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Voice of Hope Panel

It’s time we start looking after both our physical AND mental health.

Saturday 2:00pm


Join mental health advocates Jazz Thornton & Gen Mora (Voices of Hope) plus guests John Kirwan, Geena Pannett (Les Mills Group Fitness Manager) and DJ Forbes (NZ All Black Sevens Great) for a panel on Mental Health!

Exercise is extremely important for our physical health but research is increasingly showing the positive link between physical exercise and mental wellbeing.  

For many people, exercise is neglected when mentally ill, however Jazz, Gen, DJ, Geena and John Kirwan know how important exercise is when fighting ill mental health. 

In this seminar you will hear the experiences of five people who have dealt with ill mental health at some point in their life and how important the role of exercise became in their journey to wellness.  

The panel (hosted by Co-Founder of Voices of Hope Jazz Thornton) will break down how to use exercise positively, the importance it plays in keeping mentally fit, share their vast experiences and personal battles as well as inspire you all stay mentally fit.  

"Taking care of the mind is equally as important as taking care of the body."






Sir John Kirwan is often best known for his international career in rugby as one of the highest try scorers in rugby union history. He has also been at the forefront of mental health awareness for fifteen years having fought his own battle with Depression. John established the John Kirwan Foundation to help support young New Zealanders by reducing the negative impact that unidentified and unsupported mental health issues have on them.



DJ Forbes is a former New Zealand rugby union player and former captain of the All Blacks Sevens team. After receiving the captaincy role in 2006, he played in over 80 tournaments, won six Sevens Series titles and received one Gold and one Silver Commonwealth Games medal. During his rugby career he appeared in 512 games in 89 tournaments and won 6 World Series. DJ currently is on the Olympic committee in a role that focuses on athlete engagement and wellbeing.



Geena Pannett is a Group Fitness Instructor, Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer. Having found her passion for the fitness industry at 16 and has since dedicated her life to helping others become the healthiest version of themselves. Since gaining a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science and Nutrition she has since gone on to work with various gyms, most recently taking up the role of the Les Mills New Lynn Group Fitness Manager. Geena recently began working alongside mental health organisation Voices of Hope to incorporate physical fitness with mental wellbeing while helping change the way we respond to mental health in the fitness industry.


Genevieve Mora

Genevieve Mora, 25, spent most of her teenage years battling mental illness. She is now a proud survivor and has made it her mission to offer hope to those fighting mental illness. Genevieve, along with Jazz Thornton founded Voices of Hope, a registered charity which uses its online platform to promote wellbeing, empowerment and recovery. Genevieve uses her lived experience to show people that recovery is possible and that there is no shame in having a mental illness.



Having overcome childhood abuse and multiple suicide attempts, Jazz Thornton has now dedicated her life to speaking hope and creating change in the area of mental health through her organisation Voices of Hope. Her unique experience and practical message has gained worldwide recognition, being shared through media, international speaking engagements and now through a new feature documentary film. Jazz is also the award-winning director of Jessica's Tree and has a book coming out with Penguin in March 2020 .


About the speaker

Voices of Hope

Voices of Hope was founded in 2017 by Genevieve Mora and Jazz Thornton with the aim to create and implement change for mental health, whilst providing hope through the voices of those with lived experience.  

Through advocacy, campaigning and story-telling, Voices Of Hope produces strategy and content with intent to influence global, communal and individual change. Since the launch of Voices of Hope, their content has received both national and international recognition and has caught the attention of companies wanting to support their vision. 

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