Philip Patston

Philip develops leadership capacity in the areas of diversity, complexity, uncertainty and change. Through his work, he and his team work with individuals, teams, organisations, schools, communities and Government.

His international success as a stand up comedian ensures his message is delivered in a professional, witty and entertaining manner. Throughout his life, Philip has embodied entrepreneurial qualities, motivation and diversity.

Philip has achieved highly as a disabled person and has proven his ability to work proficiently in many professional roles. He does not attribute his success to being courageous or special, but rather to capitalising on diversity and understanding and focusing his motivation.

In 2001 Philip was the first disabled comedian to win the Billy T James Comedy Award and also appeared on Shortland Street as a disabled businessman. In 1998 he set up consultancy and entertainment business Diversity New Zealand Ltd and attended a  two week  Mobility International Parent/Teen Leadership Programme in Oregon USA. Philip also toured  USA  for two months in 1992 on a Winston Churchill Fellowship researching technology for people with speech impairment.

In May 2003 Philip received a Social Entrepreneur Grant from the Community Employment Group of the Dept of Labour in order to travel to the UK to build capacity to initiate an international disability arts festival in Auckland. In 2002 Philip became a founding trustee for Ripple Trust and Star Jam Trust and in 2001 was the founder of the International Guild of Disabled Artists and Performers. He also initiated a pilot mentoring programme for young people with disability in Auckland.

He has broad professional experience including counselling, social work, creative and social entrepreneurship, and leadership as well as his thirteen-year career as a professional, award-winning comedian (1997-2010).

Philip was named one of the Top 10 diversity consultants in the inaugural Global Diversity List, the first ever assessment of the world’s leading authorities on diversity, announced on Saturday 31 October 2015.  He was again put on the list in 2016.

He and his team draw on a diverse range of skills when working with clients, including:

  • public speaking
  • facilitation and facilitated conversations
  • thought lead ership and leadership development
  • strategic and policy advice
  • developmental evaluation
  • mentoring and coaching
  • project and process management
  • writing and editing
  • online systems and web design
  • social media.

2016: Recognised as one of the Top 10 diversity consultants in the inaugural Global Diversity List, the second assessment of the world’s leading authorities on diversity.
2015: Recognised as one of the Top 10 diversity consultants in the inaugural Global Diversity List, the first ever assessment of the world’s leading authorities on diversity.
2014: Inaugural Arts Access Accolade, which recognises the life-time achievements of an individual who has played a significant role in working with Arts Access Aotearoa to achieve its vision of a society where all people in New Zealand can participate in the arts.
2014-2016: Independent board member NZ Home and Community Health Assn.
2012: Leadership New Zealand Fellow.
2012: Music video: As Love Draws Near.
2012: TEDxAuckland speaker: The Label Libel. 
2007: ArtVenture creative entrepreneur Fellow.
2007-2010: New Zealand Social Entrepreneur Fellow.
2005: Founded Diversityworks Trust as a vehicle to creatively promote diversity.
2001: Established Diversity New Zealand Ltd.
1999: Billy T James awardee for commitment and contribution to NZ's comedy industry.
1997-2003: Regular appearances on Pulp Comedy and had a brief but acclaimed role in Shortland Street.
1994-1998: NZ Human Rights Commission: investigation, education and publications.
Chapters in "How Communities Heal" and "Why are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots" and "Love Letters to the Landscape".


• Motivation
• Productivity
• Success and Diversity