Co-Founder / Director
I have been working with youth and not-for-profit organisations for more than 40 years.
• A Trustee with the Rua and Clarrie Stevens Charitable Trust for 20 years, working closely with non-government organisations.
• Closely involved with the Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Association, in a variety of roles including Chairperson.
• In 2000, I founded a new project, Cooking and Friendship – working with migrant and refugee women to facilitate their integration into New Zealand. This project has since been recognised by the United Nations, which has endorsed it as an excellent tool to promote migrant integration.
• In 2008, after attending a BPW International Congress in Mexico City I met Dr Christina Berton an international psychotherapist working to lower domestic abuse through improving the self-esteem of young women and girls. Having been so inspired, I was determined to bring Christina to New Zealand. Following a nationwide tour in 2009 with Christina, The Liberty of Being Me Foundation (TLOBM) was founded in 2010, with the mission of improving awareness of the importance of self-esteem.
• To date, the Mother-Daughter Workshops have reached many women and girls in schools and communities.
• In Dec 2015 Penny along with her husband Lee was made an honorary member of Philanthropy New Zealand.
What drives me to be part of the Liberty of Being Me?
The self-discovery and awareness of real beauty, warts and all. My journey of self-discovery has healed me of so many misconceptions of who I truly am; by learning to love and accept my unique self.
I see the true beauty of those who come into my life. It has empowered me, and given me peace and courage to be who I am. Strengthening the bonds of mothers and daughters empowers women and girls as well as families. It is a privilege to be able to share TLOBM message and the tools to change lives.
What is my vision for the Liberty of Being Me?
Into today’s world of so many distractions, our message is simple and yet profound. Each time a participant discovers their unique self, life’s journey starts to unfold. It opens up communication to share and ask questions of one’s self-discovery for all walks of life. This grows happiness, self-confidence and a stronger society in Aotearoa.