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Diocesan School for Girls Clyde Street, Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand Private Bag 99939, Newmarket 1149 P. 09 520 0221 F. 09 520 6778 E. email@example.com W. DIOCESAN.SCHOOL.NZ BOARD CHAIR Mr Andrew Peterson PRINCIPAL Ms Heather McRae Reverend Sandy Robertson CHAPLAIN ASSISTANT CHAPLAIN Reverend Bryan Haggitt HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL Mrs Margaret van Meeuwen DEPUTY PRINCIPALS Mrs Dian Fisher Mr Simon Walker ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL Mrs Kate Burkin HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL Mrs Suzanne Brewin DEPUTY PRINCIPAL Mrs Amy Thompson JUNIOR SCHOOL DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS Mr Paul McDowell-Hook AND PLANNING DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Mrs Rachel Gardiner DIRECTOR OF Mrs Angela Coe DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR OF PEOPLE Mrs Jocelyn Anso AND CULTURE DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS Mrs Kate Jones HEAD PREFECT Charlotte Hulme DEPUTY HEAD PREFECT Phebe Mason
“A Dio education produces incredibly capable and empowered women who know how to lead through service, and this is as true in 2021 as it was in 1904.” Jenny Spillane, OGL President
If you’re thinking that it’s a long time since the last issue of Dio Today appeared in your letterbox, that’s because it is! At the end of last year, the decision was made to only print two issues of Dio Today this year – one in June and one in November, and depending on the COVID situation, to see how we progress from there. So, although it’s been a long time coming, we hope that you enjoy reading about what our School community has been up to over the past six months. A highlight has been the recent official opening of the Arts Centre – this event had its fair share of COVID-related postponements, but it is generally agreed that the opening, which took place on Friday 18 June, was one of the best events Dio has hosted. And the weather blessed us with clear skies; a respite from a week of heavy, persistent rain. Our content includes an array of achievements by current students and Old Girls alike; the breadth and scope of what Dio girls do – both at school at out in the wider world – is impressive. We look forward to sharing more of our stories with you in November. Liz McKay, Editor
H A ND C R A F T ED BY A R T I S A N S I N N E W Z E A LA ND
AUCKLAND - 80 Parnell Rd, 09 303 4151 CHRISTCHURCH - 121 Blenheim Rd, 03 343 0876 QUEENSTOWN - 313 Hawthorne Dr, 03 441 2363 www.trenzseater.com
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JUNE 2021 LEADING
02 From the Principal Sport in schools and student wellbeing
04 New era for the Arts Faculty Sarah Spicer steps up to HOF role
06 2021 School leaders Being the best version of yourself
08 Water conservation efforts
recognised Turning off the tap on wastage
10 It’s official! The opening of the Arts Centre
LEARNING 17 Ut Serviamus in action Learning about service
18 Badge of honour 2020 exam results and Scholars’ Awards
22 Women in business Urging self-belief
26 It’s good to talk Counselling services at Dio
28 Ethics Unmasking their voices
30 Bio Olympiad success Challenging the brightest young minds
31 Pins and needles Expertise in needlework
34 PYP five-year review Getting the big tick
36 Leadership Little leaders in the Junior School
37 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Year 5 delights audiences with a musical treat
40 Back to school Grandparents’ Day at Dio
42 Chaplain’s message An attitude of gratitude
44 School events A ball and a birthday
46 Performing Arts Les Misérables takes centre stage
50 Successes for Dio musicians Rising to the challenge
52 Shakespeare Festival Dio thespians wow audiences
54 Dance at Dio A new vision
56 Sport House competitions
61 Summer sports
67 Junior School sport Getting out and getting active
70 Climbing to new heights with
Rebecca Hounsell Rock climbing champion shares her passion
72 Parents & Friends of Dio A busy start to the year
LIFELONG FRIENDS 76 President’s column What makes Dio special
77 Women of their word Dio’s 2021 Alumnae Meritae
80 Still the best school of all! Dio Old Girls on the staff
82 Living life with a purpose Kylie Matthews
84 They had a ball! 2020 Graduation Ball
86 Reunions Upcoming events
87 Milestones Births, marriages and deaths
Cover image Photographed at the official opening of the Arts Centre, The Governor-General of New Zealand, Her Excellency The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, with Diocesan Head Prefect Charlotte Hulme (right) and Deputy Head Prefect Phebe Mason (left). Photo courtesy of the Governor-General’s office.
DIO TODAY is produced through the Marketing Office of Diocesan School for Girls and is designed and published by Image Centre Group. For information about this publication, contact the Editor, Liz McKay, E. firstname.lastname@example.org / Old Girls’ liaison and proofreading, Deirdre Coleman E. email@example.com / Commissioned photography by Nicola Topping, Real Image (realimage.co.nz).
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L E A DIN G FROM THE PRINCIPAL
SO MUCH MORE THAN
n recent times the story of declining human wellbeing across the globe is, according to statistics, reaching epidemic proportions, especially in developed countries. It is always important to question the data in the first instance – is it that there is more reporting of mental health issues? Is it that there are changing definitions of mental health? Or is it that societies are focused so much on high standards of living that the emphasis is on financial and economic outcomes and not quality of life? Recently, Naomi Osaka’s refusal to be interviewed at the end of a tennis match at the French Open caused ripples of debate around the world about how to ‘judge’ wellbeing. As is usual through social media, there were riveting dichotomies expressed. Some vehemently supported Naomi’s right to look after her mental health, and others vehemently opposed Naomi’s decision arguing that, as a top tennis player, she knows the responsibility players have to support the media and sponsors. Naomi had indeed financially benefitted from these systems that are interdependent. Whatever one’s belief about this issue, there are many more examples of how vulnerable our young people feel when their lives become dominated by something bigger than them, and when their own decision-making becomes overwhelmed by the demands of others the perceived responsibility to please others, rather than look after themselves. The examples in sport are profound because of the professional culture that has washed into schools, and it is all about the money. Raelene Castle is one of our most influential sport administrators, having broken many barriers in the maleorientated world of sport. Becoming
the CEO of an NRL team in Australia, and then the CEO of Rugby Australia, Raelene says she still carries the scars of those experiences. Having experienced school sport in a more amateur environment, Raelene believes that it should protect our young people from high pressure cookers, a result of the hugely high stakes in the professional world of sport. While we are very proud of our amazing sports men and women, we should take extreme care to make sure that school sport is enjoyable and that any demands move at the pace and ability of the student, and not the uncompromising and dehumanising contractual systems of professional sport. Achieving a scholarship at a highquality university is a great aim for many talented students but it isn’t within the range of some. The early pressure of expectations in sport, arts and academic outcomes can have long-lasting negative effects if the heart and soul is not owned by the student themselves. In awe of her talent and ability, we once experienced a highly talented young sprinter who could easily have qualified for the Olympics, but she just didn’t enjoy the sport. No matter how coaches, parents and the rest of us encouraged and cajoled her, no amount of encouragement changed her mind. How many athletes today would feel that they can make such decisions when there is so much money and fame promised? While there are many thousands of articles providing advice about wellbeing and how to keep our young people in a healthy space, the great benefits of sport and fitness have somewhat been overtaken by the prospecting of students in their schools. Exacerbating the dilemma for schools is the growing presence of live televised sport. The recent agreement
between College Sport and Sky Sport to televise a wider range of school sports will intensify exposure to a new level of high-stakes outcomes. It also poses questions about privacy and how schools can normalise these new impositions on school life. It is not only successes that will be analysed, but failures and mistakes in a new highly visible environment .when most of those participating will be very young and unable to handle the effect on their personal wellbeing. Like many issues we face in the world today, we seem to let common sense be eclipsed by the next big idea in technology and entertainment – regardless of the human impact. Along with social media, our young people are already dealing with enough pressures in their lives. Getting back to why we do sport is essential and, from memory, it was about wellbeing and building a lifelong love of fitness and camaraderie that would lead to a healthy and fulfilled life. School sport should be all about just that. At Diocesan our aim is to provide a whole range of sport so that everyone can enjoy participation. With 32 different sports available alongside fulltime wellness expertise, we are proud that our 85% participation for young women is the highest in New Zealand. The emphasis is on enjoyment and the journey of sport that is so much more than winning. While we do profile many incredible sports women, the real success of our programme is in the resilience, the fun and the responsibilities learned in turning up for your teammates. We hope that these always remain a fundamental part of a Diocesan education. Heather McRae, Principal
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“Getting back to why we do sport is essential... it was about wellbeing and building a lifelong love of fitness and camaraderie that would lead to a healthy and fulfilled life. School sport should be all about just that.”
Year 9 students Lucy Gilleece (L) and Violet Smith (R) enjoying the annual house cross country race.
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NEW ERA IN THE ARTS FOR DIO The start of Term 2 signalled a newly expanded role for our Head of Drama, Sarah Spicer, as she took up her promotion as Head of Faculty – Arts. Andre Worsnop, who was previously in the role for 17 years, left Dio last term to become one of the deputy principals at Glendowie College. His role as Teacher in Charge of Music has been taken by Rachel Sutherland. Sarah’s new Head of Faculty role entails managing visual arts, drama, dance and music, as well as planning for the future of the arts subjects in the context of the new Performing Arts Building, completed earlier this year. Sarah will continue to teach senior and junior drama classes, and lead Dio’s drama Scholarship programme. “I’m very excited to be taking up this new role,” says Sarah, who has been teaching at Dio for the past five years. “It’s an exciting time for the arts with a lot of change in the industry and, of course, the added excitement of being able to teach, learn and perform in the new Performing Arts Centre.” Sarah has many accomplishments, including significant success in the National Shakespeare Festival, and being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. Sarah is also a professional actor and director. Originally from the UK, she emigrated to New Zealand eight years ago. During her time in the UK, she directed at the National Theatre in London, and was a West End actress, mainly performing Shakespeare. She is also a published writer of plays and poetry. Sarah holds several qualifications, including a Masters of Educational Leadership from Cambridge University. She trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is currently studying for her doctorate in education. Prior to joining the staff at Dio, Sarah had been Head of Drama at Logan Park High School in Dunedin. In her role as Head of Drama she has been instrumental in creating a curriculum that is strengthened by 4
Sarah Spicer and André Worsnop
international industry professionals and developing a co-curricular programme to work in conjunction with the other arts disciplines. Sarah introduced the Theatre Studies IB Diploma programme in the last two years, achieving top-ranking results among international students. “Performing Arts at Dio is supported and strengthened by international industry professionals, which sets the bar high and allows us to have a revered industry standard. “This is reflected in the high calibre of performance our students reach across
all arts disciplines, and the top-ranking examination results they achieve across all year levels.” As Dio’s new Teacher in Charge of Music, Rachel Sutherland, brings a wealth of experience to the role. “I’m really excited about my new role, and with the changes coming to the Middle Years Programme of International Baccalaureate and NCEA Level 1, I think it’s a really exciting time to be involved in music and the arts,” she says. Rachel, who’s a Dio Old Girl (1993-2000), has a Masters of Music in Classical Performance (Voice) from the University
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FAREWELL TO ANDRE WORSNOP Andre Worsnop joined Diocesan as the Teacher in Charge of Music in 2004 and finished his 17 years of dedicated service in April 2021 as the Head of the Arts Faculty. These were interesting times; the curriculum was restructured into the eight learning areas of the New Zealand Curriculum and several departments, like visual art and drama, were brought under the arts banner. Andre was appointed in 2009 to lead this new Faculty of the Arts, bringing together visual arts, drama, music and eventually dance.
of Auckland and a Bachelor of Arts with an English Literature major and Ethnomusicology and Italian minors. She has been Director of Choral Music at Dio since late 2018, overseeing the choral programme, and Director of the Dio handbells since 2013. She first started teaching classroom music at Dio in 2015. Rachel’s tutelage and leadership has helped ensure Dio’s elite choir, St Cecilia Singers, maintains its reputation as one of the top upper voice school choirs in New Zealand. St Cecilia Singers has secured a spot in the national final of The Big Sing every consecutive year since 2013. Rachel Sutherland’s idea of downtime is full to the brim with music. In her nine-year role of assistant director and vocal consultant of the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir, she has spent her Term 1 holidays overseeing and training the group of 56 student singers from all over the country. Two Dio students, Hattie Johnston and Sunny Zhang, are in the choir, which performed at the National Anzac Day Remembrance Service at Wellington’s Pukeahu Memorial Park. She is still active as a soprano soloist and ensemble singer in Auckland and across New Zealand, and is an active performing member of the Voices New Zealand Chamber choir since 2010.
Andre managed this transition superbly. A feature of Andre’s management style is the strong relationships he builds, the ability to listen and then change his mind if necessary, and his determination to advocate on behalf of his team members around the curriculum table. This doesn’t mean that Andre was blind to the curriculum needs of others or so parochial that he saw an arts-versus-the-world paradigm; his view was that a creative world served us all well. And he would often remind us of the words of Sir Ken Robinson and his fear that indeed school could and did kill the creativity in its students. When I asked members of the performing arts and arts areas for some feedback, one used an angel emoji, another said he was the voice of reason in a potentially volatile area – citing the fact they were all artistes! Super organised, with a spreadsheet to handle any problem! Andre retained the TIC music role in his move to HOF and with the small numbers in his senior classes he worked hard to provide the individual programmes that these students craved. That meant that they weren’t all funnelled into a classical programme or a modern programme, dependent on the skills of the teachers. He ensured that the skills and talents and passions each student brought to the classroom were fostered and maximised. Alongside this was the rock band programme, which grew out of class groups to co-curricular programmes and Andre has seen Dio launch several bands onto the Rockquest stage. One of the most successful was Vivid (Ashleigh Wallace, Kathleen Williams, Elly McBurney, Alice Tilley) who placed third in 2014 in the national finals, and Feijoa Funk (Sarah Casey, Ally Quatermass, Olivia Coulliault and Eloise Cameron Smith) was the most recent. But there have been many other People’s Choice awards, songwriting awards and generally a whole bunch of Dio girls jamming it with the best of them and each year another generation hits the Chapel Courtyard at lunchtimes to entertain us. Andre has also encouraged the entrants into the song-writing competition ‘Play it Strange’, with many having their pieces professionally recorded. One of the most important legacies that Andre leaves Dio is the fantastic programme to support Provisionally Certificated Teachers and Beginner Teachers. Andre came to the senior team with the proposal and from that has grown a significant support programme for new teachers or new and returning teachers to New Zealand. Andre worked with outside experts to develop the programme, and then worked with Dio teachers as mentors to implement it. We now have a programme of support that is second to none and the support we give to new teachers to our profession is invaluable. Andre is heading for the role as Deputy Principal at Glendowie College. We congratulate him on this important step in his career and wish him all the best for his future career moves. Margaret van Meeuwen, Head of Senior School DIO TODAY
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2021 Head Prefect Charlotte Hulme (right) and Deputy Head Prefect Phebe Mason (left).
2021 STUDENT LEADERS At the time of this edition of Dio Today going to publication, all our 2021 school prefects are well into their leadership roles and have many of the calendar’s annual events behind them. At the first full school assembly of the year, Head Prefect Charlotte spoke about the theme that the Year 13 cohort –tou. is promoting this year – Ko Ta –tou is an initiative that aims “Ko Ta to strengthen our school culture, enabling the School to be a place where everyone feels comfortable and 6
–tou. is valued in our community. Ko Ta all about building courage and helping you become confident in being the best version of yourself, both off and online,” says Charlotte. “Our main focus is around being genuine, being an upstander, and also connecting as a school. Especially in Terms 1 and 2, we will explore what it means to be genuine, as it is hard to be an upstander if we are not confident in who we are and what we believe is right or wrong. “Dr Suess once said: ‘Why fit in when you were born to stand out?’ We only
have one chance in life to live it the best way possible, and what better way to do this than be you? Every single person lights up the room in their own unique way, and it’s important that we share our light with everyone else. “It can be easier sometimes to just go with the crowd and want to fit in, but if we can accept ourselves for who we are and let our values drive our behaviours, nothing else matters. This is how you will achieve your personal best and live life with pure happiness and positivity.”
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Head Prefect (Councils): Charlotte Hulme
Deputy Head Prefect (Houses) Phebe Mason
Sarah Young, Priscilla Huang
Jesse Welsh, Lottie Mandeno
Halle Gravatt, Sienna Grey
Heidi van der Peet
Meg Wallace, Shan Gibson
Daisy Mahoni, Madeleine Kirke
ELIZA EDWARDS Olivia Blanchard
Amelia Brown, Kiara Selvaratnam
Alex Wright, Annabel Howse
Ava Phillimore, Sophie Ireland
Charlotte Hill, Natasha Fatani
Fiona ‘Otai, Phoebe Glynn
Daisy Last, Charlotte Paterson
Charlotte Lyons, Imogen Foley
Halle Rankin Hastie, Melissa Uren
Amy Thomson, Cilla Austen
Jess Wech, Katie Ryan
Leile Bonetti, Sam Huddart
Charlie Barclay, Gretta Wiseman
Arielle Friedlander, Bonnie Liu
Lucy Mckinnon, Allegra Wilson
2021 SCHOOL LEADERS
FORMER HEAD PREFECT OFF TO OXFORD Congratulations to our 2015 Head Prefect Alice Tilley, who has been offered a place in the MSc Water Science, Policy and Management course at Oxford University. Alice will belong to Christ Church College. Alice already holds a BSc Hons (first class) from the University of Auckland and is currently working as a Contaminated Land Consultant at Tonkin + Taylor. She leaves for Oxford later this year.
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elissa Brady, Diocesan School’s Property Development Manager, has worked with the United Nations in war zones around the world, carried out humanitarian work in Iraq and dealt with complex emergencies, including in Caucasus. But it’s her role initiating and overseeing water conservation efforts at Diocesan School that she holds closest to her heart. “I have a real connection to the Earth. We only have one and we’re all responsible for it – you can’t say it’s someone else’s problem. I’ve tried to instil that in the initiatives we’re introducing at Diocesan, but also to help empower our students. They have the power to facilitate change, and then to help push those initiatives through.” It was Melissa’s enthusiasm and dedication to water conservation that first caught Watercare’s eye. She was invited to give a presentation to Watercare’s Auckland-based School’s Forum at Eden Park in October last year about some of her water conservation ideas that she was rolling out at school, ‘thinking smart and small’. “With Auckland’s current drought conditions, we’re very mindful of water
usage. We’re looking at turning off sprinkler systems, and switching over to grey water tanks and using smart meters. “Every time we turn on a tap, we should think about what we’re doing,” says Melissa. “Water’s a finite resource, and making our students global citizens and showing them the difference they can make is really exciting. It’s all about being aware that small changes can really make a difference.” After Melissa’s presentation, Watercare asked if she would be interested in featuring in a 90-second educational video for its customers, outlining some of the water conservation initiatives the School had developed and adapted, and showing what a difference it was making. “Apparently, lots of other schools were interested in the things we were doing, and especially the impact of the smart meters.” Jane Eggleton, Head of Commercial Customers at Watercare, praised Melissa and Diocesan’s 1,550 students for the work they were doing. “We’re really impressed by Dio’s efforts to save water,” she says. Not only will the measures they’ve taken benefit them
financially over the long term, but it’s also helping their pupils to value water and understand that it is a precious resource. We’ve really appreciated being involved in their water-savings journey and are keen to support them in sharing their learnings with other schools.” Since the beginning of 2020, Auckland has received significantly less rainfall than normal, which has had a severe impact on our city’s water supply. In April last year, the total volume of water stored in Auckland’s dams dropped below 50 per cent for the first time in more than 25 years. Aucklanders were urged to use water wisely and help reduce wastage by keeping showers short, not hosing lawns and gardens, and only using washing machines and dishwashers when they were full. “Since we’ve been forced to look carefully at water-saving initiatives and water efficiency over the past year, they’ve now become part of the practical things that we can do on a day-to-day basis at school and home,” says Melissa. “The School used to use around 22,000 litres of water a day,” she says. “But since we’ve introduced water conservation initiatives, we’ve dropped this down to 14,000 litres a day during
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LEADING Melissa Brady
term time. We’ve still got a way to go, but that’s a great achievement.” Most of the water savings can be attributed to the use of smart meters that show if there is water left running, or if there are leaks. In addition, balance tanks under the school’s swimming pools collect rainwater from the roof, which is then used for backwashing and washing the concourse. Irrigation systems for lawns and gardens are powered by non-potable, untreated water and are on timers to reduce water wastage. Non-potable water is also used to clean windows and the outside of school buildings. “We’ve also installed Watercare timers in our swimming pools and boarding houses,” said Melissa. “A lot of our
students have learnt the art of fourminute showers the hard way, but they’ve adapted well!” Junior School students leave watering cans outside to collect rainwater, which they then use to water their gardens. Mulch is also used in the gardens to stop the soil drying out. Melissa credits the Environmental Council with introducing and helping implement many of the initiatives, but says it’s very encouraging to see the entire School getting on board with water-saving approaches.
Environmental Council is looking at other areas of sustainability and good environmental practice. They’re looking at growing the school bus network (trying to reduce the number of students who take private buses), introducing cycle training with the Junior School and working with Auckland Transport on running scooter training.
“Dio staff are leading by example, changing their behaviours and how they perceive water,” says Melissa. “We’re learning a lot from each other.”
“We’re also thinking about the eradication of litter, composting, fertilisation, and alternative power sources in an effort to make the School more sustainable,” says Melissa. “We’re encouraging our students to be leaders in this area and to work with us on implementing even more measures in our daily lives at School.”
In addition to water conservation efforts, Diocesan’s student-led
You can watch the video via this link: https://youtu.be/XvRZA7GQ3zE DIO TODAY
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THE ARTS CENTRE IS OPEN!
rare clear break in a week of relentless heavy rain smiled on Diocesan School for Girls as the official opening of the Arts Centre took place on the morning of Friday 18 June. The Arts Centre was opened by the Governor-General of New Zealand, Her Excellency The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, and was attended by the official party, invited guests, students and staff. After the ceremonial karanga and speeches, the audience was entertained by a selection of music, dance and theatrical items. As the official party left the theatre, they met and talked to the performers before leaving the venue. Quotes from Dame Patsy’s speech are interspersed with photos from the event.
From left to right: Ms Ashley Pihema, TIC Te Reo Māori; Rev’d Sandy Robertson, Chaplain; Rev’d Kerry Davis, Kaumatua for Diocesan School for Girls; Mrs Margaret van Meeuwen, Head of Senior School; Ms Heather McRae, Principal; Her Excellency The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand; His Excellency Sir David Gascoigne; Mr Andrew Peterson, Chairman of the Board of Governors of Diocesan School for Girls; Mrs Sue Brewin, Head of Junior School; Mrs Angela Coe, Director of Development; Charlotte Hulme, Head Prefect; Mr Ian Goodall, Board of Governors (responsibility for campus development).
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Your beautiful new building and its facilities would be the envy of many civic centres in New Zealand. It shows just how much this school values the arts. I am delighted to see this level of commitment.
There is enormous satisfaction and joy to be had in the exploration of creativity and performance. The arts will feed your soul throughout your lives, and your creative skills will help you shine, whatever career path you take.
Be guided by the whakatauki He toi whakairo he mana tangata Where there is artistic excellence, there is human dignity.
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Creative expression, whatever its form, takes us to new places in our thinking about what it means to be human. It enables us to think through the big questions, as the creators of work, or as the audience for that work.
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DIO ARTS ‘ANGELS’ CELEBRATE AND REMINISCE The opening night of Les Misérables, the first major senior production in our new theatre, was a perfect opportunity to gather some special friends of the arts at Diocesan for pre-show refreshments at a ‘Champagne and Chicken Sandwiches’ function. Over the past 15 years the wonderful Dio Arts ‘Angels’, led by Arts Patron Rosey Eady, have hosted fabulous events like the Fizz & Quiz nights and Secret Art exhibitions, raising funds for the Arts Centre and the Arts Fund of Diocesan’s Heritage Foundation. These funds have enabled the Foundation to award our Dio students grants to represent the School at national and international events and competitions. Dio Arts is a significant principal donor to our new state-of-the-art Arts Centre. Thank you, Dio Arts, for your wonderful contribution to Diocesan School for Girls!
Some of those who attended the function were former Heads of Music Leonie Lawson and David Gordon, along with Dio Arts stalwarts Meegan Pollock, Jo Raymond, Mark Leishman, Kerry McMillan, Jane Williams, Juanita White, Anna Irvine, Kendall Irvine, Sam Scott, Jess Scott and Jude Dobson, to name a few. Following the refreshments in School House Dining Room our 35 guests were seated in the theatre for the opening performance of the show. In the beautiful words of our one-and-only Rosey Eady: “Full of excitement and arm in arm, the Dio Arts Angels walked across to the Arts Centre and took our seats; a night that most of us have ‘Dreamed a Dream’ and ‘One Day More’ as the songs say, for over 15 years. “Bravo! ‘O what a night’! One of the best nights of my life. A sparkling
and sensational opening night for Les Misérables. “The glorious music filled the theatre, and my heart leapt as the beautiful velvet curtains opened, revealing the fabulous cast of Dio and Dilworth students on stage. I had tears in my eyes. It was better than we ever imagined. The vision had become reality. “I am so proud to be a Dio Old Girl and Patron of Dio Arts. I am also thrilled that the arts at Dio are on the way to new heights. “Congratulations to the Director Sarah Spicer and Musical Director/Producer Lachlan Craig, the cast, the crew, and the orchestra for achieving this milestone and putting on a professional, world-class production. “Celebrate, everyone, for you have all added to the incredible history of the arts in our fabulous School!” DIO TODAY
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Thanks for raising the curtain. Thanks to you, over 100 students shone on stage and behind the scenes of our purpose-built theatre during Les Misérables. Your gift will last a lifetime. diocesan.school.nz/heritage-foundation
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How will your daughter make her mark? Every student deserves the chance to shine. Our new Arts Centre offers a professional-level experience, with purpose built spaces for music, dance, drama and a specialised recording studio. The addition of our brand-new, 910 seat auditorium makes Dio the perfect place to take centre stage. Join us at our Open Day and experience the world-class opportunities awaiting your daughter at Dio.
21 October, 9AM – 11AM
Maya Willis Future Broadway Artistic Director
Register at diocesan.school.nz
BE MORE THAN YOU EVER IMAGINED
Ph: 09 356 7107 firstname.lastname@example.org Level 3, 125 Vincent Street, Auckland 1010. www.lindesayconstruction.co.nz
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AUCKLAND PROPERTY INSIGHTS By Rebecca Williamson Where we live, how we work and the ways in which we spend quality time with our families have been crucial considerations for the past 12 months, more so than ever before. Our homes have become our sanctuaries through lockdowns and the multitude of challenges brought on by Covid-19. International travel – both for business and pleasure – has been put on the backburner. This realisation of ‘home is where the heart is’ has undoubtedly led to a shift in priorities, and this is reflected in the current high-flying New Zealand property market. New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty (NZSIR) Managing Director Mark Harris says more and more New Zealanders are not only investing in the bestpossible education for their children, they are investing in the best-possible homes. “We are seeing people throughout all stages of life trade up their homes and move within communities, as well as cashed-up expats returning home to NZ with their children to take advantage of the excellent schools and opportunities we have here,” he says. “These factors are driving a heated market in Auckland, particularly in the suburbs proximate to excellent schools.” Since June 2020, activity in the NZ property market has accelerated, and continues to do so. Buyer demand has remained strong and prices are high because inventory levels are constrained, which is great news for vendors in sought-after locations. Auckland has experienced the busiest April month in five years and the median year-on-year house price has significantly increased in popular areas such as Parnell (40% rise), Remuera (49%) and Epsom (65%).
Mark Harris, NZSIR Managing Director.
Harris says right now is the optimal time for vendors to achieve higher sales before the effects of recent Government and Reserve Bank policy changes set in. The extension of the Brightline test, the prevention of investors offsetting interest paid on home loans against rental income, and LVR restrictions have been implemented to slow house price inflation. “Combined with a stagnant population growth due to closed borders, these changes suggest that demand may begin to waver over the coming months,” he says. “But while the market may start to plateau, I don’t think there will be a big correction. My assessment is that we are at or near the domestic demand peak, although we do expect to see continued growth at the higher end of the market as ‘Brand NZ’ maintains momentum in attracting wealthy internationals and expats.”
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LE A R N IN G
in action D iocesan’s new Service Learning Manager Lucette Chu (Dillon) needs little introduction - she is a Dio Old Girl (1997-2003) and a 2017 recipient of Dio’s Women2Watch award for her humanitarian work exemplifying Dio’s motto, Ut Serviamus – ‘in order that we may serve’.
Lucette, who previously worked in human resources at BDO Auckland and World Vision Cambodia, has worked tirelessly to serve the Vietnam-based Quan Am Foundation, which she established nine years ago to support orphaned and poverty-stricken children in Vietnam. “It was a life-changing experience that really opened my eyes to the poverty and needs of children in Vietnam,” she says. “I was overwhelmed with grief and knew I had to do something.” The Quan Am Foundation runs a sponsorship model to provide education to children who may otherwise be forced to quit school and work to support their families. Their projects in remote areas have included repairs to schools and establishing community gardens, as well as providing essentials such as clothing, food and medical supplies. They also built their own school, which employs five local staff. She attributes her highly-developed
social conscience to the values that were instilled in her during her time at Diocesan, and she’s keen to pass that on to the students now under her care. “Dio gave me a strong work ethic, which is a great benefit to me when juggling motherhood, part-time work and running the Foundation.”
activities more contemporary, relevant and meaningful. “We’ve moved away from fundraising and are encouraging our students to give back by being present, by finding out more about charities and causes and how they can really make a difference through service. “I’m really hoping to get the girls passionate about it.”
“Service is global and we want our students to be global citizens.” Lucette Chu
Lucette started her new role with Diocesan at the end of January, working alongside deans and tutors to drive Dio’s Service Learning programme, which is closely aligned to the School’s values. The programme encourages students to serve their communities in practical ways and Lucette says her role is to ensure there’s a link between what the girls learn and what they can give back. She says there’s been a sea change in the concept of service over the past decade, and she’s keen to make service
The Service Learning strategy this year is to maintain the ‘heads, hearts and hands’ approach while aligning each of the senior year levels with one of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, so students can relate their learning to the goals. These include good health and wellbeing, zero hunger, gender equality, affordable and clean energy, and climate action. This is particularly relevant for Year 11 students as part of their ‘Be the Change’ curriculum, which provides the philosophy behind how you approach a service activity. “We want students to feel like they’re global citizens, helping to drive change through service,” Lucette says. “As students become older, their activities are more peer-led than teacher-led. They’re really excited that they’ll get hands-on experience.” DIO TODAY
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HONOUR “We are very proud of the results that our students have achieved through their hard work and dedication, and we thank the teaching staff for all the work they do to support and nurture the girls in their learning journeys. The exceptional achievements are testament to the commitment of both students and staff during what was an unprecedented and challenging year.” Margaret van Meeuwen, Head of Senior School
2020 Examination results SCHOLARSHIP Students at Diocesan School for Girls have again gained exceptional results in New Zealand’s top Scholarship examinations, with two Year 11 students gaining Scholarships after taking the exam two years early. Sarah Ellis, who has been at Dio for three years, gained a Scholarship in calculus, and Alexandra Young gained a Scholarship in design and visual communication (DVC). Alexandra worked on a redesign of the School’s drive-through shelter, inspired by the late Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid, as part of her Scholarship DVC submission. She said, “I found her inspirational and really liked her design process and the fantastic and interesting buildings that resulted. The DVC teachers at Dio were great at encouraging us to do well and helped us learn useful skills to extend our work, including computer software and drawing techniques.” Calculus Scholarship recipient Sarah Ellis says she found the additional 18
workload exciting rather than daunting, helped by her passion for maths, which she’s had from an early age. In addition to her schoolwork, Sarah has also started some first-year maths papers at Massey University. In 2019, Year 11 student Arielle Freidlander achieved the same feat with a Scholarship in history. She went on to repeat this success in Year 12, when she gained another history Scholarship. In total, Dio students were awarded 38 Scholarships in 2020, with more than a quarter going to Year 12 students. The Scholarships were spread across faculties and reflected outstanding achievements across a broad spectrum of subjects. The Arts Faculty, with a total of nine, achieved the most of any faculty at Diocesan with three in drama, three in music, two in dance and one in photography. Only 13 Scholarships were given nationwide in dance, so to gain two is an outstanding achievement! There were seven scholarships in biology and another seven in health and physical education. Each of these faculties received one Outstanding result.
NCEA The School also scored outstanding results in NCEA across all levels, with
more than 95% of students achieving University Entrance last year, nearly double the national average. We are very proud of the continued success of our girls. The results are a real reflection of the dedication of the staff, and the mahi of the girls during an extraordinary year, as they worked both online and within the school environment.
INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE In addition, four students scored 40 or higher in their International Baccalaureate examinations – Diane Wang (42), Sarina Mackey (41), Deborah Huang (40) and Zoe Zhu (40). These grades placed the girls in the top 6% of students across the world. We were delighted to have the four students recognised at the prestigious IB Diploma Top Scholar Award Ceremony, which was held at Diocesan in the new Arts auditorium in February this year. Deborah and Zoe were in New Zealand and able to attend the ceremony; Sarina and Diane were overseas and watching the live stream. We are so proud of all their achievements and watch with interest where their studies take them in the future.
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Photographed at the IB Awards ceremony in February, (L to R): Zoe Zhu,Head of Senior School Margaret van Meeuwen, Principal Heather McRae, Keshni Rasanayagam (former Dio Head Prefect and guest speaker at the IB Top Scholar Awards this year), Deborah Huang, and Susan Marriott (Diocesan IB Coordinator).
Scholars’ Awards With the advent of the new Performing Arts Centre, we decided to run a slightly different format for the awards this year. We began with drinks and canapés in the foyer, moved into the auditorium for the speeches and awards and then finished with dessert and coffee back in the foyer. This allowed us to open up the numbers attending considerably – in the past the School Hall restricted us and as the numbers of recipients grew, the venue needed to change to a larger space.
Year 11 Scholarship winners Sarah Ellis and Alexandra Young
Kate Wellington, the Academic Prefect for 2021, welcomed everyone with a short address reminding us to love our imperfections and embrace the moments where plan A doesn’t work ... luckily there are 25 more letters in the alphabet! She also reminded us of the need to find our burning passions and follow those, not what someone else says is important. The guest speaker this year was Emma Sidnam, a past pupil and past silver, gilded and gold Scholars’ Award winner. You would have thought that Emma and Kate had collaborated on their topics because Emma also spoke about the times when dreams don’t work out (that long-held dream of an Ivy League education that doesn’t DIO TODAY
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Academic Prefect Kate Wellington
materialise), and about passions. Her passion for language has taken her to join the Latin American and Spanish Club at uni, a leadership role in that organisation, and travel to Colombia (pre-COVID). Passions, loving your imperfections and being prepared for a crooked rather than straight pathway were the themes that resonated in both speeches.
Guest speaker Emma Sidnam
Emma became interested in the genre of slam poetry at school, and she has gone on to become a member of the Wellington Feminist Poetry Club, which she describes as “a safe place to rage at the world”. She then treated the audience to a powerful and beautiful slam poem on the topic of The Female Body, the perfect way to demonstrate one of her passions that, at school, she probably didn’t expect to be so important to her. After the different categories of awards were presented, we finished the evening by making a small presentation to the three girls who have won Scholarship awards as Year 11 students: Arielle Friedlander – history 2020 and 2019 Sarah Ellis – calculus 2020 Alexandra Young – design and visual communication 2020
YEAR 11 SILVER SCHOLARS’ AWARDS Year 11 Silver Scholars’ Awards are awarded to Level 1 NCEA students with a grade average of 90 or more across all subjects. Sahaana Arunachalam Hannah Bell Amelia Brawn Clementine Buchanan Josie Christie Isabella Cleary Karissa Couper Amie Cummack Annabel Dekker Phoebe Duncan Sarah Ellis Amelia England 20
Hazel Faire Eve Finlayson Isobella Francis Sienna French Estie Hamilton Tiaré Hansen Olivia Hardie Anna Hare Erica Hu Hattie Johnston Madeleine Jorgensen Jacinta Kelly Evelyn Kerse Sara MacGillivray Chantelle May Elyse Neill Katie Parr Lucia Partigliani Emma Parton Riya Prasad Riya Raniga Ella Riley
Year 11 Scholarship winners Arielle Friedlander, Sarah Ellis and Alexandra Young
Lucy Russ Erika Sessatid Lucy Shennan Natalie Spillane Anastasia Sun Caitlin Tam Lucy Tucker Brielle Wallberg Rylie Wilkinson Sophia Winstanley Sarah Wong Alexandra Young Erin Zhang Sunny Zhang Karina Zhu
YEAR 12 SILVER SCHOLARS’ AWARDS Year 12 Silver Scholars’ Awards are awarded to Level 2 NCEA students
with a grade average of 90 or more across all subjects. Cilla Austen Sam Blackmore Arielle Friedlander Madeleine Kirke Rosie Leishman
YEAR 12 GILDED SCHOLARS’ AWARDS Students receiving their second award receive a Gilded Scholar Award. Jemima Box Christiana Ballard Joomee Choi Jasmine Druskovich
Holly Graney Sienna Gray Jasmine Ha Priscilla Huang Charlotte Hulme Lara Johns Natalie Kirke Shania Kumar Bonnie Liu Emilia Mackenzie Phebe Mason Natasha Mori Georgia Richardson Ella Ross Amelie Thomas Heidi van der Peet Jess Wech Kate Wellington Lauren Williams Ella Wong Alex Wright Sarah Young
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LEARNING Photos on this page - students and their families at the Scholars’ Awards evening.
GOLD AWARDS To qualify for a Gold Scholars’ Award a student must achieve 40 points and above in the Diploma, which is the level that the national awards ceremony also honours, or three or more Scholarship awards. This year unfortunately none of the four gold scholars could be with us, indicative of the many directions that girls disappear to after school. We would like to pay tribute to them. and sum up their achievements. All our gold scholars this
year were from the IB Diploma group. Deborah Huang Deborah scored 40 points and she is currently at Otago University doing a conjoint degree in law and commerce (majoring in PPE philosophy, politics and economics). Sarina Mackey Sarina scored 41 points and has had several offers at universities in the United Kingdom. We believe she will be taking up an offer at St Andrews in Scotland.
Diane Wang Diane scored 42 points and she is looking to attend university in the USA. Zoe Zhu Zoe scored 40 points and we understand she is studying at Monash University in Melbourne this year. Margaret van Meeuwen, Head of Senior School
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Women in Business panel URGES SELF-BELIEF
Women in Business presenters (L to R): Sarah Tanner, Amelia Rentzios, Emma Eagle and Chantelle Gerrard.
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EMMA EAGLE “Never give up” Art and design have always played a large part in Emma Eagle’s life, and she achieved a perfect score in art in her Year 11 exams. But things didn’t always come easy, and Emma is a strong believer in learning from whatever life throws your way, as well as accepting help and guidance from others around her. After qualifying with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Commerce, Emma developed an established career in creativity and communication – subjects she said always inspired her. She went on to found iconic Ponsonby design store Mr Bigglesworthy with her husband Dan 10 years ago, and throughout their years of travelling, sourcing and collaborating with leading local and international auction houses, they’ve become experts in their field. From the engaging and enthusiastic way in which she talks about her business, it’s clear that Emma is doing something she loves. Passion is key, she says, but also the ability to offer something unique. “Be passionate, but also don’t be afraid to think differently,” she says. “Staying in business for 10 years in this current climate is an achievement in itself. Never give up.” The development and success of their business is in part due to Emma’s understanding of the importance of good design and branding. Each of the pieces she and Dan curate in their store has a story, and she believes it’s important to tell that story. “It’s important to hold the brand firmly at the centre of your business,” she says.
“People connect with the story of the products, so they’re buying more than just a piece of furniture. It’s got to resonate with them.”
CHANTELLE GERRARD “Stand up for what you believe in.” Chantelle Gerrard’s career in costume spans 20 years and has included making costumes for Game of Thrones, constructing space suits for The Martian, and costume design for the New Zealand feature film Insatiable Moon. She was head of the Pop-up Globe Costume Department for five years and oversaw the design and construction of all in-house productions the theatre produced since it first launched in 2015. Her work has taken her around the world, and she recently returned to Dio to take up a teaching role in the Creative Industries Faculty. She has also been designing and making costumes for Dio for the last four years across Senior, Junior High School and Junior School performances. Chantelle says Dio gave her the opportunities that guaranteed her creative output was fostered. “When there’s an opportunity to do something you’re passionate about, just say yes,” she says. An accomplished singer and chorister, Chantelle was the youngest student to be accepted into the Bachelor of Music Performance (Voice) at the University of Auckland in 1999, but she says she didn’t feel that she was deserving of the accomplishment and was always full of self-doubt. She put her singing on hold while she studied spatial design at AUT, and during this time pursued costume design for stage and film while studying and then also during her teaching years. Chantelle never thought that it could be her career possibility, but after years of working in the industry and after staging an exhibition of her art and costumes in 2013 in Auckland, the opportunity to work on Game of Thrones arose, and she decided it was too good to pass up. Her greatest love is historical costume, and she has self-funded numerous trips between New Zealand and the UK to further her research. One of her career highlights was establishing Australasia’s largest Elizabethan wardrobe at the Pop-up Globe in her role as head of department and designer there.
“I was so proud of what we achieved there,” she says, “But over my career it’s the diversity of roles that has sustained me. You can do anything you want to do if you do what you are passionate about. Don’t let fear or self-doubt hold you back – stand up for what you believe in and follow it. You don’t want to be there at the end of your life thinking ‘what if?’ Do it, and even if you fail, you know you tried.”
AMELIA RENTZIOS “Adapt to change and play to your strengths.” Amelia Rentzios’s happy place is an oil and gas production facility that lies in a windswept corner of Taranaki, but she started her global career working on the Maybelline range for L’Oréal in New York. Amelia is currently the plant manager of the OMV Maui Production Station near New Plymouth where she is responsible for the safe and reliable delivery of a third of New Zealand’s natural gas production, as well as setting the strategic future of the facility to secure its place in the energy transition. When she left school at 18, Amelia didn’t know she’d end up in boots and a hard hat. She started off doing medicine at university, and then switched to chemical and materials engineering after her first year. “Life changes,” she says. “It throws you curve-balls and opportunities, and it’s a matter of picking them up and running with them. It’s important to learn to adapt to change, know your strengths and play to them.” Amelia has come up against a number of challenges in her time in the energy industry, including being the only foreigner, the only woman and one of the youngest on a team of 200 operations staff while working in the Netherlands. But she sees that as an opportunity, rather than a threat, and she’s inspired and driven by sharing her story with female students. “I want to influence and inspire them. I believe careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields are still very under-represented by women and I feel it’s my responsibility to help rectify that. DIO TODAY
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At the end of March, Dio alumnae Emma Eagle, Chantelle Gerrard, Amelia Rentzios and Sarah Tanner told their stories of success at a Women in Business event sponsored by Sotheby’s International. From running gas production plants and launching a premier vintage design store, to building a lifestyle wellness brand and providing costumes on the world stage, the women each conveyed the importance of passion and self-belief in what you do.
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“Don’t ever underestimate the value your unique strengths and experience can bring in environments where you are different. Do not under-value them, because right now the world needs them. Be confident in them and use this to have a voice at the table.” Amelia is a board member of the New Zealand Young Energy Professionals network and strongly advocates for the energy transition, which she believes to be one of the most important social issues of our day.
SARAH TANNER “Follow your passion.” Holistic health and wellness guru Sarah Tanner started selling when she was eight years old – back then it was from a tomato stand at the top of her driveway, but she got the sales bug and soon moved into bead necklaces and pewter keyrings as part of the Young Enterprise programme at Dio. Sarah was a stellar sportswoman when she was at school, but says self-doubt started to creep in when she was 15, forcing her to put a promising tennis career on hold. She started a Newmarket nail business in 2002 and turned it into a full-service body pampering business, which she ran for eight years, but she says her heart wasn’t in it. “I wasn’t following my passion. I was following someone else’s,” she says. “It’s so important to follow your passion.” In her mid-30s Sarah launched her second business – a wellness brand – which she had a much greater affinity to, and went on to become a brand ambassador for Ceres Organics. She now consults to some of New Zealand’s leading food and wellness companies, helping people incorporate a more plant-based lifestyle with achievable eco tips along the way. Sarah’s a firm believer in the power of connection, and of spreading a message with passion. Embodying what she does, she is warm, engaging, lively, articulate and bubbling with enthusiasm. “Choose what you love first,” she says. “Keep exploring and don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself to succeed first time. It’s the trying that’s fun!
Providing the curtain-raiser for the event was an animated and engaging display by Year 13 business studies students who exhibited their Young Enterprise projects, products and innovations. The Market Day exhibition underscored the importance of sustainability, health and wellbeing. David Holmes, Teacher in Charge of Business, said the students kept their. themes front of mind when creating and designing their products. “The Market Day provides an excellent opportunity for the students to simulate bringing their products to market in a familiar and supportive environment way,” he says. “Students are able to test their products with family and friends, and gather valuable feedback that they can incorporate into further product development and marketing.” Products and projects included recyclable coffee pods, suncatchers to promote mindfulness, organic perfume balms, sustainable haircare products, jewellery that promotes and encourages the use of simple Te Reo phrases, a clothing range to promote body confidence, paleo slices, and a nail care range that uses environmentally friendly glues. The Year 13 students are participating in the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme (YES), which is an experiential programme where students set up and run a real business. There are 20 Dio companies participating in 2021 and each YES business creates its own product or service and brings this to market. Students learn about business planning and operations, develop a range of personal and business skills, and consult with and create networks in their community. Each company or group takes its idea from validation, through to pitch, promotion, sales and finally the annual review. Left Happy Feet
makes tie-dyed socks – the colour of each dye represents a different cancer and cancer charity to which we will donate a portion of our profits. Daisy is a survivor of a rare brain cancer called anaplastic ependymoma and that is what has motivated her to create a business that brings awareness and provides support around child and teen cancers.
“Say yes to everything if it feels in alignment. Apply yourself, but also be adaptable. It’s great to build a brand but you also need to be able to pivot if economic or market conditions dictate.” 24
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LEARNING Above CyclePod is a group of young women seeking to make a change in our environment by producing recyclable coffee pods that people can recycle at home and in so doing, support sustainability.
Above Get it Nailed has created an at-home nail kit that can be reused time and time again, and is biodegradable. “We enjoyed thinking creatively as we were challenged to create a product that is unique, on trend, environmentally friendly and something consumers demand.
Above LJ’s Delights is a solo-run business by Lauren Jackson that makes chocolate self-saucing pudding mixes in a jar using a favourite family recipe – ‘making delicious dessert, and memories with love’.
Above Totally Totes has a focus on sustainability and fabric wastage, giving discarded scraps a second chance by turning them into useful tote bags that are 90% recycled fabric.
The Women in Business event was introduced and chaired by Year 13 students Phebe Mason and Allegra Wilson. Their company, Period, aims to prevent period stigma by creating products that start discussion surrounding menstruation and protecting the environment by minimising plastic waste. It also gives to those in need by donating one package of period products for every item sold. The company, which was started in February 2020, also includes Kate Wellington and Sarah Young as directors. As part of their involvement in the Lion Foundation’s Young Enterprise Scheme last year, Allegra and Phebe picked up the bronze award and the Most Sustainable Business award for the Auckland Central region. Phebe was also recognised with the Auckland Central Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the 2020 prize-giving. They have big plans for 2021! DIO TODAY
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AN OPEN DOOR and a helping hand
io’s new Counselling Suite on the second floor of the Centennial Building provides a safe, secure and serene haven for Dio students and staff. The counselling rooms were previously tucked away upstairs in School House, but their location was not ideal, says guidance counsellor Fiona Pritchard, as they were removed from the main activity of the school campus. The new location, however, provides an open environment where students are welcome to drop in and experience the new facilities. “It’s accessible, it’s visible, it’s inviting,” she says. “Students can easily access resources, check us out and come back whenever they want. “We all had a lot of input into the design, right down to the colour scheme. A lot of thought has gone into making this a space where students can feel comfortable, relaxed, secure and cared for.”
It’s a space that belongs to us all, says Fiona, who came on board in 2011, joining the first Dio counsellor Jean Farac, who started in 2000. The counselling service is now staffed by two full-time and one part-time counsellor, with Fiona working alongside fellow counsellors Clare Norton and Alison Chuang. All have come from teaching backgrounds, both primary and secondary, and are registered counsellors with NZAC. Bright and engaging posters are on display around the School, advertising the new suite and the services on offer. As well as private counselling rooms, one of the key new features added in the new space is the Quiet Room – a space where students can go to relax, reflect and just have some time out. “It’s self-contained and private,” says Clare. “It helps give students a sense of security and safety if they’re feeling vulnerable. We
don’t want students hiding away – it’s hard to find a quiet space in a large, busy school. “Here they can use the self-soothing strategies that they’ve learnt as part of the sessions they do with us and can apply themselves. They’re not left to their own devices – the students’ time there is managed, and the atmosphere is collegial and supportive.” The Counselling Suite has an open-door policy; the counsellors are on hand to see everyone who comes to them, whether the students are seeking assistance themselves or have been referred by others. Referrals come from friends, peers, parents, deans, teachers and sports coaches.
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Fiona Pritchard, guidance counsellor
Fiona says that students are seeking advice and guidance on a range of issues including life events, relationships, friendships, mental health concerns, developmental stages, grief and loss, academic performance, stress, academic support, and the ‘big life questions’. The counsellors work closely with other support services in the school, CEL – The Centre for the Enhancement of Learning – and the Student Health Centre. The counsellors also make referrals and, if needed, work in tandem with outside agencies on a range of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression and eating disorders. There are also some situations where staff might need to refer the students for further help and assistance. Consultations are discreet, confidential and only involve the counsellor and student, unless the student requests that a friend, parent, teacher or dean joins them in the session. The numbers of students coming to the centre has increased since the team moved to their new location at the end of February, but the counsellors say this rise isn’t just a recent thing. “There’s more awareness of mental health issues in general in our communities, and the importance of seeking help,” says Clare. “This was certainly exacerbated by COVID-19 and the issues related to lockdown – feelings of isolation, financial stress, loneliness, helplessness and fear, that was the catalyst, but not necessarily the cause.
“There was much grief and loss associated with last year’s lockdowns. People got through it, but there was a lot of disruption and many challenges. And this year many of our students missed out on EOTC Week, which is a traditional way for them to form friendships early on in the year. Students missed things that were really significant to them. “We generally see an increase in Year 13 student visits around July,” says Fiona. “This is when the pressure starts to go on with assignments and exams, and also when decisions are starting to be made about what to do once school has finished.” Year 13 students were particularly hard-hit last year, says Fiona. “Last year, in particular, we saw senior students coping with grief and loss as many had to curb their plans for further study and travel overseas. The girls’ transition from school to future life is a large part of what they need to focus on in their senior years.” As well as forming longer-term relationships with some of their students, the counsellors often see students for a one-off consultation. “Just because students have come here once doesn’t mean they have to keep coming.” Most sessions are carried out in person, but lockdown forced both counsellors and students to transfer their sessions online. Fiona says everyone adapted well. “Everyone coped really well with Zoom, phone calls and email. Not being able to see students face-to-face didn’t mean we needed to stop or disrupt the services we offer. Our students already had enough disruption in their lives. It was important we were a constant,” says Fiona. “We saw lots of bedrooms, cats and dogs!” she adds. “A lot of the time, it was just about being there. It was about the engagement, especially if we knew the circumstances at home had been difficult. We work very closely with the deans, so the girls don’t need to feel that they’re on their own. There’s a very real sense of community here. “In counselling we see a lot of girls who are coming in because of concern for
their friends. They’re not afraid to speak out on behalf of them, knowing it’s in a safe and secure environment where they won’t be judged or reprimanded. A lot of that is due to the Dio culture, the collegiality and sense of community. When there’s a need, things will happen. The counsellors also work closely with the international students, and particularly so in the last 12 months when the students weren’t able to return home to their families due to COVID-19. This year, in conjunction with the Director of International Students and a trainee counsellor from the University of Auckland, a support group for senior international students has been trialled. “We also talk with students in health classes, discussing some of the mental health issues they’re working on as part of their curriculum,” says Fiona. She says the counselling team are keen to proactively promote the services they offer in an effort to support mental health and wellbeing. And she wants to stress that what they offer isn’t dictatorial, but rather directional. Counselling is not telling people what to do; it is to help them explore options, source information and make considered decisions about what is needed in a particular situation. “We quite often do mediations where there are breakdowns in relationships, but we’re not here to make decisions on behalf of our students. Rather, we give them the skills to make them feel empowered, and the tools to be able to deal with situations on a practical basis. “Life happens,” says Fiona. “Issues and crises arise in people’s lives; we can’t avoid that. Coming to counselling and asking for help in difficult times is a normal thing to do, however for some there’s still a stigma attached to it. We want to make accessing counselling within the School the easiest thing to do.” The Counselling Suite is open Monday to Friday during term time. It also offers ‘speed counselling’ sessions where students can drop into the centre to meet the counsellors, acclimatise themselves with the surroundings and establish a relationship. These take place from 12-1pm, Monday to Friday. DIO TODAY
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“Counselling is not telling people what to do; it is to help them explore options, source information and make considered decisions about what is needed in a particular situation.”
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UNMASKING OUR VOICES!
hat could go wrong in 2021 to stall Diocesan’s annual Soapbox Competition? That was the question on the lips of the Ethics Council. We had already experienced two short lockdowns in the first term and feared that we would once again have to organise an online competition without audience participation, as we had in 2020. And so, we came up with the slogan ‘Unmask Your Voice!’ to launch the 2021 Soapbox Competition. The competition provides us with the wonderful opportunity to express our opinions and speak frankly and freely about issues close to our hearts. Our freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. By voicing our opinions and speaking about what truly matters to us, we can work to bring about positive change in society. The idea behind Soapbox is to create a safe space in which everyone is free to express their opinions. At the Soapbox
assembly, Arielle Friedlander, Deputy Prefect of the Ethics Council, said: “Soapbox offers what is a true safe space, a space of freedom, respect and earnest interest, even with disagreement. By having a range of speakers on varied issues present to a student audience across the first term, and then the finalists in front of the entire school, we have started discussions. These allow our students to feel safe by grappling with their own ideas, knowing that they will have the respect – even though they might disagree – of their peers and teachers.” During the Soapbox assembly, our MC, James Easteal, moved the final along at a cracking pace and entertained the audience with his amusing jokes. While the judges were deliberating, he rounded up some teachers to present their opinions – something everyone enjoyed. Ethics Council Prefect Shania Kumar described Soapbox as a pivotal experience when students are
encouraged to start talking about issues they want to challenge and progress. Over Shania’s years at school, Soapbox has provided her with the opportunity to speak on ethical issues such as gender inequality, racial injustice, gene editing, child marriage, body image and stereotypes. It provides a platform to change injustices present in society. Shania urged the students on, saying: “Our freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. By voicing our opinions and speaking on what truly matters to us, we move forward in bringing about positive change in society. In our current world, it is often difficult to catalyse change and see yourself making a difference. I encourage you to start talking about issues you want to change and progress from there. As Gandhi once said, ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’.” Congratulations to the 200 girls who shared their opinions with us in heats, Ethics committee 2021
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EXCELLENCE IN ETHICAL THINKING One of the most important attributes of a well-rounded education is to understand ethical issues. These are the issues that have no right answers, that are complex and deeply challenging in that they are influenced by our cultural and social perceptions as well as our own hegemonies. Standing in the shoes of others to understand issues is so important, and our girls demonstrated the very real success of our Ethics Centre at the North Island Ethics Olympiad hosted by Diocesan in May.
Senior Soapbox winner Ella Riley.
semi-finals, and in the finals. We heard some amazing speeches on topics ranging from the environment and social media to abortion, animal cruelty and gender inequality. Thank you for your contributions and for sharing your ideas. Bonnie Liu, a Deputy Prefect of the Ethics Council, spent many lunchtimes judging contestants. “To hear these amazing young girls unmasking their voices has been so inspiring,” she wrote. “They raised sometimes contentious, yet crucial, questions on various topics such as feminism, social media and wearing makeup. What makes these speeches so empowering is that they related these elements to the way in which we as Dio students are consciously, or even subconsciously, affected. Raising issues, the way these students have done, drives the change towards improvement for society – it does not matter that they are standing outside a cafeteria on a box; voices mean everything, and as a judge, I have come to appreciate this.” Choosing the finalists was particularly challenging, as all the speakers raised key issues with a great level of engagement. They highlighted the complexity of these issues and the thought they had given them. However, it was the rethinking of orthodox or traditional views, that really made the finalists’ words stand out. The finalists of the Junior High Soapbox Competition were: Alice Lott (7RO), Amelia Avery (8 RO), Siobhan Murphy (9 SE), and Eloise Voss (8MI). The Senior School finalists were Ella Riley (12NE), Pascale Vincent (11NE), Shania Kumar (13 ED), Alex Wackrow (11CO) and Lizzie Peters (11 CO). They all
Junior High Soapbox winner Alice Lott
spoke eloquently and with passion and held the audience’s attention, making the judges’ job a difficult one. But in the end, the winners were Alice Lott who spoke about the uniqueness of Te Reo and Māoritanga and its importance to all New Zealanders, and Ella Riley who spoke about sexual harassment and women’s safety. Congratulations to both of these superb orators. The Ethics Council is a particularly active group, wonderfully led by Shania Kumar, Bonnie Liu and Arielle Friedlander. This term we are organising EatMyLunch on Diocesan’s birthday, volunteering at the EatMyLunch headquarters, inviting some lunchtime speakers on different ethical issues, and setting up an ethics student newspaper. We will also be organising an ethics evening on 9 September (details to follow). Nina Blumenfeld, Director of the Centre for Ethics
Director Nina Blumenfeld has ensured that through the range of activities at Diocesan, our girls learn how to think beyond their own experience of life to prepare them for worldwide challenges. At the Olympiad, they took out the gold and bronze medals with their teams. It was thrilling to see the girls represent Diocesan and succeed in this very comprehensive competition. Congratulations to the girls and to Nina for ensuring that the Ethics Centre at Diocesan continues to make a difference for young women. Gold medal winners: Pascale Vincent, Alex Wackrow, Bharathi Manikandan, Eleanor Christiansen, Maisie Cavanagh, Maia Hunter and Sarah-Rose Crofskey. Bronze medal winners: Lauren Chee, MacKenzie Marlo, Erika Sessatid, Grace Field, Amelie Thomas, Shania Kumar and Christiana Ballard. Heather McRae, Principal
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Sarah Ellis with Head of the Science Faculty, Bernard Potter.
BIO OLYMPICS FOR SARAH
eeing sea lions up close off the Otago Peninsula was just one of the highlights of a recent biology camp for sixteenyear-old Sarah Ellis, who has just been selected to represent New Zealand at the upcoming Olympics for Biology students to be held in Portugal. Sarah, a Year 12 student, was recently named in the four-strong secondary student team, which also includes Janet Guo from Hillcrest High School in Hamilton; David Heng from Westlake Boys’ High School; and Cameron Senior from Rangitoto College.
the University of Otago and Orokonui Ecosanctuary. The students toured bioscience, marine sciences and entomology facilities including the Dunedin Botanic Gardens, Portobello Marine Laboratory and WD Trotter Anatomy Museum at Otago University. Sarah says the experience was incredible, with a boat trip to see sea lions a highlight. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard I’d been selected,” she says. “It was such an amazing experience that I almost forgot that I was competing to be selected for a team.”
Together, they’ll compete in the 32nd International Biology Olympiad in Lisbon, Portugal from 18-21 July. But due to COVID-19 restrictions, they’ll take part in an international online competition, the IBO Challenge II, rather than travelling to Portugal.
In the months leading up to the fourday competition, Sarah’s training will involve online assignments and quizzes, attending tutorials and workshops with her Kiwi IBO teammates, and doing her own reading and research.
Biology Olympiad (IBO) is a prestigious global competition designed to challenge the brightest of young minds and this year teams from over 70 countries will be competing.
Diocesan Head of Science Bernard Potter says Sarah will be up against the best in the world for her age group, and he’s very proud that she’s been recognised for her commitment.
This year’s team selection involved participation in a 10-day practical training camp in Dunedin, hosted by
“I’m absolutely thrilled about Sarah’s inclusion on the team,” he says. “She did a huge amount of work to prepare
for both the training camp and the entrance exams. “It’s very fulfilling when students participate in these kinds of additional opportunities, but especially exciting when they gain such a high level of success.” Dio graduate Anneke Cummack was selected for the New Zealand team in 2019 and represented New Zealand in Hungary, winning a silver medal and was ranked 79th in the world. Sarah, who has been at Dio for four years, would like to go to medical school to become a surgeon once she has finished school, along with doing biomedical research. Part of the International Science Olympiad, which is the pinnacle academic competition for 17 to 19-year olds around the world, the IBO aims to encourage students to see biology as a valued pathway for learning and for a career. Biology is one of seven disciplines in the OlympiaNZ programme – the others are physics, chemistry, maths, geography, informatics, and future problem solving.
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STEAM in a teacup
n this project, the girls were tasked with making a pin cushion to hold a set of sewing pins. They were required to research the history of the mandala and use the simple mindfulness tool of colouring in as a starting point to develop their felt mandala pin cushion design, using personal and cultural symbols to create their own unique mandala pattern. The specifications given for the task were that they could only use the materials supplied in the mandala pin cushion kit, the mandala had to fit into a teacup or small tin, it had to be able to hold pins and the construction had to be to a high standard to withstand the test of time. Ms Wells comments: “We used Microsoft Teams and Schoolbox (DioConnect) at Diocesan School for Girls and luckily for us the girls all had digital devices and had access to the internet, so we were able to post the lesson plans up on Microsoft Teams class pages and on our Schoolbox class pages. “During lockdown we held our usual 50-minute lessons to a regular timetable so we did ‘show and tells’ for our Year 9 students to check on progress and the students were able to share their mandala development drawings and concepts on screen with the class and explain their design outcome. This was good as it meant students were able to
Congratulations to Susan Wells, TIC material design technology, for taking first place in the TENZ Teacher Lockdown Competition for her Years 9 & 10 mandala pin cushion and Sashiko kits. Teachers were asked to submit a digital resource, lesson or activity that they could teach online in any of the technology areas or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics). interact face to face with each other like in a normal classroom. “Students were able to assemble their mandala pin cushion when we returned to school, so this was fun as we all got to see them come together as a class. “Feedback from the students was fantastic – they all said they enjoyed the project as it didn’t take too long to complete each step and they were happy to research and draw at home. They loved the Mindfulness colouring in as this helped them relax. They also said the best part was when they started stitching as it meant they could have a few lessons offline – giving them a much-needed break from digital devices.
congeniality, sharing ideas and helping each other with any problems. Even Ollie, the resident school cat, comes along. He chose not to bring a project, but to provide the homely ambiance of contented purring from the depths of the scrap fabric pile as the humans industriously work away. Beautiful work Susan!
“We as teachers also enjoyed just catching up with them one-on-one on the Microsoft Teams chat to answer any questions or we could video chat to discuss any stitching issues.” Ms Wells presented her lockdown kits to other teachers from around New Zealand at the HETTANZ (Home Economics & Technology Teachers Association New Zealand) Conference in Taupo on 29 May. This year she has initiated an afterschool sewing group that meets on a Tuesday afternoon, bringing along sewing projects and spending the afternoon in an atmosphere of
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LE A R N IN G
Ms Wells’ story of her love of needlecraft is an interesting one and we share it with you here.
n 26 February I had the great pleasure of flying to Nelson to attend the Changing Threads Award Ceremony at The Refinery Artspace. I was chosen as one of 40 finalists from a picking of more than 500 entrants. This is an annual award run by The Refinery Artspace and Nelson Council to showcase New Zealand artists who use craft methodologies within a contemporary practice, pushing the boundaries through concept. Unfortunately, I didn’t win an award this year, however, I truly enjoyed the whole experience of being in an exhibition again! It was so exhilarating, and I realised it’s been far too long – roll on Changing Threads 2022! My love for needlework began when I was as young as I can remember. My mother was a sample machinist for many years and worked for sewing factories around Auckland, later moving to Whangamata with my father. When I was about 12 years old, she set up a sewing school/ factory from our sleepout, a training incentive for young
women on the unemployment benefit to learn how to sew on an industrial scale. Some of these girls went on to sew in larger sewing factories like Bendon in the central North Island. I used to spend hours in her sewing room making things and often helped in the factory. My mother also taught me how to hand sew and brought me my first Bernina sewing machine when I was 13. I loved anything creative. My father was a jewellery designer and maker, and a carpenter, so I was brought up in a very creative household. At the age of 16 I went and worked at the Bendon sewing factory in Te Aroha and continued to do hand stitching as a hobby. However, it was when I was at Elam School of Fine Arts in 2011 that the idea for the ‘Collaborative Stitching Project’ was initiated. In my fourth and final year of my BFA Honours degree I decided I wanted to revisit traditional craft methodologies such as cross stitch within a fine art practice, as this was what I felt most passionate about.
Drawing on my knowledge of geometric abstract painting and the history of craft methodologies, the emphasis of my research and practice is on the role of craft traditions infiltrating and changing the languages of contemporary painting and installation. The craft methodologies I have pursued address issues of domesticity and the feminine. Using previous paintings I had made as a starting point for composition and colour choice, I re-worked the paintings with needle and thread (cross-stitch). Following the principle ‘taking something old and making something new’, my use of existing compositions and colours meant I was able to concentrate on the making as something experienced over time. This allowed time for decision making (to think), for conceptual engagement, and for piecing together past and present. The pattern I used for the Collaborative Stitching Project came from four paintings I had completed in the second
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I then started stitching this now cross stitch pattern by myself but soon realised that stitching takes time! I only had 12 months to make my mark as an artist. It was suggested by my tutors Simon Ingram and Allan Smith that I needed to go big – I was sent home to watch the movie Made in Dagenham, a 2010 British film directed by Nigel Cole. It dramatised the Ford sewing machinists’ strike of 1968 that aimed for equal pay for women. This was a powerful message for me as I realised that as a female artist, I was going to have to make a pretty big impression to succeed and I couldn’t do this alone. As we do in times of need, I rang my mum and asked her if she was willing to help me rally up some craftswomen to help. Within a week I had her Busy Fingers group on board. I emailed and sent letters to each Embroiders Guild branch around New Zealand, explaining my project. Over the next 12 months I sent out over 100 kits to these many craftswomen. I was delighted to receive all the crossstitched pieces back by mail in time for my final exhibition. The cross-stitched pieces were all different as the only thing I asked was for each stitcher to follow the old term often used to make things sustainable – ‘just make do’ – to use what leftover threads they had in their sewing kits. If they did not have a specific colour, they could improvise. This provided many different variations. Some women even got creative and changed the entire pattern. As each work came back, I numbered these and documented who made it, where it was from and the date. And like the original paintings, this then informed
the composition of the first panel of 100 stitched works. I also received letters and cards from these women and men stating how proud they were to be part of something that would be exhibited within a fine art context.
year of my degree. I sent out surveys to my year level asking what their favourite and least favourite colours were and where to place a small square within a big square – top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right or centre. I numbered the surveys as they came back, these squares were then laid out from left to right across a canvas in numerical order, forming four painting compositions consisting of 20 squares on each. This concept to develop a composition based on chance was inspired by German artist Gerhard Richter and his painted series 4900 Colours.
My mum and I sewed these all together into a large 670mm x 800mm panel and I built a frame for the work to hang in so it could be viewed from both sides as all the signatures are on the back of each work. This was then exhibited at the Elam Graduation Show. I achieved my Bachelor of Fine Arts with Second Class Honours. I was also chosen as one of 18 graduates from around New Zealand to exhibit this collaborative work and a few of my own pieces in the Best in Show 2012. The work has also been published in the ANZEG Threads magazine, Object Art publication 2012 and in Gallery 36 magazine. Craft is empowering. It allows us to be involved with every part of production, so there is a sense of personal power in making the crafted objects, but more than that, craft is empowering within communities. My exploration of ideas occurs through collaborative, participatory and community-orientated projects: in particular, The Collaborative Stitching Project, and my involvement with Embroiders’ Guilds and Craft Groups from around the country has contributed to the increasing depth and range of my research. The Collaborative Stitching Project has exceeded my expectations and has developed into a much bigger community project, currently with 278 contributors, 276 women and two men. This project continued past Elam and there are to date three panels that consist of 300 works. The two last panels had never been shown - as I have been busy since Elam raising my three children and becoming a teacher - until this year, when I was chosen to exhibit in the Changing Threads Awards at the Refinery Artspace in Nelson. It was a proud achievement for me and all my collaborators! Susan Wells BFA Hons, Grad Dip Teaching
Above: My initial compositions as paintings in my studio at Elam; the very first stitched piece when I was trialling the pattern; one of the three finished panels.
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A BIG TICK FOR PYP AT DIO We are incredibly proud of the feedback we received from IB which highlighted the world class Primary Years Programme we deliver at Diocesan Junior school
ach IB school is regularly evaluated to ensure that the standards and practices of its IB programme are maintained. Evaluation visits support a school’s effort to continually improve the delivery of the programme. As part of the process, the school engages in a self-study to identify the strengths of its programme and identify ways it can continually improve on its delivery of PYP. Due to COVID, the review took place virtually this year and involved two reviewers online with our staff and students over three days. Although it was somewhat of a challenge to organise with many online discussions with girls, teams of teachers, staff and the Board of Governors, as well as Zoom visits to classrooms, the girls and staff demonstrated very ably the positive learning culture at Dio. Special thanks has been extended to the group of parents who met with the evaluation team via
Zoom and spoke so knowledgeably about PYP and their daughters’ learning from a parent perspective. On the final day, a Zoom meeting was held with the evaluators to hear their findings. As expected, they were very impressed with the PYP being delivered at Dio and also spoke very highly of the staff. Their final statement was that Dio Junior School was a highly impressive school and rated close to the best they have seen for the delivery of the PYP. They noted that there is a shared understanding of the PYP at all levels across the School – the BOG, principal, staff, parents and students – which all added to their feeling that it is one of the best models they have seen. Special thanks to Nicole Lewis for leading this review in her role as PYP Coordinator. As a school we have identified some goals for us to work towards going forward.
Develop and encourage studentinitiated action: Students showing initiative and taking action in their community as a result of their new learning and knowledge. This links to service learning at Dio. We are currently working with the new Service Learning manager, Lucette Chu, to strengthen service and action learning in the Junior School. Continue to develop and strengthen our relationships within the community to provide our girls with real-life connections and experiences to their learning. Your daughter’s programme of inquiry is visible on her year level blog. If you have an area of expertise and are eager to support the programme as a guest speaker or host site visits, we would love to connect with you. Please contact PYP coordinator Nicole Lewis: email@example.com
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to visit dents ation a u l ort stu a p p v ral ide u t e s n ur o the ce oals to f g o m g g o in r learn tandin ghts f unders velop Highli y. e d q age f in uir P.
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Term 2 music leaders. Front – Jisele Lu, Angel Tao and Eve Lu Back – Michelle Xu, Anna Yuan and Verity Jin.
Leadership in the Junior School Great leaders don’t tell you what to do. They show you what to do.
I • • •
n the Junior School we support student leadership with opportunities for responsibility in a range of different contexts: In-class leadership, Leading in areas of personal strength and interest, Leading school activities such as supporting assemblies, hosting visitors, or acting as buddies for new students, Leading or having input into activities such as Kapa Haka, fitness leaders, the enviro group, sport or music,
House leaders supporting schoolwide events and building house spirit, Offering a range of leadership opportunities such as becoming Junior School Student Council or School Council representatives and becoming Service Leaders.
At the beginning of the year we work with our Year 6 girls to explore what it means to be a leader in the Junior School and then they have the opportunity to select the roles that mean the most to them as students. Being a leader means developing skills and awareness of self. In our Primary Years Programme there are approaches to learning that connect strongly to these, including: Social skills – building relationships,
being respectful and helping others succeed. Self management – self-motivation, perseverance and resilience. Each leadership role has a teacher mentor to guide and support the student leader. While most leadership roles are in Year 6, every student has the capacity to be a leader and teachers support this in their classes through offering authentic opportunities. In the Junior School, we value every chance to develop our next leaders, giving students the confidence and skills to be true to themselves and lead with courage. Amy Thompson Deputy Principal, Junior School
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he Year 5 girls had a busy start to the 2021 school year preparing for the Year 5 production Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. Filled with toe-tapping musical numbers, energetic dances and witty dialogue, the Year 5 girls did a spectacular job of putting on this truly scrumptious show! Performing to large numbers in our new theatre, the audience was taken on a musical adventure by the eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts who sets about restoring an old race car with the help of his children Jeremy and Jemima. The family soon discover the car has magical qualities and has the ability to
float and fly. When Baron Bomburst from the child-hating kingdom of Vulgaria desires the magic car for himself, the family joins forces with Truly Scrumptious and Grandpa Potts to outwit the devious Baron and Baroness and their evil henchman, the Child Catcher. After only seven weeks of intensive rehearsing, the girls’ enthusiasm and passion for the show never once wavered, even during the short lockdowns they faced, and their ongoing determination was inspiring. Credit must be given to them too for designing the detailed digital scenes that were projected during the show.
BANGIN A D SH ' OW O O G
These colourful backdrops, along with the amazing costumes and props created by our talented staff, made the Junior School musical a truly spectacular experience for our audiences. Thank you to all the staff and senior girls involved who worked hard behind the scenes to make the show such a grand success for our young Year 5 stars. A special mention to our multi-talented director Jeremy Hinman whose artistic vision and clear direction created this exceptional show for the cast and the Dio community to enjoy. Mehernaz Pardiwalla, Junior School Performing Arts Coordinator
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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr
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LEARNING DIO TODAY
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GRANDPARENTS’ DAY AT DIO
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beautiful day dawned for our annual Grandparents’ Day on Thursday 8 April 2021. The day commenced with the grandparents and special friends of students from the Foundation Class through to Year 8 ushered into the Arts Centre theatre. The theatre is a wonderful addition for occasions like this – everyone has a comfortable seat and great view, and it was marvellous to be able to accommodate the 600-plus grandparents without the fuss of finding enough chairs. Principal Heather McRae welcomed our visitors and they all enjoyed the items performed by the students on stage before heading to School House Lawn and the Junior School turf to meet their granddaughters and share the delicious picnic lunches the grandparents had prepared. After the picnic, the students took their visitors on tour to their classrooms and favourite parts of the campus. It was a wonderfully happy day for all.
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L IVIN G CHAPLAINCY
The power of
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
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There has been much hype over the past 15 or so years about mindfulness and its positive impact on the lives of people who practise it. I wrote about mindfulness and our own Christian tradition of contemplative practice in an issue of Dio Today a few years ago. This article focuses on only one very small aspect of what some people might consider to be mindful practice, and what others might consider to be prayer. Whatever ideology you want to associate it with, it is hard to go past gratitude when thinking about connecting with the present. The practice of gratitude is as simple as writing down three things you are grateful for at the end of each day. I have spoken about this in chapel services many times, and I sometimes think that because it seems like such a simple and perhaps meaningless thing to do, people minimise the significance of it, don’t explore it for themselves, and miss out on the remarkably positive outcomes it brings. These positive outcomes are not just wishful thinking; they are real, and this is backed up by plenty of scientific studies. Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology at the University of
California, Davis, is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He has been studying the effects of gratitude on the lives of everyday people for the past 20 years. I was reminded of his work recently as I was listening to one of Oprah Winfrey’s earliest Super Soul podcasts1 , interviewing Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, about her journey with grief after the sudden death of her husband. Sandberg said that it was focusing on the practice of gratitude that helped her come out the other side of what was a very dark time for her and her children. She firmly believes that when we focus on the moments of joy and make note of them, we rewire our brains to notice them more. Sandberg talks of realising that it is the tiny moments of joy that ‘make our lives’, rather than the big things. She is not alone in this realisation, as is evident in Emmons’ research. Emmons and his colleagues carried out several series of studies in which groups of people systematically cultivated gratitude by keeping a ‘gratitude journal’ in which they regularly recorded the things for which they were grateful.2 Sounds very simple, doesn’t it? Over 1000 people from a range of age groups have been involved in studies requiring them to write down in their journals every day a few things that they were grateful for. Some of Emmons’ studies were as short as three weeks. Emmons says that the results demonstrated consistent physical, psychological and social benefits for the participants. Physically, people had stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, were more inclined to exercise and take care of themselves, and had better sleep. They also reported feeling more well and being less aware of aches and pains in their bodies. Psychologically, the participants had higher levels of positive emotions and were more joyful and gained more pleasure from their experiences. They were more optimistic and happier, as well as feeling more alive, alert and awake. Interestingly, the studies showed that there was an impact on the social
wellbeing of the participants also. They were more compassionate, helpful, generous, outgoing and forgiving. They also felt less lonely and isolated.
ince the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, there has been a significant increase in the number of New Zealanders with depression, anxiety and, particularly among young people, disordered eating. This time of instability and uncertainty has taken a toll on the mental health of many people in our communities, and it is a very good time for us to be focusing on our own mental wellbeing and taking care of ourselves. One thing that really helps people to stay mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy is intentionally focusing on the present moment. Focus on what is past and cannot now be changed, or on worries about what might happen in the future can be the cause of anxiety, so mindfully connecting into the present moment can bring relief from that.
Emmons says that there are two important parts to what gratitude is: the first is seeing the goodness and positivity, and the second is seeing where that goodness came from. This distinction is important because when we recognise that much of what we can be grateful for is not self-generated, it engenders a sense of humility and an acknowledgement that we are connected to others and that others help us to experience goodness in our lives. This is also where the practice of gratitude connects with our Christian ethos of thanksgiving. If we see that all goodness and positivity in the world comes from God, the ultimate source of love, it makes complete sense that we would end each day giving thanks to God for the positive, loving and hopefilled things from the day. As Christians we should be focused on the hope that comes from the resurrection and this way of praying would cement that in our lives. In the interview with Oprah Winfrey, Sheryl Sandberg said that when she intentionally looked for the joy every day, she experienced an increasing amount of joy – that somehow the act of looking for it multiplied its existence in her life. She started looking for positive things she could include in her gratitude journal as each day progressed and found that the debilitating blackness of grief she felt slowly lifted as she connected with positivity and hope. I found her story profound and again marvelled at the way such a simple practice, giving thanks for just three things each day, changed her mindset, and thus her life. I wonder how this could impact on those of us who are suffering from Covid-19-related instability in our mental wellbeing? Rev’d Sandy Robertson, Chaplain
Super Soul Podcast, 08/08/2017. podcasts.apple.com Emmons, R. (2010). Why Gratitude is Good. greatergood.berkeley.edu
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Charlotte Hulme, Head Prefect, Aimee Crosbie, Ball Prefect and Phebe Mason, Deputy Head Prefect.
This year’s Senior School Ball was themed around ‘A Night in Greece’. The venue at Alexandra Park provided a lovely blue and white setting and the delicious food served during the evening was enjoyed by all. Our three favourite suppliers, White Door Photography, NZDJ and Covers Design, did an amazing job, and we are very lucky to work with such professionals every year. This year, in line with the Senior School’s focus of Ko Tātou, ‘We are One’, our Year 12 and 13 students introduced a philanthropic initiative to the Ball. The Ball Council decided that to implement Ko Tātou, they would fundraise for Variety - the Children’s Charity, which aims to help underprivileged children in New Zealand with support for schooling, medical costs and extracurricular activities. It was voted that a ticket price increase of $20 would go straight to Variety, together with all profits from the Ball. We also had a generous donation from Bracewell Construction, and numerous gifts and vouchers donated from local companies significantly helped our profit – the grand total raised was just over $15,000. This was presented to Variety at an assembly at the end of June.
HAPPY BIRHTDAY, DIO! On Monday 31 May, our Year 13 students treated us to a wonderful birthday concert.
Hosting well-known naturalist ‘David Attenborough’ and tough man ‘Bear Grylls’ to the stage in the new theatre to observe the Dio girls in their natural environment was quite something! Rosie Leishman as David, with her equally talented tough girl Leila Bonetti carrying off the Bear Grylls impersonation, showcased the acting talent that abounds amongst the girls. During this annual tradition at Diocesan, we were treated to a range of ways to laugh and it was brilliantly entertaining. Special thanks to Arabella White, the Birthday Concert Prefect, for her oversight of the concert. She led a spectacular group who were exceptional in keeping the audience in excited anticipation with their humour and ingenuity. Dean Lisa Vos made a fantastic entrance in the final dance sporting her Elton John-style glasses. Congratulations to Ms Vos, all the staff who willingly participated, and the Year 13 girls – what a great way to celebrate our 117th birthday! 44
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Our thanks to the Ball Committee, staff and our generous sponsors for making the evening such a success. Converse Sno Café Designer Wardrobe Tan in the City
Best Ugly Bagels Brooklyn Flowers Burger Burger Nike Britomart
La Bella Beauty Dressie Deadly Ponies Dry & Tea Meadowlark Jewellery Regal Dry Cleaners
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RISING TO THE CHALLENGE... AGAIN! With Term 2 our busiest time of year, the performing arts have risen to the challenge. Already many of our students have been involved in nationwide events, kicking off with Dio’s Jazz Band competing at the National Jazz Festival in Tauranga, followed by the senior Hip Hop crew competing at the Mega School Division competition, Dio hosting the Shakespeare Festival regionals, and Les Misérables debuting as our first largescale production in the new theatre, to name a few. We have been thrilled with the results across so many disciplines and look
forward to more fabulous successes at regional and national level later in the year. In collaboration with Dilworth School, the Diocesan team presented Les Misérables one of the most popular musicals in the world as our first fully staged production in the new theatre. The students across both schools were unbelievably excited to be in this wonderful new venue, which boasts a large open stage perfectly suited to musical theatre, an orchestra pit, full lighting rig and backstage facilities to die for.
With a stellar double cast of 50 performers, 15 musicians, 36 backstage crew, and a 15-strong creative team led by Director Sarah Spicer and Musical Director/Producer Lachlan Craig, this epic production of passion and redemption set during the French Revolution, brought out the very best in everyone and we were so proud to stage this West End hit as our first major production in the new venue. Shelagh Thomson, Director of Performing Arts
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unbelievable memories that will stay with us long after we leave school. “Usually ‘show week’ for a production is when the cast and crew move into the theatre only two days before opening night. Thanks to our incredible new facilities, we started rehearsals in the theatre in March and this
“Les Misérables is an alltime classic, full of drama, excitement and emotion. It is the ultimate musical theatre experience that audiences around the world have loved for decades and our Dio/Dilworth production, in the brand new, unbelievably cool Dio Arts Centre, was no exception. We had the best time creating
generated an expectation from everyone to give their absolute best and achieve a more professional level of performance. At every rehearsal we looked out to the stalls and imagined performing to an audience. We sang our hearts out in a fantastic reverberant acoustic and watched as Ms Gerrard, Dio’s very own costume designer, brought the characters to life. “The magic really started in the final rehearsals when the orchestra joined us. Hearing our fellow students in the orchestra play the show music so beautifully was breathtaking, especially when we know how hard they practised to reach such an amazing standard. “Backstage, the green room was the hangout space for the cast; chilling, listening to music and getting our makeup/wigs sorted by Ms Holland. Our director, Mrs Spicer, and musical director, Mr Craig, both did an outstanding job bringing this production together. It’s been such a fun experience for everyone across the two schools. “We feel incredibly lucky; our new Dio theatre drew the highest standard from each and every one of us and we were determined to make this first production a memory to treasure.” Rosie Leishman, Arts Prefect
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LIVING DIO TODAY
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RECOGNITION FOR DIO MUSICIANS Two of our talented Year 12 students, Hattie Johnston and Sunny Zhang, were selected for New Zealand’s best-loved national choir, the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir, for 2021/2022. The year got off to a great start with an intensive weekend in January for the National Choral Academy at the Aotea Centre. The NZSSC got to work alongside Voices NZ Chamber Choir and the National Youth Choir to begin preparing for Carmina Burana, the first concert to feature all three choirs. This was followed in April by an intensive week in Wellington that included performing at two high-profile national events: the State Memorial Service for Prince Philip and the national ANZAC Service. Our Director of Choirs, Rachel Sutherland, Assistant Director and vocal consultant for the choir said the highlight was singing for the National ANZAC Memorial Service at Pukeahu in Wellington. The choir’s rendition of the Richard Puanaki waiata Wairua Tapu went viral. Shared internationally, it received close to 400,000 views in just a week.
The choir will next meet in Auckland in July and this course will conclude with their first concert. Year 13 flautist Helen Kim has not only been successful again in her audition for the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra, she has also been appointed principal flute. This honour makes Helen the top flautist for her age group in the country. Year 12 viola player Elise Ji was also successful in gaining a place in this national orchestra. They performed a challenging programme in the newly refurbished Christchurch Town Hall in the April holidays after a week of intensive rehearsals. Elise has also been a member of the Auckland Youth Orchestra for three consecutive years. Year 13 student Matilda Hol, this year in the violin section, has been a member of AYO for the past three years as a viola player. A new addition is Year 12 horn player Ella Riley who joins the AYO team for the first time and is loving the opportunity
to perform challenging pieces amidst a 15-strong orchestral brass section! Yet another talented Year 13 student is trumpeter Jessica Marshall. Jess once again successfully auditioned for the New Zealand Youth Symphonic Winds – the premiere concert band for young people aged 16- 24. This year Jess will perform a concerto with our Dio Concert Band and will be remembered for her moving rendition of The Last Post at our ANZAC services here at Dio. It is a great achievement to be accepted into these prestigious national and regional orchestras and choirs, offering our top musicians the opportunity to team up with the very best of New Zealand’s young talent. Every one of these girls also represent Dio in our elite choral and instrumental ensembles and we are very proud of their dedication. Below: Music achievers (L to R) Sunny Zhang, Ella Riley, Hattie Johnston, Matilda Hol, Elise Ji and Helen Kim. (Absent from photo – Jessica Marshall)
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The Jam Factory contemporary music programme has been in full swing this year. We have many new groups at Years 7 and 8 level, all of whom have participated in outdoor lunchtime concerts in the Chapel Courtyard. These concerts have been very well received and provide a great experience for our younger bands. We had some fantastic results from the Rockquest regional heats at the end of May. Three out of our four bands made it to the regional finals, showcasing their funky original compositions. They were: TV Racket – Mia Reid and Hattie
Girl bands rock
Johnston LIFT! – Victoria Wright, Olivia Turnbull, Olivia Smithies, Eleanor Tenbensel and Aimee Schnuriger Second World Problems – Catarina Young, Talia Wood, Sabine MesserGoodall, Mila Hopwood-Craig and Vanessa Huang There were 31 bands in the Auckland Central heat and only 12 were selected for the regional final, so it was an amazing start to our competition season. A huge shout-out to the girls and their tutors, Keith Millbank and Richie Pickard. Well done everyone!
Second World Problems
NZCT CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION
After last year’s unprecedented triple national achievements in the competition, we have expanded our groups to include Years 7 and 8 students. With over 30 girls in 12 different instrumental combinations, our talented musicians will be serious contenders for the big prizes this year and we look forward to smashing it at regionals and nationals once again. The regionals have some 80 ensembles from the Auckland district alone and for the first time the Northern finals will be hosted in the Diocesan Theatre. The national finals will be in the newly refurbished Town Hall in Christchurch later in August.
NATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
For the first time we entered our 20-strong Clyde Street Jazz Band (ranging from Year 8 to Year 13) in the National Jazz Festival Competition in Tauranga. With over 50 schools competing, Director Jill Christoff was thrilled with the girls’ achievements, winning a silver award. The band did the round trip in a day but next year plan to stay the long weekend and experience the high-octane jazz environment on offer, with opportunities to participate in workshop sessions run by the very best jazz musicians in the country.
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The annual Auckland Central Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand Festival was held for the first time in our new Diocesan Theatre. At our biggest festival yet, the stage saw over 50 scenes performed by Dio and other local schools and the standard matched our exceptional facilities.
“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.” William Shakespeare
ongratulations are in order for a formidable trio: Rosie Leishman, Phebe Mason and Melissa Uren. They have been at the SGCNZ National Festival as five-minute student-directed winners for the past three years. This highly competitive category is always a big draw. This year the girls saw off over 40 other scenes to reign supreme. There was additional
success for Rosie Leishman as she won the adult/student category of the 15-minute scene with her partner Natasha Mori. These girls have been involved in the festival since Year 9 and have enjoyed being at the national festival every year. This year saw a Year 12 student from Dio claim the direct-entry golden ticket, awarded to the most
Amelia England as Desdemona in a scene from Othello.
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Acting was not our only strength this year, with Amanda Yu (Year 10) showing her artistic flair as a finalist in the SGCNZ Costume Competition and Arielle Friedlander (Year 13) as a finalist in the Otago University Shakespeare Essay Competition where her “sharp wit” was commended.
from The Merchant of Venice. Both groups received prestigious scene awards. The awards recevied were: Phebe Mason – ‘I am the master of my speeches award’ for excellence in verse and prose. Kennedy Howe and Rosie Leishman – ‘Best communication with the audience’ for the self-directed The Comedy of Errors.
Phebe Mason, Melissa Uren and Rosie Leishman – ‘Best vocal projection’ for The Merchant of Venice. Arielle Friedlander – silver medal for her insightful essay about fake news in the works of Shakespeare. Amanda Yu – bronze medal for her innovative costume design. Alyssa Richardson and Amelia McIntosh – highly commended in the costume design competition.
outstanding performer of the festival. Amelia England as Desdemona was “breath taking” according to the judges and will join the elite company of 24 performers from around New Zealand in Wellington in the October holidays.
Natasha Mori (L) as Dromio with Rosie Leishman (R) as Antipholus in The Comedy of Errors.
Queen’s Birthday Weekend is when all the best young Shakespearian actors descend on Wellington. After a digital festival last year, it was exciting to be able to reconnect with students from around New Zealand. After an invigorating day of industry professionals’ workshops and two plays at Circa theatre, the girls performed on the famous Michael Fowler stage. The Comedy of Errors brought the house down with its amazing energy and audience participation, followed by a masterclass in character interaction
The Merchant of Venice – (L to R) Phebe Mason as Bassanio, Rosie Leishman as Antonio and Melissa Uren as Shylock.
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A new vision for
DANCE AT DIO
n mid-June the new Diocesan Arts Centre hosted its first ever full-scale dance production. The student performances were bursting with energy and passion, the audience inspired by the skill and creative expression of these young, talented dancers. This year our Year 13 curriculum dance students added to the trademark Night of Dance brand with the title In Motion. Year 13 student Imogen Bowkett designed the In Motion poster, and as a visual art student, she will use the poster design for an NCEA standard. The current and future Year 13 curriculum dance classes now have the opportunity to theme, guide and effect some ownership on their final showcase. Performances highlight ensemble pieces and student choreographed works, while all year groups will prepare to
perform works that are in line with the dedicated theme/idea. Without a doubt, our Teacher in Charge of Dance, Zoe Visvanathan, is a tour de force and the inspiration behind this new vision. An experienced dance practitioner, Mrs Visvanathan (Mrs V) studied at the New Zealand School of Dance, New Zealand’s leading tertiary training institution for dance. After graduating, she freelanced with New Zealand’s top choreographers. In 2009, she gained a permanent contract with Black Grace Dance Company where she spent her next decade touring and performing nationally and internationally. She then progressed from senior dancer to company teacher and rehearsal director, and has significant teaching experience in tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools, and
in private dance studios. Zoe has also led workshops and masterclasses in some of the top colleges in the USA. She is on the honours board of the New Zealand School of Dance, in recognition of ‘successfully forging a distinguished career in the dance profession for 10 years or more’.
“Dance is communication, and so the great challenge is to speak clearly, beautifully, and with inevitability.” Martha Graham
Year 13 dance group
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Mrs V brings enthusiasm, knowledge and experience to her TIC Dance role at Diocesan. She is especially passionate about inspiring young women in gaining confidence, discipline, creativity and leadership through the art of dance. “Dance is continually and rapidly evolving as a medium for physical and creative expression and skill,” she says. “Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to experience this as a performer, teacher and audience member. I am aware of the changes and adaptations in approaches to physical training and live performance. The medium of dance is now using visual imagery, technology and fusing contrasting genres to create new and exciting movement vocabulary. It is my goal to use my knowledge to inspire and showcase the potential of our dancers, ensuring they remain at the forefront of dance education.”
Our senior Hip Hop crew performed during the April holidays in the Mega School Division (HHINZ) competition at Vodafone Events Centre. Rehearsing under the supercharged mentorship of Ashley Metcalfe, these
girls really pumped out some energy. And it was fabulous that our senior students also choreographed much of the dance. Providing a platform for young dancers to perform and watch experienced dancers at a national event, it was a
fabulous chance for our girls to learn the invaluable skills of teamwork, organisation and leadership. We are really proud of the girls and everyone who contributed to getting this show on the road so early in the year – well done team! DIO TODAY
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Competition between the houses has been a tradition at Dio for over a century, the first recorded house competition, in April 1909, being a tennis fixture between School House and Selwyn House. In more recent times, the house competitions have included swimming, athletics, cross country, music and dance. In 2020, a service component was added in which the girls supported the Auckland City Mission’s winter food drive. After the accrued points have all been tallied, at the final full school assembly of the year, the Stark Cup is awarded to the winning house. The cup was donated by legendary Dio teacher Mrs Riri Stark, who taught French, English and history at Diocesan from her appointment in 1956 until her retirement in 1980. Bright and charming, erudite, quick witted and generous in spirit, she lives on in the hearts of many Old Girl members of the school community. In addition, the Heritage Foundation makes the Anna Tingey Award to the leader of the winning house. Anna, an Old Girl of the School, was an avid traveller, and to celebrate her love of the road, the prize is a quality atlas to inspire the winner in her future travels.
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Swimming champions (Years 9-13) Front: Grace Jeromson, Lucy McKinnon, Aimee Crosbie, Jesse Welsh and Kasey McDowall. Middle: Molly Sherrard, Leila Ibrahim and Eva Allan; Back: Madison Clark.
he annual swimming sports event took place on Friday 12 February in the Diocesan Aquatic Centre where we were treated to some first-class racing. The morning saw our Years 7 and 8 swimmers racing against each other for top spot. Our Year 8 category was extremely competitive with our top three swimmers battling for finishing spots throughout the whole programme. Our Years 9 – 13 swimmers again treated us to some fantastic races in all age groups, with a wealth of strong swimmers on show. Our Junior age
Year 7 1st Melody Xue (7CO) 2nd Indie Williams (7MP) 3rd Hollie Lawson (7MP) and Emily Dick (7CO)
group saw Grace Jeromson (9RO) win third place, Molly Sherrard (9MI) coming second and Madison Clark (9MI) winning the title of Junior Swimming Champion. Eva Allan (11ED) took out the Intermediate title, followed by Leila Ibrahim (11CW) in second place and Kasey McDowall (11SE) in third. Our Senior age group has some of New Zealand’s top swimmers; Lucy McKinnon (13MI), who currently holds our records for 100m and 50m breaststroke placed third overall. Swimming co-code captain Jesse Welsh (13CO) placed second while Aimee Crosbie (13MP), New Zealand Development swimmer and Dio
swimming co-code captain, won both the Senior age group and also the Champion of Champions cups. Aimee Crosbie broke two records at swimming prelims with the 100m freestyle record now set at 58.56 and the 50m freestyle at 26.28. Aimee now holds all Diocesan’s freestyle records in both 50m and 100m at all age groups. Roberton were the house winners for Years 7 and 8 and Mary Pulling won the Swimming Sports House Cup for Years 9 - 13. Congratulations to all our swimmers who competed on the day.
Year 8 1st Frankie Dodunski (8CW) 2nd Emma Li (8RO) 3rd Celest Vo (8RO)
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Cross Country We started Term 2 with the annual cross country competition. In our favour, the rain held off, with some great racing taking place. The 2.7km course over difficult terrain, including up and over Mt St John, recorded some fast-paced racing. The stand-out competitor was Year 7 Indie Williams who had an extraordinary race, finishing first and having the fastest time of the day across all year levels. Well done to all the girls who took part! Junior 1st Amy Shennan (10MI) 2nd Amy Stafford (10CW) 3rd Molly Sherrard (9MI)
Year 8 1st Hannah McManus (8MI) 2nd Sophia Haines (8ED) 3rd Sophie Pearce (8CW)
Senior 1st Amelia Green (12MP) 2nd Lauren Williams (13SE) 3rd Imogen Foley (13NE) Intermediate 1st Lucy Shennan (12MI) 2nd Eve Finlayson (12NE) 3rd Jess Finnegan (11CW)
Year 7 1st Indie Williams (7MP) 2nd Maddie Worrall (7MP) 3rd Cerys Findlow (7CO)
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Senior Mitchelson girls celebrate their house win at Athletics Day.
n Tuesday 23 February, Diocesan held our annual Athletics Day at Mt Smart Stadium, with COVID-19 alert level 2 dropping just hours before the event! It was a wonderful day all round despite the wind; the sun was shining and the noise of girls cheering one another on brought an encouraging (if loud) atmosphere to the stadium. We had many girls participating in both competitive and non-competitive events. There were some awesome results over all age groups on both the track and field. Congratulations to Lucy Shennan who
OVERALL RESULTS Year 7 1st Indie Williams (7MP) 2nd Addison Hewlett (7CW) 3rd Emily Keene (7MI) Year 8 1st Hannah McManus (8MI) 2nd Sophia Haines (8ED) 3rd Mackenzie Roxburgh (8RO) Junior 1st Jacqui Nasrabadi (9SE) 2nd Amy Shennan (10MI) 3rd Charlotte Wear (9MI)
broke the Intermediate 400m record from 1986 with a time of 1:00.28, an incredible result. Well done Lucy! Other stand-out competitors were Indie Williams (7MP) and Hannah McManus (8MI) who won all the events they competed in on the day, gaining 50 points each for their houses. At the end of the day, it was Mitchelson House that took out the top athletics house for 2021. Well done Mitchelson! Thank you to all students who got involved, to the parents for coming along in support, and to all the staff who helped out on the day.
Intermediate 1st Maddie Kelso-Heap (12NE) 2nd Lucy Shennan (12MI) 3rd Chloe Luo (10CO) Senior 1st Arabella White (13CO) 2nd Sonya Ha (12CW) 3rd Katie Ryan (13SE) 100m Sprint Champion Sonya Ha (12CW) Final House placings 1st Mitchelson, 2nd Cowie, 3rd Cochrane, 4th Mary Pulling, 5th Selwyn , 6th Edwards, 7th Neligan, 8th Roberton
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Our top results at the Auckland Championships were:
With an event-filled calendar, the first term was a busy time for athletics. Our girls had a great season, with many personal bests broken. A group of five girls attended the North Island competition in Hamilton including Lucy Shennan (gold – 800m), Sonya Ha, Maddie Kelso-Heap (bronze – 300m hurdles), Elizabeth Peters (bronze – 80m hurdles) and Jacqui Nasrabadi. Dio also had great success at the Auckland Schools’ Athletics Championships where we won 11 medals.
Junior Girls Jacqui Nasrabadi – 300m 3rd, long jump 3rd Amy Shennan – 1500m 3rd Intermediate Girls Lucy Shennan – 800m 1st Maddie Kelso-Heap – 300m hurdles 1st Lucy Shennan – 400m 2nd Maddie Kelso-Heap – 200m 3rd Elizabeth Peters – 80m hurdles 3rd Senior Girls Arabella White – 800m 3rd Amelia Green – 1500m 3rd
SUMMER SPORT ROUND-UP CRICKET
Our 1st XI cricketers competed at the Girls’ Cricket T20 National Qualifier Tournament at Lloyd Elsmore Park, where they finished in eighth place. Well done girls and many thanks to coach Roy Goodyear and manager Bryan Haggitt. Congratulations also to Tessa Dysel who has been selected into the New Zealand Maori Squad.
Dio dragon boating crew 2021
The 2021 dragon boating season started off with lots of training at Lake Pupuke and online gym sessions through both lockdowns. The girls finally made it down to Lake Hood in Ashburton for the NZ Dragon Boating National Championships. Many of Dio’s team of 11 girls had never competed in a race before as our regional regatta was cancelled due to COVID-19. Despite being a small crew with not much experience, the team placed fourth and fifth in their 200m and 500m small boat races over the two-day regatta. DIO TODAY
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Left: Silver medallists, Dio Junior A futsal team. Below: Lily Double, Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
Futsal Well done to our Junior A futsal team on their performance at the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Futsal Championships held in Wellington. After losing a tough final game against St Andrew’s College, Dio was awarded the silver medal. Our young Senior A team topped the table in pool play, lost their next match, and ended up finishing a very respectable eleventh out of 24 teams. Special mention to superstar Junior A goalkeeper Lily Double who was voted Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
FENCING During the April school holidays, Chantelle May competed in a couple of major fencing events. She did extremely well, finishing first in both the U-17 Women’s Foil Championship held in Auckland on 17 April and the NZ U-17 Women’s Foil competition held in Wellington on 26 April. Congratulations Chantelle!
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The Dio sailing team had a great term on the water. The team of Sophie Cooke, Lydia Zhu, Lucy Tucker, Zara Tucker, Alex Cooke, Georgia Rae, Isla Barker and Lizzie Shapland finished second girls’ school at the Auckland Championships. Annabel Duff jumped in the boat for Georgia for Nationals where the girls fought hard over a week-long schedule of racing. They improved each day and showed resilience out on the water for full days. The girls ended up in fourth place, only two wins from third placed Napier Girls. Below: Dio sailors Lydia Zhu, Alex Cooke, Lizzie Shapland, Zara Tucker, Isla Barker, Lucy Tucker, Sophie Cooke and Annabel Duff.
Top Dio swimmers Lucy McKinnon, Aimee Crosbie and Jesse Welsh.
SWIMMING A team of 19 swimmers qualified for the Auckland Champion of Champions finals. Captains Jesse Welsh and Aimee Crosbie led the way, picking up a series of individual medals. Aimee won double gold in the 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle and Jesse won gold in the 50m backstroke and bronze in the 50m freestyle. Lucy McKinnon won silver in the 50m breaststroke. We had a host of placings in the relays, with two golds, three silvers and a bronze.
Orienteering coach Cameron L’Isle with Sienna Payne, Lucy Russ and Amelia McIntosh.
Top Dio swimmers Aimee Crosbie, Jesse Welsh and Lucy McKinnon have re-qualified for the Swimming New Zealand Development Squad. Aimee Crosbie was also selected as one of 10 girls on the New Zealand Junior team to compete at the Junior Pan Pacific Games in the 100m butterfly and the 4x100m freestyle relay. However due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of many domestic and international meets, this team is unable to compete.
Orienteering At the National Orienteering Clubs’ Championships held in Auckland in March, Lucy Russ (12 RO) representing Auckland Orienteering Club, and our orienteering code captain, led by example, winning the Women’s U-18 sprint race, as well as coming fourth in the middle-distance event. Aless Nicholson (7RO) competed in her first ever club national competition and came fourth in the U-12 Women’s sprint event. Following on from that, the Auckland Schools’ Sprint Series final was held in April. Dio had four girls compete – Lucy Russ (12RO), Sienna
Payne (10MP), Siobhan Murphy (9SE) and Aless Nicholson (7RO). Lucy Russ had two close races and finished second overall in the Year 12-13 age group. Well done to all the girls. The Dio orienteering team then competed at the North Island Orienteering Championships in Palmerston North. Intermediate age group runners Amelia McIntosh and Sienna Payne raced in the senior relay team with Lucy Russ, completing an extraordinary race and finishing in second place overall.
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U-19 relay team - Kate Shanley, Aimee Crosbie and Lauren Williams.
TRIATHLON This year the Diocesan triathlon team has brought home some amazing results thanks to the support of our coaches. At the Auckland Triathlon Championships Georgia Hair (U-19) placed third, Molly Sherrard (U-14) placed second, Indie Williams (U-14) placed third and in the U-19 relay team, Aimee Crosbie, Kate Shanley and Lauren Williams placed second. Dio had a team of girls compete at the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Triathlon Nationals held in New Plymouth. In the U-12 age group Madeleine Worral placed sixth and Alice Wellington 11th. In the U-14s, Molly Sherrard placed 15th and in in the U-19s Georgia Hair placed ninth and Juliet Harland 18th.
Georgia Hair has been selected by Team New Zealand for the Sprint Triathlon Series in Bermuda.
TENNIS Thirty-six girls were part of the development squad and made fast progress each week with their improvement clearly showing. Overall, the tennis season was rewarding to players of all levels. Our strong work ethic shone through in our results with the highlights being the Premier team easily winning the A2 grade and Jessica Druskovich (10NE) making it to the quarter finals in the Junior College Sport Champion of Champions competition and reaching the semifinals for the doubles with Chloe Rawlence (7ED).
Her doubles partner at Albany was Poppy Tingey (10MI). Also competing during the holidays, was Chloe Rawlence who won the Canterbury U-12 Doubles, and Luca Shortall (8NE) who finished runner-up at Auckland in the 5th Graded Girls’ event. Right: Chloe Rawlence and Jessica Druskovich. Below: Poppy Tingey and Jessica Druskovich.
Jessica Druskovich played in a couple of regional junior tennis tournaments held during the school holidays and enjoyed some great successes. At Auckland Jess was runner-up in the U-14 singles, and in Albany she was runner-up in the U-14 singles and doubles.
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Water polo COLLEGE SPORT Dio had five teams entered into the senior water polo College Sport competition across three grades – Premier, Senior A and Senior B. In our Senior B competition both teams did extremely well with the Blue team winning the grade and the Red team placing third. In the Senior A competition our Senior B team placed fifth and our Senior A team won this division, completing the College Sport season undefeated. The Premier water polo team also completed an undefeated season, which meant that they took the Premier title for the fourth year in a row. This completed a clean sweep of titles for Dio water polo.
Dio Premier water polo team.
NORTH ISLAND SECONDARY SCHOOLS’ CHAMPIONSHIPS Diocesan had an outstanding performance in the North Island Championship with two Dio teams finishing in the top four of the Premier Grade. This was the first time in history that any school has achieved this. The Premier team remained unbeaten throughout and came away with the gold medal, beating Rangitoto 13-6 in the final. The Senior A team came agonisingly close to winning a medal but ended up fourth after a close loss to the St Cuthbert’s Premier team. At the Division 2 Tournament, the Diocesan Senior B team made it all the way to the final, unfortunately losing to the Mount Maunganui College Premier team.
NEW ZEALAND SECONDARY SCHOOLS’ CHAMPIONSHIPS Our Premier and Senior A water polo teams competed in these championships over the last week of the school holidays here in Auckland. Senior A had a fantastic tournament playing against premier teams from all over the country. However, as they were a second team, they placed fourth automatically in their poo,l meaning they couldn’t progress into playoffs
Dio Senior A water polo team
above 13th. In their pool play the girls lost by one goal to St Cuthbert’s Premier and also drew against Westlake Girls and Rangi Ruru from Christchurch. The girls played outstanding water polo for the rest of the week, earning the bowl at the end of the tournament. Senior A team: Sydney Bell, Tyler Butler, Neve Cobham, Isabella Dalton, Ava Darbyshire, Arabella Duncan, Billie Frecker Netten, Sophia Jackson, Louise Masefield, Ellie Millard, Lucia Partigliani, Jenna Veal and Vita Yarrell-Stevenson. Our Premier water polo team played some top-quality water polo over the tournament where their high standard of play meant that all their opposing teams needed to bring on their best game.
The girls were dominant throughout the tournament and got through to play in the final vs Rangitoto College for the third time in a finals position this year. The girls were excited to be defending their national title here at school in their own pool and after four quarters of play they were crowned victorious, taking their fourth back-toback title. Congratulations also to Sophie Shorter-Robinson for being named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Premier team: Lauren Batchelor, Hannah Bell, Isabella Broadmore, Isabella Dalton, Georgia Daly, Isobella Francis, Sophie Gardiner, Emma Gilleece, Ruby Helm, Isabelle Jackson, Lara Johns, Kasey McDowall, Millie Quin, Sophie ShorterRobinson. DIO TODAY
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Ella Ross, Sophie Ryan and Charlie Barclay, U-18 North Island team members.
U-17 coxed quad
U-17 coxed eight
ROWING Dio rowers competed at the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Rowing Championships (Maadi Cup) held at Lake Karapiro during Summer Tournament Week. Special congratulations to the following girls who won silver medals in two of the A Finals: U-17 coxed quad (Natalie Kirke, Lucy Pettit, Sara MacGillivray, Eva Colyer + Sophie Ryan) and the U-17 coxed eight (Natalie Kirke, Serena Bhindi, Charlie Barclay, Natalie Spillane, Jasmine Ireland, Sara MacGillivray, Eva Colyer, Lucy Pettit + Sophie Ryan) Due to the North Island Secondary Schools’ Championships regatta being cancelled because of the alert level changes, medals were awarded to those crews who placed in the top three crews for their respective islands. North Islands gold medal: U-17 coxed quad sculls (Natalie Kirke, 66
Lucy Pettit, Sara MacGillivray, Eva Colyer + Sophie Ryan) U-17 coxed eight (Natalie Kirke, Serena Bhindi, Charlie Barclay, Natalie Spillane, Jasmine Ireland, Sara MacGillivray, Eva Colyer, Lucy Pettit + Sophie Ryan) North Islands silver medal: U-18 novice coxed eight (Holly RyanSalter, Issie Clayton, Eva Pritchard, Imogen Worrall, Kara Lorch-Church, Alexandra Fletcher, Eva Cope, Jemima Dryden + Bo Alpe) U-18 coxed quad (Imogen Foley, Ella Ross, Katie Ryan, Eva Colyer + Lauren Williams) U-18 coxed eight (Charlie Barclay, Serena Bhindi, Natalie Kirke, Ella Ross, Katie Ryan, Gretta Wiseman, Jasmine Ireland, Imogen Foley + Lauren Williams) North Islands bronze medal: U-17 coxed four (Charlie Barclay, Ella Ross, Jasmine Ireland, Serena Bhindi + Sophie Ryan)
U-15 coxed octuple (Emily Cosham, Alexandra Fletcher, Imogen Worrall, Eva Pritchard, Ava Dixon, Sammie Barclay, Joy Wang, Issie Clayton + Stella Brawn) U-18 novice coxed quad (Imogen Worrall, Alexandra Fletcher, Issie Clayton, Holly Ryan-Salter + Poppy Pett) Congratulations to Charlie Barclay, Ella Ross and Sophie Ryan on their selection into the North Island U-18 rowing team! Along with Serena Bhindi, Jasmine Ireland and Natalie Kirke, they trialled for the North Island team over three days in the holidays. Following a training camp, Charlie, Ella and Sophie were selected to compete against the South Island U-18 team. They all achieved second places in their races against some strong South Island crews. Well done! Senior coxswain Lauren Williams was also named to cox the NZ U-19 Mens’ Eight. We believe Lauren is the first Diocesan coxswain to achieve national representative honours. Congratulations!
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Junior School Sport 2021 has started out as a year of renewed enthusiasm for our young sportsgirls. The Ministry of Health recently reported that children aged 5-14 years usually watch screens outside of school (including TV) for two or more hours every day. With the increase in access to devices and media, we know the temptation is there for our youngsters to sit and watch screens for entertainment instead of being active with their friends. In light of this, we are delighted that our sport participation rates at the Junior School remain very
high, with over 80% of our girls involved in some form of sport. The benefits of sports are well documented and wide ranging. Primary school years are the perfect time for our girls to be exploring a range of activities and giving them a go. Our after-school sports programme provides the opportunity to take a break from the classroom or screen, meet a new friend, discover a new
FLIPPA BALL / MINI POLO
passion, learn a new skill, grow strong, become fit, develop physical co-ordination and have a whole lot of fun. Our Junior School winter programme is well underway now with the following codes: netball (12 teams), hockey (11 teams), futsal (6 teams), flippa ball (5 teams), ski racing, artistic gymnastics (4 teams) and playball.
Year 3 flippa ball - Naledi Mhuka
Our flippa ball and mini polo programme continues to deliver for our Years 3 - 6 girls, and is as popular as ever with both our student coaches and junior players. Having missed a lot of development time last year due to the restrictions on training and playing during the COVID pandemic, the girls are now in full swing. The Dio Otters, Penguins, Dolphins, Seahorses, Starfish and Mermaids are competing throughout the year in the Epsom Flippa Ball League. We are very proud of our structure, processes and people. Hannah Ngare, our head coach and Dio Old Girl, facilitates a fully developed curriculum. She is supported by Charlotte Worth, our mini polo specialist. This term Charlotte is training our Year 6 Mermaids and our Year 5 Starfish transitioning into deep water polo. Our student coaches are alongside, taking personal ownership of their teams, delivering skills-based modules, knowledge modules and cultivating the behavioural elements that contribute to our fantastic water polo culture here at Dio.
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Junior School - Futsal girls at training
SKI RACING / ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS AND PLAYBALL
FUTSAL Futsal is a popular option for our youngsters from Years 1 - 6. Auckland Futsal provides a relaxed, fun environment for Saturday games and coaches for our training sessions at Dio during the week. Our Dio Dynamites,
Dashers, Red Dragons, White Dragons, Dazzlers and Delights are underway in the Auckland Futsal Central League. We are delighted to see many of our junior girls going on to join our intermediate teams when they transition into the Junior High School.
At the time of going to print, our ski racing girls are training with their families. They have the option to attend Dio training sessions at SnowPlanet as they prepare for their time trials and selection into the Dio ski teams for the NIPS Ski Championships at Mt Ruapehu in late August. Our artistic gymnasts (Years 3-6) are busy practising their routines in preparation for the TriStar School Festivals competition in June. They are learning floor, beam and vault routines. Our playball coaches have been providing the most fantastic programme for our young Foundation Class - Year 2 girls. The coaches are specially trained to deliver a range of exciting, fun and challenging games using equipment such as balls, hoops, ropes, cones, hack sacks and more. There is plenty of laughter and delighted squealing on the turf as the girls’ chase, catch, jump, run and play. The programme will continue throughout the year by popular demand.
Vika Koloto coaching at pre-season netball
Yr 5 and 6 netball - pre season training with Mila Reulu-Buchanan and Amorangi Malesala
Netball Our girls have benefitted from a great pre-season programme that included sessions delivered by netball superstars Courtney Tairi (ex-Silver Fern), Gina Crampton (current Silver Fern), Vika Koloto and Greer Sinclair (both NZ U-21 players), Mila Reuelu-Buchanan and Amorangi Malesala (ANZ Premier 68
Northern Stars players). Twelve junior teams, comprised of girls from Years 1- 6, have since settled into their winter season with training underway and games starting on 20 May. There was an excited buzz in the air as the girls started their competition leagues.
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This year our hockey programme is in the hands of Jasmin McQuinn, ex Black Stick and coach extraordinaire. She is working closely with Jason Butcher, our Dio hockey manager, to refine our development programme and mentor our coaches. Jasmin has plenty of coaching experience and she is ably supported by a raft of senior student hockey coaches, Aprill Anderson (Dio teacher and junior hockey coach for the past eight years or more), Val Vergara, Sirac Adams and Annabel Marshall (Dio Old Girl). The pre-season was fully subscribed, valuable and lots of fun. Eleven teams of junior girls from Years 1- 6 are now underway in the Auckland Hockey League.
Yr 4 hockey girls with student coach Sophie Cooke
Yr 5 hockey with coaches Jasmin McQuinn (right) and Val Vergara (left)
Yr 6 hockey
Proudly supporting DIOCESAN COMMUNITY
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with Rebecca Hounsell
Congratulations to Rebecca Hounsell (11SE) on her recent gold medal at the National Climbing Championships held in Rotorua.
ebecca was selected for Climbing New Zealand’s NZ Youth Team last year, to compete in the IFSC World Youth Championships. She has been climbing since she was a little girl and talks here about her love of the sport.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE SPORT? I got into rock climbing quite by accident. When I was four my mum was ill with leukaemia, and my dad was looking for things for me to do – one of his friends suggested going to the climbing gym for the day. I loved it so much I wanted to stay all day and I got him to take me back every day he could. After a year I was allowed to join the climbing club and my passion has grown since then.
WHAT INFLUENCED YOU TO DO IT? Although it is hard to remember what attracted me as a four-year-old, I have some early memories of what I liked and my dad recalls things that I told him when I was little. I liked the physical challenge of climbing – you need to pull hard. I loved the mental challenge of working out the puzzle of how to do a climb. I made a lot of really good friends of a wide range of ages and I was able to compete in a sport that I liked. There 70
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WHAT SORT OF TRAINING DO YOU HAVE TO COMMIT TO? Training for climbing is exciting because it has so many aspects to it. In common with many sports, climbers do a lot of work to make sure they maintain their general strength and conditioning, as well as flexibility. In addition to these general aspects, you must practise climbing technique and learn to master different routes and different holds. There is a lot of rope craft; how to tie knots, how to use safety gear and not least of all, how to secure yourself to the wall. There are also different types of climbing. There is indoor and outdoor climbing on the real rock. In addition, competition climbing requires a lot of different training too.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT OR PROUDEST MOMENT? Although competitions are very rewarding, I receive the most joy from climbing hard outdoors. This involves trying a climb for days on end and memorising each move, each feature
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and each foot placement on the wall. It’s one of the most difficult things to do in climbing because it requires you to grapple with failure whilst persisting to make progress. Over the summer, I projected a route called ‘creative confusion’ in Golden Bay. When I started I never expected I’d come home successful. It was far harder than anything I had done before. It is a well-known route across New Zealand, seeing very few female ascents, and when I clipped the chains at the top the triumph I felt could be compared to nothing else.
was a more serious aspect to why I climbed. Sometimes my mum was very sick and we were scared she would die. When I was about five or six my dad remembers me saying to him: “I need to go climbing because I just need to not think for a bit.” Even at that young age, I discovered the value of active relaxation.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE FUTURE? I’m only 14 (almost 15) and not yet fully developed. It’s hard to imagine where this sport will take me, but I see it being a large part of me for the rest of my life. I dream of travelling across New Zealand and the world to test myself against some of the most classic routes and hopefully push the boundary of what female climbers have achieved.
IF YOU COULD GIVE AN ASPIRING YOUNG SPORTS WOMAN A PIECE OF ADVICE WHAT WOULD THAT BE? Do the hard thing. Do the thing you do not think you can do. Always look for the challenge. For the obstacle is the way. That obstacle might be a cliff or a
tall craggy mountain range. It could also be an expanse of water that you need to sail or swim across. It is the reckoning with that obstacle that is important. The challenge will change you. You will need to look inside yourself for answers and the struggle will make you grow. During this journey you will find remarkable people and make lifelong friends, because these people are made of the same wood that you are. They always want to go a little further, try a little harder... and they stop when they’re finished, not when they’re tired.
SUPREME WINNER OF 2021 MASTER LANDSCAPE AWARDS
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Supporting the DIO COMMUNITY
hat a whirlwind we have started with in 2021! Rolling off the quieter year of 2020, Parents & Friends jumped wholeheartedly into this year with a flurry of events, a busier than ever café, and even a surprise donation to the School. We were back in action late January, opening the café with our strong team of dedicated staff lead by café manager Felicity Cains. Our crew came in with a ‘can do’ attitude, excited to get creative with the menu and tackle the ever-growing demand on our tuck shop. The Committee also jumped in early, as on 29 January we were hosting the Year 7 Welcome Picnic and the new to Years 9 – 13 Morning Tea. For both events, we had record numbers in attendance, and we were pleased to meet so many parents keen to learn more about P&F and sign up to volunteer on our café roster. Straight out of the gates we also began early marketing of our new Mary Pulling Rose necklace, a special treat that arrived just in time for Mother’s Day and has beautifully captured the historic rose in silver, gold and rose gold. Rolling into February, we put a twist on the New Parents’ Cocktails of years gone by, as we combined this event
The P&F Committee and helpers at the Father-daughter Breakfast in May
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LIVING New Parents’ Cocktails
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FATHER-DAUGHTER BREAKFAST Our guest speaker Kevin Biggar wowed the crowd with tales of his trans-Atlantic rowing race adventure
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Wrapping up Term 1, our treasurer was thrilled to report a profitable first term for the café, such that the committee decided to make an impromptu donation. Though we are currently fundraising towards redesign and development of the cafeteria dining space, knowing this is a longer-term project, we decided it would be great to make an immediate donation. The Junior School had put on hold two components of the new playground, a water play area and an ‘onion’ hut. Parents & Friends decided to donate $70,000 to the School to cover the
cost of completing these areas of the playground in 2021, funding this donation from the profits of the café in 2021 and 2020. Term 2 came around all too quickly with the overnight sensational sell-out of our Father-Daughter Breakfast. Certainly, this event has been known to be a sell-out, but never overnight! Our tireless committee member Megan Urwin worked furiously behind the scenes to put together our best ever breakfast. Focusing on a waste-free approach, Megan ensured almost everything used was compostable and indeed composted after the event. We paired with Eat My Lunch, allowing us to in turn to donate 500 lunches through this incredible give-back programme. Also, much to the dads’ delight, we worked with Nespresso for the first time ever, delivering superb coffees to many a dad, and even some daughters. Finally, our guest speaker Kevin Biggar wowed our crowd with tales of his trans-Atlantic rowing race
adventure and his inspiring message of self-belief, determination and perseverance. A thank you to our key sponsor Sotheby’s for their continued support of our fundraising events.
with the School’s Meet the Teacher evening. In February we held our first Meet the Teacher Cocktails in the foyer of the Performing Arts Centre for all Year 9 parents. This was followed by another event for all Year 7 parents. P&F worked alongside Let’s Eat for these events, facilitating parents meeting tutor teachers and providing a wonderful opportunity for parents to also get to know those within their year group.
Our final event in Term 2 was the Queen Concert - another first! It was the first rock concert to be held in the Arts Centre. Working with Showtime Productions from Australia, we brought to the stage the epic songs of Queen and Freddie Mercury. Dominic Warren in the lead had been selling out all over New Zealand, and so we were thrilled to have an act of this level performing for Dio parents on our own special stage. Parents were dressed to the nines and rocked alongside this top-quality Queen tribute band, giving us a great night to celebrate the closure of the first two terms of 2021! As always, we welcome any feedback or interest in volunteering. Please email us at PFA@diocesan.school.nz Robin Bell
Serving Auckland Families for Generations Davis Funerals Services
Mt Eden, Henderson, Pakuranga, Kohimarama & Papatoetoe firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 09 638 9026
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L I F E LO N G F R IE N DS Old Girls’ League President Jenny Spillane and former League member Kimberley Sumner (back) with Alumnae Meritae recipients Nicola Legat and Jenny Wheeler (front).
DIOCESAN OLD GIRLS’ LEAGUE COMMITTEE CONTACT DETAILS Email email@example.com for all enquiries. PRESIDENT Jenny Spillane (Orsborn) M. 027 603 6990 TREASURER Felicity Buche (Olson) P. 09 521 8387 SECRETARY Tania Fairgray (Railley) P. 09 529 1736 FELLOWSHIP SECRETARY Emma Cleary (Dillon) P. 09 522 9564 COMMITTEE
Annabel French (Smaill)
Penny Tucker (Macdonald)
I have recently had the privilege of hearing from Old Girls in several different forums about what makes Dio so special for them. And, although it may have been expressed in different ways, the messages were remarkably similar.
The Old Girls’ League is currently looking at what we, as an alumnae association, can do to best represent, support and grow our wonderful community of Old Girls, wherever they may be. As part of that process, we have taken the opportunity to sit back and reflect on how the League’s core mission – to encourage fellowship among Old Girls of the Auckland Diocesan School for Girls and to foster their continued association with and interest in the School – can best be achieved today and into the future. Two things have become very obvious as a result of this… First, a Dio education produces incredibly capable and empowered women who know how to lead through service, and this is as true in 2021 as it was in 1904. At the recent Alumna Merita assembly, award recipient 76
Sarah Couillault (Willis)
Nicola Legat spoke about the life of Mary Pulling and what a capable and empowered young woman she was when, with the support of Bishop Neligan, she founded the School in 1903. Nicola described her as a “guiding star” serving and leading Diocesan for 22 years. Incredible women doing incredible things is inherent in the foundation of Diocesan and, as an Old Girls’ association, we must continue to support and represent that increasingly diverse group of women. Second, while we may look to introduce some changes as a result of our reflections, it is patently clear that there is a certain special something at the heart of Dio that we must always respect and protect. This has been variously described as our ‘heritage heart’, or as ‘Dio pride and whanau’. Whatever the label, it is represented in the special buildings that are central to the School and, for the Old Girls especially, in the traditions that are so much a part of who we are and what we do.
Sheryl Tan Lena Saad Rachael Brand Dio Today Editor, League pages E. firstname.lastname@example.org Diocesan School Old Girls’ League PO Box 28-382, Remuera, Auckland 1541
“Incredible women doing incredible things is inherent in the foundation of Diocesan” promote and support the School’s vision for its graduates as strong, independent, capable young women making a difference in the world – strands that all start from (and have the utmost respect for) our heritage heart. Ut Serviamus
As we develop the vision for our Old Girls’ association for future generations, we think of it as developing strands to
Jenny Spillane Old Girls’ League President
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Women of their word On Tuesday 13 April, the whole School, members of the Old Girls’ League and invited guests gathered in the Dawn Jones Sports Centre to celebrate the achievements of two outstanding Dio Old Girls: Jenny Wheeler (PY 1963) and Nicola Legat (PY 1973).
fter last year’s Alumna Merita Assembly was cancelled due to COVID-19, it was a real relief to be able to acknowledge Jenny and Nicola’s successes in the sphere of publishing and journalism. We extend our warmest congratulations to them both and thank them for their contributions to their fields and their excellent example of service to every member of the Diocesan Community.
Jenny Wheeler – a love of writing Jenny Wheeler’s career as a writer began five decades ago when she joined the New Zealand Herald as a news reporter in 1971. She subsequently worked at the Auckland Star and then at the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Jenny went on to take a leading role in launching two of New Zealand’s most iconic publications: the Sunday Star newspaper (now the Sunday Star Times) in 1987, of which she was editor for six and a half years, and NZ House & Garden magazine in 1993. Her last position before leaving journalism to pursue other interests was as the first female editor of the New Zealand Listener from 1994 to 1997.
Jenny recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Magazine Publishers’ Association for services to magazines. She has also returned to her first love, publishing the historical mystery series Of Gold & Blood, which is set in 19th Century Gilded Age California. The ninth book in the series is currently in production. For the last three years, Jenny has recorded a weekly podcast called
The Joys of Binge Reading, featuring author interviews with nearly 150 international writers who are all passionate about popular fiction. It’s now available on Audible. At the Alumnae Meritae Assembly, Jenny spoke about disruptions to the publishing industry, including artificial intelligence writing fiction and how the revenue from audio books is soon set to surpass that of print books. DIO TODAY
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“ ‘Do your best and trust God for the rest’. I guess it’s simply another way of saying the harder I work, the luckier I get, and in turbulent times, it’s proved to be more than enough.” “Ten years ago, indie publishing – where the author does it all herself, not relying on traditional publishers as an intermediary channel – was seen as mildly disreputable,” she said. “How times have changed. By 2018, more than 40 per cent of overall e-book revenue was to self-published authors. That trend has only accelerated in the last three years.” Jenny had a positive message for any aspiring writers in the audience:
“You are entering a fast-moving publishing world completely unlike any we’ve seen before. There’s never been a better time to be a woman, or an author. The opportunities are huge and the competition is also titanic.” For those interested in a career as an author, she also offered this advice: “Plan for the long haul, as even the most brilliant single book won’t make a career. Don’t try to be perfect – silence the inner critic on your first drafts and
just get something down on the page. You can always go back and re-write it. And lastly, don’t be afraid of failing. Think of it as practice.” Jenny says that Dio helped lay the educational and spiritual foundations for her professional resilience. “When things got overwhelming, it was always a comfort to remember a simple faith credo honed by the school experience: ‘Do your best and trust God for the rest’. I guess it’s simply another way of saying the harder I work, the luckier I get, and in turbulent times, it’s proved to be more than enough.”
Nicola Legat – the satisfaction of giving back Nicola Legat is another outstanding writer and past student. She first attended Diocesan in 1971 after her family moved to Auckland from Christchurch. In 1973, her final year, she was a prefect, head of Mitchelson house and Dux. Nicola graduated from the University of Auckland and then trained as a teacher, living in Canada for several years and working for a magazine publisher. In 1984, back in New Zealand, she joined the staff of Metro magazine as a writer, then became its editor from 2000 to 2005. Nicola also wrote for North & South magazine and won numerous journalism awards during her time with both publications. After leaving Metro, she moved into book publishing and became the publishing director of Random House New Zealand. It was a role that saw her named Publisher of the Year seven years in a row. In 2015, Nicola established Massey University Press and she is also the publisher for Te Papa Press. Nicola was awarded an ONZM in 2018. In accepting her Alumna Merita award, Nicola acknowledged all the women who have attended Dio. The award, she said, “symbolises the deep intergenerational bonds that make Diocesan so special, and it demonstrates how the School values aspiration and success.” Nicola told the story of Mary Pulling – the incredible woman who came out from England 116 years ago at the age
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LIFELONG FRIENDS Nicola Legat with her parents, Reg and Diana Legat.
of 33 to found our school – and the legacy she left us. “To me, she is a guiding star. We can all learn a lot from her life and use her as a role model. She was the headmistress for 22 years, and in that time she laid the groundwork for all the School’s values.” Service to Dio, its pupils and staff, and her Anglican faith, was Mary Pulling’s focus, explained Nicola. She believes that if we went back through the life stories of all the Alumna Merita award recipients over the years, service would also be a big part of their careers. Having a successful career after you leave school isn’t all that valuable unless it also involves giving back to the community, she said. “Giving back means taking the privilege of the great start this school has given you and making sure that you repay the benefit of that. “When I think of my own career as a journalist and publisher, I can see that the service I’ve been able to enact
has been about helping Aotearoa be a better place: fairer, safer, healthier, more inclusive, a better caretaker of the environment, more expressive of our Treaty obligations, more vibrant, open minded and tolerant. “Journalists are often criticised for being negative muck-rakers, but what we actually want to do is expose all those who stand in the way of those good things I just listed, and to celebrate all those who are working hard to make sure they happen.” Nicola has always been keen to roll up her sleeves and help get things done. She urged the Dio girls in the audience to do the same. “Step up and give service. You can do that by seizing opportunities whenever and wherever you find them. You will find that they enrich you and that no matter how local or specific, you can and will make a difference.”
Jenny Wheeler (centre) with her granddaughter Stephanie Bickerstaff (left), her sister Julia Hillier, and her niece Emily Hillier (right).
“Step up and give service. You can do that by seizing opportunities whenever and wherever you find them. You will find that they enrich you and that no matter how local or specific, you can and will make a difference.”
Wise words indeed for our future female leaders. DIO TODAY
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SCHOOL OF ALL!
“… the long-lasting friendships, romper suits, wearing hats to school as part of our uniform, the outdoor swimming pool, the grass tennis courts outside School House, the teachers – Mrs Stark, the most amazing French teacher who was responsible for our Language Lab; Mrs Lawson and her incredible musical talents; and Mrs Bayley making me enjoy bio – having the School Birthday Concert and the School Ball in the Hall, walking to the Olympic Pool as a school for the Big 4 inter-school swimming competition … lots of laughs and happy memories.” Christine Lewis, French teacher and Year 11 Dean
For 24 of Diocesan’s teachers and administrators, the daily act of going to work is also tinged with a feeling of returning to a place that shaped them into the women they are today.
ow, instead of waiting patiently outside the staffroom, as they once might have done, these Dio Old Girl teachers gather inside it with a shared experience. It’s that unique sense of Dio pride that they all want to pass on to the students in their care. Here, some of them share their school memories and what makes Dio such a special place in which to both learn and work.
“It’s amazing to see how many teachers are still here, 17 years after I left Dio. I believe it attests to the culture and the leadership of the School. I admire Dio for enabling the girls to live and breathe our motto Ut Serviamus through our Service Learning programme, demonstrating compassion and providing the opportunity to engage in ethical issues.” Lucette Chu, Service Learning Manager
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Rebecca Kennedy, English teacher
“This is my first year teaching at Dio. I teach English across Years 8 to 12. The thing that hasn’t changed about Dio is the palpable eagerness and fearless inquisitiveness for learning. What makes Dio special is the implicit tenet that girls (women) can achieve anything. This belief is ingrained in you at school, and you leave believing that knowledge – and the world – is yours for the taking, which is incredibly empowering.”
“I was welcomed back to Dio in 2016. I spent my first two years teaching in Year 3 and the following years teaching and being the Dean of Year 5. I have many fond memories of my time as a student at Dio, playing social netball, very badly, playing in different music groups and having the incredible experience of going on the Europe trip. What drew me back to Diocesan was the ability to work with girls to help them pursue their passions and dreams – something I feel very privileged to be a part of.” Hannah Aikman, Dean Years 5 & 6, Junior School Teacher
“I’ve been teaching at Dio for four years. I teach digital technologies from Year 7 to 13. When I was a student, I never imagined I’d be a teacher, let alone be back at Dio. Being an Old Girl makes Dio a very special place to teach. I really feel like I belong here.” Lesley Sampson, HOF Creative Industries
Back row (from left): Sarah Cooke, Rebecca Abbott, Sally Ireland, Angela Coe. 3rd row: Hannah Aikman, Lucinda Batchelor, Lesley Sampson, Nicole Lewis. 2nd row: Jane Haagh, Katherine Woods, Chantelle Gerrard. Front row: Alex Howe, Rachael Murray, Michelle White, Rebecca Kennedy, Christine Lewis. Absent: Lucette Chu, Tanya Dew, Cathy Kirkman, Gabby Oloapu, Olivia Phipps, Sophie Rushmer, Rachel Sutherland, Lisa Vos
“There’s a special feeling of belonging and words can’t really do justice to the sense of community. I’m a third generation Old Girl, so not only was that special to me as a student, but I feel so lucky to now be back as a teacher and also work alongside my mum who is also a Dio Old Girl. It’s pretty awesome to come back to Dio and now be colleagues with teachers who inspired me as a student.” Nicole Lewis, Junior School Teacher, Primary Years Programme Coordinator DIO TODAY
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Kylie Matthews (right) with her mother, Rachel Thompson, her grandmother, Joan Thompson, and daughters, Skye (back) and Ebony (front).
KYLIE MATTHEWS – living life with a purpose Diocesan Old Girls’ League member Penny Tucker spoke with a fourth-generation Dio Old Girl whose sustainable business, AWWA, aims to tackle the harm disposable sanitary products are causing our planet.
Kylie Matthews is a successful entrepreneur, company director, extraordinary social advocate and mum who is proud to be a fourth generation Dio girl. Her great grandmother, stepgreat grandmother, grandmother, a great aunt, aunts and cousins have been through Dio. There’s sure to be a fair amount of blue, red and white in their family albums. Kylie’s family story weaves through Dio’s own journey like different but related threads in a piece of vivid and extraordinary fabric. She has a deep connection with the School, as does her much-cherished grandmother. And it’s mostly for that particular Senior Dio Old Girl and keen Dio Today reader that Kylie agreed to let the magazine focus on her considerable achievements.
are fortunate enough to be privileged, and if you wear that cloak of privilege, you owe it to other people to wrap them up in the warmth and support that the cloak provides. “It’s so much more fun to be standing at the top of the ladder with other people enjoying the view than to look down on people struggling to get a foot on the first rung,” she says. Kylie’s business ethic reflects this view. She sees no conflict between making money and making a measurable social difference. She refuses to conform to stereotypical business models where corners that are cut represent ‘efficiency without consequence’ (as if that’s objectively a good thing). She also believes that giving back to society isn’t about token gestures, it’s about something real.
Taboo subject no more Kylie is refreshingly able to articulate what her purpose means to her: If you 82
Kylie has taken an issue that many people still find challenging and hard
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“Why is technology in every other area of our lives evolving so quickly, but our options for managing our periods are limited to bulky pads or tampons, or a cup that was first designed in the 1930s?” asks Kylie. “Why are we still clogging up landfill globally with 45 billion nonbiodegradable single-use menstrual products every year? There are incredible anti-bacterial fabrics, the technology to engineer a product that can be comfortable and clean and washed again and again, and yet it’s taken forever to embrace that.” Something must be wrong, she muses, if we can 3D print a gun and yet still be wedded to period products that were patented in the earlier part of last century. Maybe it’s because so many of these businesses have been historically run by men, and women have simply got used to the status quo.
An enterprise with a purpose
–ori, So, Kylie and Michele, who is Ma founded AWWA. The company’s name embodies everything that the pair stand for and believe in for future generations of women. “To us it means fluidity. Some of the AWWA range of underwear.
–ori AWWA is derived from the Ma word awa, meaning ‘river’ or ‘flow’. –ori referred to their period as te Ma awa atua – the divine river – and we want every woman to feel divine and empowered during their period. AWWA gives amazing confidence to newly menstruating teens, and provides support and comfort during pregnancy, post-partum and for minor bladder leakage.”
want to be for my three children. This has come about because of me starting to believe in myself and in my strengths and abilities. Living a life with purpose and looking at the bigger picture, both personally and professionally, has also given me the drive to not sweat the small stuff and focus on what brings me happiness and aligns with my core values.”
Breaking down gender bias AWWA takes seriously its commitment to the values of sustainability, ethical standards and corporate social responsibility. Five percent of all the underwear made is donated and helps to overcome the cultural or socioeconomic challenges that periods present for certain groups of women. AWWA has won a prestigious SheEO award for its actual contribution to making life better for women. It’s also achieved carbon positive status for business operations, offsetting 120% of all emissions, from its manufacturers’ sewing rooms to when the parcel lands on a customer’s doorstep and everything in between. These offsets grow and protect forests in New Zealand and the Pacific and help deliver climate resilience, waterways protection, erosion control, biodiversity conservation and community economic development. AWWA is also in the process of working through B Corp certification, which is extremely hard to gain and maintain. B Corporation-certified companies balance purpose and profit and are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment.
Dio days In reflecting on her time at Dio, Kylie says it left her with a worldclass education and lifelong friends. Attending Dio gave her many opportunities she wouldn’t have otherwise had, and she’s grateful for both the joyful and deeply challenging experiences. “Life hasn’t been without its struggles,” she says, “but the past few years have taught me a lot about who I am, and who I want to be, and the role model I
Kylie notes that as females in the business world, a major challenge we face is the gender biases that exist. “Some people can’t even acknowledge their existence because of how engrained these hurdles are in our culture and society. I’ve experienced them first-hand, having to continually prove myself to men before my business has been taken seriously. Research has shown time and again that female entrepreneurs find it harder than males to raise capital for their ventures. Being a woman and mother should not be a barrier to growth and success.” Kylie and many other talented female entrepreneurs are proof that they are not. Rather than being 100% profit driven, she says a business with purpose can have a greater impact both locally and globally, helping to reduce inequalities between genders, challenging social norms, and helping to grow the economy. She encourages everyone to think about what’s important to them, what they want the future to look like for their children and grandchildren, and to use the opportunities available to them to foster change for the benefit of our team of five million. Perhaps it’s her time at Dio, or her clearly beloved family, or her early career in social work or her innate business acumen that has empowered Kylie to be such a motivated entrepreneur. Whatever the case, clearly all those influences have been sewn together and styled just right to create a beautiful and admirable outcome. Kylie Matthews is living the school motto. Learn more about AWWA: www.awwathelabel.com DIO TODAY
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to discuss and turned it into a thriving business. Having just divested herself of a successful start-up, which gave her considerable resources to focus on a new idea, Kylie linked up with business partner Michele Wilson and got talking about periods and what the future might look like for their daughters.
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They had a ball! For Year 13 students, 2020 wasn’t quite the final year of school they had planned. COVID-19 caused a string of cancellations of muchanticipated leadership, sporting and arts opportunities – including the Dio Ball. Disappointment became a way of life for this cohort, so it was a huge relief to the Old Girls’ League and to every Dio Year 13 girl that the Graduation Ball could go ahead. The final event of their time at Dio was held at the Cordis Hotel on Saturday 12 December (revised due to a rescheduling of NCEA exams). The Old Girls’ League Grad Ball organising committee, led by Tania Fairgray and Emma Cleary, wanted to make this event really special for the girls and their families – and they did not disappoint! Old Girls’ League President Jenny Spillane welcomed the girls and their guests before Year 13 Dean Tracey Cusdin shared some humorous and heartfelt memories from the previous six years. Together with Principal Heather
McRae, she then presented each girl with her graduation scroll. The fatherdaughter dance was to Dancing in the Moonlight, an all-ages favourite performed by the excellent Velvet Tones who had the dance floor packed all night. The Diocesan Old Girls’ League now welcomes another 170 Old Girls and wishes the Class of 2020 all the best for their future. To view and order photos of the 2020 Graduation Ball, visit cactusphotography.co.nz
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LIFELONG FRIENDS DIO TODAY
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OLD GIRL NEWS
FOUNDERS’ DAY In 2020 a new format was introduced to celebrate Founders’ Day. Held on Saturday 7 November, it was all about community and included several events across the afternoon and early evening: the Old Girls’ League AGM followed by a high tea for the Senior Old Girls, a chapel service and then cocktails in the Arts Centre. It proved such a success that the Old Girls’ League has decided to continue the format in 2021 for the 110th Founders’ Day celebrations.
Third time lucky After two previous attempts (both thwarted due to COVID restrictions), the Old Girls’ League was finally able to welcome a special bunch of women to School. On Friday 19 March, 40 Dio
Old Girls who are also parents of current Dio girls gathered for a lovely informal breakfast in the School House dining room. This is set to become an annual event.
Look out for information about 2021 Founders’ Weekend on the Auckland Dio Old Girls’ League Facebook page and by email.
CLASS OF 2016 – SAVE THE DATE: 5-YEAR-OUT REUNION Saturday 6 November Diocesan School More details to come – follow the 2016 PY Facebook page CLASS OF 2020 – SAVE THE DATE: 1-YEAR-OUT REUNION Thursday 16 December, 6.30pm La Zeppa Kitchen and Bar, Freemans Bay, Auckland
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MILESTONES BIRTHS Kristy Harrison (Hall, PY 1995) a daughter on 19 April 2020 (during Level 4 lockdown)
MARRIAGES Jacenta Kwan and Joseph Baranyai on 28 November 2020 in the Chapel of our Glorified Lord. Jasmine Payne and Callum Burnett on 16 January 2021 in the Chapel of our Glorified Lord.
Margaret Cameron (Duncan, PY 1953) on 6 February 2021
Shirley McBurney (Beattie, PY 1945) on 20 April 2021
Sibyl Canning (Morris, PY 1947) on 28 January 2021
Loma Payze (PY 1950) on 27 December 2020
Gloria Cashmore (Willoughby, PY 1958) on 15 December 2020
Rosemary Prebble (PY 1955) on 19 December 2020
Rosemary Cavanough (Mitford-Burgess, PY 1965) on 26 January 2021
Rosemary Sanderson (St Clair, PY 1959) on 7 May 2021
Mary Chamberlain (Moore, PY 1951) on 2 November 2020 Gillian Cook (Astley; Batchelor-Cook, PY 1948) on 3 March 2021 Elspeth Cooze (Martin, PY 1955) on 5 December 2020 Barbara Corballis (Wheeler, PY 1958) on 23 November 2020
Fiona Davies (Bodle, PY 1978) on 1 March 2020
Jean Adams (Elliott, PY 1944) on 12 January 2021
Julie Cunningham (Peake, PY 1957) on 7 May 2021
Briar Aitken (Warren, PY 1967) on 25 February 2021
Irene Donaldson (Simpson, PY 1959) on 10 January 2021
Diane Ambler (Bridger, PY 1958) on 17 March 2020
Alexandra Foster (PY 1999) on 16 October 2020
Jennifer Anderson (PY 1946) on 25 October 2020
Nan Ellen Green (McRae, PY 1953) on 22 October 2020
Judith Babe (Gerard, PY 1961) on 16 December 2020
Heather Grierson (PY 1960) on 1 January 2021
Janet Bothner-By (Levien, PY 1954) on 18 January 2021
Leone Harkness (Phillips, PY 1954) on 22 October 2020
Sarah Brokenshire (PY 1978) on 5 February 2021
Miriam Leslie (Stevenson, PY 1948) on 9 March 2021
Susan Button (Cartridge, PY 1957) on 7 February 2021
Patricia Llewellin (Friedlander, PY 1941) on 24 April 2021
Betty Sherson (Phillips, PY 1954) on 2 February 2021 Judith Stokes (Slater, PY 1969) on 16 October 2020 Georgina Symons (Knapman, PY 1969) on 5 February 2021 Margaret Suthrell (Roden, PY 1959) on 11 March 2020 Shirley (Anne) Taylerson (Mellsop, PY 1957) on 7 March 2021 Lyulph Tollemache (PY 1950) on 25 February 2020 Margaret Winchcombe (Miller, PY 1950) on 25 March 2021 Margaret Woolhouse (Shaw, PY 1955) on 20 January 2021 We also note the deaths of former staff members Adrienne Burney (31 December 2020 – aged 71) and Jocelyn Hicks (23 November 2020 – aged 83). Adrienne introduced classical studies in the 1970s and Jocelyn was TIC history and a former archivist. Note: PY is short for ‘Peer Year’ and indicates the year an Old Girl would have been in Form 7 (Year 13) had she continued her schooling at Dio through until the end.
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