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Susan Robinson-Derus Celebrant

Journalist, broadcaster, foreign correspondent, actor, accomplished communications, PR and brand expert and now celebrant, my life has been focused on telling engaging stories that connect people, ideas and values.

My Story

I live in Auckland with my husband, Hamin, a Malay and magical chef, artist, musician and songwriter. We are parents to Sophie.


We met here, in the back of a truck as part of a travelling roadshow troupe during summer vacation from Otago University. We’ve been together ever since.

I started my career as an actor – and a waiter between contracts – before journalism and a word of opportunity and adventure knocked.

Hamin and I moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I was embraced into his big extended family and revelled in the richness and vivacity of a multi-cultural, multi religious society finding its own identity and a sensory feast of delicious cuisines. 

I was a foreign correspondent, the Bureau Chief of UPI and a reporter for Time Magazine, based out of Kuala Lumpur. I reported on major economic, political, social, cultural, ecological and religious developments as Malaysia and its southeast Asian neighbours put a stamp on their own identities and values. War and peace, refugee crises and tragedies, natural and manmade, the rise of Islam and scandals and even finding treasure ships and moving wild elephants were all part of my beat.

When we returned to New Zealand 10 years later, I used my analytical, research, writing and presenting skills to become a corporate communication and branding specialist with some of our biggest companies, all in the throes of transition, including Air New Zealand, Telecom and Zespri.

I set up my own consultancy 20 years ago, working always to help big, little, public and private enterprises uncover their identities and stories to be true to themselves in word and deed and earn reputations that matter to stakeholders – you and me included.

I think a great day is when I learn something new.

I read, write and talk a lot and widely. I like to listen to absorb new ideas, philosophies, ways of working, living, eating and playing so I can connect with this world we live in and its rainbow of colours, customs and priorities.

Theatre, music, poetry, the visual and performing arts and the company of friends make me happy. So does cooking, dining, travel and Pilates.

I enjoy life and enjoy people.


I would welcome meeting and talking to you to get to know your ceremony needs and how I can support you.

Please give me a call or send me an email and we can get together.

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