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Profile - Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald attended St Hilda's from 1977 - 1983. She is the Founder and CCO (Chief Communications Officer) of She lives with her family full time on Waiheke Island, in the Hauraki Gulf. Mary and her partner, Robert Rolls, are the founders of - an app they have developed to make it as painless as possible for people to set up and to run a small business. Afirmo is a one stop shop where people can get everything they need to set up in business - a NZBN, register for GST, choose the right business entity, get the best fit business insurance, get a logo, a website address, and get a website. Afirmo's automated online Tax Tool means users can stay on top of all their tax obligations - Afirmo calculates small businesses' GST and Income Tax bills and files tax returns for sole traders, companies, and partnerships. Mary heads Afirmo's Marketing and Communications team and her focus is making Afirmo customers as happy as possible.

Afirmo was born during the pandemic - Mary and Rob recognised that with the great disruption of Covid-19, many people were seeking different opportunities - wanting to move from employment, to business ownership, but not necessarily knowledgeable about how to set up and run their new enterprises. They committed to developing Afirmo - so that setting up and getting started could be less of a barrier for those getting started.

Family is at the core of Mary’s life; she is the proud parent of Henry (22) and Alice (16) so she understands the challenging balance many women face in being in business and the unpaid work involved in being the central manager of many things in the family. It is one of her central goals to make the world a better place for female small business entrepreneurs so that the balance between these two roles allows great outcomes without burnout and significant sacrifice. Mary is a qualified journalist having worked with well-known household publications in New Zealand. Prior to Afirmo and her journalism work, Mary was the National Marketing Manager for a decade, with Southern Community Laboratories, a family-owned business in the medical sector that was started by her father, Dr Norman Fitzgerald, one of St Hilda's Old Boys.

For fun Mary loves being surrounded by friends and family, she loves to cook and entertain. Meditation and exercise and long island walks are at times aspirational, but always enjoyed when she gets the time to stop and enjoy these simple pleasures.

Mary has fond memories of Saint Hilda's - the teaching staff, Kilburn, the friendships - a lovely school that she says helped her grow into the person she is today.


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