Fay Amaral

Fay Amaral is a seasoned executive leader with over 20 years of executive leadership experience across various sectors, including education, film, retail, and media.

With a strong background in psychology, Fay recently completed her PhD thesis (Auckland University of Technology), focusing on the prevalence of career indecision, self-efficacy, sense of control, and mental health in school leavers transitioning to tertiary studies or work. Fay has a double master’s in psychology and commerce - business management, both with distinction. Her thesis “Cultural integrations in mergers and acquisitions” was awarded Best Short Dissertation in the year of her study. Her experience in lifting and enabling performance is anchored in her strong belief in inclusive, action-oriented and transformational leadership.

Fay's leadership journey includes executive leadership roles with well-known brands such as Youthtown, VEGA, ADvTECH Ltd, and working with Walt Disney, Warner Brothers, Sony, and the BBC. As the CEO of Youthtown (est. 1932), Fay's inspirational and relational leadership style led to the development of high-quality, outcomes-driven programs and the establishment of significant national community partnerships.

Her passion for education was ignited during her tenure as Managing Director of VEGA, the leading private tertiary institution for Brand Leadership and Design in South Africa. With over 2000 students, Fay played a pivotal role in the growth and expansion of the higher education institution, leading the launch of new campuses, international partnerships and degree programs, including the PhD in Brand Design.

Fay's deep interest in education extends beyond her professional career. She has trained and practiced as a volunteer counsellor for Lifeline, Play Therapy, Sandtray Therapy in South Africa.

Fay resides in New Zealand with her family and is married to Paul. She has three children, two daughters pursuing careers in communication and physiotherapy, while her son is studying civil engineering at the University of Auckland. Alongside her professional endeavours, Fay enjoys spending time with her family and her beloved dog, Lila. See http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/10384162231180339 for the first of her four doctoral publications – A scoping review.

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