Initially a Registered Nurse she worked for 16 years in Education and Management roles. In 1989 she founded her own Advertising Agency, Take One Productions and won many awards including the prestigious NSW Northwards Tourism Award, Media Section.
She was President of the National Speakers Association NZ 2001, The Most Awarded Speaker at the 2000 NSANZ Convention and 2002 NZ Speaker of the Year. She has presented over 11,000 hours of keynotes, workshops, seminars and lectures reaching an astounding 55,000 people throughout Australasia. She has presented over 600 Positive Psychology, humour and engagement programs in the last 8 years. These include keynotes at conferences, her Stress, Humour and Health program at Auckland university, her Humour, Engagement and Wellbeing courses and her Good Grief program.
She has also toured internationally with Dr Patch Adams. She is a published author and documentary producer. Her first book, is called Humour Works and she features in 2 others, Silver Linings on the Long White Cloud by Chris Dodds, and Woman 2 Woman, Amanda Ellis and June McCabe.
She has a weekly radio program called Radio Improv – Joy in the moment on Auckland radio Planet FM 104.6 and has appeared on National Television and been featured in many magazines and newspapers. She is a founding Trustee on the Compassion in Healthcare Trust and champions the human capacity to engage and make meaning.
Her commitment is to supporting individuals and teams to achieve wellbeing and optimum productivity..
“Someone once said - humour leads you up the garden path then yanks you off into the bushes. That speaks for the two things I really like about Pat Armitstead and her writing. Firstly her irrepressible enthusiasm, secondly her ability to find good in everything and her fundamental common sense in finding fun in everything. That’s three things, I know, but that’s humour for you” Mike Hutcheson Former MD Saatchi and Saatchi , now Director of Lighthouse Ideas
“Pat you are the Mother Theresa of joy !” Jenny Dare
“Pat commits the cardinal management sin of spreading joy and making people smile. If her practices become widely adopted, going to work will become fun, and people will enjoy the experience. Ultimately she is a dangerous subversive to dullness, mediocrity and boredom. Why can’t we have more like her?” John Bishop - Media commentator
“Thankyou for your inspiring talk at Bayleys Admin conference. There were things you spoke about that I had forgotten how to do…I laughed more than I have done in a very long time” Deborah Russell Office Admin Bayleys Havelock North
“You were my favourite presenter, from start to finish you were terrific” Cathy Grimsey, AUT, AAPNZ Conf
“Feedback from all who attended was exceptional with all achieving not only the NZQA associated unit standard but new and innovative ways of working effectively with other people on projects. Students enjoyed your high energy and creativity, especially your use of a multitude of media to hold attention and aid learning. Your Laurel and Hardy impersonations and the lessons from the past on the final day ares till being talked about, and your gifts, novelties and daily quotes all have added high memorability. We will be very pleased to access your services again” A Smith, Department Manager, National College of Multimedia and Technology
"Organisations who pay attention to good humour in the organisation will be the places people will want to work in. The Humour Awards are an important growing part of the NZ Business sector." Wade Jackson – Improv Bandits – Judge 2006
Work is a serious business, even when you're doing what you love. So the Humour in Business Awards remind us to lighten up, open up, laugh, and enjoy doing our tasks together. People who succeed in doing this in their business truly deserve recognition. Mary Mackinven – Editor business to Business newspaper
“I just wanted to say thank you again. I left the session yesterday feeling so uplifted and empowered to be generous to others daily. You do great stuff.” Kerry Dewar, Learning & Development Consultant - Sales, Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ)
“ …we were certainly impressed by her strong, dynamic and personable approach. I was particularly impressed with Pats ability to respond appropriately and promptly to our training needs and the professional way in which she did this. Our initial discussion was open and honest and Pat was extremely responsive to our needs as an organization. Her follow up after the training was also well beyond what we might usually expect” Justine Wylie, CARICH, NZ, HR Manager