canterbury’s own lifestyle magazine / a great local read


Nelson College

Matthew Mayer

Kia ora koutou, it is a privilege and an honour to be Head Boy of Nelson College for 2019.

Established in 1856, Nelson College is New Zealand’s oldest state secondary school. Alongside its rich history of tradition, the college also embraces modern learning and culture. The school’s slogan of ‘Young men taking their place in the world’ encourages us to push our boundaries and be proud of our differences, and I am proud to be a part of the learning environment that exists here.

Nelson has a thriving creative and diverse community that I see in events ranging from the Nelson Arts Festival and Light Nelson, through to the Kai Festival. I also see this environment reflected in our school, with many students from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. This year, our senior leadership team will be looking for ways to express and explore this diversity even more while helping to make it an enjoyable time for everyone.

As Head Boy I also see this year as an opportunity to give back to the community and build on fundraising events the college undertakes. Last year, we used our annual Runathon, as well as numerous other activities, to raise a substantial donation for the Mental Health Foundation. To make these events happen I am incredibly grateful to have the support of three other Head Boys: Māori, Pasifika and International, three Deputy Head Boys, and, of course, the energy and enthusiasm of the entire school.

We Year 13s also take part in a unique mentoring programme that focuses on supporting the incoming Year 9s. I remember my first day as a Year 9; having moved from the North Island I didn’t know anyone and was absolutely terrified! But thanks to the support of the seniors I felt a part of the school instantly. I know we can continue to provide that same support for all students to help build that sense of connection and community that is so special here. And through this we can help new students find out their interests through the broad range of academic, arts, sports, and cultural opportunities the school offers.

Nelson College is a place of respect, diversity, community and opportunity. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend the past five years anywhere else.

St Andrew’s College

Luca Vinnell and Juliette Newman

The new Heads of College at 
St Andrew’s College, Luca Vinnell and Juliette Newman, say being of service and instilling pride in fellow students are two of their core values going into 2019.
‘It means so much to be in this role, as I have looked up to the Head of College since I started at St Andrew’s in Year 1. I look forward to helping and inspiring other students,’ says Juliette.

Luca says it is a privilege to have a platform from which to do something positive, to be listened to, and listen to others in return. ‘If I can help another student to change even one small thing that is not going well for them, that would be really satisfying.’
Under Luca and Juliette’s leadership, the 2019 prefect team has introduced the acronym P.R.I.D.E., which stands for ‘Personal Responsibility in Delivering Excellence’ and is a focus for the entire student body this year.

As Head Boy, Luca’s focus is to be a strong role model, and be open to all students who want to engage with him. He is also keen to throw himself into as many activities as possible to get to know other students. ‘One of the best ways to form personable relationships is to get involved.’

Being approachable is also a key focus for Juliette. ‘I want any student, from Years 9–13 who hasn’t spoken to me before to feel comfortable coming up for a chat, asking a question, or telling me about any problem they might have. Ultimately, the Head of College’s job is about serving and helping others.’

Both Luca and Juliette are engaging, positive and enthusiastic members of the St Andrew’s community, who are heavily involved in the cultural side of life at the college.

Luca is a talented trumpet player in the Jazz Band, Orchestra and Chamber Group. Highlights of his time at
St Andrew’s include attending Music Department camps and winning a scholarship to take part in the Spirit of Adventure programme.

Juliette is an accomplished singer/ballet dancer with the St Andrew’s College Ballet Academy, and participant in musical productions at the college for the last five years. She is also a keen trap shooter, since taking up the sport in Year 9. A Languages trip to France last year, as well an exchange to Switzerland, are among her highlights.

The synergies in Luca and Juliette’s interests also extend to their future career paths, with both considering going into medicine, although studies in Musical Theatre is another tempting option for Juliette.

‘At the moment we are excited about the year ahead, and looking forward to making a positive impact,’ she says.

Rangi Ruru Girls’ School

Rachel McSweeney

There is an awesome sense of family and a real feeling of being part of the legacy that is Rangi Ruru Girls’ School,’ says this year’s Head of School, Rachel McSweeney.
The energetic, intelligent and outgoing 17-year-old adds that although ‘the family thing’ is often promoted by schools, what you get at Rangi Ruru is the real deal.
‘It’s not something they say as a line,’ says Rachel. ‘It’s true and you can feel it all around the school, all the time.’
Every year, the Student Leadership Team (which comprises of eight Year 13 students and 12 Clan leaders), selects a school theme for the year – last year was Sisterhood and this year it’s Flourish.
‘This year’s theme is all about taking risks in a supported and safe environment. We are encouraging all girls to realise their abilities by putting some extra time and effort in during the year as this will help them to Flourish,’ says Rachel.

Rachel says by the end of the year, the Student Leadership Team wants the girls to feel as though they have really achieved something and discovered new things about themselves.

‘We want the girls to know that with failure can come even greater success,’ she says, ‘and that taking a risk in a supported and safe environment is a good time to try things you might otherwise not have thought about. It can build confidence and emotional resilience which especially for young women is really important.’

Rachel started her schooling in a small rural Canterbury school where there was also a closeness between families, teachers and students.

‘What I do experience now at Rangi Ruru is all the opportunities we are fortunate to have; the music, theatre, sports and other extra-curricular activities. The teachers and staff support us 100 per cent of the time and the number of clubs alone is amazing.’

Rangi Ruru has a strong academic record as the 2018 NZQA Scholarship Examination results highlight; Rangi gained 26 Scholarships including six Outstanding Performance Scholarships. Alongside this, their NCEA results continue to be among the top 3% across New Zealand with NCEA Level 1 at 99.1%, Level 2 at 100%, Level 3 at 97.3 % and University Entrance at 97.3%.

Significantly this year, Rangi Ruru is celebrating 130 years of educating women, and in 2019 this leading girls’ school continues to lead the way, just as the innovative and empowered Gibson sisters did way back in 1889.

‘I think the Gibsons would be very proud of what we as a school and individuals are doing which is inspiring, challenging and empowering young women within a community that knows and cares for them. And we don’t just say it, we do it,’ says Rachel.

Craighead Diocesan School

Meghan Templeton

I am extremely honoured and privileged to be appointed as the 108th Head Girl for a school that has provided me with support, care and opportunities since I started in 2013.
Hearing my name being announced at our end of year school prize-giving felt quite surreal. I always felt like the previous Head Girls knew exactly what they were doing right from the start. They all looked so calm and collected. I have quickly learned that even if you don’t think you’re ready, one is always capable of fulfilling the role. With the help and support of friends, family and staff, you are not alone.
For six years I have been part of a sisterhood that is nurtured and enhanced by the character of being in 
a smaller school. Close relationships are formed and students look to each other for guidance and support.

Our theme for this year ‘Hauora’, has been inspired by the expanding numbers in our junior school as well as Craighead being a second home to many boarding students. Each term we aim to focus on one of the four different aspects of Hauora: Spiritual, Emotional, Physical and Social wellbeing.
The year ahead is an exciting one and I am very fortunate to be working alongside my Deputy, Renae Cocking as well as the amazing group of Year 13s with whom I have spent my high school years forming long-lasting and very special friendships. I know that this year will come with its challenges and it will push me out of my comfort zone. The lessons I learn and skills I gain will be setting me up extremely well for tertiary studies and my future as a doctor.

Christchurch Girls’ High School Te Kura o Hine Waiora

Sophie Bowden

I am honoured and very excited to be able to write this article as the Head Girl of Christchurch Girls’ High School – Te Kura o Hine Waiora for 2019.

Even in Year 9, I looked up to the girls that were part of the leadership team and their ability to make a positive change, and now that I am able to make a difference I am beyond thrilled.

Being involved in the school through things such as rowing and hockey, for me personally brings about a sense of school spirit and community that we are really trying to emphasise and develop this year. With help from my Deputy, Helen O’Connor, the Head of Acland, Alice Ridgen and the outstanding group of prefects we have this year, I am confident that we are going to be able to do this.

My role also involves working with the Senior Leadership Team and our Principal to help further promote our core school traditions for Embracing Tradition, Excellence and Innovation and I am excited for a rewarding and successful year ahead.

Medbury School

Nicholas Sharr

H aving the opportunity to attend a great school like Medbury has been an amazing experience for me.
Ever since I started at Medbury in Year 5, I have become accustomed to Medbury and the way it operates. Being able to wear a Prefect tie and lead Medbury from the front is a dream come true.
Going to Medbury encourages boys to unlock their full potential. Medbury’s wonderful specialists help boys to achieve excellence in The Arts, Sport, Science, Computer Science, Future Problem Solving and Maths. Medbury also has a number of staff who specialise in supporting the academic needs of boys and to help every boy ‘Play the Game’.
Looking ahead this year, I am looking forward to the Open Days, Future Problem Solving, the North Island Tour and most of all, standing up in front of all the parents, staff, Trust Board and boys at the end of the year to reflect and give my Head Boy’s Address for 2019.

St Margaret ‘s College

Sujean In

Growing up within the 
St Margaret’s community, I have been very fortunate to be nurtured to flourish into a capable student.
2019 marks my final year at St Margaret’s and with my role as Head Girl this year, I hope to empower the student cohort to take flight with their individual talents and passions. The opportunities provided have shaped my academic, cultural and sporting path and I am passionate to help the other students to also find their wings and soar.
This year, along with Deputy Head Girl Madison Dalgety and the rest of the prefect team, we aspire to promote the school theme of ‘Set the Scene’. As a prefect body, we recognised that too many girls can fall into the trap of comparing themselves to unrealistic characters, overlooking the authentic strengths and qualities that make them unique.
With the implementation of this theme, we hope to aid girls to realise that everyone is a director in their own ‘scenes’, and that they have the power to make it anything they want it to be. We also hope to teach girls about the journey of success; that it is okay to sometimes make mistakes, as movies are not necessarily shot in one single take.
Under the charismatic leadership of our new principal, Mrs Diana Patchett, 2019 is definitely going to be an exciting year of new adventures for St Margaret’s College. I am looking forward to a great year directing a beautiful motion picture that is worthy of the big screens.

Waihi School

Head Boy Matai Sheed and Deputy Head Sam Roadley

Kia Ora. My name is Matai Sheed and I am Head Boy at Waihi School for 2019. I am a day boy from Geraldine and started at Waihi in Year 5. I was very nervous when I had my first visit but I soon realised Waihi was the school for me.
At Waihi we are allowed to be boys and the staff all know how to get the best out of us. There are many opportunities outside the classroom to keep us busy and designed to challenge us, such as public speaking, choir, school productions, science experiments, chess and a variety of sports.
Hockey is my favourite winter sport and a very popular choice for the boys. Swimming is another passion of mine, either at the school pool or in the Waihi River. Every boy gets an Outdoor Education experience each week and these include mountain biking, learning about river safety and survival skills.
We have a strong music department and brilliant tutors. I am learning guitar, one of many options available, and I am part of the choir where we get to sing contemporary songs and entertain the public. Sam Roadley, our Deputy Head Boy, is a talented performer and starred in the South Canterbury Seussical Kids production last year. Sam and I are really looking forward to the annual Year 8 production and hope to live up to the incredible performance of last year’s Grease cast.
What does wearing the Waihi blazer mean to me? It means I am part of a special family that guides me to be the best version of myself. The blazer gives me the courage to get out of my comfort zone, in and out of the classroom. With the Waihi crest on my chest, I feel proud to be part of the Waihi brotherhood. It reminds me to lead by example and live up to the Waihi promise which is to give 100 percent in all areas of school lie.
I am grateful for the opportunities I have each day and will make the most of my last year at Waihi with the great mates I have made.

Timaru Boys’ High School

Matthew Gualter

The outstanding environment that Timaru Boys’ High School has provided for me, my peers and those boys in the 139 years since the school was founded has allowed me to grow into the young man I am today. All those who walk under the Lovelock Oak are given the opportunities needed to discover their true potential and to grow in an encouraging and positive environment.
Beginning my last year and having the honour of being named Head Boy and Head Boarder is a challenge I look forward to undertaking. Every step of the way I have been supported by both my family at home and the family that grew around me at school. The brotherhood that forms between the boys in school and Thomas House changed everything for me as I came to trust those around me. As the last year of my schooling life is upon me I am aiming to make a difference, to allow the already prosperous environment to grow even more, and to support education that matches the values I hold paramount. I am also seeking to spread the support to others in 2019 which has helped me and so many more previously.

Villa Maria College

Eadaoin Roughan

Kia ora koutou,
My name is Eadaoin Roughan and I have the privilege of representing Villa Maria College as Head Girl for 2019. I am a proud New Zealand-born Solomon Islander, and I came to Villa Maria College in Year 9. In school, I genuinely enjoy sciences and maths, and I love performing with the College Kapa Haka and Pasifika groups. Villa Maria College weaves the values of Whakaute (Respect), Manaakitanga (Hospitality) and Tika (Justice) into all aspects of College life, which has helped me grow into the Mercy woman I am today. Villa offers many opportunities for all students, and last year I had the privilege of meeting the Governor General, an inspiring experience. This year, the College leaders and I will focus on encouraging Villa girls to try something new, and give every opportunity a go. I will also introduce a Māori ‘word of the week’ to our College community – each new word will be one of encouragement, for example ‘Ka wani kē’ meaning ‘wow’.

Naku te rourou, nau te rourou, 
ka ora ai te iwi
With your basket and my basket, 
the people will thrive

Timaru Girls’ High School

Madison Arnold

It is such a privilege to be the Head of School at Timaru Girls’ High School in 2019. A real strength of our school is the strong relationships between students and teachers, and between senior and junior students. It is one of my goals this year to give back as much as I can and encourage our juniors to see and experience all of the wonderful opportunities that are available to them at school.
I am a hostel student and that has been a fantastic experience. The skills you learn such as tolerance and confidence, are extremely valuable.
TGHS is a very empowering school! I will forever call myself a ‘Timaru Girls’ High Girl’. Scientia Potestas Est – Knowledge is Power!

Ashburton College

Mollie Gibson and William Wallis

We are very excited to work alongside our Deputy Head students and Student Executive and see great potential in the team that has been elected, a team which can make goals and aspirations a reality.
Opportunities are plentiful at AshColl and, as leaders at Ashburton College, we are looking to encourage and motivate students to be involved, believing that the ‘more you put in, the more you get out’.
We look forward to seeing students excelling in various areas, whether academic, sporting or cultural; and not only in a competitive sense, but with a sense of personal triumph. Attendance and participation fuels a motivation to strive to better oneself, at each individual’s own pace, according to 
our Mission Statement of – 
Individual Excellence in a Supportive Learning Environment.

Geraldine High School

Amelia Houston and Karma Gyeltshen

During our time at Geraldine High we have been encouraged to challenge ourselves in order to reach our full potential. This has included a wide variety of opportunities and the growth of leadership skills. Our school’s motto of ‘Labor Omnia Vincit’ which translates to ‘Work Conquers’, along with our four school values; Respect, Responsibility, Relationships and Achievement are the base for building the students of Geraldine High School into students who will not only succeed now but in their future endeavours.
Karma: Geraldine High School has allowed me to excel in all aspects of my life. It has given me the opportunity to develop and grow my leadership skills and allowed me to use those skills in various ways around the school and in the wider community. GHS has also helped grow my passion for sports through the various events and competitions that are available through the school. My biggest growth during my time at GHS however has to be my increased work ethic and pursuit of success due to the constant support and encouragement from all my teachers over the past six years.
Amelia: The wide range of subjects and knowledgeable teachers at Geraldine has enabled me to expand my skills, knowledge and leadership skills to reach my full potential. I have found the Outdoor Education Programme an amazing opportunity to develop more interpersonal skills and explore more aspects of the outdoors. Combined with the Argentina Overseas exchanges that opened up doors to a wider range of future opportunities. Along with this the ongoing support and encouragement from the staff and community has made it possible for me to achieve to my full potential.