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Diversity of Thought - TechWeek

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Event description

#RepresentationMatters: You Can't Be What You Can't See

The first in a series of thought-provoking events designed to engage and inform rangatahi and young adults on the rich diversity that exists within Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Our goal is to cultivate talent, by actively promoting the full inclusion of excellence across the social spectrum so that we can support the next generation of problem solvers and creative thinkers.

Diversity of Thought is held in during Techweek 2023. Techweek is a nationwide series of events, showcasing and celebrating New Zealand innovation. We provide a platform for everyone to meet, share ideas and create connections to enhance our future world.


Interactive talks and and chance to meet STEM role models.

  • Dr. Sophia Frentz (they/them) - Keynote and MC. "Dr. Frentz has a PhD in Genetics and currently works as Technical Product Manager at Te Whatu Ora. They grew up in Tauranga, studied undergraduate at Otago and then moved to Melbourne to pursue a PhD. They have served as a Councillor for the Royal Society of Victoria, were one of Out for Australia's 30 under 30, and have an eclectic assortment of published writing across poetry, journalism, and book sections - the latest a segment in Queering Science Communication, published in April 2023."
  • Renee Young(she/her) Associate Mechanical Engineer, Project Manager, Boxer and Coach who is passionate about the empowerment of women through community and support to break through gender industry boundaries within construction, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and the sport of boxing.
  • Afreen Azfar currently works as a Data Engineer at Kami. She grew up in Hamilton where she graduated with a Master in Science (Biology) from the University of Waikato. Afreen worked in a microbiology lab for a year before deciding to pursue her growing interest in computer science by taking up the PGCertIT. Afreen has worked as an NCEA and Cambridge International tutor and is passionate about helping people learn and find new interests that could help them discover what they want to do in the world.
  • Jay Tihema works to create career, learning and development opportunities in tech. As Program Lead for Hihiko Te Rawa Auaha (Toi Kai Rawa), Community Development Manager ( and Co-Chair of the Mentoring WG with the CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation), Jay is passionate about working with Maori and indigenous communities and underrepresented groups to build digital capability in education and find meaningful pathways into predominantly open source tech.

When and where?

The Diversity of Thought panel discussion will be on Thursday 18th May 2023 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. 

This event will take place in the Babbage Space at Basestation, 148 Durham St. 

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ID may be asked for at entry. The organisers and entrance staff reserve the right to refuse entry for health and safety or any other reason they feel is reasonable (such as drunkenness or inappropriate attire). Please refer to our Code of Conduct.

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