The TEDxChristchurch Team

The Organisers


Kaila Colbin

Curator, Licensee

In 2009 Kaila caught the TED bug and set a goal to speak at TED. She had no idea what she'd speak about, but she knew the two things TED speakers had in common were that they were world-class public speakers or were changing the world for better. In 2010, Kaila launched TEDxChristchurch and hasn't looked back. Since then, she's brought 126 speakers to eight TEDxChristchurch events and has even taken TEDx to Antarctica with TEDxScottBase.

She’s also the founder of Missing Link Consultants; Co-founder and Chair of the non-profit Ministry of Awesome; Co-founder of Boma; Founder and CEO of Boma New Zealand; Deputy Chair of CORE Education; and a Director of ChristchurchNZ.

A native New Yorker, Kaila speaks English, Spanish, French and Italian, holds a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from Cornell University and has been a serial entrepreneur since the age of 22. 

Her purpose in life is to be an uplifting presence.


Rebecca Robertson

Project Management, Health & Safety

Rebecca Robertson began her journey with TEDxChristchurch in 2012 with the desire to help Christchurch connect and generate new ideas at a grassroots level following the earthquakes. Six events later, with plans well underway for 2018 and 2019, she promises her family these will be her last! Rebecca has held a number of roles on the organising team including volunteer coordination, design committee, project management and health & safety management. With a background in governance, marketing, business development and project management in a range of industries, she has met some amazing people from all over the world. 


Sarah Kinley

Project Management

Sarah is new to the TEDxChristchurch 2018 team and is excited to be able to work alongside a team with impressive expertise in providing uplifting, thought-provoking experiences.

In her paid day job, she is Head of Operations for Missing Link and is responsible for the day-to-day smooth running of the company. Her non-paid work is Mum to two crazy boys, who constantly test her project management skills!


Gwen Hooper

Marketing Lead

An AmeriKiwi who moved to New Zealand 14 years ago, Gwen sees life as an adventure. She admires the way online communities and social media can bring people closer together and be used to do good in the world.


Hannah Rhodes


Site Management Mentor, Wellness Ambassador

After falling in love with the TEDx sprit, Hannah joined the TEDxChristchurch team in 2015 while completing her honours degree in Political Science. She has held various roles including Project Manager, Site Manager and Speaker Care Lead. Outside of TEDx, Hannah is the Programme and External Relations Manager at the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship, Vice-Curator of the Christchurch Global Shapers Hub and part of Generation Zero. Hannah aspires to make a positive difference in the world and to one day become a dog owner.  


Katie Coluccio


After Match & VIP Function Lead, Website Administration

Katie has been involved with TEDxChristchurch since 2013 and has been on the organising team since 2016. After a few years as a catering team volunteer, she is now the lead for the after-match and VIP functions. When not helping out with TEDxChristchurch, she can be found working on her PhD at University of Canterbury, teaching yoga or mountain biking in the hills. 


Jeff Willis

Social Media Lead

Jeff Willis is a PhD Candidate at the University of Canterbury studying climate change in the Pacific islands region. He is involved in climate change activism in his spare time and has acted as social media lead for both TEDxChristchurch and TEDxScottBase.


Johanna Coxon

Project Administration, Ticketing, and Registration

New to the TEDxChristchurch team, and with an events and administration background, Johanna has come on board to help with all things administration, ticketing and registration.

Outside of this Johanna enjoys immersing herself in family life and squeezing in a couple of runs a week. She has succumbed to the fact that her house will always be a mess while the kids are there (but hey, there's more to life than a tidy house).


Michael Philpott

Speaker Coach

Michael is our speaker coach for TEDxChristchurch and he is AMAZING. He is hugely technically skilled at what he does - he has a phenomenal ability to take a presenter from an early idea to a confident presentation onstage under the bright lights. 

Since 2015 he has been part of the TEDxChristchurch Committee and speaker selection team. He is tasked with coaching the speakers in preparation for an audience ranging from 250 to 1400 and live streamed on a globally viewed platform with a reach of millions of viewers.

Michael is also the Co-founder of Smart & Wise where his primary work is Executive speaker coaching for national and international conferences. When he’s not meeting awesome people and helping them share their stories you can be assured he will be on an adventure with his best friend Astella.


Erica Austin

Diversity and Inclusion Team Lead, Visual Communications

Erica is a multi-potentialite, social entrepreneur, community weaver, facilitator, photographer and #ChChAmbassador. Erica has been involved with TEDxChristchurch since 2013. Her first experience attending TEDxChristchurch was in 2012 and since then, she has wanted to help create a more exciting city by contributing her skills as an organiser. Over the years, Erica has held many roles on the organising team including VIP function coordinator, design committee, site mapping, artist care and social media photographer. With a Master’s degree in Architecture, a passion for curating meaningful experiences and an interest in inclusive practice, she is currently leading the Diversity and Inclusion team and is also the social media photographer. 


Ruby Arrowfield


Youth Team Coordinator, Diversity and Inclusion Assistant

This is Ruby's first year on board the TEDxChristchurch organising team and so far she's loving the excitement of the process! When she's not attending to the youth team, you might find her up the top of a mountain or tucked up in bed with a cup of tea.


Astella Philpott


Speaker Care Lead

Astella is a KiwiPino who began her role as Speaker Care Lead in 2017. She is tasked with looking after national travel, accommodation, and speaker administration during the lead up and on the day of TEDxChristchurch events.

When she is not working as Speaker Care Lead, she is busy running her business as Co-founder of Smart & Wise and works at Christchurch City Council. During her spare time, Astella enjoys SCUBA diving and exploring the underwater world with her whaiāipo, Michael Philpott.


Rosaria Ferguson

Stage Manager

Rosaria see’s events as opportunities for experiential transformation or space to see/try a new perspective. Crafting events utilises her practical knowledge, creativity, problem solving and organisation skills as she enjoys turning ideas into actions, supporting youth projects and testing new concepts. In her spare time she loves to help others achieve collective success and enjoys food, nature and drum & bass music.

Rosaria has been stage managing TEDxChristchurch since 2012 and is super excited to be a core part of the team as we head into celebrating 10 years of idea sharing.


Richard Till

Head Chef

bio to come...


Greg Urquhart

VIP Schmoozer

Greg is well known around Canterbury for his involvement in a range of charity and sporting organisations and events. Most notably Greg has been on the TEDxChristchurch event organising committee for the past nine years and he co-founded the East Lake Development Trust, which is working to deliver a world-class sport and recreational lake in Christchurch’s eastern Red Zone. He has also been on the Board for Squash New Zealand whilst assisting in recent years in bringing the World Veteran Fencing champs to Canterbury and is active currently on the fundraising committee for the University of Canterbury Student Union Building. When not working on community events and projects Greg mentors in a number of start-up businesses and works for Computer Concepts Limited as a Business Development Manager.