About Play CoLab

 Founded in 2016

Our Story

Play Contemporary Leadership CoLab evolved from an observation that despite a global spend of well over US$350billion* per annum in leadership development and training initiatives, leadership was the ever-increasing complexity of contemporary realities. Structural issues such as diversity and inclusion, gender equity right through to environmental sustainability and climate change remained something for the next generation of leaders to sort out. Organisational transformation efforts were reported to have a success rate of only around 15% and individuals were lapping up coaching and development courses but still left wanting.


What if the answer lay in how leadership development itself was delivered? For instance, providers were espousing the benefits of collaborative leadership but not embedding this into their own practice.


So, we embarked on a process of research, experimentation and discovery which has eventuated to a practice centered around group process, collaboration and a kaupapa of raising the consciousness of leaders. Our conversations span the deeply personal to the global, and in so doing, we fundamentally disrupt the worldview of leaders including how they view themselves as agents of transformation.


The work of Play CoLab incorporates leadership development, an understanding of systems and culture and a contemporary take on diversity and inclusion. While our nucleus is small, our participants and consultancy clients become collaborators in contemporary leadership practice so our work has a ripple effect.



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The Collaborators

Sandy Burgham

Jenny Devine

Jenny’s life work is about the conscious awakening, growth and development of leaders. She considers herself to be an evolutionary – one of many globally – deeply curious about how we evolve to be a more enduring and mature species that is better able to care for each other, our planet and our collective future. Jenny’s background includes holding leadership positions in the public health sector where her interest in leadership extended past management and leadership practice to the development of leaders. A move to the USA in 2003 enabled her to study directly under the tutorage of Debbie Ford, a pioneer of Jungian shadow work whose integrative approach made it accessible to all people. In 2009 Jenny returned to her native New Zealand to bring this work home. She currently resides at Waihi Beach, New Zealand where she enjoys being deep in the heart of nature. She frequently travels to the USA. Jenny has a B.A. Social Sciences and an M.A. Consciousness Studies. She is a certified integrative coach, an experienced consultant in The Leadership Circle 360 profile, a certified yoga teacher and a recognised mindfulness practitioner.


Jane Horan

Jane is a social anthropologist. Her expertise is in economic anthropology and anthropological perspectives on gender. She is innovating in the applied anthropology space which is undergoing exponential growth in key international markets reflecting the need for businesses to have a deeper appreciation of social change, multi-cultural frameworks and impacts of globalisation on local markets. Jane is on the vanguard of this process in New Zealand and as principal of the research company Plain Jane Research, she works with organisations keen to more fundamentally understand the complexities of markets and the world we live in. Jane is also a research associate in the Property Department at the University of Auckland Business School doing research on the Auckland housing market. Play Colab is excited to be collaborating with Jane on social insights research and strategic projects.


Yolande Dewey

Alongside her 25 year career in the creative sector in which she became one of Australasia’s most experienced Executive Producers, working globally, Yolande has nurtured her keen interest in social advocacy and building community networks. This eventuated in her becoming a trained volunteer crisis counsellor for Lifeline Australia and a role with the NZ Red Cross Refugee Program supporting new arrivals. Her leadership has been recognised in both the film industry where she currently serves on the executive committee of the NZ Advertising Producers Group (NZAPG) as well as the not for profit sector when in 2017 she was invited to become a trustee of The Funding Network NZ, a registered charity supporting positive social change work in New Zealand. Yolande is an alumni of a Play CoLab leadership programme, and in her ongoing collaboration with Play, provides pastoral care support to all course participants.

Jenna Wee

Jenna provides a unique perspective to cohorts in their 20s and 30s, having experienced two Play CoLab contemporary leadership programmes and after making an intentional move from a decade-long marketing career toward a more multifaceted and impactful life. Aside from contributing to Play CoLab as a Manager and Mentor, and certified Coach, her portfolio life includes a return to university (this time with a focus on Asian Studies), a commitment to the practice and philosophy of Tai Chi, and a podcast project Asian in Aotearoa that explores the lives of creative, Asian women. Being of Chinese, Japanese, indigenous Malaysian and Pākehā descent, Jenna provides a unique insight into how those of the minority may navigate and “play” in the world we work and live in.


Precious Clarke

Precious is of Ngāti Whātua, Waikato and Pākehā descent and was born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.  She is the Managing Director of Maurea Consulting Ltd, an organisation that shares Māori culture globally so that it shapes and informs a modern world. Precious is the creator of Te Kaa – a unique Māori cultural competency training programme that brings the Māori world to life in a fun, safe and exploratory way. She holds a number of governance positions including Ngāti Whātua Orākei Whai Rawa Ltd, the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board and is the Chair of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Taumata-ā-Iwi. She is a Trustee of both Foundation North and the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust as well as being a Member of the Institute of Directors and the National Māori Lawyers Association. Precious feeds her creativity as a singer, songwriter, performer and dancer and is often called upon as a cultural practitioner by her iwi (tribe) and others to lead ceremonies in accordance with traditional Maori values. In 2011 it was Precious who had the honour of performing the karanga at the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup held in Auckland. It is from this base of strength that she draws confidence to teach her culture, and also to challenge perceptions within and of her culture.


Sandy’s 30+ year working life has afforded her leadership positions in four completely different sectors – communications, research, retail and leadership development. Through these experiences she became curious that every sector had patterned approach to change, strategy and culture including predictable characteristics amongst those who were typically awarded leadership status. This led to the founding of Play CoLab in parallel to university studies in both Gender Studies and History which she continues at post-graduate level. She has been for many years a social commentator, columnist and public speaker on social trends and issues including diversity and inclusion, innovation and reinvention. Sandy is a widely experienced strategist and researcher advising leaders on leadership and cultural transformation. Additionally, Sandy is a certified leadership coach and widely experienced facilitator. She considers her identity as a half Japanese half Pakeha New Zealander critical to her mindset and worldview. As an Aucklander who lives both off-grid on Great Barrier Island as well as in the heart of the Auckland CBD, she is committed to the conversation around the healthy development of the city she calls home.