Anderson Lloyd Partner Recognised in Women of Influence Awards

27 Nov 15

Anderson Lloyd’s Jen Crawford takes on her share of the law firm’s pro bono work, and has been recognised as part of a group of women breaking through the glass ceiling.

Crawford recently took inspiration from the 2015 Women of Influence Awards, having been selected as a finalist in the Arts and Culture category.

Part of her professional work on a voluntary basis is as chair of The Arts Centre of Christchurch Trust Board.

Crawford, who specialises in project consenting and resource management law, has chaired The Arts Centre board since 2012.

During that time there has been significant progress on the seven-year $290 million restoration of this iconic cultural asset. The renewal process comes after the damaging Canterbury earthquakes, which saw all but one of the 23 buildings seriously damaged.

A governance review has also been undertaken which resulted in the passing of special legislation in Parliament in 2015 to protect the site in perpetuity for the benefit of the community.

Crawford expects that by midway through next year, more than half of the Arts Centre will be open to the public. The board and management have already been encouraging creative entrepreneurs and school groups into the complex, and work collaboratively with festivals and arts organisations throughout the city.

“We want to bring people back to the Arts Centre, we want to excite future generations, and deliver an Arts Centre that is remembered from the past but is set up for the future.”

“It’s also about Christchurch reaching out beyond its town borders and connecting as an international city.

“We’re very excited about the Arts Centre’s link to tourism. Tourist numbers were high pre-earthquake. We want to bring those visitors back in and enhance them even further.”

Crawford’s ongoing work led to the Women of Influence awards recognition. She says the celebration evening in Auckland on November 4 was motivating and gave her further food for thought on the need for New Zealand to develop a stronger business culture by being more inclusive.

The Women of Influence Awards is a programme that endorses women from all walks of life who make a difference to everyday Kiwis.

The Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt says Crawford has shown strong community leadership in her role as board chair of a charitable trust.

“This applies to her ongoing oversight of our restoration programme and also to the incredibly significant reformation of Arts Centre governance arrangements that will be a legacy for the community,” Lovatt says.

Within her legal brief, Crawford has a broad portfolio including agribusiness and the irrigation sector, urban/lifestyle developments and advisory work associated with the Christchurch rebuild. She says Christchurch has changed since the quakes.

“Perhaps one of the silver linings of the trauma and tragedy we’ve all been through is the new people coming to town wanting to make a difference,” Crawford says.

In addition to being a practicing lawyer Crawford holds a first class honours Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Otago.

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