An entrepreneurial spirit, a deep connection to the women that came before me and an unshakeable desire to change the narrative we’ve been telling ourselves around relationships, emotional abuse and self-love.
I am Irene.
A gal from Foxton, who in her 20s quit a stable job as a bank manager to start Prepair. I’m an untraditional type of leader, blue-sky thinking and creative problem solving is my jam. Developing practical tools that actually help our gals is important. Having honest conversations and challenging the status quo about emotional abuse has become part of my life work.
I’ve shared my story with 100,000s of women across the world on stages such as TEDX Wellington, Re: News and Festival for the Future. I’ve worked with organisations like Glassons to champion for change. I sit face to face with women like you, who are looking for a sis to help her navigate the messy journey that is self-love.
I am a speaker, coach, facilitator, entrepreneur and māmā.
I value authenticity.
I’m not interested in popularity or pedestals. I don’t get into bandwagons or short-lived trends. I love to create work that is evergreen, long lasting, designed to be relevant and helpful until the problems I am here to address have ended.
I am Irene. The type of gal you have a creamy vienna and some good quality conversation with. You’ll often find me hanging out in a busy cafe with my laptop, journal and black inky pen - getting stuff done.
I lead with intention.
I believe in being a source of truth in a world full of opinions.
My intention is to provide language to the things that I believe we already know intuitively. An unshakeable, factual and direct approach to the murky worlds of relationships, emotional abuse and self-love. One that people like you can understand.
I’m a creative problem solver. I love to think outside the box. I’m not afraid to go big. I believe in the work of Prepair. Why?
Because I’ve experienced emotional abuse.
I remember having to ask for permission to hang out with friends. I was hassled about what I chose to wear. I hardly used social media, because liking a post from a friend seemed to cause an argument. I wouldn’t even think about talking to another guy – because I was told that was disrespectful. I once re-negotiated my worth for what I thought was love. Thankfully I didn’t stay there.
I learned about emotional abuse long after I left this relationship. Something in me knew that this information needed to be bought to the world. To other young woman, like you. Today my work reflects this.
Now, I am the older sister to thousands of Kiwi women.
The older sister I needed when I was younger. A voice that says slow down, to not rush into a relationship. To build a healthy relationship with yourself first. Every woman has a purpose to serve, so why the hell would we let someone get in our way?
My passion lies in seeing women step up and own who they are with confidence, conviction and grace. Which is why I’m not afraid to share my story. When I was younger my whanau would use the expression 'history repeating itself' as a way to describe a woman in an abusive relationship. I started Prepair NZ to change the cycle, to create a history that is worth repeating itself.
I speak for the women before me who were silenced.
There’s a long line of silenced women behind me in my ancestry. Before I speak in front of an audience, I visualise bringing all those women out on stage to stand beside me. I speak for them. That’s why I can be composed - I’m carrying the weight of my tupuna, speaking for the voices of the silenced and being brave for those who didn’t get the same opportunity to stand against abuse.
Even now, there are women across Aotearoa who are yet to find their voice. If I can soften into the discomfort of sharing my story, perhaps I can liberate one of my fellow sisters to do the same.
When I speak, I know that fifty years from now, another sister will not have to dry her tears wondering where in history she lost her voice. And that, is the very reason Prepair exists.