Kapiti Coast-based former broadcast journalist turned communications specialist who has taken a special interest in CatWalk since its inception. A long-time friend of Catriona’s, Charlotte’s possessed of the ability to set her emotional engagement to one side and provide constructive criticism and feedback on what’s going to be in CatWalk’s best interests. Since our founding, she’s turned her professional skills to help in numerous community engagement, fundraising and information projects, particularly through our magazine. Charlotte says her finest hour was undoubtedly running the 2014 New York Marathon and raising $26,000 for CatWalk. “I didn’t think I had it in me, but as usual, Catriona knew better!” says Charlotte.
Hamish Ramsden – Hamish has been a C5/C6 tetraplegic since the end of 1994 as a result of a farming accident. After the sale of the family farm and in conjunction with his brother and some other partners he helped set up the largest privately owned sheep and cattle genetics company in New Zealand. Hamish left his role as administrator for this company to go on to run the Burwood Spinal Unit Education Group along with administering The Fathering the Future Trust. For the last nine years Hamish has volunteered at a local Christchurch school in their Learning Support Department with children in years 5 to year 8 who may need some level of extra literacy support. He continues to be an avid supporter of The Catwalk Trust, and their efforts to raise funds to find a cure for paralysis.
Gracie Taylor – In one way or another, Gracie has been involved in the media and creative industries now for about 7 years. Everything from traditional newsroom journalism, hosting live radio and TV broadcasting, producing current affairs stories, website and digital management and social media.
Based in Auckland, Gracie epitomises the young successful woman of today and CatWalk are so fortunate to have her join us in an ambassador role.
“I am so honoured to be a Catwalk Ambassador! I have always loved what the trust stands for and I’m excited to be on board”.
Debbie Rolmanis – Debbie is a Human and Equine Sports Therapist who has run her own business for the last 6 years. Debbie was the soft tissue therapist at the 2012 London Olympics for the NZ Para-Equestrian team and she also attended the World Games in Normandy 2014 in the same role.
Debbie is now based in the UK, after 12 years in NZ and is passionate about bringing the work of the CatWalk Trust to a wider audience.
‘… after working closely with a group of courageous and inspiring people that make up the global para equestrian community, I became acutely aware of the importance of the work the Trust is doing. It is an absolute honour and privilege to be on board as an Ambassador, and I will support the team and their endeavours wholeheartedly …’
Heelan Tompkins – I have been fortunate enough to have been brought up in the New Zealand countryside surrounded by horses. My mother ran a riding school and my father was a dentist, and also a keen polo player. My father was in his early thirties when MS (Multiple sclerosis) put him in a wheel chair, he put up a brave fight but passed away ten years later. I competed alongside Catriona for many years before her accident, we both aspired for similar goals. I don’t recall ever beating her, she is, as you know, a great competitor. I competed at both the Beijing and Athens Olympics as well as the world games in Spain and Germany. I placed 7th at the Olympics and world games individually. I am currently an Olympic Ambassador teaching Olympic values to NZ schools.
I have been involved and interested in the work of The CatWalk Trust with my knowledge of Catriona, the equestrian sport and by my father.
Jamie Astwood – Jamie lives in Hamilton and broke her back (T6/7/8) in 2013 while sand duning up North. Her Mum Jo was told about CatWalk while they were in re-hab, after one of her friends heard Catriona speak at a conference. Cat rang and spoke with her Jo just a week after their return from rehab to say ‘I just wanted to let you know it will get easier. Hang in there’.. She talked for 45 minutes and answered so many questions that were all new to SCI patient. Clearly, Cat has a HUGE heart and has so much compassion for others. They met in person last year at the 10-year Anniversary bash where Zara Phillips attended. “Wow,” said Jo, “what an amazing weekend. So much money was raised for SCI research. How can anyone say ‘no’ to Catriona Wiliams? She’s an amazing woman. When she asked Jamie to be an ambassador a few weeks ago, how could WE say ‘no’!! With pleasure Cat. We look forward to working along side you trying to help find a cure for all out there. Jamie talks all the time about walking again and the things she will do that were taken away on ‘that day’ in 2013”.
Oliver Bradshaw – Oliver Bradshaw works for financial firm UBS and lives in Auckland. He became a member of the Catwalk team in 2012 when he raised money for the charity by running in the New York City Marathon. Since then he has continued to participate in events to raise funds for CatWalk.
‘Writing this I realise how lucky I have been to meet so many inspirational people through CatWalk. It’s an honour to have met Catriona Williams and to witness the exceptional and dedicated team around her. After seeing what the Catwalk team are doing I also wanted to do my bit to find a cure for SCI.’
MITAVITE NZ – The partnership with Mitavite is now it its second year. Mitavite has pledged to donate $NZD1 + GST to CATWALK for every 20kg bag of Equine horse feed, ‘Mitavite Munga’, sold in the New Zealand market. Mitavite is a subsidiary of Inghams Enterprises NZ Pty Ltd. Mitavite National Sales and Marketing Manager, Colin Price says “As a company within the equestrian community, Mitavite has followed the progress of CATWALK and Catriona’s inspirational achievements, so when the opportunity came to partner with the Trust we didn’t hesitate.” Said Price. “It is our series of promises that make us an integral part of the equestrian community, because not only do we back our products to deliver on our promises, wherever possible we back the clubs, societies and rescue organisations that make up this community, like CATWALK,” he said. “For us, CATWALK is a perfect partner. We’re looking forward to working with CATWALK in the future to make a difference,” Mr Price said.
HOUND & STEED CREATIVE AGENCY – As a full service advertising agency, Hound & Steed offer a comprehensive range of services, incorporating full advertising campaign development and management, brand development and implementation and full media services, including strategic, scheduling and placement. Whatever you need, the team at Hound & Steed we will make it happen. “Our local and international experience means we have pretty much seen it all and are hard to shock. We can turn a job around in super human timeframes and, well we’re yet to be challenged by a creative solution we couldn’t nail”.
MAGNUM INDUSTRIES have been operating for over 20 years manufacturing and supplying quality products for the equine and agricultural industries. The team have spent many years perfecting the products from horse walkers, stables and fencing right through to feed and water bins. All products bearing the “Magnum Built” label meet their guaranteed standard of being rugged, reliable and built to last. “CatWalk was the obvious choice for Magnum when the opportunity arose for an investment in research and discover” says Magnum Representative Michelle Morland.
Agriseeds is a NZ plant breeding and research company that specialises in pasture. Founded in 1987 and based on a 224ha research station near Darfield, Canterbury, Agriseeds are a member of the Royal Barenbrug Group and employ 60 staff including plant breeders, agronomists, microbiologists and seed production specialists. Agriseeds produced the CatWalk Equine Pasture Mix with all sale proceeds coming to CatWalk. Seed is available for sale through firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMPUTER PARTNERS is the complete service and computer solutions company based in Masterton. David and the team look after all the needs of CatWalk in the technology field making sure we are up to date and running efficiently!
NETWORK COMMUNICATION provides CatWalk with PR services to share our news and stories through the vast media space. Driven in equal measures by creativity and common sense, Network Communication love their work and it shows – and we love that they support CatWalk!
HIT-AIR VEST – A safety vest used by horse riders in both competing and pleasure riding. These safety vests inflate similar to a vehicle airbag to protect the rider when they fall from the horse. CatWalk receives a donation from the sale of these vests in New Zealand.
CROWE HORWATH – Crowe Horwath New Zealand is the largest provider of practical accounting, audit, tax and business advice to individuals and businesses from a network of over 24 offices throughout the country. The company’s advisors have specific industry knowledge and expertise within sectors including Agriculture, Asia Business, Automotive and Transport, Building and Construction, Franchising, Maori Business, Mergers and Acquisitions, Property, Real Estate the Public Sector and more. Crowe Horwath International is ranked amongst the top 10 global accounting networks, and is known for delivering quality audit, tax and advisory services in more than 100 countries.
BELL GULLY – Named 2016 Chambers Asia Pacific Law Firm of the Year, we are extremely appreciative of the pro-bono services Bell Gully offer to The CatWalk Trust. Lawyers of choice for corporate, government and investors, Bell Gully have offices in Auckland and Wellington.
MIRAGE VISUAL – Design, print and signage solutions, Mirage Visual work their magic to present, among other things, our bi-annual magazine ready for printing. Quality work from a family owned business based in Palmerston North which allows for overnight delivery anywhere in New Zealand.