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Dame Farah

Former Black Ferns Captain.


Dame Farah Palmer is a lecturer in the Department of Management at Massey University and a former captain of New Zealand's women's national rugby union team, the Black Ferns. In December 2016 Farah was appointed as the first female board member for Rugby New Zealand.


The undisputed champions of women's rugby over the past decade, New Zealand's Black Ferns have a winning record second to none in international Rugby Union. The New Zealand team swept all before them during the 2002 World Cup Tournament in Spain, beating England 19-9 in the Final at Barcelona's Olympic Stadium to retain the title they also won during the 1998 World Cup in Amsterdam.


Farah holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a Bachelor of Physical Education (First Class Honours) from Otago University.

Current work

Farah holds the following leadership roles Acting Director for Te Au Rangahau, the Maori Business Research Centre within the College of Business at Massey University; Executive Board member of Nga Pae o te Maramatanga (Centre of Research Excellence) at the University of Auckland; and Member of Te Mata o te Tau, Academy for Maori Research and Scholarship at Massey University.

Farah is a guest lecturer at Massey University on topics such as Maori women's leadership approaches, the incorporation of tikanga and Treaty principles in organisational contexts, and the intersection of indigeneity and gender in leadership experiences.

With a passion for promoting opportunities for women and Maori in leadership and encouraging diversity, equity and inclusion within organisational contexts.

In the 2022 New Year Honours, Farah was announced to be named a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM) for her services to sport, particularly rugby.

Governance positions

Other governance roles she holds in the community include University Sport New Zealand Executive Board (co-opted member); Sport and Recreation New Zealand Sports Disputes Tribunal; Academy Trust Inc. (Academy for talented Maori in sport and music) Trustee member, Te Wananga o Raukawa; Council of Clubs Representative, Manawatu Rugby Union; and Palmerston North Girls High School Trust member.

Farah was previously a Member of the Ministerial Taskforce on Sport, Fitness, and Leisure (2001).


She has won several awards and scholarships including Maori Sportswoman of the Year Award in 2002 and Women's Rugby Player of the Year at the 1998 New Zealand Rugby Awards.

Great journey, pioneering into what has been and still is a male dominated sport. Trailblazer. Hawkes Bay Primary Principals Association

Her presentation "Leading from the front row - A mana wahine perspective" was wonderful and inspiring not only for the wahine in the room but the tane as well. Feedback from staff has all been positive, it was a privilege to have Dame Farah Palmer present at our annual staff hui. Ngaa mihi tino nui!

Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand

Farah was a great panelist, and lucky for us a local talent! It was wonderful for our audience to have one of their own inspire them and empower them to be the next sporting great.

Palmerston North City Council

Feedback has been very positive with 95% of conference survey respondents rating the conference as excellent or good. Some very positive comments from your session include: A great session showcasing diversity in action; One of my favourite sessions, always good to be spurred on to be bigger and better, very moving and inspiring.

In-House Lawyers Association NZ
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