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Opening Address

Colonel Kate Lee

Colonel Katherine (Kate) Lee is a mainlander – born in Oamaru and raised in Dunedin with her parents and younger brother.  Col Lee enlisted into the NZ Army in 1993 and trained at the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College, Duntroon where she gained a Bachelor of Arts and a Commission into the Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals.

Post-graduation, Colonel Lee has had a range of fantastic leadership roles at many levels of the organisation.  In her early years she had a number of appointments within 1 (NZ) Bde (then 2LFG) culminating in a deployment to East Timor in 2001.  She then had a range of roles including as a field recruiter, the Officer Commanding of The 3rd Signal Squadron, and as team member in the early stages of the Network Enabled Army programme.

Col Lee deployed as a United Nations Observer with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation where she spent six months each in Lebanon and in Syria in both Observer and Training Officer roles.  Col Lee also spent a six month period working in the Ministry of Social Development in their communications unit in order to gain a broader understanding of the public sector environment.

Colonel Lee was employed as the Director of Defence Force Recruiting and at that time established and chaired the Army Women’s Development Steering Group. Both roles enabled her to understand and work with the talent being recruited into and developed within the NZ Army. A career highlight was her two year command of the Army Command School in Waiouru.

More recently, Col Lee was the Military Advisor London and the (non-resident) Attache to the Republic of Turkey.  These roles provided a unique opportunity to work collaboratively with the broader all of government effort in the UK and engage and work with our military partners. On her return from the United Kingdom, Colonel Lee was appointed the People Capability Business Partner (Land) and was then promoted to her current rank on taking up her current appointment of Assistant Chief of Army – Delivery.

Col Lee has a Masters in Management and is keenly interested in culture, diversity and inclusion and leader development. Outside of work time, Col Lee likes to spend time with her family, practicing yoga, walking and spending time with her wonderful friends.

Captain Ruth Cornelius

In 2000 Ruth’s love of physical challenges combined with a curiosity about people and leadership drew her to the New Zealand Army, where she served as an Infantry Officer after graduating with a BA (Hons) Psychology. During her eight years of service, she was responsible for training and leading teams, including on two operations to East Timor and one to Afghanistan. Ruth left the NZ Army in 2009 and joined the leadership Consultancy, Winsborough (co-designers of the NZ Army and NZDF Leadership Framework) where she was able to continue helping organisations reach their potential through growing their leadership capability Ruth has just recently returned to the NZ Army in a part-time capacity, taking on the role of Project Manager of the Gender Inclusive Army project. In and around this work, Ruth raises her three school-aged children and continues to indulge in her love of adventure racing and endurance sports.