I, like most, have had a few experiences of people in my life bringing negativity, drama and causing a lot of hurt and conflict. Because of this I do reflect often on the people I spend my time with, confide in and love. I thought that I would do a few scattered blogs on some of those inspiring people I am fortunate to have in my life. This is by no means going to cover all those that I am blessed with, but I want to share some of those people who, for a range of reasons, inspire me.

I met Jessica Rose in January of 2015, as we had both started new roles in a new team at Unitec. Although I have only known her a short period of time, it is a friendship of real substance and depth. She is one of those people I am drawn to and I always feel energised, motivated and inspired to take action after being around.

When thinking how to summarise Jess into a one liner, as a title for the blog, I could not go past “Stand for Something.” A few years ago, I heard an inspirational speaker talk about being kaitiaki, or guardians of this world, and the most important thing we can do in this role for future generations is to stand for something. Her key points around this were to find what sets our soul alight and fight for it; help in an area that needs our help; give back; and if we don’t stand for something, we will fall for everything. I think all of this applies to Jess, and her energy and focus in this space is what really inspires me.

She is knowledgeable in a lot of areas, but really focuses in on those close to her heart, and puts so much into them. Sustainability, animal rights and equity (in particular around gender and sexuality) are what she stands for. If we all had the passion, commitment, energy that Jess did for at just one cause, this world would be a MUCH better place.

What immediately stands out with this woman is her passion. Her energy and commitment for her causes is something that I find incredible! She volunteers A LOT of her time to organisations that align with her vision of creating a better place to live for all Aucklanders. Some of these are; Bike Auckland, Frocks on Bikes, Auckland Tweed Run, Bike Rave Auckland and Velociteers. She works fulltime as the Transport Planner for Unitec, and in 2016 was elected onto the Albert-Eden local board. Did I also mention that she is superwoman?


Jess immerses herself in areas to enhance her knowledge and really understand all that she can about issues. She is then willing, and eager, to share this information. I tell you I have learnt HEAPS from her in the last two and a half years. Because of this, she has been asked to do presentations, write pieces, and do radio interviews on cycling (as an alternative method of transport, for health, saving our green space, sustainability overall and females cycling) on top of everything, and of course she does it…and does it well!

She is selfless. If something needs to be done, money needs to be raised, timelines change or someone else does not fulfil their task, Jess will step up, roll her sleeves up and do what is needed. She is always focused on the bigger picture, the vision, and so will do what is needed, and put herself to the side to help achieve it.

I could talk about her loyalty, her intelligence, her ability to reflect, her open-mindedness, her work ethic, her authenticity and just what an amazing friend she has been to me, but I wanted to focus on one part of her that inspires me and that is the fact that she stands for something. She stands for it, puts everything into it…she walks her talk.

Mel H x


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