Meet the Team

Our WISE Committee members are all volunteers who happily offer their time, energy and experience in support of colleagues throughout the health and safety profession.

Margaret van Schaik (Chair)

Margaret is a co founder of the Women in Safety NZ Group, started in 2010, and strongly believes in the encouragement, support and empowerment of women working in the health and safety profession. Margaret has 20 years experience in health and safety group management, advisory, and regulatory roles in New Zealand and has a passion for coaching and mentoring others. Margaret is a Chartered Member of IOSH, Certified Member of NZISM and a HASANZ Registered Health and Safety Professional. Margaret is Principal Consultant/Managing Director of van Schaik Health and Safety Solutions, a boutique H&S consultancy based in Wellington.

Selena Armstrong

Selena Armstrong is the CEO of The New Zealand Institute of Safety Management (NZISM). Selena’s role on the committee will be supporting WISE NZ with the full strength of the NZISM national office. NZISM is committed to the ongoing success of the WISE network and are providing project management expertise and administrative support to ensure that the committee continues to grow, develop and offer women working in safety the opportunity to network and learn from each other. Selena has a strong interest in the development and advocacy of women, and is committed to promoting and establishing networks across the safety industry that raise the competency and capability of health and safety professionals and practitioners.

Karla Mendiburu

Karla immigrated from Mexico to New Zealand 9 years ago, with a background in international business. Karla is a Health and Safety Coordinator for a lower tier Major Hazard Facility in the Bay of Plenty and is currently in the process completing a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Management. Karla is passionate about engaging with operational teams and changing workplace culture and enjoys traveling. Karla believes empowered women empower everyone.

Kate Milburn

Kate Milburn works at Umbrella Wellbeing, leading Umbrella’s Customer Relationship Team and Strategic Wellbeing programmes. She is passionate about creating resilience in communities and coaching leaders to connect with and nurture the potential of their people. This mahi has her working with clients to create optimum wellbeing for employees.

Kate has been a registered psychologist since 2009, she has a Master of Science in Psychology (First Class Honours), a Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial and Organisational Psychology, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (HR Endorsement).

Jo Pugh

Jo Pugh is an experienced senior leader at New Zealand’s health and safety regulator, WorkSafe New Zealand. Based in Wellington, Jo has worked in health-and-safety regulation for over 18 years across a number of operational roles, including her current position as the Head of the General Inspectorate.

Jo, or GI Jo as she is often referred to, oversees a workforce of 190 staff who are responsible for targeted harm prevention regulatory activity in order to provide confidence that New Zealand workplaces are managing their risks appropriately. Jo is a strong advocate for collaborative engagement and proactive education, balanced with proportionate enforcement. As a Professional member of NZISM Jo is excited to work with like-minded colleagues within WISE, empowering women in the Health and Safety profession.

Kate Sutcliffe

Kate Sutcliffe has been working in the health and safety field for over 17 years. She started out as a Health and Safety Inspector, before moving into the areas of auditing, consulting / coaching and training. She is now a self-employed Health and Safety Specialist and Auditor, helping a number of companies make health and safety part of their everyday business. She is also part of the Avid Plus Ltd group of health and safety professionals. Kate is pleased to be part of a national group with the focus of promoting and supporting the profession.

Jade Strampel

Jade is relatively new to the health and safety industry, with a couple of years of experience as a WHS coordinator under her belt, which has developed her passion for all things wellness, health, and safety. Jade completed her Bachelor of Business in Management in 2021 through Massey and is currently completing the GradDipOHS and planning a move to Auckland for work opportunities.

Jade is excited for the opportunity to be a part of the WISE network that and supporting, engaging with, and empowering women working in the industry, along with being able to contribute to the industry on a larger scale.