Dio Today December 2021

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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. office@diocesan.school.nz W. DIOCESAN.SCHOOL.NZ BOARD CHAIR Ms Nicole Xanthopol PRINCIPAL Ms Heather McRae CHAPLAIN Reverend Sandy Robertson 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 Ian Walker 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

“Our world is changing and we are finding that hard. We have all experienced this destabilising time together that has led many people to question what it is that really matters in life. There has to be hope that we may emerge from this pandemic into a world that is more loving, more just, and more focused on goodness.” Rev’d Sandy Robertson, Chaplain

I doubt anyone would have predicted that the second half of this year would take such a turn. Yes, maybe we suspected the COVID Delta variant would reach our shores, but we couldn’t have guessed that Auckland would become an ‘isthmus nation’ within our country for so long. Aucklanders (and more recently, those in Northland and Waikato) certainly have borne the brunt of dealing with the spread of the virus. It’s been a long haul, and with the new and largely unknown variant Omicron popping up worldwide, there’s an understandable sense of caution and trepidation as we move to the ‘traffic light’ system and internal borders reopen. Our Chaplain, Rev’d Sandy Robertson, has written a wonderful article about the anxiety with which we are living. I urge you to read it. Oh for the uncomplicated optimism of youth! A friend’s seven-year-old daughter solemnly announced to her: “Mummy, I am sure that Santa will be able to deliver presents on Christmas Eve because he’s been isolating for 364 days!” Meri Kirihimete! Liz McKay, Editor


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DECEMBER 2021 LEADING 02 From the Principal A vocabulary of truth and simplicity

04 Farewells and new appointments An update from the Board of Governors

07 The Heritage Foundation Investing in change for the future

10 ISNZ Awards Dio staff honoured

12 Introducing Ian Walker Dio’s new Director of Business and Planning

14 Change of guard 2022 School leaders

LIVING 38 Soul food in hard times Our changing lives in a COVID world

40 Performing arts The show went on . . .

48 Sports Round-up Despite the lockdown, many successes can be celebrated

53 Soaring above the crowd High-flyer Sienna French

54 House competitions Archivist Evan Lewis unravels the complex historic threads of Dio’s competitive houses

15 Year-end awards

61 From the OGL President

Locked down but not locked out

21 Te Whare Huia Dio’s new faculty takes flight

24 Commanding the narrative Penny Tucker on oratory at Dio

28 YES! Regional success for two Dio companies

30 70 years’ service A well-earned retirement for four Dio senior staff

32 Junior School Year 6 share their annual exhibition and their experience of service learning


Thank you to the Dio community from Parents & Friends


18 Learning at Dio


58 Parents & Friends of Dio

LEARNING Dio’s top awards for 2021


Is the OGL fit for purpose for current and future generations of Dio women?

62 Working at the COVID coalface Here and overseas

67 Old Girls’ news Accessible education, creative and literary pursuits

70 No Planet B The inspirational Savannah Walker

72 Remembering past staff A tribute to Dio legends Meg Bayley and Jenny Cutler



74 What a round! Bryan Bartley Golf Day

75 Milestones Births and deaths

Cover image Photographed at the Welcome Picnic on the first day of the 2021 school year, when the long days of Auckland’s Terms 3 and 4 lockdown were an unknown, Year 13 students Charlotte Hulme (Head Prefect) and Leila Bonetti share some banter with Margot, the Dio mascot. Sadly, the Year 13 cohort missed out on just about all their year-end special events and celebrations. Photo: Nicola Topping, Real Image.


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. lmckay@diocesan.school.nz / Old Girls’ liaison and proofreading, Deirdre Coleman E. d.g@slingshot.co.nz / Commissioned photography by Nicola Topping, Real Image (realimage.co.nz).








uthor and creative fashion designer Tim Gunn said: “Few activities are as delightful as learning new vocabulary.” True to form, this year didn’t disappoint with a few witty delights from the Washington Post such as a new definition for ‘coffee’ – the person upon whom one coughs; ‘gargoyle’ – a gross olive-flavoured mouthwash, and ‘balderdash’ – a rapidly receding hairline.

On a more serious note, a new word emerged this year – ‘metaverse’. According to internet definitions, metaverse is a hypothesised iteration of the internet, supporting persistent online 3-D virtual environments through conventional personal computing, as well as virtual and augmented reality headsets. Metaverses, in some limited form, have already been implemented in video games. Although not a completely new word, it seemed to be used by Mark Zuckerburg as a new distraction after his current social media developments Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were called into question in terms of their potential damage to society. With former employees openly attesting to unethical decision making, how much of Zuckerburg’s new creation was a distraction from the real challenges coming his way? It has been heartening to see the world’s gradual realisation that social media 2


is of limited social benefit. It is good to see the heightened discussion about whether social media is creating better societies because the evidence we see in education is that wellbeing around the world is falling. This fact has long been heralded by schools and educators, and despite our extensive noise about the negative effects of social media on young people, there has been little response from anyone who could intervene. Social media providers have taken a consistently poor level of responsibility for instigating any moral standards or protection from inappropriate behaviour.

In previous articles we have frequently discussed the ‘wild west’ of the internet, where children can be exposed to pornography, violence, online bullying, and the world of perfectionism that particularly and negatively influences young women.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to analyse why people in our world continue to enable conditions that threaten the environment. While we see leaders in the world debate the environmental problems we face, we believe that it is time to have the same debate about what is happening to the human emotional environment. The issues are the same – for every level of energy generation that populations need, there can be an equal and opposite negative effect for the environment. While the internet brings information and communication to our fingertips, the negative effects for our developing young people are concerning. For women, it is particularly concerning. Research shows that young women spend far more time on the internet on social media than their male counterparts. Males spend most of

“Educating young people today is far more than just accessing information or being social online. It has a much deeper vocabulary where human values intersect with creativity and the spirit within each person to help them see beyond themselves and the possibilities for an amazing future.” Heather McRae


their time engaged in computer games. Research released in March 2020 indicates that by relying on social media for connections, girls have increased pressure to think about how peers will perceive them or judge them online. Additionally, negative mental health outcomes such as anxiety, depression, dissociation and disrupted sleep can begin to manifest physically. Using data from over 10,000 14-year-olds who took part in the UK Millennium Cohort Study, researchers found 40% of girls admitted being on their social media accounts for more than three hours a day compared to only 20% of boys. Only four out of every 100 girls, compared to 10% of boys, reported abstained entirely. In addition to the significant gender differences that should influence our thinking for the future, information spread through social media continues to be problematic and unmonitored. Unfortunately, this year has seen the use of another new word – ‘infodemic’. As the world has faced another year in the midst of a devastating pandemic claiming five million lives, it seemed an important time for a global commitment to ensure that verified and accurate information could be shared to protect our most vulnerable people. This is, after all, about survival. Yet alongside that information, sits a concerted antivaccination campaign, misinformation and forums for debating the rights we have as humans. While there is

no question that opinions are a very healthy part of democracy, when it comes to human survival, we continue to be our own worst advocates. The planet continues to bow under the weight of human enterprise that continues to think first about individual benefit and seems to miss the wider team – not just the five million, but the eight billion around the world. How can people like Mark Zuckerburg continue to create new iterations of a virtual world when his latest value of $116.1 billion would go some way to assisting the rest of the world to achieve COVID protection? Could we also clean up not just our air, but social media and use it to its greatest effect to build socially competent, informed, and self-confident young women? Educating young people

today is far more than just accessing information or being social online. It has a much deeper vocabulary where human values intersect with creativity and the spirit within each person to help them see beyond themselves and the possibilities for an amazing future. There is no one new word that is needed at Diocesan to continue with this mission. I want to personally thank all our Diocesan Community – the Board, staff, students, parents, and Dio Old Girls for helping us thrive during this challenging year – 2021. Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui - Ut Serviamus. Heather McRae, Principal DIO TODAY




The Board farewells Chair Andrew Peterson and board members Keren Blakey and David Gibson, and appoints Nicole Xanthopol, Indy Sena and Monique Sullivan. Long-standing chair Andrew Peterson retired from the Board in October after more than 13 years of service to the School. Andrew joined the Board in May 2008 and became chair in January 2012. Throughout his tenure, Andrew has been on the Board’s Campus Development Committee, chair of the

New Board Chair Nicole Xanthopol.



Student Services Committee, chair of the People and Culture Committee and chair of the Succession Committee. Andrew has overseen reviews of the School’s Strategic Direction, supported major campus projects, and has worked closely with the Board and Principal Heather McRae on many aspects of the School’s governance.

that instils in every girl the courage and confidence to shape their own future. Andrew said that he has enjoyed every aspect of the role and expressed his thanks for “the privilege and opportunity to undertake the role, and work with an amazing principal in Heather McRae, and such talented and committed Board members”.

When asked to identify one particular highlight, Andrew mentioned the unswerving focus of Dio to create a genuine and authentic environment

Andrew is leaving Dio in great heart and with a clear sense of purpose and vision for the future. His contribution has been exceptional in creating a highly effective

Retiring Board Chair Andrew Peterson

LEADING Monique Sullivan

governance model. The Board will formally farewell Andrew and thank him for his outstanding service to Diocesan early in the new year. To ensure a smooth succession, the Board carried out an extensive search process and was delighted to appoint Old Girl and current parent Nicole Xanthopol as a board member in June. After a period of transition, Nicole assumed the role of chair in October. Nicole is a lawyer and partner in leading boutique law firm Webb Henderson, specialising in banking and finance. Nicole has also been a partner at one of the world’s leading law firms in London, and has extensive governance experience in law firms, and also in the education sector at Remuera Primary. Nicole is enthusiastic about the opportunity at Dio and looks forward to engaging with the community when we are all back on-site. In June, the Board farewelled Dio Old Girl Keren Blakey and David Gibson. Keren had been on the Board for just over

Indy Sena

five years and was chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee for much of that time. Keren’s financial acumen and leadership throughout her time on the Board was outstanding and, together with the School’s CFO, Scott Christie, formed a great team who provided wise counsel and inspired confidence. David Gibson retired from the Board after two and a half years, during which he was also chair of the Heritage Foundation and a member of the Board’s Campus Development Committee. David embarked on a significant review and refocussing of the Heritage Foundation which led to the appointment of a number of new trustees to the Foundation. David’s work will be long lasting and is an important and significant legacy. The contributions made by Keren and David have greatly assisted in the betterment of Dio and created a real sense of confidence about the School’s future direction. Before Keren’s retirement, the Board appointed Indy Sena at the meeting

in May. Indy is an Assurance Partner at PwC with extensive audit and assurance experience at PwC in New Zealand, Australia and Japan. As well as his technical accounting skills, Indy brings a strategic and commercial perspective to the Board, and has recently assumed the role of chair of the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee. Indy was able to transition into the role under the guidance of Keren. Indy is also a current parent at Dio. In November, the Board appointed Monique Sullivan. Monique is a senior project manager with MPM Projects Limited and has led many of the School’s major construction works. Through that role, she knows the campus and the Dio team well. Monique is also a current parent at Dio. As well as the perspectives she will bring to the Board, Monique brings specialist expertise to the Campus Development Committee. The Board is delighted to welcome Nicole, Indy and Monique and thanks Andrew, Keren and David for their leadership and service to Dio and the community.




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Investing in change


for the future

hroughout the challenges of the last year, the pride, compassion and generosity of the Diocesan community has continued to be on display. The Diocesan Heritage Foundation has played its part, with our Dio Together campaign overwhelming us with your support and reminding us of what an amazing community we have.

Acknowledging the traditions of Diocesan’s almost 120-year history while looking ahead to the future, the Heritage Foundation supports the School’s strategic direction.

Since its inception in 2001, the Foundation has been overseen by a number of passionate and experienced trustees, many of them parents of Diocesan students, who see their role as a way to give back to the School and the Diocesan community. In 2020, under the leadership of previous chair David Gibson, the Heritage Foundation undertook a review. One of the key goals was to add new trustees with specialist investment and funds management experience, along with an understanding of the important philanthropic role of the Foundation. We have added specialist investment, funds management and business experience. We are privileged to have committed and talented people come on board, contributing their time and their expertise in support of the Foundation. Simon Plowman is a founding partner of the private investment firm Evergreen and is a director of several private companies. Simon is a trustee for Rotoroa Island. Carlie Eve is a founding member of the investment team at Mint Asset Management. Carlie has more than 27 years’ experience in the financial sector, focusing primarily on funds management and equity research. Rebecca Cottrell is the chief operating officer and a principal at NZ Funds. Rebecca has over 20 years’ experience in executive roles across the finance industry in New Zealand and Australia, including as a partner at Goldman Sachs JBWere.

Mike Bayley is managing director for Bayley Corporation Limited. Mike has significant experience in the property industry, both within New Zealand and internationally. Mike is a trustee of the Keystone Trust and Bayleys Foundation charities. David Gibson retired from the Heritage Foundation in June and we want to acknowledge his leadership and guidance. We have also farewelled four trustees over the past year – Jane Williams, Chris Yao, Scott Carter and Sarah Giltrap – who have all played a valuable role during their tenure on the Foundation, including the successful completion of the Arts Centre campaign. Their time and expertise have been much appreciated and on behalf of the School, we thank them for their significant contribution. The Foundation is fortunate that existing trustee Glenn Joblin has stepped into the acting chair’s role. The Foundation has strong governance structures to support the future strategic direction of the School. This includes

careful stewardship of the Heritage Foundation’s funds. The approach is one of a long-term investment horizon that aims to grow the value of a diversified portfolio over the long term. The Foundation plays an important role to support Diocesan by attracting, administering and coordinating donations, endowments and bequests to the School and growing a culture of philanthropy across the community. We are pleased to report that following a formal tender process late last year, EriksensGlobal has been appointed as the new investment consultant to the Foundation. They are a leading investment advisory firm and specialise in giving professional and tailored advice to wholesale investors such as charitable trusts and superannuation funds. EriksensGlobal has assisted the Foundation to review and update its investment objectives and implement a new diversified fund management strategy involving investments in a number of funds. The investment strategy of the Foundation is positioned for the future, with access to this specialist independent advice from EriksensGlobal. DIO TODAY






he Diocesan Heritage Foundation was established to bring our community together and enhance opportunities for all girls to grow the courage and confidence they need to positively shape the future.

It’s now 20 years old. Over the last 12 months, we’ve taken the opportunity to step back, review and refresh the Foundation. In doing so, we were once again reminded of the incredible spirit and generosity of the Diocesan community, which has helped our School, students and staff to realise so many amazing things. From the arts to sports, scholarships and support for students and staff to participate and develop their potential and to the successful Grand Circle campaign for our magnificent Arts Centre, the Diocesan Heritage Foundation has played an essential role in the betterment of our School. And we couldn’t have done it without the generous support from our donors and contributors. Thank you! As we move forward into the next 20 years, our aim remains to support our students and our School community projects with the greatest need or the most potential. We have reframed our focus into three areas that we believe will best ensure that our students have the resources to learn and grow:

SCHOLARSHIPS AND SUPPORT Create opportunities for talented and deserving students to reach their full potential.

SPORTS AND THE ARTS Enhance opportunities for students to expand their cultural growth or sporting excellence.

OUR FUTURE AND FACILITIES Support our investment in world-class facilities and the future independence of our School with the Chapel at its heart. As the world re-opens, we look forward to the Foundation being able to once again hold events and award grants that help realise the potential for our School, students and staff, both in New Zealand and on the international stage. The School and the Foundation wish to thank our many donors who continue to support the School, the students and staff in so many different ways. Your gifts will last a lifetime. Dio Arts Centre




Thanks for understanding. Thanks to you, students had the support they needed to complete their academic year, in spite of things unexpectedly changing at home. Your gift will last a lifetime. Diocesan.school.nz/heritage-foundation DIO TODAY




ach year Independent Schools of New Zealand (ISNZ), the organisation representing private schools throughout New Zealand, calls for nominations for the ISNZ Honours Awards. These awards give recognition to staff – be they academic, support staff, boarding, sporting, property, administration roles and others – who stand out above and beyond what might reasonably be expected as part of their employment. A wide range of roles contribute to the success of Independent Schools, and these awards are inclusive of the diversity of positions held by staff. Successful candidates demonstrate an outstanding commitment and dedication to their students, not necessarily in a classroom setting. They must have five years of service or more within an ISNZ member school and be a role model for students and their peers to enhance the values of independent schooling. They must also demonstrate service and a contribution to the wider community. Each year, consideration is also given to worthy recipients of an ISNZ Distinguished Service Award. In the history of the ISNZ Honours Awards Scheme less than 10 such awards have been presented. This year, one ISNZ Distinguished Service Award was made and we’re delighted to acknowledge our principal, Heather McRae, for Outstanding Service to Independent Schools of New Zealand, and to the wider education sector.




Outstanding service to Independent Schools of New Zealand and the wider education sector

Heather took up her position as principal of Diocesan School for Girls in 2009. Right from the outset Heather has embraced and embodied the independent school movement and its place as an integral part of the wider education sector. She served on the Association of the Heads of Independent Schools from 2010 until its disestablishment in 2019 and served on the ISNZ Board from 2011 as a board member and board chairperson from 2016 until the end of last year. In her capacity as board chair, Heather most recently oversaw the restructure of the ISNZ governance model.

With her vast experience in international education and her principalship in both the state and private school sectors, Heather understands and actively promotes the need for collaboration and collegiality across the wider education sector. She is the first to put her name forward to contribute to the Government’s education goals and, as such, has served on numerous reference and advisory groups. We congratulate Heather on her recent appointment to the Curriculum Advisory Group established to support the new Ministry of Education Curriculum Centre. The Advisory Group will help the Ministry provide strengthened and inclusive curriculum leadership and expertise. It is a privilege and a pleasure to work alongside Heather and we thank her for her outstanding service to education.

Service to languages teaching, pastoral care and water polo

During an impressive almost 30 years’ commitment to Diocesan School for Girls, dean of Year 11 and languages teacher, Christine Lewis, has demonstrated a strong sense of service across a multitude of key responsibilities. Crediting her own education at Dio as being a major influence on her career, Christine fully embraces the School’s ethos to provide every one of its girls with the “courage and confidence to positively shape the future”. Christine strives to open doors for her students through her languages teaching. Passionate about everything she does in the classroom, her aim is to inspire such

Committed, determined, motivated, reliable, intelligent, and open, Christine considers many perspectives when tackling challenges and she thinks creatively – the latter proving particularly beneficial during pandemic lockdowns. With generosity of spirit and a desire to ensure the very best care and education for each student, Christine sees one of her key roles as building strong individual relationships. Having positively influenced so many young people, she is described by students as a “second mum”. Additionally, Christine’s involvement with the Diocesan Premiers, which she has managed since 2008, has contributed to the water polo team winning repeated national titles. As well as being able to impart her own expert knowledge on the sport – which she continues to be heavily involved in outside of the School – Christine’s warm, caring and structured approach allows the girls to perform at their best in the pool.



interest in the subject that her students are curious to continue to discover more.

Each year, Independent Schools of New Zealand (ISNZ), the organisation representing private schools throughout New Zealand, calls for nominations for the ISNZ Honours Awards. These awards give recognition to staff – be they academic, support staff, boarding, sporting, property, administration roles or others – who stand out above and beyond what might reasonably be expected as part of their employment.

Congratulations Christine!






iocesan’s motivational call to action – to help girls to be ‘more than they ever imagined’ – was the icing on the cake for new Director of Business and Planning, Ian Walker. Already impressed by the quality of the Dio brand, Heather’s leadership within the independent schools’ sector, and by the vision of the Board for the facilities at Dio, the new role is a dream job for Ian.

Ian Walker

With more than a decade at Air New Zealand in senior roles, most recently as GM Business Transformation, Ian is a versatile leader in a number of different disciplines with the proven agility to move easily between them. He is also a chartered accountant with a strong background in delivering technology projects and automation. His diverse background will be of value in his new role that encompasses property planning and development, health and safety risk management, finance and the delivery of technology and business information. With a passion for building highly effective teams and for coaching and developing future leaders, Ian says his career outside the education sector is an advantage, allowing him to bring an outside-in view to how Dio approaches challenges and opportunities. He says providing people with a sense of purpose is key to great work, a philosophy he learnt when working in the aviation industry in 2001 when the events of 9/11 threatened the viability of airlines worldwide and created an uncertain future for workers. “As a leader at the time, I learnt the importance of visible leadership and communicating often, trying to bring some clarity to the ambiguity that surrounds those types of events. I also came to see the power of giving people a sense of purpose during crisis events, making them feel that they are part of the solution and then watching them rise 12


to the challenge and go on to do some great work.” His best work story, however, has little to do with aviation. While attending a course at renowned Stanford University’s d.school, Ian took part in a visit to the Circus Centre in San Francisco where everyone in the cohort was to attempt to master the flying trapeze. He still remembers the fear and anxiety of climbing the ladder to the impossibly small (and very high) platform and waiting to step out into nothingness. While the video shows him swinging at a somewhat pedestrian pace and manoeuvring clumsily to hang upside down before

eventually somersaulting to the safety of the net, his own recollection is of something much more graceful and elegant – but an exhilarating achievement, nonetheless. Ian lives with his family on a lifestyle property in Puhoi, along with a small menagerie of animals including a mad cat called Riley, Archie the Smithfield dog, and a number of horses. He started his role at Dio in November and is looking forward to playing his part in helping girls to be ‘more than they ever imagined’. As he says, why wouldn’t you want to come to work every day and be a part of that?

Melissa Brady’s water conservation initiatives at Diocesan School were featured in the June issue of Dio Today. But her efforts to promote and practise sustainability at the School don’t stop there.

showers. Other solar options are being investigated.

Melissa, who’s been the School’s Property Development Manager for the past year and a half, is working with members of the Executive Team to draw up plans to introduce more alternative power sources at school. There are already solar panels on the roof of the swimming pool, which Melissa says generate enough power to heat the

“This involves looking at how we treat leaves and branches, dead trees and landscaping,” says Melissa. “We’re currently looking at how we transform the area around the back of Patteson Block to turn it into a working recycling space. This area flows down into the recent transformation of the ‘woodland’ where our younger students can study and play.”

Melissa Brady

Awareness of environmental waste within the grounds is another point on her sustainability checklist.


Sustainability superhero Over the course of the next few months, water meter monitors will be installed in every building at the School to alert to an excessive use of water, such as taps left running or leaks. Food waste is also in her sights, and she points to the work currently being done by the Food Tech Department to reduce excess food waste and recycle coffee grounds. The department has instigated the use of green waste bins that go off-site for composting and Melissa is looking to increase this into using bigger bins for the green waste from throughout the rest of the School. She adds: “Many of our staff are organising composting in their department kitchens – everyone is getting on board!” Diocesan’s student-led Environmental Council has started a school-wide initiative for waste-free days and Melissa says she hopes it’ll eventually lead to the eradication of litter at school. They’re also 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 workshops around scooter training and safety. “The Enviro Councils in both the Junior and Senior Schools are getting everyone involved and sending a clear message that we can do things together that will help make a difference,” says Melissa. “Sustainability is a key element of our strategic direction and we’re constantly asking ourselves: what more can we do? “It’s a huge team effort and I’m really proud of the work our students and staff have done across all areas of the School.” DIO TODAY


2022 SCHOOL LEADERS HEAD PREFECT (COUNCILS) Emma Parton DEPUTY HEAD PREFECT (HOUSES) Ella Riley Head prefects Emma Parton (left) and Ella Riley (right)



Academic Arts Ball Birthday Concert Community Service Environment Ethics Media School Culture Sport Student Services

Sarah Ellis Hattie Johnston Matilda Fletcher Shreeya Daji Chantelle May Sophia Winstanley Lucy Russ Kika Blaha Brethouwer Peta Clark Lauren Batchelor Lucy Tucker



Cochrane Cowie Eliza Edwards Mary Pulling Mitchelson Neligan Roberton Selwyn

Tiaré Hansen Holly Mulligan Clementine Buchanan Phoebe Duncan Natasha Levene Jacinta Kelly Riya Raniga Lola Wood

Amie Cummack, Sarah Wong Phoebe O’Neill, Anastasia Sun Evelyn Kerse, Poppy Pett Emma R Wilson, Evie Sleigh Sophie Brosnahan, Isobella Francis Natalie Spillane, Caitlin Tam Grace Field, Madeleine Jorgensen Mia Reid, Josie Christie Penny Clarke, Grace Hilton-Jones Maddie Kelso-Heap, Hannah Bell Lucy Shennan, Sienna French

Estie Hamilton, Kennedy Howse Jasmine Soakai, Isabelle Head Holly Hilton-Jones, Daniella Kassir Annabel Gilliam Cairns, Bethany Simonds Lara Flood, Josie Torrington Olivia Hardie, Eve Finlayson Amelia England, Lily Loveridge Meg Zame, Sophie Ryan

INTERNATIONAL Joy Kim Sophia Zheng



Eve Finlayson

Emma Cunningham





This year, due to the COVID restrictions, many of the School’s usual end-of-year functions and events had to be cancelled or were held in a different, toned-down way. Instead of prize giving ceremonies, year level assemblies were held in the last week of Term 4 at which many of the major annual awards were made. The top awards are featured here, followed by a QR code that, when scanned, will take you to a full list of scholarship, bursary, prize and award winners.

endeavours. Amelia also received class prizes for Level 1 Latin and religious studies and a Board Scholarship.

Amanda is a talented and dedicated student across so many areas of school life, combining her love of music, both choral and instrumental, with drama and dance – and just to show her true all-round abilities, she is a competitive gymnast as well. For these achievements, Amanda has been named the Junior High School Arts Person of the Year for 2021.

Amanda also has an exceptional academic record. While she is talented across several curriculum areas, what stands out is her grit and determination when things get tough – qualities needed most of all this year. She is always looking to improve her understanding and sets the bar high for herself. It is for these achievements that she has received the class prizes for drama, science, English and French, a Board Scholarship, and is named as the joint winner of the JHS Dux for Diocesan 2021.

Junior High School Dux This award goes to the student who has the highest overall academic achievement. This year we have a joint Dux Award – Amelia Frear and Amanda Yu Amelia joined Diocesan at the start of Year 9 when her family moved to New Zealand from the UK. We quickly discovered that such were Amelia’s unique talents and abilities she didn’t fit the usual Year 9 timetable, so she started to multi-level. This year she has completed year 11 courses in Latin, French, science, history and maths as part of her programme. Her results would be impressive at Year 10 level but the fact that she is working so confidently at Year 11 level is testament to her abilities and her determination to succeed. Amelia rounds out her day with a commitment to the wider life of the School across arts, sports and service

Amanda Yu (left) and Amelia Frear (right)



The Heritage Foundation CJ Tunks Memorial Award for General Excellence Kanishka Kapadia This award is given to the pupil who, in her last year in the Junior High School at Diocesan School for Girls, through her commitment of energy, time and enthusiasm, has made the most outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of the School and/or its pupils. Kanishka makes an outstanding commitment to Diocesan across every conceivable area of school life. We appreciate her efforts as a school guide, in the choir, as part of the Mathex team, kapa haka, helper at the Junior School after-school care programme and as part of the Future Problem Solving group. It is the attitude she brings to all her commitments that we applaud; her boundless enthusiasm is infectious, and she has a profound influence on those around her. She is kind, empathetic, encouraging, reliable and more than anything, true to herself and the values that ground her. While Kanishka is popular with her peers, that is not what drives her. Her sense of service to others makes her a most deserving winner of the CJ Tunks Award for 2021.

Proxime Accessit to the Dux Phebe Mason Kanishka Kapadia

Phebe is truly an amazing young woman. Alongside her role as the Deputy Head Prefect and her considerable involvement in the arts, Phebe has excelled academically. She has received the class prizes for business studies, mathematics with statistics and drama, a range of subjects that recognise the workings of both sides of her brain! As a learner, Phebe is driven by a natural sense of inquiry. She welcomes the challenges of learning and she values knowledge, not just for its own sake but because it feeds her interest in a diverse range of ethical, political, and social causes. Her winning Young Enterprise project exemplifies that. Period. is a product that recycles sanitary product packaging into new wallets. We congratulate Phebe on her award as Proxime to the Dux for 2021.

International Baccalaureate Dux Lara Johns

Phebe Mason



Lara is an exceptional academic and she is on target for a top IB score – she has achieved the top score of seven in four out of her six IB subjects, winning the subject prizes for Spanish and economics, and she received the IB Diploma Learner Profile Award. This award is reflected in Lara’s genuine curiosity for learning and a great joy in exploring new ideas and perspectives. This attitude was particularly appreciated by her classmates and teachers as she drove classroom discussion and investigations to new levels. That Lara has achieved all of this alongside being House

LEARNING Jemima Box (left) and Lara Johns (right)

Captain of Mary Pulling, playing premier water polo and achieving her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award is something to be truly admired.

NCEA Dux Jemima Box Jemima excels academically. She received awards for classical studies, physics, Latin and the Poulgrain Prize for modern languages. That her abilities cross the diverse range of languages, humanities and the sciences speaks to her incredible talents and the breadth of her ability. But just as importantly, Jemima is modest and humble about her achievements, and is always ready to lend a hand to others in the classroom. Alongside her considerable academic success, Jemima has been the House Captain for Selwyn House, a member of champion mooting and debating teams, and has achieved her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. She is an exceptional young woman, and we are very proud of her.

Charlotte Hulme

throughout her schooling has contributed to many school activities, shown high personal standards and has exhibited the qualities inherent in the foundation of the School – love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, humility, faithfulness and self-control. Charlotte needs no introduction – as the Head Prefect for 2021, she has led her team and the whole School community with all the necessary prerequisites of enthusiasm, initiative, organisation, and effective communication. That this has played out across a year that none of us could have predicted, speaks to the effectiveness of her servant leadership. But this award is not for Charlotte the leader. It is for Charlotte the young woman who makes others feel important, the friend who always has a caring word and a warm smile, the student who we are so very proud to know.

Eliza Edwards Memorial Award Charlotte Hulme

Charlotte’s greatest achievement this year is the life she has brought, with her team, to the vision that is Ko Ta-tou, something that is now a living statement about what everyone in the Dio community stands for.

This prestigious annual award in memory of Diocesan’s third Principal Miss Eliza Edwards is made to a student leaving the School who

Charlotte is a most worthy recipient of the Eliza Edwards Memorial Award for 2021.

Scan this QR code to see the full list of prize winners. DIO TODAY




Two weeks into Term 3, the country found itself once again battening down the hatches against the onslaught of the Delta variant of COVID that found its way onto our shores. For Aucklanders, this turned into a protracted and frustrating period of isolation from the rest of the country and the denial of many daily privileges that we take for granted. Once again, Dio switched seamlessly from classroom to online learning. Head of Senior School Margaret van Meeuwen reports.


hen we saw the back end of 2020, we all hoped that 2021 was a new decade, a new start and a goodbye to COVID. After the stuttering start to the school year (two short Auckland lockdowns, which cruelly cancelled EOTC Week) we were rudely reminded that COVID is the gift that just keeps on giving. And with the Delta strain, it’s an insidious tentacle that is proving harder and harder to break. The impact of this has hit the Year 13 cohort the hardest. For the second year in a row no Winter Tournament Week, and no national representative status for those at that level. None of the big arts events like Big Sing, and internally, Year 10 Relay for Life again an online event (which did still raise over $50,000 for the Cancer Society.) Prize givings, arts and sports awards, the Leavers’ Dinner and the Graduation Ball all cancelled. As the lockdown proved to be anything but ‘short and sharp’ for Auckland at least, Dio teachers and students needed every ounce of resilience to make it work again. And in fact, despite all of this, teaching and learning at Diocesan has continued



amazingly well. Classics and social studies teacher Katherine Woods described online learning as a bit like “trying to make your favourite cake but with a different oven, different ingredients and in a strange kitchen! The recipe needs to be adapted, substitutions made and sometimes a bit of luck thrown into the mix to ensure that it all doesn’t turn to custard.” Unit outlines have had to be quickly adapted: “Teaching World War I to Year 7 and not wanting them to be overwhelmed with images or activities that were too heavy, without teacher guidance, led to a range of new resources and activities being developed. We looked at food in the trenches and on the Home Front, the role of animals in the war and communication, leading to morse code messages and torch light signals at home.” Similarly, science teacher Tessa Lambert reports: “The Year 8s were doing nutrition and so I sent them into their pantries to look at the food in their own homes. The Year 7s are doing ecosystems and so I recreated some of the lessons to get them out into their own backyards and explore the ecosystems there instead.”


The teaching staff were outstanding in their response to the suddenness of the lockdown, their willingness to adapt – their creativity in response to the challenges of online learning, and their energy and enthusiasm for their girls, sometimes when they were feeling anything but energetic! They managed this alongside their own family needs – Zoe Visvanathan said her two boys appeared so often in her new ‘classroom’ that the girls were disappointed if they didn’t appear to critique their new dance. As well, some staff faced considerable personal crises, and the generosity of their colleagues to take their classes, provide resources and keep things working was deeply moving and much appreciated. The girls too have been amazing. Charlotte Hulme and Phebe Mason have been inspirational in setting the tone. Their daily Instagram posts and challenges on the DSC (Dio Supporters’ Club) kept us engaged and connected. Almost every prefect group has as a goal that they want to break down the barriers between the year groups, and ironically in the year where we have been more apart than ever because of the physical

separation, Charlotte and Phebe and the whole Year 13 group have ensured we have felt well supported and together. All their initiatives really demonstrate that Ko Ta-tou is not an empty slogan, but a living, breathing approach to the way we need to live our lives. Finally in Term 4 we were given the chance to have students back – the seniors for school examinations and the juniors for classes – and the playground was once more filled with the sounds of chatter and laughter and smiling eyes replaced the more usual grins. The senior NCEA students were not adversely affected by the loss of time at school because of the changes NZQA made, and we finished the year once again fully appreciative of the importance of the physical presence of school in our lives. Bring on 2022 – perhaps with less interruption – but whatever happens the Dio community will roll with the punches.



Doubling down on lockdown Year 9 student Violet Tucker shares a student perspective on Auckland’s protracted lockdown and online learning...

I think that teachers have recognised the difficulties that present themselves during online classes and have worked to minimise that stress. They have made an amazing effort to manage our ‘new normal’.

ntil the first lockdown happened in March last year, I never considered what it would be like to have my screen become my primary link with the outside world. Not that I can profess to being a screen agnostic, but this lockdown hasn’t just moved us from a classroom to a bedroom or a home office. Delta has completely changed the rules of the game and dealt a pretty average hand to all of us.

With online learning, I’ve learnt to readjust and to acknowledge that working online brings its own challenges. It’s fine to approach a situation with a completely different mindset. What has also really helped me with online school is accepting that I don’t have to do everything the same way I would in a classroom. You can get annoyed or adjust. Like many people, I alternate between both.


I have my own thoughts around online school, but I wanted to canvas my Dio friends on the matter. I received incredibly diverse responses, which show the big range of feelings that different personalities are experiencing with this lockdown. Some feel dislocated, while others like the pace and space of virtual lessons. A few clearly miss the face-to-face human contact, while others find the remoteness quite calming.



The responses of my friends seem to be mostly focused on the challenges associated with motivation and feeling much more exposed when asking questions about parts of online lessons that may not be so clear. Maybe it’s because sometimes we can see ourselves and that’s weird. Perhaps it’s difficult to voice your opinions and questions when it’s strained through a computer microphone. Of course, it’s harder to read the room as well. When we’re all in class together it’s easier to assess reactions and there’s a flatness about online learning, which can be tricky. I hadn’t thought much about the value of an environment like school, not just in an academic or classroom setting but, rather, the social aspect of it. The short exchanges in the hallways, sparking conversations during break times. Moving between classrooms and buildings. Collaborating on class projects without my computer as the gatekeeper of every single interaction.

I’m glad my friends affirm this. It emphasises the idea that ‘we are all in this together’. We also agree that online school offers the ability to have freedom about how you learn, which is a valid silver lining for some. As lockdown wears on and wears us down, I’ve opted for pyjamas over clothes and Uggs over sneakers. If I can take away one thing about this lockdown, it is that I think it’s time for me and my computer to start seeing other people. Actual, real people.

Te Whare Huia will help prepare our students to be able to confidently lead on social issues and contribute towards building a more equitable society. Heather McRae, Principal


NEW FACULTY FOR DIO TE WHARE HUIA One of the underlying foundations of Diocesan School for Girls is the recognition of partnership with Ma-ori and embodiment of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. In line with this, Diocesan School for Girls has established a new faculty, Te Whare Huia. It embraces all things Ma-ori, including the teaching of te reo Ma-ori, kapa haka and ma-tauranga Ma-ori as its core subjects. “We believe it’s imperative for all of our students to understand Ma-ori knowledge and how this sits alongside existing world knowledge to enhance our appreciation and understanding of te ao Ma-ori,” says principal Heather McRae.



E kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia mai i Rangiātea. I shall never be lost; I am a seed sown from Rangiātea.

“An important part of this is understanding the theory of knowledge and how it was created. Knowledge isn’t static. It’s always developing and changing. It’s often deeply embedded in cultural history in the same way that Greeks, Romans and Chinese enhanced areas of knowledge we learn about today,” she adds. The ma-tauranga Ma-ori curriculum at Diocesan examines the culture and belief systems of Ma-ori and has been two years in the planning. It was launched this year as a core subject, alongside English, science and mathematics, and includes topics that offer an indigenous perspective to also help support the aspirations of the soon-to-be-introduced New Zealand Histories curriculum in the social sciences area. “The curriculum we offer at Dio is one that serves to expand knowledge and capabilities for life beyond school,” says Heather. “As our students move into the world and into their adult lives, they’ll need to be confident in the diverse communities of Aotearoa if they are to make decisions that might positively contribute to our country. There’s a 22


compelling need for tomorrow’s leaders to have a deeper understanding of tikanga and te reo Ma-ori, and this knowledge will give them a point of difference anywhere in the world. “It’s vital that Te Tiriti o Waitangi is understood and woven into our curriculum.” Heather says that Te Whare Huia will also create a space for students to hear the stories of those who are not often heard. “Through storytelling, we want to help foster an understanding of the root cause of disparities and meaningfully consider how they might be reconciled. We believe the establishment of Te Whare Huia will help prepare our students to be able to confidently lead on social issues and contribute towards building a more equitable society.” Since 2018, the School has partnered with Te Wa-nanga o Aotearoa to offer te reo and tikanga courses to the school community, including staff, parents and neighbouring schools.  In addition, Diocesan is working on developing a closer relationship with local iwi to ensure that the ma-tauranga Ma-ori shared in the classroom is

accurate and relevant to the local stories of mana whenua. “We want to make links into ma-tauranga Ma-ori but I also want it to be a bridge into other learning areas, such as the sciences. Whatever we create in our classrooms, we want to give back to iwi. It needs to be a reciprocal relationship.” Te Whare Huia is the School’s ninth faculty, with Ashley Pihema (Nga-ti Kahu, Nga-ti Wha-tua, Nga-puhi, Kai Tahu) as its head. It’s named after the now-extinct huia bird, which was once hunted for its prized feathers.

HEAD OF TE WHARE HUIA, ASHLEY PIHEMA Ashley Pihema has done a lot in her eight years of teaching at Dio, but her establishment of Te Whare Huia is perhaps her greatest achievement. “The name of the faculty is to honour Ma-ori taonga,” says Ashley. It includes the three strands of te reo Ma-ori, kapa haka and ma-tauranga Ma-ori, all now taught at Dio. Raised in South and East Auckland, Ashley joined Dio as a first-year teacher

Ashley has taught te reo Ma-ori to Years 7-13 for the past seven years, but the expansion of her department and addition of more staff means she can focus more on the strategic development of the new faculty, curriculum development and further strengthening relationships with the Ma-ori community and iwi groups.   Ashley says that the ma-tauranga Ma-ori programme offers an indigenous worldview through a different cultural lens that exists. “It’s about creation, exploration and migration; stories of resistance and taonga,” she says. “It’s a core part of what we do. We want to recognise the same mana to subjects taught in this faculty as we do to every other subject. “I’d love to see the faculty grow and develop as a place of learning where students feel confident and comfortable with ways of understanding Aotearoa and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. I’d like to see it embedded as the tikanga of Dio. Our focus is on teaching all students to help develop their understanding of Aotearoa, and to recognise that New Zealand is a place of privilege.” Ashley says she's been very fortunate to have the unwavering support and encouragement of the School’s board and executive team in the establishment of Te Whare Huia. She works closely with Senior School deputy principal Simon Walker (Nga-ti Porou, Whakatahea), who also has a passion and drive to see Te Ao Ma-ori thrive at Diocesan.  Simon is the grandson of writer and academic Ranginui Walker, whose works include Ka Whawhai Tonu Ma-tou. His academic writings continue to challenge educationalists, particularly with the concepts of deconstructing and decolonising the education system. Ashley is supported in her mahi by two other members of the Te Whare Huia team. Kali Haenga (Nga-ti Porou, Te Wha-nau-a-Apanui) heads the language and kapa haka initiatives for

the Junior School at Diocesan, while Cydel Peters (Tainui, Ta-wharetoa, Nga-ti Wha-tua) delivers the ma-tauranga Ma-ori programme to the Year 7 and 8 cohorts.


in 2014 after studying criminology and Ma-ori studies at the University of Auckland. She’s a second-language learner and studied full-immersion te reo at Te Wa-nanga o Takiura for two years.

Earlier this year, the team spearheaded a school waiata initiative led by Year 13 student Rosie Leishman. Kohine Ma is a waiata that represents the School’s values and also the local iwi heroine Puhihuia, a brave young woman of Maungawhau. “The waiata will be a taonga and a legacy for the students to sing for many years to come,” says Ashley.  The new Te Whare Huia faculty is based in the wharenui, which is a prominent and welcoming part of the school campus. Students gather there for class lessons, hui and kapa haka including Te Ara Hou, which is a steering group set up to share ideas, and a Manu Huia waiata group where staff learn tikanga, songs and mihi whakatau. “There are a lot of people involved and there’s a lot of passion,” says Ashley. Staff start their weekly meetings with a karakia and mihi; an initiative led by the staff who had completed the Te Ara Reo course with Te Wa-nanga o Aotearoa. “It’s a high-trust model,” she says. “A lot of our staff have their own stories of discovery in finding their identity and are keen to share them. From learning more about Te Ao Ma-ori they find a new appreciation for the culture and then they want to know more about their own ancestry and heritage.”

Ashley is a role model of leadership and an important mana wahine – a woman standing tall in education, sowing the seeds of knowledge to grow a better, more caring world that recognises the value and care of being kaitiaki (guardians) for the hapori (community). Heather McRae, Principal





n 1903, when Bishop Neligan first articulated an initiative that was to become Diocesan, he clearly had a concept of educating young women to equip them for life – such that societal expectations defined it at the time. His commitment to providing quality schooling for girls was laudable. After

all, while vastly ahead of most of their global peers, women in Aotearoa had only been able to vote for 10 years. At that time, some may have even remembered Kate Sheppard saying: “Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops.”

If a vote is commensurate with articulating political and social opinion, then it’s raining torrentially and with monsoon consistency at Dio at the moment. Different streams of political and social discourse flow through the School in the form of soapboxes, speeches, debates, mooting, ethics discussions, slam poetry and classroom interaction. They give voice to ideas, beliefs, arguments, and random semantic wrangles that prompt their protagonists to have an opinion, justify and defend it and, importantly, back down and reconsider it if it’s flawed. Ella Riley is passionate about her involvement in ethics. Through her winning Soapbox interventions, which have been judged by teachers and her peers as considered, moving and compelling, she has managed to ruffle some feathers. Not that the New Zealand Council of Women had any problem when she presented her most recent intervention on sexual harassment. It was greeted with accolades. “You see,” she explains, “sometimes making people feel just a little uncomfortable is a legitimate way of advancing a conversation. I’m not going out of my way to be controversial, but everything I say is about inviting conversation on topics that I feel incredibly passionate about. My overarching motive is to articulate my viewpoint in the hope to make a positive

Left: Old Girl Emma Sidnam (2017) was the guest speaker at this year’s Scholars’ Awards. 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. She describes it as "as safe place to rage at the world”.




difference or at least to raise awareness of issues which I believe to be incredibly important.” Ella’s honesty when addressing concerns that particularly interest her, lacks any degree of contrivance or calculation. She doesn’t dredge up random items of fashionable outrage or tick boxes relating to social and political awareness just for the sake of it; she can justify every opinion that she holds and she is proud of that. She is not virtue signalling, she’s putting her views into a public theatre and sitting on the side of the stage, keen to take any questions. Ella is a thought leader in the flood of student opinion that now ebbs and flows into every corner of the School. It is on fliers in stairwells. It is in submissions to various student governing councils. It is integrated into tutor group discussions.

It sends little ripples throughout the pools of conversation that groups of girls mull over in their break times. If girls like Ella are chafing against one thing, it’s ambivalence. For all the girls in this story, ambivalence isn’t a solution to anything. Sarah-Rose Crofskey, Lauren Chee and Victoria Wright debate together as a team; very successfully given their progression through a fast-growing, highly competitive and prominent league that many secondary schools fight hard to dominate. These strong and articulate young women are repeat offenders when it comes to occupying the platforms offered to them at Dio to articulate their views. They debate, they occupy space on soapboxes, they are passionate about ethics and they all appear to view English lessons as a theatre for analytical sport in addition to the more traditional elements of lessons.

Above: The finalists in the 2021 Soapbox Competition (L to R): Ella Riley (12NE), Amelia Avery (9RO), Siobhan Murphy (9SE), Eloise Voss (8MI), Shania Kumar (13ED), Alice Lott (7RO), Pascale Vincent (11NE), Alex Wackrow (11CO) and Lizzie Peters (11CO).

Sarah-Rose is deeply dedicated to all areas of analytical discussion, taking any opportunity to argue or share an opinion, whether that is through debate, ethics Olympiads, or Model UN. She says being able to think about things critically and to walk around issues observing them from different perspectives avoids the perennial pitfall of getting stuck in a tedious and sometimes misleading echo chamber. Her view is that social and intellectual impairment is caused when people develop an aversion to actually discussing ideas. DIO TODAY


“Why,” she asks, “should we ever feel that the world should be seen through a two-way mirror that is black or white?” She adds: “It doesn’t sit comfortably with me when people express things simply for the sake of saying something or weighing in with a so-called opinion that mimics what has been dished up by social media as the right thing to say. I find myself asking: “What’s your actual opinion? Why do you hold that view? You have got to be able to justify it, defend it, extend it (her voice shifts a tone and she laughs) and concede when you’ve misconstrued something and need to rethink your own view.” Victoria credits her deep dive into debating, Soapbox, and other platforms at Dio with a perennial interest in the motivation behind people putting their views on the line. She's interested in why they say it as much as what they say. She explains it simply: “I don’t read the sources involved with research for assignments anymore without asking myself what underpins the perspective I am supposed to accept as something approximating ‘truth.’ I want to know the incentive and the context." She believes that developing her speaking skills has given her a newfound confidence. For example, in participating in an interview for an external academic competition in which she was invested, she said: “I was a little intimidated and then I simply thought – this is nothing that exceeds the comfort levels that debating has already broken wide open. They can throw anything at me. I’m up for it.” Lauren is clearly an astute observer of her peers. She says: “Some people don’t want to be judged for their opinions because it can be quite confronting to put a standpoint on the table and then let people pore over it and dissect it. There need to be safe spaces where ideas can be tested and walked into the open.” She thinks Dio is pretty good when it comes to providing this context. Her concern is that when people follow a trite and ‘true’ safe story line, it’s not an accurate representation of what’s actually fermenting in the perceptions of young people. Lauren says it's critically important to analyse and investigate what sits behind the façade of news and views and articles. She’s not interested in what people think 26


others want to hear – she wants to hear what they think. These girls are not afraid of ideas, even those they do not like and do not agree with. And they don’t recoil at the prospect of being challenged to justify what they believe. In this regard, it’s fair to say that you would take on Arielle Friedlander in an argument at your peril. She is an immensely successful speaker and it’s easy to see why, even in the course of a brief conversation. Her major concern in that girls tend to value safety and anonymity of opinion over freedom of expression. She contends that some of her peers don’t necessarily say what they actually think because they are scared of being cancelled or positioned on the wrong side of history. There are many issues about which Arielle can speak with incredible knowledge and lucidity. She notes that, when it comes to conversations that put ideological markers in the ground, she finds silence . . . deafening. This concerns her. Silence is rarely constructive. Silence occupies a vacuum that can fester. Arielle doesn’t like silence. Arielle says she lives in a household where debate, disagreement and dissemination of information is served up as a side dish with every meal. She likes it that way. She’s untangling the patriarchy, working out the distance between political persiflage and actual policy consequence, and getting her head around big issues (she wants to study theology as an opening gambit to what is likely to be quite an extensive educational path). She is riding what she calls ‘a roller coaster of ideas’. It starts early at Dio. Several years ago, Jane Hart started a junior speaking/debating club for girls interested in learning about debating, soapbox and all things argumentative. Her idea was that giving younger girls an onramp to speaking could get them habituated to the ‘sport’ before reaching a competitive league. Possibly, quite a number of parents wouldn’t thank her, but she makes no apology. Around 35 girls attend and they get to argue, observe and deconstruct current issues and understand how competitive debates and mooting work.

Lucy Tucker helps run the club and she thinks there are two huge benefits. The first is that girls are often surprised and excited to discover that they can articulate things in a way that galvanises the attention of others. “They don’t know the power of speech until they make a room stand still and have people focus on their word," says Lucy. They look stunned when they realise that not only have people listened to them, but they have follow-up questions and are genuinely interested. They gain more confidence and capacity to project their views. The second thing is that they get used to being criticised in what is a safe and collaborative space. Lucy says: “In an era of carefully nuanced social engagement, it’s hard to say ‘I don’t agree’, ‘You’re wrong’, ‘You have not even considered the unintended consequences of what you say.’” Lucy has watched the girls develop and she says it’s intriguing to see kids who start off sporadically and nervously standing up, becoming competitive, fluent, and determined to defend their arguments. Some of the quietest ones become most resolute and robust in their arguments. Lunchtime sessions are often concluded with Lucy saying, "OK everyone, this has been great but you need to park it now because, at the end of the day, it’s just a debate. Let’s leave it in the room.” Then she hears the debate proceed down the corridor and weave its way down the stairs. A little tributary of opinion flowing out into the open spaces. One thing that all the girls speak about is the huge amount of support and assistance they get from teachers. The organisation, transportation, consultation, and genuine investment in activities – be they successful or not. Girls love it when they get into class and someone says: “How did you do? What worked and what didn’t?” They feel that there’s an entire team of teachers invested in them and they are grateful. Bishop Neligan may be having quiet conniptions at some of the elements of subject matter colouring the tides that surge and subside through Dio. But, if he set out to have a group of smart women equipped for life, then he is, and will remain, on the right ledger of female empowerment.


In an era of fake news, disingenuous representation of ‘truth’, geopolitical jostling based around carefully crafted spin and algorithms that tow people down rabbit holes of rabid opinion, it’s rather refreshing to see that Dio is committed to openness of opinion. Penny Tucker

Above: Senior soapbox winner Ella Riley. Right: Arielle Friedlander. Remaining silent just isn't an option for these talented Diocesan orators. And they're certainly not afraid of ideas.



Dressed by Meg


Dio Young Enterprise team Period. has been selected to represent the Auckland Central region in the forthcoming Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) national finals after winning the regional competition earlier this month. In addition, Dressed by Meg, a clothing range to promote body confidence created by Year 13 student Meg Wallace, won the regional Excellence in Product Development award. Period. is the brainchild of Year 13 students Phebe Mason, Allegra Wilson, Kate Wellington and Sarah Young. It aims to prevent period stigma by creating products which start discussion surrounding menstruation, protecting the environment by minimising plastic waste, and providing



to those in need by donating one package of period products for every item sold.

of business studies. “I’m super proud of everyone’s efforts and wish Period. all the best in the national finals.”

The company, which also won the YES regional Excellence in Social Enterprise award this year, launched in February 2020. Last year, they picked up the bronze and the Most Sustainable Business awards for the Auckland Central region in the YES awards, while Phebe was also recognised with the Auckland Central Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme is an experiential programme where students set up and run a real business. Twenty Dio companies have participated this year, with each YES business creating their own product or service and bringing it 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 needs to take their idea from validation, through to pitch, promotion, sales and finally the annual review.

“This has been a mammoth effort for these groups over the course of the past two years, as it has been for the entire Young Enterprise cohort,” said David Holmes, Dio’s teacher in charge


The Market Day exhibition, held as the precursor to a Women in Business event at the school in April, underscored the importance of sustainability and health and wellbeing and David Holmes said the students had kept the themes front of mind when creating and designing their products.

simulate bringing their products to market in a familiar and supportive environment,” he said. “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.”

“The Market Day provided an excellent opportunity for the students to

The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme National Awards brings

Proudly supporting DIOCESAN COMMUNITY

together the top YES companies from across New Zealand, with a total of $23,000 of prize money up for grabs. This year’s event, to be held on the evening of Wednesday 15 December, will be staged online due to uncertainty around COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Suzanne Buswell

Sue Couldwell

70 years’ service to Dio

After a combined service tally of over 70 years, four senior staff members leave us at the end of the year to embark on well-earned retirement. SUZANNE BUSWELL At the end of 2020, we paid tribute to Suzanne Buswell as she moved from Director of the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning to a part-time role within the department. We welcomed Jackie Taylor to the CEL driving seat, and Suzanne was able to realise her desired transition to spend more time with her family. With this decision, Suzanne enabled us to continue to benefit from her input into the team with invaluable guidance and wisdom shared throughout the year. Now, as Suzanne reaches the end of her 25th year of teaching at Dio, we cannot quite imagine the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning (CEL) without her presence. Suzanne has relished building a team of staff who together work to understand learning from different perspectives. She constantly shares her knowledge and seeks professional development opportunities for her team. A colleague says: “Working in the CEL team with Suzanne Buswell has been a 30


highlight of my long and varied teaching experience. Suzanne’s knowledge about pedagogy and learning behaviours is second-to-none. She is a conscientious and dedicated teacher, respectful of colleagues and students alike. Suzanne tirelessly advocates for students with learning differences and those who have barriers to achieving their potential. She is highly professional and widely respected in her field.” To complement her CEL work, Suzanne also led the development of the Theory of Knowledge course when the IB Diploma started at Dio and taught this course for a number of years. Suzanne is leaving a wonderfully thriving CEL department at Dio and has set a solid foundation for this work to continue.

SUE COULDWELL Sue Couldwell, English teacher, dean and colleague extraordinaire has been at Dio for 22 years, outlasting six different

Heads of Faculty in that time. She will be deeply missed by colleagues and students alike. She may think she is retiring, but we fully intend to keep her busy as a reliever. Sue believes in the fundamentals of reading and writing as the core of our English curriculum and has a rare knack for explaining the vagaries of English grammar so that students really get it. Her knowledge of English literature is unrivalled, and she communicates that love of reading to her students, inspiring them to give that book another go. Students in her classes know they will be treated with respect and dignity, and the expectation that they will treat others the same way is very clear in Sue’s classroom. A Year 11 dean for many years before doing one full rotation through the seven year levels in the new system, Sue approached the job realistically. Without compromising high expectations, she


engaged with and understood the stresses and strains in the lives of her students and their families. She has been described as fair, firm and wise, qualities that numerous students and colleagues have benefitted from over the years. Her relationship with tutor teachers was founded in mutual respect and trust. Teachers knew that she would look after them. Respected and trusted by colleagues and students alike, Sue loves literature, theatre, travel and good food. She brings thoughtful and well-informed opinions to lunchtime conversations and faculty meetings. Her warmth, humour and generosity are shown in the support given to new staff members and her willingness both to share resources and accept help from others, when faced with new ideas and challenges. Warm, friendly, fun and fiercely loyal, Sue will leave a big hole in our English Department and our School.

FAYE COWIN Faye Cowin is a gifted teacher and truly awesome person. This year, Faye is finishing a career in education that has spanned more than 50 years. Although young at heart and dedicated to the School, Faye is taking retirement from Diocesan to enjoy a new phase in her life with her grandchildren and many friends. She is a master of teaching – a person who quickly rose through the ranks to become Head of Mathematics at Tauranga Girls’ College. She then had the experience of a lifetime becoming Head of Mathematics at the Western Academy of Beijing. In between teaching, Faye travelled extensively, arriving back in New Zealand in 2010.

Rosemarie Machell

Since 2010 Faye has been an outstanding staff member and friend to us all at Diocesan. Faye became the School’s full-time mathematics tutor and also taught mathematics at all levels, including the IB Diploma. The girls loved her brilliant hands-on learning and she made maths a favourite subject for girls who didn’t believe they could do it. Not only has she been a dedicated supporter of her students, but also of her colleagues. In particular, she is an inspiring role model to all teachers regardless of where they are on their professional journey. Faye gives the best, wellconsidered advice. She is a very special person in supporting the social club, always remembering to acknowledge friends from around the world. With her sense of fun and humour, Faye is a role model to us all in relationship building. She is the glue between us and a friend for life. Thank you, Faye for your wonderful contribution to our School, to the girls, parents and staff members.

ROSEMARIE MACHELL After 14 years of service, Rosemarie Machell decided to retire at the end of this year. Rosemarie’s Dio experience began in 2007 as teacher-in-charge of history. In 2010, after many years in leadership roles, she made the decision to focus her attention on her teaching of history and social studies. Rosemarie has taught full time for 38 years. She came to Dio from Rutherford College where she had been TIC History but also taught at Avondale and Lynfield Colleges as well as Onehunga High School.

Rosemarie is a highly committed, reliable professional. She is one of the first staff members on site each morning, eager to prepare to do her best for her students and to efficiently complete the various administrative tasks required of her. Over the years Rosemarie has contributed a great deal to her students’ lives in and out of the classroom. She has been actively involved in the wider life of the School, including backstage for school productions and overseas history trips. Rosemarie has made a great contribution as a tutor teacher, going out of her way to support her students to achieve their goals. Despite going part time this year, Rosemarie committed to her seventh year with 13ED in order to guide them through their various Year 13 roles. In 2019, Rosemarie was awarded a Heritage Foundation Scholarship. She travelled to sites related to Black Civil Rights in the United States and used her experiences to inspire her history students. Rosemarie is a valued and integral member of the faculty. Her positivity, sense of fun, stories about family and fudge-making will be missed! Although the Social Sciences Faculty will miss Rosemarie, we are happy that she is now free to travel and spend more time with her family who she values so much. It is incredible to think that Rosemarie began her career with blackboards and textbooks, experienced landmark changes such as Tomorrow’s Schools along the way and has finished with online teaching and Teams meetings. What an incredible career and wellearned retirement. DIO TODAY



Year 6 exhibition The Year 6 PYP exhibition holds a place of special international importance within the PYP curriculum framework. It is a long-term, collaborative inquiry project investigating an issue that starts from personal interests but extends into real world, local and global issues. It provides an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile and apply their learning from previous years at school. It is an authentic opportunity for students to engage in action and make a difference in the world. Significantly, it celebrates the transition from the Dio Junior School to the Junior High School and to the MYP learning that will take place from Year 7 onwards.

As in the past few years, the 2021 PYPx was related to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These interconnected global goals were set up in 2015 and the UN states that they are designed to be a ‘blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all’. Our Year 6 students spent several weeks exploring the various global goals, including the Year 6 Service Week, before selecting the goal that moved and interested them the most. They were then grouped with other students across the Year 6 cohort with similar areas of interest. Each group then wrote a Central Idea and Lines of Inquiry, which drove the direction of their research. One of the most important parts of the exhibition process is about taking action. Within the PYP, “all learners should have the opportunity and the power to 32



choose their action and to act and to reflect on these actions in order to make a difference in and to the world.’’ Due to the limitations of lockdown and online learning, the students were unfortunately unable to take direct action but they were able to advocate for issues related to their goal. By raising awareness of an issue or problem they hoped to provoke others to think, feel and act differently. Little did we know when our Year 6 students started this journey late in Term 2 that we would be plunged into another lockdown, which required the girls to continue to work collaboratively from home! While this, of course, posed posed some challenges and completely changed the direction of our inquiries, we are so very proud of the way the Year 6 students rose to the challenges of online learning. They demonstrated flexibility, open-mindedness and strong selfmanagement skills – all attributes that the exhibition process is designed to reveal! The Year 6 teachers are so pleased to share with you the Year 6 2021 Exhibition website and launch video. Please use the QR code to come and browse through the exceptional work our students have created. It is especially incredible due to this somewhat ‘exceptional’ time of online learning and collaboration!

humphreyslandscaping.co.nz 09 815 4250


Life on Land

Life Below Water

No Poverty

SERVICE LEARNING In the Junior School our Service Learning approach this year has been linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We have continued engagement with some meaningful partnerships and also connected to organisations that are making a difference in our community. We saw the impact of generous donations during Harvest Festival and again when the Year 5 classes prepared welcome parcels for refugee families. We were also impressed by the girls who took part in Daffodil Day awareness during the Term 3 lockdown by dressing in yellow and crafting daffodils at home. In Term 2 our Year 6 students split into six groups to explore some of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in a deeper context in the lead-up to their PYP Exhibition. This was an opportunity for them to learn about sustainable service, how individuals became involved and passionate about service, and the different approaches being taken by organisations in our community. The girls stepped outside their comfort zones and gave up their time to help others.

Gender Equality

The No Poverty group explored poverty as an issue both in New Zealand and globally. Locally, they heard from Variety Children’s Charity and the Auckland City Mission about their work supporting children and those who live on the streets. The girls were fortunate enough to serve two local organisations: The Nest Collective by preparing donation boxes for mums in need, and the Anglican Trust for Women and Children, sorting warm winter clothing and visiting Granger Grove and St Mary’s preschool. Overall, it was an eye-opening week as they covered a wide range of issues and topics.


Zero Hunger

The Good Health and Wellbeing group unpacked a range of different elements of this global goal. They heard from Cure Kids about the incredible work that they do to help children, and from Radio Lollipop about how they support children in over 55 hospitals all over the world. Dio Old Girl Emily O’Halloran came in and talked to the group about nutrition, diet and links to our physical and emotional wellbeing. The highlight of the week was three visits to the Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital. The girls provided activities and company for the patients and spread much happiness. The Zero Hunger group explored food accessibility, food security and hunger. The girls prepared and cooked 36 lasagne and chicken pasta bakes for Kura Kai. The group travelled out to Mangere and met Kelly who is passionate about food inequality and ensuring that she imparts knowledge of sustainable food growing practices around Auckland. Their last site visit was to Fair Food, an organisation that rescues surplus food and redistributes it to charities around Auckland. It was an incredible week and the Zero Hunger group came away motivated and passionate about trying to eliminate hunger. The students interested in Goal 14 Life Below Water, and Goal 15, Life on Land combined forces and spent the week exploring issues and organisations related to these goals. They started the week with a visit from Dallas Able from Legasea, an organisation dedicated to fostering sustainable fishing practices in Aotearoa. They then visited Wenderholm Regional Park, where park

Zero Hunger ranger Phoebe explained the methods used to trap and eradicate pests such as ferrets, stoats and rabbits. They also enjoyed a few hours planting native trees, with over 150 trees planted by 12 students!

The Climate Change and Sustainable Living group had the most amazing services week. They learned how sustainable practices can contribute to creating less waste, which in turn reduces greenhouse gases. At the Botanical Gardens they looked at composting systems and then set up their very own worm farms. The group was also invited to the Auckland Teaching Gardens in Mangere, where Yvonne taught them about the importance of giving back to the community. Feeling inspired, the girls planted some winter vegetables in the Junior School garden.

Good Health and Wellbeing

Climate Change and Sustainable Living

During Service Week the Gender Equality group learnt about charities and organisations supporting women and children around the world. They spoke about future goals with our school perfects, visited the NZME offices and met amazing women in leadership, created slogans and T-shirts promoting equality, and discussed transgender rights in relation to the Olympic Games. All the students enjoyed discussing and sharing their ideas and promoting awareness with their amazing T-shirts. The group came to the conclusion that they’d like to grow up in a world where gender was ideally a non-issue and all humans were treated equally.



End of term With just over 22 years’ service to Dio between them, Junior School stalwarts Jude Buller and Chris Bayes are leaving us at the end of this year to enjoy well-earned retirement. Head of Junior School Sue Brewin acknowledges their contribution to the School.

CHRIS BAYES Chris joined Diocesan at the end of 2011 as the lead teacher of the newly developed Foundation Centre. Prior to starting at Dio, Chris’s background was kindergarten teaching, working with children and families with special needs, and working for the Ministry of Education as a senior advisor and as a facilitator for Professional Learning. Under Chris’s guidance, the Foundation Class has developed as a place of wonder, amazement, joy, beauty and discovery. The teaching practice within the Foundation Centre setting is influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach to education, as well as Te Whariki, New Zealand’s Early Childhood Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.

‘Nothing without joy’ is a way of thinking and being that underpins the Foundation Centre’s daily context. Chris continues to be very involved in the Reggio Emilia organisation as a trustee of REANZ. She was first introduced to the pedagogy of Reggio Emilia in 1994 when the Hundred Languages Exhibition and Conference was held in Melbourne. After visiting Reggio Emilia in Italy in 1998, she began an adventure that continues to inspire and challenge her today. Dio is lucky to see the evidence of this philosophy on a daily basis in the Foundation Centre and in the work the staff and students are involved in under Chris’s guidance. Chris says: “Every day at school is a day blessed with possibilities for seeing

JUDE BULLER Jude came to work in the Junior Scool at Diocesan in Term 3, 2010. She had recently returned from England and prior to her time in London she was a well respected teacher and staff member at Victoria Avenue School. Jude initially took up the position as Dean of the Foundation Centre to Year 2. As the Foundation Centre grew in size, a dean was appointed to that role and Jude continued as Dean for Years 0-2.

Jude Buller



Over the years Jude has been instumental in setting up a very harmonious lower Junior School and is loved by her students and the parent community. For many years she has lead the literacy team and has been instumental in sourcing and resourcing reading and writing material for this level. Jude has always kept up to date with current research and has not only shared this knowledge with her team

Chris Bayes

the work I do with children through new eyes. Eyes that are not alone in observing children. What are they telling us? What are the possibilities? How can we find new ways to think alongside children? To stand next to them and wonder and question? What a privilege.” What a privilege we have all had at Dio in having Chris as lead teacher and more recently as Dean of the Foundation Centre. Chris spends a lot of time with her four grandsons and in her retirement will have more time to spend with her husband, family – and her grandsons. We all wish you well and know you will always be busy and enjoying ‘Grandma time’.

but also with the wider Junior School staff. The learning environment Jude develops is stimulating and exciting. She has a real flair for classroom displays and art. Until recently Jude has successfully led the Junior School CEL (Centre for Enhanced Learning) department in the lower Junior School. She has been responsible for ensuring we have daily relievers when required and the staff are spoilt with the cakes she bakes and regularly provides for staff morning teas. Jude’s bright and positive attitude, her sense of humour and her ability to relate stories will be missed. We wish Jude all the best for the future and an exciting retirement where she hopes to move to Whanganui to be closer to her family. We wish Jude much joy and happiness in the years ahead.




Soul food I


always knew that this year wasn’t going to be easy with COVID-19 still running amok in the world, but I had hope that here in New Zealand we were reasonably sheltered from it and would soon be able to resume our normal lives. In fact, we almost did – except for the overseas travel and tourists coming here. There was a little blip earlier in the year that caused us to pull the plug on our planned school camps the day before they were meant to be heading off. That was disappointing but we easily slipped back into the routine of online learning and stayed at home while we, once again, saw off the virus in Auckland. Hearing about the Delta variant and what it had been doing in other countries had me on edge for a long time, expecting that at some point it was going to reach our shores. When we went back into Level 4 lockdown on 17 August, I had no sense of novelty or excitement about being at home like I had felt last year. A very important person who had been part of my life for a long time was gravely ill in Hawke’s Bay and Level 4 meant there was no way to get to her. She died in the first week of lockdown and it has been a hard time for me. I know there are a number of people in our wider school community who have experienced very difficult things during this lockdown and it is hard for us all to process change, grief and loss in such a strange and restricted environment. I have noticed



how easy it is for me to direct the emotion that I am finding it hard to express towards things that don’t really matter, like the reporters’ questions after the 1pm COVID briefings, or the lack of meat on the supermarket shelves. I have to keep reminding myself that I am grieving, and that is okay. I wonder if maybe we are all grieving. Things are changing in our world, and although we have been able to observe them from afar from our relative freedom for some of the time, it is now a reality for us that things are changing here too and life is not going to go back to how it was before. After watching what has been happening with the MIQ beds and seeing people devastated that their families are still separated, I wonder where people are finding their hope at the moment. Things must be very strained in some households where families are not used to being in such confined quarters, where there are many people living in one house who are not usually all there at the same time. People have been made redundant, have had their businesses collapse and relationships break down. People have lost family members and not been able to lay them to rest appropriately or have the up-close support and love of the rest of their family and friends. I heard of a man who lost his wife of 60 years and had to watch her burial from a car. For most of us, this is the hardest stuff we have had to deal with in our lives. We are used

to having what we want when we want it. We are not used to the uncertainty of everything – we demand to know when this will end and when our country will open up to the world, but I am not sure anyone has the answers to our questions. We feel unsettled and slightly on edge most of the time. Many of us have not slept well for the past months. Children and young people are worried about their futures and what sort of lives they are going to have. Recently I spoke with a clergy colleague about the lockdown time and said how hard I found it and how my mood was very low for a lot of the time. He was so grateful to hear me say that I found it hard because, although we are very concerned about mental wellbeing and we say that it is okay to be finding life tough, there aren’t very many people who are actually talking about how tough they have found it! Our prefect team, led by Charlotte Hulme and Phebe Mason, have done an amazing job of keeping it real with our students. They connected with them on Instagram, with different prefects sharing their lockdown experience and being very honest about how they were feeling. They shared that, like most of us, their moods were up and down, they were hopeful and despondent, they had fun and they were bored, they felt anxious and they found happiness. Whenever I experience difficult times in my life it is my practice to turn to the

I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore. I also like to turn to the words of an old friend of mine, Mother Julian of Norwich. An English anchoress and mystic who lived from 1343-1416, Julian became an anchoress after a period of serious illness when she was about 30 years old. At that time anchoresses lived in seclusion in small, locked cells and spent their time praying. She lived through the first and second waves of

the Black Plague in England that killed 40-60% of the population and 20% of the population respectively. She knew suffering and the pain that change, grief and uncertainty bring. Mother Julian had many visions in which Christ spoke to her. She wrote these down and many millions of people still draw inspiration from her life and writings today. One of Julian’s learnings about how to endure suffering was to let your suffering become redemptive suffering. I interpret that to mean that we should allow our pain and suffering to inspire in us a motivation to bring about goodness and love in the world. Even though we are each suffering in this strange and anxious time, we can channel those emotions into doing something that will make life better for someone else. As an anchoress, Julian used her isolation and seclusion to deepen her faith in God and her spiritual practice. Many of us have long ago lost touch with spiritual practices that nourish us and sustain our spiritual lives. In the last issue of Dio Today I wrote about the practice of gratitude and how much it can enhance our spiritual selves. Silence is very important too – taking time to meditate or to just be still can help to centre us and draw us back into a place of equilibrium and trust in God. Journalling is a wonderful way to get the pent-up anxiety and worry out of our heads and onto some paper, and it also helps us to avoid sending that

anxiety and worry in other directions disguised as irritation and impatience. The Ignatian Examen prayer at the end of each day can help us to review the day, explore our inner selves and look towards tomorrow. Doing an act of kindness for someone else every day can also be a spiritual practice. There are many free apps with resources and ideas about spiritual practices that can give you peace and grounding in unsettled times. Spirituality is not necessarily about faith and religion. All of us are spiritual beings and need to learn to nourish that part of ourselves whether we have a faith or not.


Psalms for solace and comfort. I sit with them in my prayer time and as I read them, I remember that I am loved and held by the God who created me and that God is with me every second of every day, closer than my own breath. One of my favourite Psalms to read when I am feeling anxious or low is the very well-known Psalm 121:

Yes, our world is changing and we are finding that hard. We have all experienced this destabilising time together that has led many people to question what it is that really matters in life. There has to be hope that we may emerge from this pandemic into a world that is more loving, more just, and more focused on goodness. As Julian of Norwich famously says, “All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” Rev’d Sandy Robertson, Chaplain

References: Gardner, M. (2020, May). Julian of Norwich: ‘A theological for our time.’. Retrieved from www.anglicanjournal.com: https://www.anglicanjournal.com/julian-ofnorwich-a-theologian-for-our-time/







ith the ever-changing landscape of 2020, we embarked on our 2021 journey with renewed enthusiasm, and so many highlights to look forward to... then the February/ March lockdown threw us all. Our world was rocked once again as we plunged into another lockdown on 17 August, a mere two weeks into Term 3. Sadly, many of our national finals were cancelled due to alert level restrictions, and motivation was a big challenge. Our philosophy is all about involvement, enjoyment, engagement, growth and nurturing talent across the whole school; nothing will stop us offering quality co-curricular programmes. So once again, some 600 girls continued over lockdown with their extra-curricular dance, drama and music lessons via digital platforms. And with burgeoning programmes from Years 1 to 13, we are extremely proud of the high levels of student engagement across a variety of genres, despite these two challenging and disrupted years.



As with last year, only some groups were able to compete in competitions; but all were awarded regional and national gold, silver and bronze, numerous ‘Outstanding’ awards, and selection for national finals. Despite some disappointments, students responded with resounding positivity. Once again, the Dio ethos was demonstrated by our Arts Council, who early in Term 1 came up with the theme of ‘Kohara’, meaning ‘to gleam and shine, to enthuse and be passionate about’. I want to especially acknowledge Arts Prefect Rosie Leishman, who as Kapa Haka leader, brought a new and fresh vision to the role by whole-heartedly embracing ma- tauranga Ma- ori into the arts. She initiated projects, especially Dio’s own waiata in Te Reo, Kohine Ma, including a different whakatauki that relates to Dio’s core values, ‘whaia te iti kahurangi e’ meaning ‘be more than you ever imagined’. With her super bubbly personality, Rosie kept morale upbeat during lockdown,

offering exciting weekly projects on the Arts Council’s Instagram page. Thanks, Rosie, for your infectious enthusiasm and for embracing diversity. As the year draws to a close, despite the challenges, there have been moments of pure joy for the Dio community to share. The list of achievements, from participation to our top performers, is impressive and no-one can dispute the standards at Diocesan are exceptional. We are proud to remain the top girls’ school across the performing arts in New Zealand. With the continued commitment of parents and families, the expertise of a highly skilled team of professional teachers and tutors, combined with our spirited and highly creative girls, we want to thank everyone for their ongoing contribution to our programmes. From me and the team, enjoy the summer holidays and roll on 2022! Shelagh Thomson


ver the years we have fostered student mentoring programmes within our cocurricular performing arts. This year has seen a special relationship develop between two extremely talented violinists, Esther Oh (Year 13) and Melody Xue (Year 7). Both have had success as soloists and chamber musicians. Over the years, Esther Oh has taken out national and international prizes as a soloist, been a national finalist for three years in the NZCT Chamber Music Competition and has been Concert Master for our Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. Early this year Esther won a national concerto competition, and also gained a High Distinction for her LTCL Diploma (Licentiate of Trinity College, London), and was awarded an academic scholarship in music. Our younger rising star, Melody Xue, is a real all-rounder across both performing arts and sport. As well as violin, she has Distinction G8 on the piano, led our Junior Trio Haydnseek in winning the Newcomers’ Award at the NZCT Chamber Music Competition this year and she is also a national swimming champion. Over lockdown, she came third in the national online Instrumental Music Competition ‘NOTE-ABLE’ with only six finalists selected from over hundreds of entries nationwide. She also won first place in the July SAPAC competitions, having won the Championship Cup for three consecutive years.

the easy bit if you have a high level of technical ability. The tricky stuff starts with the ability to communicate with those less able in your group, and to instil a mutual respect amongst all the players in the group. As Aristotle said ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’, so you need to foster connections with your fellow musicians, understand that creating a cohesive group is not just about teaching correct technique, but it’s about nurturing friendships and mutual respect in order to boost the morale and musicality of the ensemble as a whole. Focusing on building each musician’s sensitivity and responsiveness to my body language during a piece so that we can all ebb and flow as an ensemble is a challenge for everyone. We also need the chance to make mistakes so we can grow into the role as the concert master of an ensemble.” With Melody’s naturally bubbly personality, Esther feels she will grow into her leadership role over the years. She has gained respect as a ‘rank and file’ section player; one who listens, follows instruction, practises her music at home and has her eyes glued on Esther throughout every performance.


Instrumental mentoring programme There is a blossoming mutual respect between these two highly skilled players, and with eight years between them, this is a rare combo. As the older more experienced player, Esther has recognised Melody’s gift and is thrilled to share her knowledge with a new generation of very talented young string players at Dio. But she added that Melody has to “get better at not losing her music and remembering to bring a pencil to each rehearsal!”

Melody Xue

As a Year 7 student, Melody is our first young string player to be in both the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and is currently being student-mentored by Esther. Learning the art of directing from the violin in both small and large ensembles as Concert Master is something that involves multiple skills. As Esther said in her CAS reflection: “Firstly, respect must be gained, and this is usually

Esther Oh



Diocesan choirs and instrumentalists excel BIG SING With no competition last year, it was fantastic to see our Dio choristers excel themselves once again at the gala concert at the Auckland Town Hall in June. Our choirs have developed a rich and diverse choral culture here at Dio and we employ some of the very best young choral directors in New Zealand; the results speak for themselves.

St Cecilia Singers Distinction (directed by Rachel Sutherland) Senior Choir Distinction (directed by Lachlan Craig) Bella Cantoris Highly Commended (directed by Rachel Young) Best Junior Choir (Years 9/10) Selected for Cadenza Finale Choir (Rotorua)

St Cecilia Singers



Senior Choir

Bella Cantoris

Bella Cantoris, our all-comers Years 9/10 choir was selected for the Cadenza Finale in August. On the day before lockdown was announced, they travelled to Rotorua and sang their hearts out, performing under the directorship of Rachel Young. As the only junior choir competing at the competition, they came away with a bronze award, which

was a great achievement against senior choirs from schools throughout the region. Both St Cecilia Singers and Senior Choir were selected for the National Finale and, along with the top 24 choirs from around the country, would have travelled to Christchurch, but sadly this event was cancelled due to COVID.

Junior School Chapel Choir


KIDS SING We were absolutely thrilled with the results from our Junior School Chapel Choir who competed at the Auckland Kids Sing competition in the Town Hall on Tuesday 17 September. As well as winning a gold award, the choir cleaned up with three Best Performance Awards. These were outstanding results for the girls and their director Mehernaz Pardiwalla. • Best Performance of the Test Piece • Best Performance of a New Zealand composition • Best Contributing Primary School Choir Chapel Choir has never achieved so many awards at Kids Sing so it really

was something to celebrate on the day Auckland went into lockdown! Singing a varied programme, the choir opened with the Kids Sing test piece, Red Diggers, Yellow Diggers by Richard Oswin, which was full of character and lively expression. This was followed by a beautiful and lyrical commissioned piece The Stars are Dancing by David Gordon, which was accompanied by the sparkle of Dio’s senior handbells group.

The programme ended with the song and dance Kusimama in Swahili and English. The lyrics of the song are about standing tall on the earth with hope, strength, acceptance and positivity. Congratulations to all the girls involved and a very special mention to the choir’s accompanists, Susan Smith on piano and Mary Lewis on percussion, who made the entire performance even more spectacular with their proficient accompanying skills.

2021 KBB Festival With no KBB Festival last year, it was fantastic that our Dio orchestras and bands once again had the opportunity to work on exciting and challenging repertoire throughout 2021. In August we took home a total of six awards at this highly prestigious competition. The largest youth music festival for instrumentalists in Australasia, it runs over six days, with 4,000 students from 50 schools coming together at Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Symphony Orchestra

With three silver awards and three ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Best Performance’ awards, this was such a fabulous way for our outstanding Year 13 musicians to finish the festival, all of them having participated since Year 9. And the icing on the cake was that we maintained our position as top-performing girls’ school in the festival – go Dio! Symphony Orchestra (director Shelagh Thomson) Silver Award Outstanding Soloist Award – Helen Kim (flute)

Concert Band

Chamber Orchestra (director Shelagh Thomson) Silver Award Best Performance of a Baroque Work (soloist Esther Oh) Concert Band (director Jill Christoff) Silver Award Outstanding Soloist Award – Jess Marshall (trumpet) Also, the KBB Honours Orchestra (the region’s best players) was led by Esther Oh, along with 10 Dio instrumentalists, the highest representation of any school in the region!

Chamber Orchestra



SENIOR CONCERTO AND ARIA CONTESTS In the last week of Term 2, the brightest and best of our senior vocal and instrumental talent battled it out in the high-class competition that has become an annual ‘fest of the best’ here at Diocesan. Two amazing evenings of singing and instrumental performances featured 10 vocal and 10 instrumental finalists drawn from 50 auditionees. Adjudicators Stephen de Pledge, internationally renowned pianist, along with rising star and vocal clinician, Clare Hood, both commented on the impressively high standards.

Concerto Finalists 2021

CONCERTO Overall Senior Concerto Winner – Esther Oh (violin) Piano Cup – Erica Hu Violin Cup – Esther Oh Brass Cup – Jessica Marshall Viola Cup – Matilda Hol Flute Cup – Helen Kim ARIA 1st place – Hattie Johnston 2nd place – Emily Paramore 3rd place – Holly Graney Most Promising Vocalist – Keltie-Kewan Young

Above left: Concerto contest finalists, from left to right: Erica Hu, Anastasia Sun, Jessica Marshall, Ella Riley, Helen Kim, Esther Oh, Eleanor Christiansen, Elsie Ji, Matilda Hol.

Aria Finalists 2021



Left: Aria contest finalists, from left to right: Holly Graney, Emily Paramore, Hattie Johnston, Keltie-Kewan Young, Eva Wen, Sunny Zhang, Emma Parton, Arabella Tuck.


The beat goes on The rock band programme at Diocesan continues to grow with over 10 bands across Years 7 to 13 under the tutelage of industry professionals Keith Millbank and Richie Pickard. Three of our four bands entered into RockQuest were selected for the regional finals, competing against 31 bands in the Auckland Central heats. Dio came home with two great awards: 3rd place - TV Racket (Hattie Johnston, Mia Reid) People’s Choice Award – Second World Problems (Catarina Young, Talia Wood, Sabine MesserGoodall, Mia Hopwood-Craig, Vanessa Huang) Unfortunately, BandQuest was cancelled again this year due to COVID restrictions.

HIP HOP Diocesan entered three Hip Hop teams into competitions this year, with some fantastic results. The NZCAF and Eutopia CheerBrandz regional competitions in Auckland kept the girls busy. All three teams qualified for the Eutopia nationals, but sadly these were cancelled due to COVID restrictions. On 15 August, our teams competed at the regionals of the NZCAF Hip Hop competition with some great results: Senior Hip Hop Crew – 2nd in the Mega Crew Category Girls Scouts (Trio troupe) – 4th in the Mini Crew Category Junior Hip Hop Team – 1st in the Mega Crew Category and overall winners

Haydnseek – Newcomers’ Award (Ella Zhang, Melody Xue, Mika Kurosawa)

NZCT CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION At the Auckland finals late in June, we had over 30 girls involved in 12 different chamber groups competing at the Raye Freedman Centre. The overall Junior Award went to a newly formed Year 7/8 trio, Haydnseek, who also performed to the Governor General at the Gala Opening. All 12 groups did a fantastic job, played their hearts out and did Dio proud.

Dance tutor Ashley Metcalfe continues to mentor these talented dancers, creating choreography for and with the girls for their showstopping 2021 performances.

Trio Elénk – Special Award for Most Engaging Performance (Esther Oh, Matilda Hol, Elise Ji) Haydnseek – Newcomers’ Award (Ella Zhang, Melody Xue, Mika Kurosawa) Petrus – KBB Award (Jessica Marshall) Ornate – KBB Award (Ella Riley, Sydney Bell, Sara MacGillivray) DIO TODAY


Night of

This year’s Night of Dance was a fantastic evening showcasing our curriculum dance students along with the co-curricular groups. For the first time, this event was held in the new Arts Centre, enabling the students to perform in a professional-quality venue with a sold-out audience of over 800 people. The evening showcased the talents, energy and enthusiasm of Diocesan’s choreographers and dancers and provided a platform for our students to experience the exhilaration of live performance. Bringing together a variety of dance genres, with everything from Hip Hop and contemporary to jazz, Samoan Sasa and Kapa Haka, senior curriculum students also presented their own choreographic works showcasing their creativity, innovation and skill. Night of Dance ‘In Motion’ was a highly successful event. Thank you to all who were involved, from performers to backstage support.






SPORTS ROUND-UP In late June and during July, sports championships were played out in various codes at different venues around the country. Dio’s results are summarised below.

Cycling - Senior A


The annual National Futsal Tournament showcased 10 of our Dio girls representing the Auckland regional team. The U-14s featured Bianca Norwell, Jessica Druskovich, Boh Curran, Kate Beagley and Sian Christie who ended up with a silver medal. The gold-winning U-16s featured Olivia Erskine, Bella Cranefield and Sydney Sparks. The U-19s, who won bronze, featured Heidi van der Peet and Eloise Robinson.


The Diocesan cycling club had a great weekend at the North Island Cycling Championships in Karapiro during the July holidays. They achieved the best results the club has seen in a long time with great individual and team performances. Indie Williams picked up three silvers over the course of the weekend, winning the individual silver in the road race and criterion and teamed up with Alianna Hay, Lily James and Annabelle Judd



for silver in the team time trial. Lily added a bronze to her collection in the U-14B category criterium and Lily Shanley and Sophia Hay added bronze medals in the 16B and U-17B categories. Senior A girls Kate Shanley, Arabella Tuck, Georgia Hair, Jess Finnegan and Isobel Fletcher came very close to a medal, finishing in fourth place in the team time trial. The whole team finished a credible fourth place in the Top Girls’ School ladder.

Olivia Erskine, Bella Cranefield and Sydney Sparks, Dio members of the U-16 Auckland futsal tournament winning team.


The Dio fencing team competed in two of the Fencing North Secondary Schools’ competitions. In the first event Chantelle May picked up the gold medal in the women’s foil. At the second event, Chantelle combined with Wendy Huang and Alice Sharpe to again win gold in the senior team event. It is great to see some younger members of the Dio fencing community follow in Chantelle’s winning footsteps!



North Island Championships The Dio swim team of Madi Clark, Peta Clark, Jesse Welsh, Lucy McKinnon, Aimee Crosbie, Eva Allan, Abby Welsh, Nathalie Hull, Arabella Duncan, Lucy Gilleece, Leila Ibrahim, Grace Jeromson, Noor Lovett, Erin Veal and Arabella White picked up the Top Girls’ School award at this event in Wellington. In doing so, they also clinched the Top Girls’ Relay team trophy. Further to these successes, we had some outstanding individual results. NZSS Swimming Championships What a weekend at the NZSS Swimming Championships! Eighteen medals – seven gold, two silver and eight bronze. Fourteen individual medals, four team medals and a New Zealand age group record made Diocesan School for Girls the top girls’ school at the championships. Co-captain Aimee Crosbie led the way, picking up five medals of her own – first butterfly (the 50m was a new NZ age group record), second in the 100m individual medley, 50m and 100m freestyle. Fellow co-captain Jesse Welsh added a haul of her own with two


At the Auckland Rogaine Secondary Schools’ Championships at Totara Park, Dio had girls compete in every age category. Requiring determination and resilience to get through a wet and muddy course, Lucy Russ finished first in the Senior Girls’ race with Amelia McIntosh in second place and Sienna Payne third in the Intermediate Girls’ individual race.

Swimming nationals trophy July 2021

golds in the 50m and 200m backstroke and a bronze in the 100m backstroke. Lucy McKinnon came home with a gold in the 200m breaststroke and three bronze medals in the 200m individual medley and 50m and 100m breaststroke. Eva Allan brought home two bronze medals and Grace Jeromson added another bronze. The relays provided great excitement with the girls coming away with two gold and two bronze medals. The Senior A team of Jesse Welsh, Aimee Crosbie, Lucy McKinnon and Eva Allan won gold in the 4 x 50m freestyle relay and bronze in the 4 x 50m medley relay. They joined forces with Kasey McDowall, Louise Masefield, Arabella Duncan and Nathalie Hull to take the bronze in the 8 x 50m. Jesse and Aimee teamed up to dominate the 2 x 50m from the first heat, bringing home the gold. The event was a huge success with many girls contributing to the overall

results tally. Nathalie Hull won valuable points in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke. Peta Clark, Arabella Duncan and Madi Clark raced hard all weekend, doing their bit for the team. Thank you to Sophie ShorterRobinson, Kasey McDowall and Louise Masefield who dropped in for the relays after a busy week of water polo. Thank you to Michelle Hull for looking after us all and Anna Welsh for the long hours poolside – and to the other parents who ensured we were well fed all weekend. Aimee, Jesse, Lucy and Nathalie have been incredible swim leaders over their time at Dio. We have loved seeing their journey in swimming from a young age and are sad that this was their last meet in the red Dio togs. You have left a legacy for our younger swimmers, and we are excited to see you evolve in your future careers. What a way to end your time here, representing Dio with pride.

SKIING The Dio orienteering team competed at New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Championships during the July holidays. The young team did extremely well, with Cerys Findlow finishing third in the Years 7/8 long standard race, and Emma Samuels placing second in the junior long standard race.

The Diocesan ski team brought home amazing results at the Auckland Schools’ Ski Championships. Captain Meg Wallace picked up the bronze in the senior girls’ slalom, Lily Thomson won gold in the open girls’ slopestyle, and Isabel Simpson and Chyna Bentley combined to win silver in the junior girls’ dual race. These results placed the Dio team in third place overall. DIO TODAY


GYMNASTICS Dio gymnasts brought home a number of medals at the Auckland Championships. Code captain Sarah Young led the way, winning silver in the Level 10 rhythmic division. Also in the rhythmic division, Amanda Yu and Edith Li picked up silver medals and Danica Nali a bronze. Betty Yao was just out of the medals in fourth place. In the trampoline division Sienna French won a convincing gold with Anika Wood close to the podium in fourth place. Anika and Sienna combined with Year 7 Alice Wellington to pick up the team silver. The artistic girls followed the other disciplines and added to the Dio medal tally – Sofia Hitchin picked up a gold, Grace Wellington and Amelia King silver medals and Mikaela Fong a bronze. Year 7 Georgia Pickles finished in fifth in the very tough Step 5 category. We are very proud to see all their hard work coming together, showing concentration, strength and focus while performing with control and grace. Anika Wood and Sienna French

During the July holidays, Sienna French and Anika Wood competed

at the 2021 New Zealand Gymnastics Championships, with Sienna claiming three medals, as well as three national trophies. Sienna won two of her three events and is a triple national champion in the Junior Women’s International categories. She won gold in the Junior Women’s International Double Mini Trampoline and silver in the Senior Women’s International Synchronised Trampoline. She is now triple national champion – in the Junior Women’s International Double Mini, Junior Women’s International Overall Women’s NZ and Junior Women’s International Double Mini Trampoline. Anika picked up a silver medal in the synchronised team event. Sienna has again reached the qualifying mark for the 2021 World Age Trampoline Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. Both of these girls are fantastic role models to our younger generation; they are kind, inclusive and always willing to help in any way. Well done girls for being amazing athletes and wonderful young women!

Dio gymnasts




Unfortunately, a number of popular winter sports were unable to complete the season’s competitions due to the nationwide COVID lockdown in August and the ongoing isolation of Auckland due to lockdown restrictions.


Even with the season again being cut short due to COVID, there were still a number of successes to celebrate in 2021. Among the many highlights were Years 7/8 Navy winning silver at Central Zones; U-15 Navy and Crimson winning gold and silver in the very exciting U-15A grade final hosted at Dio in front of a big crowd; U-15 Blue won silver and U-15 Red came fourth in the U-15B grade; Senior Red won silver in the eight-aside competition; Senior Blue finished third in the B grade; Senior Crimson qualified top of their pool to make the B grade final; Senior Navy qualified for the Supercity B grade and the 1st XI won silver in the Auckland competition and qualified for the bronze medal match for the Supercity finals. Jasmine Ha, Katie Ryan, Holly HiltonJones, Jess Wech, Clementine Buchanan, Lucy Pettit and Olivia Pearce were all selected for U-18 representative teams. Holly, Katie and coaches Tim Kerr and Hitendra Patel won a gold medal at the U-18 national tournament.

Hockey 1st XI at St Peter’s

UNDERWATER HOCKEY Our Premier underwater hockey team competed in the regional competition at the end of June. The girls played 10 games over the course of the tournament and came away with a bronze medal. The girls qualified for thenationals, which would have been held at the end of August.

Special congratulations to Amelia Brown, Amelia Griffiths, Ava Hanley, Priscilla Huang, Sam Huddart and Zambia Neely on their selection into the U-18 Northern Regional team that was scheduled to play in the U-18 Interzone Championships in October.

Also at the end of June, the Northern Zone Cup took place for our two junior underwater hockey teams. This was the first school underwater hockey tournament in 650 days due to the cancellation of all tournaments for schools in 2020. Our young Junior B team had a great tournament – for many of the team, this was their first year playing and practising their skills in game situations. Our Junior A team had an amazing tournament, finishing with the bronze medal after a close and exciting game. Our Junior A team qualified for the national tournament in Tauranga, which would have been played in August. DIO TODAY



Dio basketball had some great growth this season with our development programme in Year 7 and 8 leading to us being able to field three teams in this competition. Unfortunately, they still had a number of games to play in Term 3 before the season was cut short, but we hope to see them back on the court next year! While many of the girls are new to basketball, it’s great seeing more and more girls picking up the sport. The Years 9 and 10 teams did well, with Diocesan Blue placing third in the Junior A grade, and Diocesan Red winning some of their games in the Junior B category. The U-17 team had some challenging games, but showed great resilience, with a highlight being a 47-24 win in one of their games! Our U-19/ Premier team competed in the Central/ Eastern Open Girls’ Grade, coming third after a close loss in their final game, and narrowly missing out on greater Auckland qualifications.


Another sport that had their season stopped right at the end was football – but the Premier team still had time to post some impressive results. They finished in the top four in APC rounds with one more game left to play, which would have meant a third/fourth play-off for the Dio team. The 2nd XI had a great season, showing much progression. Coached by Kit Bushell and managed by Rachel Holland, the team improved game after game. Junior A finished in the top four after consistent team performances throughout the season. With four wins, two losses and a draw, the Junior A team finished fourth overall in the regular season. Junior B, coached by the much-loved Michaela Buckley, developed throughout the season finishing mid-table upon completion of the competition – with one game left to play, but cancelled due to lockdown. The Years 7 and 8 teams had a few games and wins, showing lots of promise, until their season too was unfortunately ended by COVID.




With 41 teams entered for the 2021 season on Tuesdays and Saturdays, all teams are to be congratulated for their efforts. While COVID cut short the championship grades’ round by two games, Dio netball had 14 teams sitting in the top two of their respective grades. The Premiers were one game off completing the Premier competition for the seventh/eighth place playoff before the August lockdown hit. Premier player Clementine Dryden represented Auckland U-18/2 at the Netball NZ U-18 Nationals, as did her younger sister Jemima in the U-16/2 team. The highlight of the season was the incredible support for the netball

Premier Netball

programme from the Senior School students who volunteered their time either as student coaches (30) or umpires (9). We are extremely grateful for their contributions, demonstrating the School motto, Ut Serviamus, in its truest sense.

TOP SELECTIONS College Sport YSPOTY Awards Congratulations to Year 13 Diocesan student Sophie Shorter-Robinson who was selected as an overall finalist for the Auckland Region Young Sportsperson of the Year Awards. Well done Sophie! Te Hāpaitanga Congratulations to our director of Sport, Angie WinstanleySmith, on her selection for the High Performance Sport NZ Te Ha-paitanga programme. Te Ha-paitanga is a holistic coach development initiative designed to enable more females to pursue and maintain a career in high performance coaching in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

Angie Winstanley-Smith




For a remarkably well-grounded young woman, Sienna French flies. She scythes through the air with exquisite grace. The apparent effortlessness and fluidity of her movement belies the extraordinary athleticism and courage required to reach the heights necessary to execute breathtaking tumbles, turns and mid-air manoeuvres. She lands and stands. Just for a second, there’s a stillness and calm about her; only her breathing indicates what she has just done. And then she climbs down from the trampoline. Quite evidently, there are people who are good at things and some who are unusually talented. But there are only a few people who are, simply put, brilliant. Sienna is honest about her ability and love of an athletic discipline that as much chose her as she chose it. Very soon after she got on a trampoline at a gym in the UK, where her family was living at the time, people started to take notice. Observers started to say: “Wow! That’s not what you see every day.” She is philosophical about the demands that being a high-performing athlete at

a young age puts on her. Sienna is also candid about the commitment that is required to master the sheer physicality associated with being on an Olympic trajectory. But she still loves it – most of the time. There’s physio to reduce the pain of training, strength sessions to maximise her reliance and power, and then time on the trampoline mastering new moves, translating the instructions of her coaches into actual mid-air techniques, and teaching herself to overcome quite logical and understandable mental barriers.

gratitude for the fact that the School celebrates Sienna’s success at the same time as managing her broader education,” says Annabel. “Dio could not have been a better place for her.” Dame Valerie Adams spoke at a training camp Sienna attended. Dame Valerie explained how everyone has good and bad days, and sometimes you don’t meet the standards you set for yourself. But next time, you might meet them so the only real solution is to power through.

This is all fitted around and within normal school and teenage activities. Sienna has an impressive academic record and is acknowledged within her year group as being an unpretentious and thoroughly decent person.

Sienna will not use the word ‘should’. She doesn’t want to tell herself that she ‘should’ be able to do something. She either does it or she doesn’t but she chooses not to put extra pressure on herself unless she has a strategy to achieve her end goal. She’s mature enough to know when to step back and take a breath.

Her mum, Annabel, credits Dio with being very supportive of her daughter both in terms of facilitating the travel commitments that come with the sport and accommodating Sienna’s unusual schedule. “We have a great deal of

COVID-19 restrictions have had a big impact on Sienna’s year with international events like the Youth Olympics cancelled. But she will undoubtedly have many other opportunities to fly.



House music and dance 2021 – Cochrane were the overall winners of the competition, and also won ‘Best Own Choice’ song. This year Cochrane House was the winner of the Stark House Cup and Lily collected the Anna Tingey Award for the prefect of the winning house.


COMPETITIONS House competition has been part of Diocesan culture for over a century. In the June 2021 issue of Dio Today we reported on the keenly contested sports house competitions that took place in the first months of the year. Since then, in July, the perennially popular house music and dance competition was held but unfortunately the service competition, introduced last year, did not happen due to the prolonged COVID lockdown.

House music and dance 2021 – Mitchelson house finished third overall.



Archivist Evan Lewis explains the somewhat convoluted origins of our present eight school houses.


ON THE ORIGINS OF HOUSE COMPETITION In the very earliest years of the School, our boarders lived in School House and for purposes of school organisation were collectively known by the name of the building in which they lived. In 1908 the Misses Mary and Millicent Heywood opened Selwyn House, a large purpose-built bungalow in Mt St John Ave, which operated independently but exclusively for our senior boarders. Prior to 1909, the School was small and young, and any contests took place between forms. Once Selwyn House was in business it was only natural that some kind of competitive spirit should emerge. In fact, the first recorded evidence of interhouse competition can be spotted in the Chronicle of May 1909 in which the School House notes remark that: “Selwyn House challenged us at tennis on 20 April. Each house sent three representatives, who played singles and doubles. The results were as follows: Selwyn House 12 games to School House 7. E Rose beat K Lott with 6 to 2. L Clifford and T Rose beat K Knight and P Arden with 6 to 5. The games were very exciting, especially the double, as it was touch and go whether Selwyn or School House would win.” On 14 March 1911, a tennis rematch was held once again between Selwyn House and School House. The older girls of Selwyn House proved victorious and again the following day when they beat School House at cricket 58 to 27. In the 1912 Chronicles we find house prefects not only for School House and Selwyn House, but for Old Bishopscourt too. This was the beginning of Cowie House. Unlike many of her successors, Miss Pulling never lived on site. Instead, she lived in the servants’ quarters of what we now think of as the Bishop’s

House music and dance 2021– Cowie house won ‘Best hymn’ and finished fourth overall.

official residence in Parnell. In 1911 however, Bishop Neligan and his family moved into the impressive brick house next door, leaving much of Bishop Selwyn’s house vacant. Miss Pulling used this opportunity to open a residence for the younger boarders who would take the tram up to Diocesan every morning. This house, eventually named Cowie House, moved around for a few years, and inhabited a number of Remuera and Epsom addresses before finally moving onto the campus in 1920. Meanwhile in the house notes published in The Chronicle of June 1914, Auckland House makes its first appearance. The author of the Auckland House report explains that in 1913, there had been some talk of the ‘day girls’ entering the various competitions for the inter-house cups. Accordingly in early 1914, in so far as house competition went, all the day girls became ‘Auckland House’ and so once again the house name was taken from where its members were living. Shortly thereafter, Auckland House entered the fray and competed for the Cricket Challenge Cup, although sadly they lost to both School and Selwyn Houses.

In the house notes for the June 1914 Chronicle, the House Prefects report: “This year we are no longer called Day, but now called Auckland Girls … now we really feel that the School is ours and that boarders are only intruders, which is only right, as Miss Pulling said it (the School) was originally founded for the girls of Auckland. In future woe betide anyone who deprives us of our rights.” We don’t have an Auckland House at Diocesan today, although, as we shall see, we do have its descendants. And preserved in the Archive is a wooden painted rendering of the arms of the City of Auckland, which used to hang in the Hall as a rallying point for the day girls’ house. Faced with the growing multitude of the day girls, by 1917 the three residential houses tended to compete under the one banner of School House. While six years later in the first term of 1923, Miss Pulling, decided that Auckland House, now 100 strong, was becoming too big and that its subdivision into three new houses would allow the day girls to ‘cultivate more house spirit’. DIO TODAY


The girls were clearly not keen on this idea and it took a whole term before they were willing to make the change. Thus, three new houses were established in August 1923. They were named for founding Bishop Moore Richard Neligan, founding School Council/ Board Chairman Sir Edwin Mitchelson, and Richard Steven Cochrane, who as Secretary of the Diocese of Auckland, helped the School get underway as a financial enterprise, and who served on the School Council from 1906 until his death in 1914. These three new houses would go on to form the backbone of the house system here at Diocesan, and each has been in continuous existence for almost a century, since August 1923. Throughout most of the 1920s the School Chronicle continued to report the news and achievements of School House, Selwyn House and Cowie House (the boarders by residence), and Cochrane, Mitchelson and Neligan for the day girls in their purely imagined houses. Often the three houses of the day girls were also subdivided into senior and junior contingents – so Junior Mitchelson, Junior Cochrane and Junior Neligan Houses often competed among themselves, sometimes with Cowie House thrown in to represent the junior boarders – just to add to the confusion. In 1927 Miss Mary Heywood, matron of Selwyn House retired after nearly 20 years of devoted service. In 1928 the residence formerly occupied by the Selwyn House girls became accommodation for some of the resident teachers and the Selwyn House girls re-joined School House. Junior boarders, having moved into a 56


House music and dance 2021 – Roberton house leader Bella Landon-Lane. Roberton was placed second overall.

purpose-built residence on campus in 1920, continued as Cowie House for many years. Just like the Selwyn House boarders, the Cowie House girls usually teamed up with the older boarders to compete under the School House banner. So, in the late twenties, boarders lived in either School House or Cowie House, and from 1929, also in the New House (shortly after renamed Patteson House), a large villa just a little way down the hill from the now closed Selwyn House. But as far as house competition was concerned, all the boarders competed as School House while the day girls continued in the competitive houses established in 1923. This pattern continued for many years. In the 1956 Chronicle, the attentive reader can discover the creation of a clear division between competitive houses and boarding residences. Though no explanation was offered, it was clearly a

move to sort out the confusion between the two once and for all. House prefects in the competitive houses were renamed House Captains, while the School Prefects remained as they were. School House ceased to function as a competitive house, while the new competitive house established in its place was named in memory of founding headmistress Miss Pulling. The first girls to form up as Mary Pulling House tended to be those who had formerly been members of School House – although girls were allowed to join other houses if their mothers or grandmothers had belonged to them. The name of this new house is also of note. In some ways it was very appropriate, as founder Miss Pulling had died in March 1951 – just five years earlier. However, Miss Pulling was not fond of her family name and in one of her letters preserved in the Archive referred to it as ‘the hated patronymic’

From 1956 onwards into the 1990s this situation continued. Boarders lived in School House, Cowie House and in Patteson House, but whenever inter-house competition was at stake the girls, boarding or day girls alike, competed as Cochrane, Mitchelson, Neligan and Mary Pulling. In 1993 the School had grown even larger and the houses were again becoming unwieldy. Numbers in each house meant that there were

not enough large spaces for house meetings, consequently each of the four houses was divided and each of the new houses was paired up with its precursor. So, half of Cochrane House became the new Cowie House and the two remained as sister houses while the new house became more self-confident. The same was true of Roberton House emerging from the ranks of Mitchelson, Selwyn from Neligan House, and Eliza Edwards from Mary Pulling House. Thankfully by this time, all the boarders were living over the road at Innes House otherwise the return of competitive houses named for Bishop Selwyn and Bishop Cowie might have once again led to a degree of confusion. Thank goodness by the time Cowie House reappeared, the eponymous building was generally known only as C-Block! The other two new house names were totally in keeping with those that

preceded them. Eliza Edwards House takes its name from Miss Edwards, our third headmistress who led the School through the difficult years of the Depression and the Second World War, while Roberton House officially commemorates founding School Councillor Ernest Roberton, and more recently his niece Elizabeth Sullivan (Roberton), a past head prefect and headmistress from 1966-72.


and commented that she was very glad to abandon it when she became an anchoress. When asked whether the School could name a house after her, her response was that if a house had to be named for her at all, she would like it to be called ‘Mother Foundress House’. As a house name this might have made sense to the girls who knew our first headmistress, but perhaps would not work so well in this present generation.

So now the complex tangle of residential house names and competitive house names should be resolved to the satisfaction of all. Since 1993 all students have competed in one of eight houses without fear of confusion with the boarding establishment, but if we need to create more houses going forward, there remain any number of bishops, headmistresses and School Board members whose names could be adopted.

House music and dance 2021 – Mary Pulling house won the award for the best dance routine.



Looking at the fast-approaching summer holidays and wrap-up of 2021, the Parents and Friends Committee want to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers, recognising the effort of this wonderful Dio community. Over the past year, the committee and all our volunteers have worked hard to host events in record numbers, to bring new and exciting concerts to our School to fundraise for both the Junior School playground and School Cafeteria, and to proudly serve in our café. The end result has been fantastic as we see how much can be accomplished with a great group of volunteers. For the Dio Café, being able to utilise parent and student volunteers is a special ingredient in creating a warm and friendly environment in the heart of the School. Parents have few opportunities to find themselves in the thick of the action of a school day, but that is exactly what they get when rostered on café duty. What starts as a quiet morning meeting 58


other parents and our staff and getting to know the flow of the kitchen, changes with great haste come morning tea and lunch times. Whether seeing the faces of so many senior girls (wondering how they’ve all grown so tall) or delivering the Junior School lunches to the eager hands of the littlest ones (so excited to be on lunch duty and allowed to visit the Senior School themselves), it really is a treat to be in the midst of it all for a few hours. We love having our parent volunteers in the café and greatly appreciate the time they take to be a part of this community and join in the café chaos. Students are also jumping on the café roster and the timetable slots are in hot demand. Not surprisingly, the girls are quick studies on the till, they know their way around the product and it’s always service with a smile. What started as a small handful of girls serving at the tuck shop during off-peak hours, has grown to a huge schedule of girls helping in the café during breakfast, morning tea, lunch and after school. The students enjoy the


chance to participate and we love having them join us behind the scenes. For the Parents and Friends Committee, having an extended network of parent and student volunteers is critical for bigger events and busy times of year. Whether we need an extra pair of hands on an Open Day BBQ, behind the bar at a concert, or designing marketing material on screen, knowing that we have so many parents and students willing to pitch in makes it all possible. These events are not just a time to roll up your sleeves, they’ve always been a great chance to get to know other parents, staff and students across the School and participate in the wider

school community. A huge thank you goes out to all those parents who have pitched in at events this year. Finally, a special thank you to our committee. 2021 has, in fact, been one of our busiest years, despite lockdowns and calendar shuffles. The P&F Committee come from across all year groups, each bringing their own ideas, interests and energy, to form a group excited to work together and keep the parent community linked. From the first Welcome Picnic to the last Year-End Cocktail Party and from the early morning of the Father Daughter Breakfast to the late night of the Queen Concert, this committee has worked

tirelessly and with great spirit to create memorable events. We’ve had a lot of fun along the way and I’d like to express my personal thanks to each and every committee member for all that they contribute in both time and energy. I do believe these moments have not only forged strong friendships but have also helped to strengthen the Dio parent community. As always, we extend the invitation to join us, whether in the café, at an event, or on the committee. We look forward to seeing you in 2022. Robin Bell pfa@diocesan.school.nz

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We welcome your call or email for a free, no obligation assessment.


DIOCESAN OLD GIRLS’ LEAGUE COMMITTEE CONTACT DETAILS Email oldgirls@diocesan.school.nz 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)

You will be reading this edition of Dio Today late in 2021 when I hope our freedom of movement has been restored. However, this column is being written from Level 4 lockdown as my husband and I juggle work from a shared study and our youngest daughter is immersed in her Diocesan online learning at the dining table.

P. 09 522 9564

I’ve talked before about how proud I believe you as Old Girls of Dio would be of the incredible initiative, diligence and simple caring that Dio has shown to its community throughout the various lockdowns – and this one has been no exception. Without a doubt, the School is fit for purpose for 2021 and beyond.

E. d.g@slingshot.co.nz

COMMITTEE Sarah Couillault (Willis) Annabel French (Smaill) Penny Tucker (Macdonald) Sheryl Tan Lena Saad Rachael Brand Dio Today Editor, League pages Deirdre Coleman

Diocesan School Old Girls’ League PO Box 28-382, Remuera, Auckland 1541

“The world has changed vastly since the League was established and, just as Diocesan works hard to continue to fulfil the vision of the School’s founders in today’s world, so must the League.”

The Diocesan School Old Girls’ League is founded on a timeless principle: to carry out the School motto ‘Ut Serviamus’, 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. The world has changed vastly since the League was established and, just as Diocesan works hard to continue to fulfil the vision of the School’s founders in today’s world, so must the League. Over the last 12 months we have been focusing on what this means. What should we do so that the body that represents Dio Old Girls is fit for purpose for current and future generations of Dio women?

group of people who are invested in the School and its alumnae – Old Girls on the Committee and outside it, as well as School management, staff and the board. In addition, we have looked at what other schools are doing in this area and sought to learn from those observations.

As part of this journey, we have carried out an initial consultation with a core

There is not enough space here to go into the detail about our current

thinking. I simply want to highlight two things. Firstly, we take the privilege of representing all the Old Girls of Diocesan very seriously. Our aim is to respect the heritage heart of our organisation while also evolving as an organisation that is inclusive of, and relevant to, all our members. Secondly, we are merely representatives of the Diocesan Old Girls. On Saturday 6 November, we held our 110th Annual General Meeting of the Auckland Diocesan School Old Girls’ League (Inc). Unfortunately, like many events this year, the AGM was held virtually due to COVID restrictions. We were also very disappointed at having to cancel our much-anticipated Founders’ Day events. Ut Serviamus Jenny Spillane Old Girls’ League President DIO TODAY




ou’d struggle to find anyone in New Zealand who hasn’t been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. As repeated tides of fear, frustration, sorrow, disappointment, and hope have ebbed and flowed over the past months, Kiwis have struggled with how to respond. Like the sea, the virus is unpredictable and, just when we think we know what’s over the horizon, it all changes. Numerous Dio alumnae have been deeply involved in elements of the pandemic response – for some, it’s meant refocusing what they were doing; for others, it’s involved more fundamental changes. Penny Tucker talks to Dio Old Girls who have been working hard to help Aotearoa manage and move beyond the threat of this global pandemic.

COALFACE A JAB FOR EVERYONE Mel Eady, registered nurse (PY 1985) Registered nurse Mel Eady often leaves for work when it’s dark and works long days. She was one of the first medical professionals to sign up to help with the vaccination roll-out. Having been designated a clinical lead vaccinator for the Auckland CBD, she was deeply invested in getting the Crown Plaza Hotel site up and running. “All the vaccinators retrained and needed certification to ensure the vaccine was properly prepared and administered,” she says. A number came out of retirement to lend a hand. “We had medical and nursing students, and nurses who had run ICU departments, recovery departments, oncology wards etc. Their skills and commitment were endless.” Mel then worked for the vaccination outreach team, providing door-to-door vaccines to aged-care facilities and other vulnerable groups. She can usually be found looking after older people at the beautiful Rawhiti Estate in Remuera, so this was particularly important to Mel. “A highlight was being able to vaccinate my residents against COVID. I remember coming home that particular day overwhelmed with relief that my Rawhiti family finally had some protection against this terrible virus.” In June, Mel was invited to be a leader in efforts to host New Zealand’s first mass vaccination event. The aim was to deliver 15,000 vaccinations over three days – they exceeded that. Mel has also



been integrally involved in training new vaccinators and assessing the integrity of new sites. Her goal is simple: to vaccinate and support those trying to get as many people as humanly possible to become safer. “Vaccination against COVID is the single most important way that New Zealanders can protect themselves and their wider wha-nau and communities from developing severe disease from COVID,” she says. Mel believes Kiwis need to work together to support the vaccine-hesitant and provide honest and consistent information about how the vaccine works to protect people from long-term illness and life-ending complications.

SERVING OUR MOST VULNERABLE Catherine Poppelwell, lawyer (PY 1994) Just a hop across town is Catherine Poppelwell, a practising lawyer and a dedicated community activist. It’s rare to find anyone engaged in local charity issues and social media in Auckland’s Eastern suburbs who hasn’t heard of Catherine. She’s relentless in her drive to get support for projects to help the most vulnerable members of society. “One person can’t change the world, but you can change the world for one person,” she says. “COVID has just exacerbated the poverty gaps we can see everywhere. The struggle has become so much harder but the need for people to respond has also become more critical.”

Recently, someone observed on social media that while dropping off Ziplock bags of Lego at a primary school that has many children living in poverty, the first question the principal asked was: “So how did you connect with Catherine Poppelwell?” Before she went to Dio, Catherine grew up in Northland where some people had money, and some lived in abject poverty. Back then, she thought it was normal that school involved Te Reo, some English and a mix of both. She’s not afraid of addressing issues and devising practical solutions; the only thing that scares her is ambivalence.

RESEARCHING ALTERNATIVES TO COMBAT COVID Dame Margaret Brimble (PY 1978) Dame Prof Margaret Brimble can talk a lot about asymmetric synthesis, heterocyclic chemistry and organocatalysis to synthesise complex bioactive natural products as potential new drugs. Or she can reflect compellingly and simply about her perspectives on the current COVID crisis. She, too, is at the coalface. Margaret was a member of a national


The pandemic has merely made her more dedicated to helping. With Catherine, Ut Serviamus is seen in the backpacks she puts together for kids who have nothing new or of their own to take to school. It’s the togs, towels and sanitary items she compiles to ensure that kids can participate in swimming lessons, and in the breakfast clubs she sees as integral to helping poorer kids. It’s in the tickets to shows (with transport and treats included) for which she rustles up money so that some special kids can have an opportunity that’s normally beyond their reach. Catherine worries that COVID is emphasising inequities such as the technology divide. “People often throw things out without understanding that they might be immensely valuable to someone else.” She’s always after unwanted washing machines, microwaves and fridges.

team advising the New Zealand Government on what drugs it should purchase to treat COVID and how accessible they are. She also changed the direction of some of her research team. They were focusing on developing anti-viral drugs to treat norovirus but pivoted their work to develop drugs to combat the Sars-CoV2 virus. Margaret has fought to keep labs open and home-grown research into pharmaceutical solutions ongoing. “We’re actually quite good at developing ground-breaking and internationally successful technologies,” she says. “We just need support and access to labs.” Her frustration with the red tape that winds its way around the potential to innovate and respond, is clear as she describes what could be done and where New Zealand stands in the mix of innovation and production. “COVID has shone a light on a lot of work to be done, not just in terms of research but in helping people to understand the pathway to navigate pandemics,” she observes. Earlier this year, Dame Margaret attended a health research conference with local Pasifika community and religious leaders. She was there to support two eloquent and talented Pasifika graduate students to explain why protecting people from this virus is so fundamental. In speaking about the merits of vaccines, Margaret says one student described the development of immunity as like building a house to protect yourself from the elements. You can choose to live in a vulnerable shack or a resilient palace: it’s just matter of how you decide to tune your body to respond, repress and reject threats. At the meeting, the students encountered a degree of pushback and hostility that Margaret found rather alarming. She reflected on how important it is for the Government to bring people along

and dispel misinformation. It’s vital for the various power structures in all Kiwi communities to understand that the only way to protect their constituents is to accept the compelling reality that science augments rather than undermines their leadership. The debate continues.

PROMOTING A POSITIVE MINDSET Amanda Lockyer (PY 1993) A lawyer by profession, Amanda Lockyer is now invested in building physical health within her community. Recently, she’s been focused on keeping wellbeing, fitness and mindset front and centre as pandemic fatigue makes it harder for some of us to get up each morning. When COVID first entered the lexicon, Amanda’s business, Inspire by Amanda, (a blend of fitness and self-care), had to completely change how it operated. Under lockdown, she noted, many of us weren’t focusing on our own energy and fitness because we were looking after others or experiencing lockdown fatigue. Amanda helped her groups understand that their strength and vitality were integral to helping others adjust to the daily grind of lockdown life and to the tensions of having families cooped up together. DIO TODAY


to pick another organisation to work with,” she says. Anna likens her role to that of a mother in terms of guiding, supporting, training and recruiting staff. It’s busy. The service can get up to 450 calls a day, and in September there was a record number of 1600 texts. COVID has been challenging for three main reasons: Firstly, there was a rise in the number of people seeking counselling relating to a spectrum of mental health, financial, physical safety and pandemicrelated anxiety issues, all being played out in confined domestic environments.

Amanda is a vibrant and constructive presence in the lives of those she engages with. She creates solutions, provides wraparound support for individuals with conditions like cancer, and truly believes that health is our biggest asset. Whether they’re COVID Zooms or in person, Amanda’s classes are as much about feeling sane, supported and positive as they are about physical challenges. A big impact of a disease like COVID isn’t just the risk of getting sick, she says, it’s the apprehension of normal paradigms changing, making it hard to deal with new realities. Amanda doesn’t downplay the personal, physical and financial costs of the virus, but she believes that strong, connected people who feel nurtured and motivated, will be in a better place to take on the challenges of 2022.

A FRIENDLY EAR IN DIRE TIMES Anna Bateman (PY 1980) Lifeline’s mission is to reduce distress and save lives by providing safe, accessible services. Anna Bateman has been with Lifeline for 13 years and is the Auckland Centre manager. “Sometimes, it’s simply easier to talk to someone you don’t know,” she says. A passionate and articulate advocate for the vulnerable, Anna talks about the need to genuinely understand someone’s problems and develop a relationship that’s as much based on pragmatism as it is on trust and empathy. “If you can’t walk beside a person and help them understand that you’re genuinely invested in them, then you probably need 64


Secondly, with most people managing calls from home, it takes away the valuable input and support of the supervisors and colleagues, especially after calls that have a big impact on someone. And finally, the pandemic has made it much harder to train staff, as the usual collaborative and interactive processes have become vastly more two dimensional. Lifeline deals with real people in crisis or in need of reassurance. For some of them, COVID has made their situation seem more precarious. Anna’s warmth as she explains why she’s committed to Lifeline, shows why the service is so successful and highly regarded in the community as a go-to place for support.

If you’d like to donate to Lifeline, please visit www.lifeline.org.nz and click on the ‘donate’ button.

DISPELLING MISINFORMATION Joan Ingram (PY 1978) Dr Joan Ingram has worked in the infectious diseases space for years, and recently, much of her work has been focused on HIV. When Joan was approached to help out with the Immunisation Advisory Centre related to COVID vaccinations, she was more than happy to support the efforts of those trying to boost the immunity of the New Zealand population. “One of the problems is that misinformation gets clicks and gains traction,” she says. “The more outlandish the misinformation, the more clicks.”

Joan’s job in this particular context is to help medical professionals navigate patient concerns around the vaccine – questions about reactions and other practical issues. She knows that some people have understandable worries and uncertainties when engaging with a vaccine that’s become highly polarising and politicised in some countries. While she’s somewhat amused by them, she’s less tolerant of many of the farfetched and ridiculous online theories. “I’m a doctor. I deal with medicine and prioritising the health of populations,” she says. “I deal with science, and I have no agenda other than protecting people and keeping them safe.” And then Joan politely excuses herself to go and to do just that.

There are many, many other Dio Old Girls doing incredible things during this challenging time. We admire and appreciate their work.



A sudden

When she left Dio in 2008, Hannah Baddock had vague thoughts of becoming a patent attorney. She began a conjoint science and law degree at Otago University, but her law studies were short lived. In her first year, Hannah became fascinated with biochemistry and the molecular bases of health and disease, so she abandoned law to continue studying science. During this time, Hannah was awarded an Otago School of Medical Sciences Summer Scholarship and the Dean’s Prize for Best Summer Project. After graduating with a BSc in biochemistry, she won an honours scholarship and did research at the University of Sydney. She subsequently moved to the UK to do her PhD in the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford. This research focused on genome stability and DNA repair, and its implications in the treatment of cancers – Hannah had become fascinated by the molecular underpinning of disease. Her PhD research project was at the interface between biochemical enzyme characterisation, structural biology (primarily X-ray crystallography), and small molecule inhibitor drug development. “Cancers represent some really complex and interesting disease states,” she explains. “Numerous factors contribute to why tumours develop, but it’s partly due to damage to our DNA and the mutations that can arise from this. Our cells are actually subject to a really high level of DNA damage – in the order of 10,000 DNA damage events per cell, per day. Given that we each consist of approximately 30 trillion cells, that’s quite a lot of damage.”

Hannah Baddock graduating from the University of Oxford

At the height of the UK’s coronavirus outbreak, scientific researcher Hannah Baddock shifted her focus from researching DNA damage to investigating treatments for COVID-19.

While we can repair most of this damage thanks to our intrinsic DNA damagerepair pathways, some damage persists and can cause genetic mutations, she says. This is one of the reasons why cancer risk increases with age, as our mutational burden also increases. “Understanding how our cells recognise and repair different types of DNA damage gives us a better understanding of how tumours develop and grow.” During her two-and-a-half-year postdoctoral fellowship, Hannah also DIO TODAY


worked as a biochemistry tutor at Magdalen College, which is one of the 35 undergraduate colleges in Oxford.

fitness, thanks to 10 weekly swimtraining sessions for many years, that made the transition to rowing possible.

“Oxford is a bit unusual in that most undergraduate learning is through a tutorial-based system, rather than lectures, and this is mediated through the colleges. I was teaching aspects of DNA-based biology, such as DNA replication and regulation of gene expression. I really enjoyed it – biological processes are so intricate and amazing.”

“I really loved the team aspect of rowing, and the structure and purposeful training of working together towards a goal. While I was at Otago, I was lucky enough to row for the New Zealand Universities team in Australia, which was a great experience. When I went to the UK, I was selected to row for the University of Oxford. Taking part in the Oxford-Cambridge boat race was really special, as it’s an event with so much history and culture around it.”

After completing her PhD, Hannah stayed in Oxford to work as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Oncology, continuing to look at DNA damage repair pathways and cancer.

Sport has always been a constant While living in Oxford, Hannah was a member of the Oxford University Water polo Club and was a part of the Oxford University Women’s Boat Club crew that contested the iconic OxfordCambridge boat race. Despite being very involved in sport at school – she swam competitively, representing New Zealand at the Japan Junior Olympic Cup in Tokyo in 2005, and did water polo and triathlon – Hannah didn’t take up rowing until her second year at Otago University. It was her swimming

Hannah playing water polo for Oxford University.

Contributing to COVID research In March 2020, when the reality of the global COVID-19 pandemic hit, many research labs pivoted to work on SARSCoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), and Hannah’s was no exception. At the time, she was working at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford. During lockdown, her institute and research departments closed for all non-COVID related research. “We had to adjust pretty quickly,” she says. “In just two weeks, I went from working on cancer biology to SARSCoV-2. I was part of a large collaborative effort testing an extensive panel of

existing drugs and small molecules to see if they would inhibit the activity of essential proteins in the SARSCoV-2 virion, so that they may have potential to be repurposed as COVID-19 therapeutics. It was a very busy time, but it was meaningful to be involved with something that could potentially be very useful, and it was rewarding to be able to share our findings with the academic community.”

A new chapter in California Hannah returned to New Zealand in February 2021. After the significant impacts of the pandemic on the United Kingdom, New Zealand seemed like a wonderful COVID-19-free haven. Over the space of six months, she enjoyed the chance to catch up with family and friends back home. She’s recently relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in California and is waiting on documentation to allow her to work there. “I’d love to continue to work in the field of cancer biology around better therapeutic options and early diagnostic techniques,” she says. Hopefully, by the time this story goes to print, Hannah will be back working in the field she loves and contributing to cancer research that could benefit us all. 66




Leading the way for equitable and accessible education Alice Mander (2017) is a champion for disabled rights. In 2021, together with others, she started the National Disabled Students’ Association (NDSA), which aims to improve inequities and eliminate some of the barriers disabled students face. Alice, who has Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy, just completed her fourth year of a conjoint arts and law degree at Victoria University of Wellington. She’s majoring in film studies and sociology and is in the honours law programme. Some New Zealand universities have their own disabled student associations. Alice acknowledges the amazing work they do, but she wanted to bring these issues to light at a national level. “It wasn’t a solely independent endeavour; I had amazing support from other national student associations that have now become NDSA’s partners,” she explains. “We work closely with the New Zealand Union of Student Associations, - ori Te Mana Akonga (the national Ma students’ association), and Tauira Pasifika. NDSA also had incredible support from other disabled student leaders, disabled persons’ organisations, and the tertiary institutions themselves.” Disabled students are among the most underserved populations in tertiary education. The barriers they face include access issues on campus, difficulty getting accommodations for assessments and exams, and negative attitudes from lecturers. They also

experience more financial and social pressures than their non-disabled peers due to costs of living, and challenges finding work and accessible housing and transport. Underpinning everything is the fact that the tertiary education system was built for non-disabled people, and business concerns now rival educational priorities.

disabilities, mental health conditions, chronic health conditions, sensory impairments, and neurodivergence.

NDSA’s goal is to highlight these inequities and to work with government agencies, the Ministry of Education, and student and disabled organisations to help solve them.

At the start of 2021, there were just two disabled student associations, at Victoria University and Otago University. This year, NDSA has supported the development of disabled student associations at the universities of Auckland, AUT, Waikato and Canterbury. It’s also working with students from Massey and various polytechnics to build community at their institutions.

“We strongly believe that disabled people are disabled by their environment, rather than their impairments, and tertiary education can be one of the most disabling environments.”

“We follow the philosophy ‘Nothing about us without us’. Disabled students should be leading the work. We want to bring them into decision-making conversations, so our voices are heard. Ultimately, we hope to build an education system that works for everyone. All students will benefit from a more equitable and accessible education.” NDSA’s definition of disability is broad. It includes physical and learning

“We strongly believe that disabled people are disabled by their environment, rather than their impairments, and tertiary education can be one of the most disabling environments.”

“We’ve had some fantastic wins this year, such as the new tertiary education Pastoral Care Code, which ensures that tertiary education providers have a duty to their students’ wellbeing and safety.” When she’s not studying or advocating for disabled people, Alice is enjoying student life and her love of the arts. In 2020, she performed a piece of writing with a group of disabled writers, Crip the Lit, at Wellington’s Verb Festival. She’s done stories for The SpinOff and Stuff to raise awareness of issues disabled people face, and she wrote a regular column for Salient, Victoria University’s student magazine. She’s also been involved with other student groups and had a show on the student radio network. DIO TODAY


involved with the SGCNZ Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival. As a result, she directed and performed in a fiveminute piece of A Midsummer Night’s Dream full of devised physical theatre. It won ‘Most Original Concept’ at the Auckland Central festival and earned her a place in the National Shakespeare Schools Production. In 2017, Talia was part of the Young Shakespeare Company that travelled to the UK to take courses with Globe Education and perform on the Globe Stage. Talia subsequently did a Bachelor of Creative Technologies at AUT. This multidisciplinary project-based degree let her combine her creative interests and explore new areas, including the field of game and play, which she now works in.

Creative PURSUITS Talia Pua’s play Pork and Poll Taxes premiered in Auckland in August – a week before New Zealand went into lockdown. It’s the first full-length play the 2016 Dux of Dio has written and directed, and she’s delighted with how well it’s been received.

“We completely sold out a week before opening night, which was crazy!” Talia says. Set in the 1890s, Pork and Poll Taxes is about the early Chinese New Zealanders who came to Aotearoa in search of fortune, and the families they left behind. For Talia, the most special performance was when a group of 40 poll tax descendants and their families attended her play. “The energy in the audience that night was palpable. Afterwards so many people approached the cast saying they were touched to see their family’s story on stage. That was really humbling.” 68

Talia Pua

The play’s first iteration was Talia’s five-minute monologue for her Year 13 drama internal, a Brechtian piece on the early Chinese in New Zealand. Her mum encouraged her to develop it further and she eventually did after graduating from university. Talia spent 2020 developing the script, which was a finalist for the 2021 Adam NZ Play Award. At the start of this year, she and her producer, Natalya Mandich-Dohnt, co-founded the independent theatre company Hand Pulled Collective. “We started the company to produce the development season and premiere production of Pork and Poll Taxes, and we’re looking forward to growing it as a vehicle to produce and develop new works.” Talia attended Dio from Year 1 to 13. She studied drama and took part in many of Dio’s musical productions. Ms Fagan and Mrs Reynolds helped foster her love for theatre, especially devised physical theatre, she says. They also got Talia

“Since graduating, I’ve spent the last two years freelancing as a creative. It’s been a mixture of interaction and play design work, as well as theatre production and performance. I’m still figuring out what I want to do, but right now I’m content discovering and learning on the job.” Fun and entertainment is one aspect of being an interaction and play designer, but Talia also sees play as a powerful tool for engagement, education and behaviour change. “Because it’s something that everyone knows how to do, even if they’ve forgotten how to, play makes things accessible to everyone. My personal passion is designing for tactile interaction and play, as opposed to using digital mediums.” Talia is currently contracting with a start-up game design company as a junior game designer and producer. The company focuses on community and education-based games, including a financial-literacy game for teens with intellectual disabilities. “The arts have been hugely impacted by COVID,” she says. “It’s the same with tactile interaction. We now have to change the way we design interactive experiences so that they’re contactless. The bright side is that it opens up opportunities to develop and push technology in new ways.”



Old Girls Geraldine Verne’s Red Suitcase by Jane Riley

Last Writes A while ago I was contemplating the death of my dearly loved mother. I used to call her frequently to tell her what a few of her grandchildren, my three girls, had been up to. Normally, she’d briskly move on to chat about other betterperforming grandchildren, but I know she adored my family. She was warm, generous, engaging and sometimes enraging. Always real, rarely dull. Before she died, she told me she was writing what she called a ‘death book’. She didn’t bother to dress it up as anything else because it was what it was, and she never minced words. She wanted to articulate what she felt about dying. Mum was adamant that she’d had a good life and wasn’t afraid of leaving it behind. In the book, she choreographed her funeral right down to the flowers and hymns, and included dire threats of disinheritance if anyone spoke for too long. There were some sentimental things she wanted certain grandchildren to have. She made some random notes and would have written more had she not run out of time. It was still a work in progress when she died. It wasn’t a will, but it certainly reflected her willfulness. What was unanticipated was the reaction of a number of friends on hearing about the book at Mum’s funeral. The most common sentiment was: “How useful! I need one.”

It makes sense to let family and friends know how you want to be remembered, and the final messages you’d like to share when you’re not there in person to elaborate – to address the logistics of passing on, when those closest to you may find the concept confronting and awkward. I mentioned this to my good friend Rebecca, who is a gifted artist and graphic designer. We decided to take the concept of Mum’s book and put it into a form that everyone could use. Last Writes is a template. It prompts people to think about issues, logistics and legacy considerations associated with dying. It’s interspersed with prints of beautiful paintings by my mother-in-law, a Sumner artist. We’re not the authors of this book. Anyone who has one in their possession is the author of their own Last Writes. Craft your own story. We hope that people might take some time to give their families the gifts of clarity, candor and consideration in a beautiful little journal that’s both a keepsake and a practical tool. Penny Tucker (Macdonald) Visit www.lastwrites.nz and use the code ‘Dio’ to buy two copies of Last Writes for the price of one so you can give one to a friend.

Jack had two dying wishes: that his wife scatter his ashes somewhere ‘exotic’, and that she not give up on life once he was gone. He intended to spur her on to new adventures, but despite clinging to her red suitcase, Geraldine Verne hasn’t left the house for three months. It takes an accident for Geri to accept help from her friends, but when Meals on Wheels arrives, she’s mortified. Yet heartbroken volunteer Lottie brings with her more than cottage pie and custard. Like Geri, she too is struggling to cut loose. As a gloriously unlikely friendship blossoms, Geraldine begins to feel a long-lost spark of life and a newfound confidence. Perhaps what both women needed most, after all, was each other. This is Jane Riley’s (Wilson, 1987) second book, following the success of her first novel The Likely Resolutions of Oliver Clock. Jane currently lives in Sydney where she volunteers as an English language tutor for the Adult Migrant English Program. She began her career in public relations before moving into publishing, and later launched an online e-commerce business. She has freelanced as a writer and editor and wrote a design blog where she interviewed makers and creators.

Geraldine Verne’s Red Suitcase is available for sale through Fishpond, Amazon Australia, Book Depository and Booktopia. You can follow Jane on Twitter @JaneRileyAuthor



Because there’s no

PLANET B A bite to eat and a discarded plastic wrapper became the catalyst for a significant film project for oceanlover and change-maker Savannah Walker.




Savannah Walker (2014) started Project Blue in April 2018 after an experience she had in Cambodia. After buying a plasticwrapped snack from a convenience store in a remote part of the country, she asked the store owner where the rubbish bin was. The woman simply took the empty wrapper from her hand, scrunched it into a ball and threw it into the adjacent paddock, which was filled to the brim with plastic trash. “It was the first time I’d seen my direct impact on the natural environment, and it was like a switch flicked in my head,” says Savannah. “I returned to New Zealand and made it my mission to research where our plastic waste goes.” She soon discovered it was getting sent to places like Cambodia, a country that couldn’t deal with its own waste, let alone ours. Savannah wasn’t the only one in disbelief. Most of her family and friends had no idea we were shipping our rubbish offshore, and few knew the problems our growing volume of singleuse plastic was causing. In an Instagram post, Savannah said she wanted to make a film about her experience. The idea resonated with other young ocean-lovers.

“Ours is a story of hope, to show this generation and the generations that come after us that it’s not too late to create the change we need to see.”

now a team of 20 under the age of 26 who have each contributed to creating our film.” The aim was to highlight how plastic waste is filling up our land and oceans. For The Blue also showcases the Kiwi companies working to shift our economy to a circular one, and away from single use for good. But more importantly, says Savannah, it’s about a group of young Kiwis who saw an issue in the world and decided to act. “Ours is a story of hope, to show this generation and the generations that come after us that it’s not too late to create the change we need to see.”

“It was a story I needed to tell, so I created Project Blue and made a documentary film called For The Blue. It shows how plastic waste is damaging our environment but also what we can do about it.

While Savannah had made some short films when she was younger, this was her first attempt at a film of this scale. The team spent three years documenting their journey to Hawaii, Malaysia and around New Zealand looking at where our waste was ending up, talking to those leading the plasticfree movement and exploring solutions.

“There were a bunch of young people who understood the problem and wanted to do something about it. We’re

On Friday 6 August, more than 600 people attended the premiere of For The Blue at the Dio Arts Centre.

“It was such an awesome evening to see so many people who were interested in the work we’d done,” says Savannah. “It was especially surreal to be there with the Project Blue team, some of whom were people I met at Dio. We were also lucky enough to do an interview with Seven Sharp just before the film, which was super cool but also mildly terrifying.” Project Blue is working to get For The Blue out to a wider audience. They had planned screenings in the South Island in September, but these were postponed due to COVID. “People from all over the world have emailed and asked to host screenings of For The Blue, which is awesome and something we never expected! We also hope to enter it into some film festivals so that more people outside of New Zealand can watch it.” Savannah owns a photography and videography company called Taken of You, and also works full time for her family’s business. She’s also keen to talk at schools and encourage younger generations to act on important issues that affect them, and she’d like to make more environmental films. “I took a gap year after school, worked a bit and then travelled to Cambodia, which changed my life. I was always worried about not going to university and falling behind my friends, but it goes to show that you can still reach your potential and have an impact even if you feel a bit lost in your youth.” To purchase and watch For The Blue at home, visit www.projectblue.co.nz DIO TODAY


Fondly remembering past staff Jenny Cutler Jennifer Cutler 31 August 1944 – 7 July 2021 Jenny adored books and their ability to inform us, transform ideas, provide an escape from the mundane, transport us to different places, and blow apart stereotypes. As the daughter of two teachers, with a sister who also joined the teaching profession, it’s not surprising that Jenny gravitated to both University of Auckland and the Auckland Teachers’ Training College when she finished school. Her patience and persistence with kids who struggled with English made her a particularly gifted reading recovery teacher and her talent for library organisation was impressive. The Dio library was her beautifully managed piece of real estate for 22 years and she was always deeply invested in the students who wandered into her mostly calm realm. What set Jenny apart from many others was the amazing degree of intuition she brought to so many of her dealings with students. She always came across as a person who took the time to look beneath the surface and engage with people in a way that was genuine and supportive. Jenny didn’t suffer fools lightly but her infectious laugh and cheeky sense of humour made her one of those teachers who made a particular impact. She was a bundle of energy and took this to the wide range of extracurricular activities in which she was interested. It wasn’t uncommon to see Jenny on the sidelines of a hockey



game before dashing off to provide support for a debate. I remember her unwavering support for the 1st X1 hockey team, no matter what the outcome. Someone told me that if Jenny’s life was a book, it would be a story of tremendous respect for the power of education and the immeasurable impact of the written word. It would be interspersed with irreverence and laugh-out-loud observations. It would

tackle old and anachronistic ideas and give preconceived prejudice a bloody good shaking. It would address the importance of kids being educated in a collaborative, supportive environment. And it would reflect a woman who is dearly missed by her friends and family, as she is missed by all of us who had the privilege of crossing paths with her on our life journeys. Anna Lawrence


Meg Bayley Jean Margaret Bayley (Sayers, PY 1948) 19 September 1930 – 28 June 2021 Dio lost a living legend recently. Warm, funny, empathetic and smart, Meg Bayley was a Dio Old Girl and a muchadmired teacher. On hearing of her passing, the outpouring of affection and recollections from alumnae of all ages was extraordinary. Dozens and dozens of comments on an obituary post on the Dio Old Girls’ Facebook page spoke genuinely and fondly of a woman who was an astute observer of people, an enduring beacon of kindness, a fiercely intelligent scientific mind and, above all else, just a really good sort. It’s highly possible that there’s not a single Dio girl who attended Meg’s science classes who doesn’t remember her lessons on osmosis and her hand gestures to illustrate the particles in solids, liquids and gases. Meg’s perspectives on life at Dio included boarding during the Second World War, knitting socks for troops

and saving jam rations for soldiers. She talked candidly about the challenges, frustrations and lighter side of engaging with women’s education over a period of time where gender politics were possibly evolving more quickly than in any other period of history. Her wry commentary on the vicissitudes of school management were extraordinary, and her propensity to laugh at herself was endlessly refreshing. In the words of her family, “Meg loved her life and has left behind a big whanau of grandchildren and great grandchildren from her kids Peter, Vicky, Jo and Philippa. They all gave her such pleasure and pride. Another area of pride for Meg was the over 20 years she taught biology at Diocesan. She loved teaching and we were never embarrassed to say Mrs Bayley was our mum, as the Dio girls always raved about how much they loved her. You should have seen all the messages and

flowers from ex pupils for her 90th last year. She was honestly so thrilled.” That says so much and there’s another story that really sums up Meg. She talked about walking down to the school compost heap to look at the critters in it (as one does). A new girl walking with her had a club foot, something that Meg had not previously observed. The girl said that she had to struggle to keep up because she’d been told she needed to keep pace with her peers. Meg told her it was no big deal at all for her to slow down, so they ambled. The worms could wait. Few who knew her would be surprised that Meg left her body to the Auckland Medical School. It was so typical of her thoughtfulness and generosity and her endless sense of curiosity. Somewhere, she’s having a laugh. Penny Tucker



Left to right: Shona Rishworth, Kathie Sammons and Bryan Bartley

Left to right: Angela Coe, Chris Arthur, Kate Eatts and Wade Eatts

Left to right: Phillipa McKegg and Kathie Sammons

WHAT A ROUND! Friday 21 May saw another highly successful Bryan Bartley Dio Golf Day at Akarana Golf Course in Mt Roskill.


A field of 64 enthusiastic players took to the course in 16 teams of four on a slightly overcast but, thankfully, dry and windless day. They competed for a range of prizes, including the Bryan Bartley Cup for the top Stableford score for a Dio Old Girl or current/past Dio parent or grandparent.

In the early days, the event was played at Waikare Golf Course in Te Kauwhata so that Old Girls living in the Waikato could catch up with their Auckland friends. Around the time it was named in honour of Bryan, the Golf Day moved north and was mostly played at Manukau and The Grange.

When play was finished, everyone gathered in the Akarana Club Rooms for the prize giving, canapés and drinks. Bryan spoke briefly about the history of the event, which she has been involved in since 1976, when she was a member of the Old Girls’ Committee. A former President of the Diocesan Old Girls’ League, Bryan has organised the Golf Day for over 30 years. In the early 2000s the Old Girls’ Committee of that time honoured Bryan by naming the annual event after her.

This year, everyone enjoyed the course at Akarana and it’s been pencilled in again for 2022. Thank you to the key sponsors for this year’s event: BE GROUP – Rawhiti Estate, Farro Group, New World Milford, Saint Clair Vineyards and Mike Moynihan from Royal Auckland and Grange Golf Club.


The prize winners this year included: Top women’s Stableford (Dio Old Girl, parent or grandparent): Shona Rishworth. Winner of the Bryan Bartley Cup and six golf lessons at RAGGC with Mike Moynihan Top men’s Stableford: Wade Eatts Top team: Angela Coe, Chris Arthur, Kate Eatts, Wade Eatts Longest drive 18th hole women: Fou Charteris Most golf: Juliet Johnson

BIRTHS Joanne Dale-Fuller (Fuller, PY 2001) a daughter on 12 July 2021 Margaret Timms (Webster, PY 2003) a daughter on 30 May 2020

DEATHS Beverley Allen (Salter, PY 1951) on 25 June 2021 Frances Bailey (Laing, PY 1951) on 4 August 2021 Jean (Meg) Bayley (Sayer, PY 1948) on 28 June 2021 Mary Brown (PY 1947) on 20 August 2021 Julie Annette Cunningham (Peake, PY 1957) on 7 May 2021 Sidney Josephine Cuthbertson (Butcher, PY 1966) on 7 November 2021 Jennifer Cutler (Associate Old Girl) on 7 July 2021 Josephine Driessen (Bingley, PY 1946) on 7 July 2021 Jillian Ann Gilberd (Bonham, PY 1953) on 18 October 2021

Lesley Anne Hensleigh (Speechlay, PY 1952) on 16 August 2021 Ann Ibbertson (Fitzsimons, PY 1948) on 25 June 2021 Diana Louise Jackson (Rhind, PY 1944) on 12 June 2021 Rosemary Langley (Wylde-Browne, PY 1948) on 7 August 2021 Joan La Krapes (Finlayson, PY 1951) on 7 September 2021 Sarah Georgina Laffoley (PY 1969) on 1 September 2021 Janet Leary (Schofield, PY 1968) on 24 May 2021 Carol Lyndsay Stone (Forbes, PY 1957) on 10 June 2021 Susan Milton (Linklater, PY 1968) on 26 August 2021 Margaret Shirley MacKesy (Wood, PY 1943) on 28 August 2021 Elizabeth Selina Parton (PY 1959) on 13 November 2021 Elizabeth Nancy Postles (Needham, PY 1950) on 4 October 2021 Suzanne (Sue) Mitchell (Caro, PY 1943) on 4 September 2021 Margaret Roberts (Lloyd, PY 1956) on 6 August 2021

Rosemary Sanderson (St Claire Brown, PY 1959) on 7 May 2021 Judith Mary Spring (Hudson, PY 1947) on 30 August 2021 Judith (Judy) Simpson (Marshall, PY 1963) on 10 September 2021 Caroline Smart (Herman, PY 1978) on 24 May 2021 Josephine Young (Gould, PY 1952) on 28 July 2021 We sadly acknowledge the passing of Sue Mitchell (Caro). As a passionate Dio Old Girl, Sue made a huge contribution to the Diocesan Old Girls’ League over many years. She was a long-standing member of the League Committee and a generous host to many Old Girls. Sue regularly attended Founders’ Day and Chapel Festival. She was very proud that her daughter Anna Bateman (Mitchell) and five granddaughters attended Dio. Sue was farewelled at a small family service during the September Auckland lockdown. 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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