Theresa Gattung


Growing up my three sisters and I were taught that women can be anything they want to be when provided with equal opportunities. That belief has never left me and for more than 20 years I have supported groups dedicated to empowering women, including YWCAWomen’s Refuge, and the New Horizons for Women Trust.  I also support the Cambodia Charitable Trust specifically to provide further education opportunities for girls in Cambodia.

With close friend, Margaret Doucas, I founded the Eva Doucas Charitable Trust.  The Trust initially operated a store, Eva’s Attic, selling premium and pre-loved clothing. This initiative was our response to the need we identified for a venue for people to donate premium goods to be sold for the benefit of charities. The store was staffed by volunteers from the charities supported by the Trust, including New Horizons for Women, Helping you Helping Animals (HUHA), Youthline, Kaibosh, Skylight, Wellington Rape Crisis and Ronald McDonald House Wellington.  The decision was made to close the shop in February 2015 and, in the modern way, have taken sales online and do “pop up” sales, cutting the overheads and ensuring all money raised goes directly to charity.

More recently, I started the World Women Charitable Trust with my good friends Barbara Gabler and Chris Woodwiss.  We want to be a catalyst for women being inspired to manifest amazing outcomes and to create meaningful change in the world. worldwomen is about women coming together, agreeing challenges and taking action. We are facilitating this by hosting an international conference, worldwomen17, providing a space in time for women to be inspired by powerful local and international women who are already manifesting change in education, in health and in business.  worldwomen17 is being held 17/18/19 March 2017 at the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland, New Zealand.

Animal welfare is another cause that is close to my heart. I have been a longstanding supporter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and am currently serving as Chair of Wellington SPCA Board and I was appointed to the RNZSPCA National Board on 27 June 2016.

Wellington SPCA is the leading SPCA in New Zealand but our old site was one of the worst.  Our goal was to offer more services, particularly in education, which we could not do in our original centre as it was not fit for purpose; its size, location, restricted access and building design limited the services we could offer. It was not feasible to redevelop the site so we needed a new location.

REHOME SPCA was launched as a project to relocate Wellington SPCA’s main operational centre into a new home in the old Fever Hospital on Mount Victoria. The building was transferred to the Wellington City Council in 2002 and in 2005 the Wellington SPCA were granted permission to lease it. This lease extends for 60 years.   Our vision to create the Wellington SPCA Animal Care, Education and Community Centre has become a reality.  The animals have been rehomed to the new centre which officially opened on 6th February 2014.

We are not directly funded by the government and on top of our usual operating costs we have to raise the total $4 million cost of refurbishment and moving. We still urgently need your support.  YOU CAN HELP by simply making a donation or perhaps becoming a sponsor.

Interview links:  Summer Noelle, Thursday 1 January 2015.  Radio interview.  Theresa Gattung broke the glass ceiling for women in business in this country. As CEO of Telecom, she reinvented the organisation and in turn was named in Forbe’s 2006 100 Most powerful women. She wrote about her experiences in her 2010 book Bird on a wire. Since stepping away from the business spotlight, she has thrown herself into other business ventures and charity work. New animal shelter in haunted heritage building – Breakfast, May 2013



Regional Community Awards 2014REHOME SPCA took out the Heritage and Environment category at the Wellington Airport Regional awards. “This is a fantastic outcome that affirms the REHOME Project as the very best example of community involvement in the greater Wellington region. This award is a well-deserved recognition for all the fantastic volunteers and professionals who gave their time to lead and support making our wonderful new home a reality.  It is something everyone involved can feel truly proud of.” Iain Torrance, CEO, Wellington SPCA.

Gives back: Your purchase can help to save lives – June 2014 (65KB PDF)

Smiles and tail wags for SPCA move – February 2014 (101KB PDF)

Passion for animals fuels inspector’s commitment – May 2013 (1.76MB PDF)

Dominion Post, “Charitable fashion aids all” – August 2011 (464KB PDF)

Dominion Post, “Cupcakes ala Gattung” – August 2011 (242KB PDF)

Dominion Post, “Celebrity cast-offs” – May 2010 (475KB PDF)

Dominion Post, “SPCA pet palace – deal a match made in heaven” – November 2008 (1.5MB PDF)