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Justine Munro appointed CEO of the

New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education


The Board of the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education (NZCGE) is pleased to announce the appointment of Justine Munro as Chief Executive Officer, commencing 12 April 2021.

Ms Munro will replace Deborah Walker, who has been CEO of NZCGE and its predecessor organisations for 10 years, leading the development of a world-class curriculum and delivery platform for educational services to gifted students. The Chairman of NZCGE, Don Hammond, welcomed Ms Munro’s appointment and expressed the Board’s thanks to Ms Walker for her years of service and achievement in the CEO role.

“We are delighted to have secured a proven leader, strategic thinker and innovator of Justine’s calibre to head our organisation in the next phase of its development,” Mr Hammond said.

“NZCGE is the leading provider of gifted education services in this country, meeting the specialised needs of up to 800 students and their families annually through in-person and online classes. It also provides consultancy services to other organisations in the education sector and facilitates engagement between organisations in government and private enterprise to share knowledge and resources for the benefit of gifted students.

“The work of NZCGE is vital to enabling gifted students to overcome the challenges they face, fulfil their own potential and make their fullest contribution to the growth and well-being of our society.”

Mr Hammond paid tribute to Ms Walker for her contribution to gifted students and the gifted education sector. “Deb became involved in this work as a specialist teacher in 2002 and evolved into a leader with a mission to improve the services available to gifted children. She has never lost her focus on the educational and personal growth of young people.

“Deb has led the organisation through changing relationships with government and within the education sector, through a merger of competing organisations and, latterly, through the restructuring of our delivery platform to enable the organisation to continue to fulfil its mission during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has established a strong reputation and a leadership position for the organisation, and built a contingent of committed and knowledgeable specialist educators available to students throughout the country.

“The gifted education sector, and gifted students individually, are better for her contribution in this role. Deb will remain with the organisation until 16 April to assist the new CEO to transition in and then will take up an internal consultancy role working with other educators in the field. 

“Having the privilege to lead an organisation such as NZCGE has been humbling and incredibly rewarding. The luxury of operating at the top of the cliff and not the bottom cannot be underestimated.  I look forward to supporting the Centre’s next iteration and promoting an understanding of gifted education to other educators.”

Ms Munro is a Co-Founder and Director of the 21C Skills Lab, which works with young people, teachers, parents and employers to ensure that young people have skills, knowledge and competencies suited to employment and personal growth in the 21st century. She has a unique range of experience across the business, community and government sectors in New Zealand and Australia, operating in a range of roles including project leader, executive director and start-up CEO.

Ms Munro is a former McKinsey & Company consultant, lawyer specialising in indigenous issues and New Zealand Rhodes Scholar. She has served on many boards including Z Energy, the NZ Qualifications Authority and Teach First NZ. She has led or helped establish a number of organisations in education, innovation and other fields.

The New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education is a not-for-profit body formed in a merger of prior organisations in 2014 to meet the educational and wellbeing needs of gifted children. Known best for its specialist MindPlus one-day school programme, it also offers Small Poppies and Gifted Online programmes plus consultancy services. NZCGE currently provides services in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Palmerston North, Lower Hutt, Wellington, Christchurch, Lincoln, Mid-Canterbury, and Wakatipu.

More information on NZCGE is available at    



Contact for further information:

Justine Munro 021 537 790

Don Hammond 027 488 5940



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