A stormy evening in Auckland didn’t deter a sell-out audience from joining us at Seafarers’ Club for a celebration of sisterhood:  fine wine, delicious food, fashion and style, inspirational speakers, candid conversation and a lot of laughter.  And it was all in aid of the YWCA Auckland Future Leaders programme.


A huge thanks to:

  • Our key sponsors who partnered with Professionelle to make this evening possible: ASB, The Bespoke Dresser, Alexa Resort, The Sisters Wine and YWCA.
  • All the fabulous people who donated prizes & items for the goody bags and silent auction.
  • Our guests who joined us on the night and took part in the silent auction.

We’re thrilled to have raised $7,500 for the YWCA Auckland Future Leaders programme.



Aseafarers-alexlex Chamberlain, Head of Business Transformation for ASB (at left), said the synergy between Professionelle and ASB’s ambitions meant it was an easy decision to collaborate in support of the YWCA Auckland Future Leaders Programme.

She said:

As an organisation we are committed to developing our current and future women leaders.

She went on to introduce one of YWCA Auckland Future Leaders ‘success stories’, Shirley Barakuta.

Alex said of her:

Our first guest speaker epitomises values dear to ASB – ambition, caring, passion and integrity.
Shirley Barakuta, a YWCA Future Leaders programme graduate
Within moments, Shirley (at right) had our audience hanging off her every word.

Shirley joined the Future Leaders programme after discovering her attitude to the future conflicted with those of her secondary school peers, leaving her feeling like an outsider.

Through the mentoring programme, Shirley was able to get the advice, help and support she needed.  She now works for the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a logistics specialist and has become an Auckland YWCA Future Leaders mentor herself.

Shirley bought tenacity, hard word and determination to the programme: “I don’t see myself as an inspiring person” Shirley said.

We all disagreed – she’s a super star!



Yvette Hopkins (The Bespoke Dresser) and Jo Eddington (Alexa Resort) delivered luxury and style. Yvette, at left, said:

I believe dressing well can be wildly influential.

The Bespoke Dresser provides dressing solutions for women in business.  Different from styling, it’s not based on trend or fast fashion, but instead is all about the client and her individual dressing needs.

Yvette’s clients all share common traits:  an enterprising nature, plenty of drive, a sense of fun and keen individuality.

Read some of Yvette’s tips or take her up on a free offer for Auckland Professionelle members:  a free fifteen minute consult session with your choice of coffee or bubbles – simply email Yvette at enquire@yvette.nz to book.




Above, the much anticipated launch of Alexa Resort lived up to its expectations.   Jo Eddington (above, left) set out to design a fashion range for like-minded women – one that encapsulates luxurious timeless pieces that mix effortlessly into a busy woman’s wardrobe.

ffffAnd finally, keeping our audience well ‘hydrated’, was The Sisters Wine.

Belinda Jackson, Group Marketing Manager for The Sisters Wine (at right), had the last word and everyone agreed she wrapped up the evening in outstanding style:

Many of us rush from one thing to the next, multi-tasking left, right and centre. We collapse into bed at night so tired we can barely read that novel that’s been on the bedside table for a month. But what do we say to ourselves? That we need another hour in the day? Another day in the week? So that we can get more done? How often do we stop and reflect and give ourselves a chance to realise that we are actually achieving extraordinary things already? The Sisters Wines are all about pausing to enjoy a moment. The Sisters – for women who do extraordinary things, every day.

That’s us.


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