The Starship Foundation has announced the appointment of Ms Aisha Daji Punga as its new Chief Executive.  Ms Punga takes up the role from 3 April 2018.

Starship Chief Executive Aisha Daji Punga / Photo Credit-Olivia Hemus

Ms Punga is joining the Foundation with a steadfast focus on meeting the urgent need to better the lives of all Kiwi kids faster.  She will be working closely and collaboratively with Starship Child Health management and staff, as well as the wider Starship Foundation team, to achieve the Foundation’s aspiration of raising at least $20 million annually for Starship.

“We are more ambitious than ever in our drive to unlock and enable all New Zealanders to demonstrate their goodwill and support of Starship,” says Ms Punga.  “Despite the extraordinary support and work of many, it’s fair to say that New Zealand’s health outcomes are still far from where they should be – New Zealand is ranked in the bottom third of developed countries in terms of overall child health and wellbeing.  I look forward to the Starship Foundation playing a pivotal role in accelerating better health outcomes for all New Zealand children.”

With that in mind, the Starship Foundation will continue to invest in the following priority areas:

  • research and innovation that will accelerate the pace of change, bringing new treatments, smarter ways of delivering them and also helping to retain Starship’s brightest minds;
  • the latest advances in medical technology and better facilities, so that the team at Starship has the resources to go above and beyond for their patients; and
  • the best training and professional development, so Starship’s staff can meet even the most challenging and complex cases.

Martin Wiseman, Chair of the Starship Foundation Board says, “We are delighted to have appointed Ms Punga.  She will ably work together with the Starship Foundation team, Starship Child Health and our wonderful donors as we embark on an exciting time ahead of enabling our national children’s hospital to achieve even greater heights providing world-class care to children and their families.”

Ms Punga is an experienced and highly regarded senior executive with more than 20 years’ FMCG and telecommunications experience in global commercial development, marketing strategy, new ventures and strategic planning.  She combines her corporate and commercial expertise with a genuine passion for social enterprise and transformational growth.

She is a passionate advocate of children’s health and wellbeing, demonstrated by her volunteering her time over the last 12 years with the Life Education Trust, and more recently mentoring at the Akina Foundation and being involved with Ko Awatea and the South Auckland Health Equities campaign.

Aisha graduated in 1992 from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in marketing.

In her latest role, Aisha has been the Managing Director of Aisha & Co, a consultancy focusing on commercial success through creativity, specialising in human centred design and agile execution. This included developing healthy food access initiatives in high risk communities.

Outgoing Chief Executive Mr Brad Clark leaves the Starship Foundation after more than seven years in the role. “I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the commitment, passion and energy that Mr Clark brought to the role of Chief Executive and to thank him for the significant difference he made to many staff, patients and families at Starship,” says Mr Wiseman.

Donations are Starship children’s lifeline. Help better the lives of Kiwi kids faster by phoning 0800 STARSHIP or donating online at www.starship.org.nz/donate.

Banner image: Starship Foundation’s new Chief Executive, Aisha Daji Punga pictured together with Starship Clinical Directors Dr Mike Shepherd (left) and Dr John Beca (right). Photo credit: Olivia Hemus.

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