ANZIIF Women's Council

The ANZIIF Women’s Council promotes engagement and the exchange of knowledge and expertise between women across the industry in pursuit of professional excellence and a strong, healthy business environment.

  • Michelle Ashby


    Michelle Ashby new

    Michelle Ashby

    ANZIIF (Snr Assoc) CIP
    Learning Program Manager
    Vero New Zealand Ltd

    Michelle’s career in insurance spans 30 years.  She began her career in customer service roles in Dunedin and Auckland NZ for GRE before moving into the sales area as a Business Development Manager at SunAlliance.  

    After taking a break to have her family, Michelle returned to the industry in an underwriting role, responsible for the day to day underwriting for the Northern Region for Royal & SunAlliance.  She then moved into learning to set up a skills framework for the delivery of technical learning and discovered her passion for developing people.  

    Michelle has had a variety of roles in learning over the last 10 years and is currently the Learning Program Manager for Vero NZ, where she is responsible for managing the learning budget and the delivery of learning and compliance training across Vero NZ.

    Michelle is a Senior Associate (CIP) and has been active in the insurance industry, having previously sat on ANZIIF’s Academic Council, as well as the New Zealand Branch Executive Committee.  Michelle has been a member of the ANZIIF Women’s Council since it’s commencement in 2012 and has held the position of Chairperson since 2013.  

  • Gabriele McDonald


    Gabriele McDonald

    Managing Director

    Gabriele McDonald has enjoyed nearly 30 years in a variety of roles in the insurance industry but to hone in on her true value – Gabriele knows customers.

    Having started in the industry fresh from school, Gabriele gained experience in Sales and IT, which led to her running her own insurance consultancy for over 10 years. Gabriele's most recent role was as Executive Manager of Market Management for Suncorp’s Commercial Insurance Distribution –Gabriele heads up a team who manage all market related activities. 

    A fierce champion of Women in Business, Gabriele is living proof that motherhood and management expertise can co-exist beautifully.

  • Priya Paquet


    Priya Paquet

    Senior Associate

    Priya is a Senior Associate in the Insurance & Financial Services Practice Group at TurksLegal and acts for insurers providing advice on liability and indemnity issues.

    Since being admitted to practice in 2006, Priya has acted exclusively for insurers in insurance litigation, personal injury and property matters. Priya has significant experience in providing advice to insurers in relation to large losses, fraud and indemnity issues. Her experience in general insurance extends to Commercial Business, Contract Works, Industrial Special Risks and Public Liability. Priya also has experience in providing advice to trade credit insurers on policy and indemnity issues.

    Priya has always had a keen interest in supporting female staff with achieving their goals in the workplace and is widely respected within her team. She is also involved in the firm’s training committee who are responsible for assisting in the development of ongoing legal education for the firm’s professional staff.

    Priya has always had an interest in developing community care programs and has done so in previous roles as well as her current one.

    Outside of work, Priya is very passionate about long-distance running, sport and travel.

  • Catherine Pettitt

    Catherine Pettitt

    Catherine Pettitt

    ANZIIF (Aff)
    Broker Services Manager
    Steadfast Group Limited

    Catherine began her career at Royal & Sun Alliance in 2002, in the Worker’s Compensation division. In 2003 she began work as ‘Member Services Manager’ at Steadfast Group Ltd – Australia and New Zealand’s largest cluster group of insurance brokers.
    In 2006 she was promoted to ‘Group Training and Compliance Manager’. This role encompassed the management, development and enhancement of Steadfast’s extensive network of service providers for use by Steadfast brokerages; the provision of all training and compliance related services - including online tools and face-to-face training. She was involved in the development of various new initiatives, including web-based systems and tools. In this role, Catherine managed and administered the Steadfast Broker’s only website and broker newsletters - Steadfast’s main communication channels; and assisted in the organisation of Steadfast’s annual convention (the largest convention in the Australian and NZ insurance industries). Catherine was involved in the listing of Steadfast Group Ltd on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2013.
    In her current role Catherine is responsible for the management and distribution of all compliance, training, legal, contractual liability and human resources related information, services and tools for Steadfast 's Australian brokers. In this role she manages several web-based systems; manuals and templates; user guides; training tools and other projects. She also manages Steadfast’s extensive range of professional development days.
    Catherine sits on the NIBA Regulatory Affairs Committee which liaises with ASIC, Treasury and other Government bodies in relation to new regulation, changes to existing regulation and other topical issues.

  • Claire Young


    Claire Young

    ANZIIF (Fellow) CIP
    Manager, Risk Maturity & Governance

    Responsible for ensuring the Australia Division Risk Management program is in line the IAG Risk Management Framework. Taking an Australia-wide view to manage the Divisional Risk Appetite and Risk Profile by providing assurance around controls measures and by managing the risk mitigation approach. This is a key role in uplifting the Risk Culture, Risk Maturity and ensuring the Quality Assurance Program is developed and embedded in the Australia Division.

    More broadly, Claire’s key motivation is to add value to the business, support and develop talent, create and drive a positive, values-based culture and provide an inclusive environment.

    Claire is a people leader and a manager of managers; coach, confidant, mentor and colleague.

    Claire was also the winner of the 2008 ANZIIF Peter Corrigan Award, where she had the opportunity to travel to Singapore to study local strategies to maximise attraction and retention of key personnel in the Singapore Insurance Industry and look for synergies and strategic alignment back in Australia.

    Claire has an MBA from Deakin University, a Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Services, and Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours from Staffordshire University and is an ANZIIF Fellow.

    Claire has served on a number of ANZIIF Industry committees:

    • 2012 - present - ANZIIF inaugural Women's Council
    • 2010-2012 - General Insurance Advisory Council 
    • 2007-2011 - Young Insurance Professionals and Gen i