Dame Jenny Gibbs

Dame Jenny Gibbs joined the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Awards Selection Panel in 2011. Her leadership as a philanthropist and art collector has greatly influenced the New Zealand art community.

As a philanthropist and art collector Dame Jenny Gibbs' influence on raising the profile of New Zealand art internationally, and within New Zealand, particularly Auckland, has been immense. Jenny has demonstrated her commitment to the arts through leadership of numerous arts projects with her most ambitious personal undertakings being the establishment of the New Gallery for Auckland Art Gallery and supporting New Zealand's presence at the Venice Biennale.

Jenny had an early involvement with the Family Planning Association. In the 1970's she was one of the original pioneering voluntary speakers on sex education in schools, as well as in prisons and other community organisations.

Her many important roles include Founding Chair of the Patrons of the Auckland Art Gallery and the Auckland Contemporary Arts Trust, Founding Trustee of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand and Foundation Donor and Board Member of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She is also a Founding Patron and supporter of many arts organisations and private individuals. In 2004 her contributions to the Auckland region were acknowledged when she received the second Auckland City Distinguished Citizen Award.

In addition to supporting the arts, Jenny was Pro-Chancellor of the University of Auckland and was on the Auckland University Council almost continuously for 24 years. She is a founding Trustee of both the Auckland Medical School Foundation and Auckland University Foundation. In 2008 the University of Auckland awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Literature. In 2009 she was created Dame Commander of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

In more recent years Dame Jenny has been very involved with Auckland civic affairs. She was on the Board of Sea+City, the Council-owned company that managed the initial redevelopment of the Wynyard Quarter, and is currently Deputy Chair of Regional Facilities Auckland, a Council controlled organisation which owns and manages city amenities from the Art Gallery to the Zoo, from Aotea Centre to Mt. Smart Stadium.