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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. DIOCESAN.SCHOOL.NZ


Ms Heather McRae


Reverend Sandy Robertson


Reverend Bryan Haggitt


Mrs Margaret van Meeuwen


Mrs Dian Fisher Mr Simon Walker


Mrs Kate Burkin


Mrs Suzanne Brewin


Mrs Amy Thompson


Mr Paul McDowell-Hook


Mrs Rachel Gardiner


Mrs Jocelyn Anso


Mrs Kate Jones


Zoe Tinkler


Olivia Couillault


BOARD CHAIR Mr Andrew Peterson

LEADING 06 From the Principal 08 Heritage Foundation 10 ISNZ Awards


“If we are truly a Christian community at Dio, then this is the way we should be looking at life: everyone in our community is of equal value and importance, everyone matters, everyone has something to contribute. No one should ever feel that they are not enough in our community, and if they do, then we are not living as a Christian community.” Rev’d Sandy Robertson

DIO TODAY is produced through the Marketing Office of Diocesan School for Girls and is designed by Anna Taylor ( and published by Image Centre Group. For information about this publication, contact the Editor, Liz McKay E. / Old Girls’ liaison and proofreading, Deirdre Coleman E. / Commissioned photography by Nicola Topping, Real Image (


AUCKLAND - 80 Parnell Rd, 09 303 4151 CHRISTCHURCH - 121 Blenheim Rd, 03 343 0876 QUEENSTOWN - 313 Hawthorne Dr, 03 441 2363

COVER: Year 8 student Emily Ai, who has won a prestigious scholarship to the Juilliard School in New York. Read her story on page 24 of Dio Today. Photo credit: Sonny G

LEARNING 12 Creative Industries Faculty 20 Lifelong learners 22 Prestigious scholarships 32 Junior School

EDITORIAL Welcome to the August issue of Dio Today. In this issue, we continue to celebrate the successes and achievements of both students and staff, and take a closer look at innovations and initiatives that enrich the educational experience for our girls here at Dio.

LIVING 38 Chaplaincy 42 Performing Arts 58 Sport 66 Parents & Friends of Dio

Diocesan’s newest teaching and learning space for students is an espresso bar with a zero waste philosophy. Alongside this, the Parents & Friends’ Association recently created a new kitchen garden for the School, a project led by parent Melissa Brady. The garden provides a space for students to get their hands dirty, learn how to garden and teaches them a ‘garden to table’ approach to food.

LIFELONG FRIENDS 68 President’s column 69 Alumnae news 74 Alumnae Meritae Awards 80 Reunions

Diocesan’s Teacher in Charge of food technologies, Susanna Pattison says: “Sustainability is an essential part of the ethos taught at Dio, with students learning to take care of limited natural resources and reduce their impact on the environment.” The garden supports the sustainability philosophy that Susanna is promoting. “Students want to think differently and care for their environment, and the girls are actively creating a culture around sustainability.” This culture of taking responsibility starts in the Junior School where the environment team has been working hard to limit the amount of single-use plastic in our School and the wider community, spreading the message about the harmful effects of plastic in our environment, and looking at sustainability and ways to reduce and reuse. We look forward to the busy term ahead which, no doubt, will provide a further abundance of good news to share in the November issue of Dio Today! Liz McKay, Editor





2018 Dio House Tour Houses for Causes

On Friday 9 November 2018, Diocesan Parents & Friends’ Association will host the much-anticipated Dio House Tour: Houses for Causes. A collection of generous homeowners from the wider Dio community will be opening their homes for the tour and, once again we expect this to be 2


an extremely popular event in the Dio calendar. While raising money in support of school activities and for the homeowners’ nominated charities, this day will also serve as a friendraiser, bringing together the Dio community in the spirit of our school motto Ut Serviamus.


cliffside Herne Bay home with private beach access, there really is something for everyone to feast their eyes upon. Whether you are on the hunt for architectural and design inspiration, or the chance to admire a gorgeous private garden, the Dio House Tour is a great way of gathering a few friends together for a fabulous day out visiting some of Auckland’s unique and beautiful homes.

This year’s tour will offer a wide variety of properties for all ticket holders to enjoy and appreciate. Whether it’s a grande dame villa or a rooftop garden with views of Newmarket, the architecture will fascinate. From a Ponting Fergusson designed home with commanding views of Rangitoto, to a

Back by popular demand, our famous Dio preserves, chutney and jams will be available to buy during the tour. This year we have expanded our selection and will have some new flavours and gourmet products to tempt your palates. Try the new feijoa chutney or our delicious barbecue dry rubs. Our hugely popular baked-to-go selection of slices, cookies and fudges

will be available at select locations during the tour. You can be sure the iconic Dio brownie will also be making an appearance – with a special limited edition family-sized portion. Furthermore, you won’t want to miss out on our pop-up luxury shop, which will have an exquisite range of items including the newly created Dio candles, Nellie Tier skin care, lambs wool blankets from Mt Somers Station and handmade luxury items created exclusively for the Dio House Tour – Christmas sorted! It’s also a great chance to get a copy of our latest Dio recipe book Diolicious, published since the last house tour, which will be available at our retail locations. As with previous house tours, our homeowners have nominated a charity close to their hearts to receive the funds raised from raffles at their homes. Some of the charities selected to date DIO TODAY


by our 2018 homeowners include: RainbowYOUTH, Alzheimer’s New Zealand, Garden to Table, There’s a Better Way and Women’s Refuge New Zealand. Parents & Friends are pleased to announce that once again New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty is taking on the role of principal sponsor for the tour. Built on centuries of tradition and dedicated to innovation, Sotheby’s prides itself on artfully uniting extraordinary homes with extraordinary people. In addition to this, we are thrilled to be working with Matrix Security, who once again will be providing all the security for the tour through their generous sponsorship and ongoing support. As veterans of our past two tours, we can think of no finer organisation to help us secure and protect our tour homes in 2018. Parents & Friends also welcome back our successful associations with Metrix New Zealand, and Humphreys Landscaping, Prudence Lane Design, and we are delighted to welcome Gracious Living and The Tile People. As always, we are humbled and grateful to our tour homeowners. Without their spirit of generosity and willingness to 4


open the doors to their homes and welcome the wider Dio community, this event would not be possible. Find us on Facebook and Instagram and ‘follow’ our Dio House Tour: Houses for Causes Facebook page and Instagram account. You’ll be notified of the date tickets sales go live and will receive regular tour updates as we reveal more tantalising details as the date draws nearer. Or if you prefer, email us at and we will send you an email notification prior to the date ticket sales go live. Tickets for the Dio House Tour: Houses for Causes cost $80 and will be on sale through iTicket ( from mid-August. We recommend that you purchase your tickets to this popular event early to avoid disappointment. In past years, these have sold out quickly. Tickets are limited and once exhausted no further tickets will be added. The DIO House Tour: Houses for Causes will take place during the day on Friday 9 November.

For questions or enquiries, please contact

Only the best is

good enough Proud to receive the Deloitte Fast 50 national award officially recognising NZSIR as the fastest growing real estate company in New Zealand.

Proud to be part of the Diocesan community. Take advantage of an exclusive listing offer available only to friends and family of Dio. For details, talk to our Auckland Sales Manager, Jonathan Sissons on +64 21 680 086 or AUCKLAND | WARKWORTH | MATAKANA | WAIHEKE ISLAND | BAY OF ISLANDS | TAUPO | HAWKE’S BAY | ROTORUA | WELLINGTON NELSON | MARLBOROUGH | CHRISTCHURCH | QUEENSTOWN | ARROWTOWN | WANAKA

Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated. Browns Real Estate Limited (licensed under the REAA 2008) MREINZ.


NCEA: Throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Over many years in education, we frequently have been challenged by new technologies and are warned of an impending revolution of artificial intelligence that will change our lives forever. It is alleged that schools have not changed over the years and that this will hold our country back. That new technologies change the world is a fact, but it is also a fact that these changes have been happening for centuries and are not a ‘new’ phenomenon.

New Zealand educator Clarence Beeby said: “Education can never be reduced to a mere economic output. It has the potential to transform the lives of individuals and of whole communities. Its focus must be broad and empowering, not narrow and confining.” This vision is why schools must take care not to throw the baby out with the bathwater and continue to focus on equity, accessibility and choice for all children in our country.

People still adopt technologies when it suits them – how many of our technologies do much more than we actually use them for? In a recent presentation at the 2018 ISNZ Conference, Kaila Colbin from the Singularity University said: “We are not asking the right questions of education. How should we be preparing our students for an artificially intelligent world? This is not the right question. We should be asking ‘What sort of world do we want our young people to thrive in?’ ”

A challenge to achieving this vision is the rapid changes in educational policy from successive changes in government ideology, often uninformed, ineffective and lacking coherence. While we are very fortunate in the independent sector to devise our own direction, and advocate for our own property developments and initiatives, the wider education system across New Zealand is also of immense interest. Rising tides lift all ships and it is important that every child has access to a quality education.

A recent meeting of principals from a range of Auckland schools formed a coalition to talk about some of their concerns with proposed changes to NCEA, and the total lack of communication and consultation with principals. Suffice to say we are a group of schools educating a very high percentage of students in New Zealand, from both high and low decile enviornments. Our concern is over a lack of strategy and direction and a real concern that the education system will be thrown into a turmoil of change.

Concerns in our sector have been heightened by the number of reviews – 13 educational reviews that are currently in progress. They typically have short

There are also bigger issues across the sector that need more urgent attention such as the supply of quality teachers. An announced curriculum

We agree with Kaila that education must continue to have a broad and potentially transformative perspective. 6

Heather McRae


time frames, and only a few on advisory groups are practitioners in education. While we understand that there are many stakeholders, there are also highly qualified practitioners who know most about how policy will unfold in practice and in schools. Great ideas can founder in practice. Finland is a country that achieves educational success, largely because practitioners drive policy development.


Alignment of pedagogy, curriculum and qualifications is vital. While opinions are useful, educational policy and change affects every child and family in our country and is far too important to be void of structure and strategy.

and assessment review came after the announcement of a review of NCEA – the National Certificate of Educational Achievement. As educators, we are aware that curriculum must always be designed before qualifications, otherwise assessment drives and narrows learning. Principals have had little input or involvement in the design of suggested changes to NCEA – many of the suggested changes already implemented in practice, and others dictating curriculum design. Changes to educational systems based on public opinion lack educational research and the expertise required to implement them successfully – the ‘modern learning environments’ are a typical example of cool ideas producing limited success for achievement.

restructuring of a number of systems simultaneously over a short time is perilous and uninformed.

As a private school, some of these issues are less impactful and we are proud of our contribution to the development of amazing young women. We do, however, want to see NCEA continue to be an outstanding qualification and one that has international credibility. We believe that small adjustments may well make improvements, but wholesale

We want to see excellence in New Zealand created and celebrated with commonsense developments that are research based and respect professionals who have a working experience of what high quality education looks like. Alignment of pedagogy, curriculum and qualifications is vital. While opinions are useful, educational policy and change affects

every child and family in our country and is far too important to be void of structure and strategy. We should continue to ask about the sort of world we want our young people to thrive in, and ensure we develop ethical, wellrounded and knowledgeable people who may even do a better job of looking after that world than previous generations. Ut Serviamus! Heather McRae, Principal DIO TODAY




Phase Two is under way!

The hoardings around the site went up in April and construction is now well under way in Phase Two of the Arts Centre project – the 950-seat auditorium. There was some consternation as to the impact of the auditorium on the school field but, while it looks as though the whole of the field is taken up, this is only temporary to allow the construction site space for a crane, containers, site offices and site car parks. The project will be completed in early 2020 and the field will be fully restored to its original size. The tennis/netball courts that were in front of the science building have already been replaced by the Erin St courts behind Innes House. The photo of the site shows the overlay of the auditorium in relation to the field and the Chapel.

Now is the time to play your part.

Each Dio Leaf features the name of a donor (or daughter/granddaughter) who contributes $3,000 to the Campaign. The installation echoes the leaf stencil exterior of our Performing Arts Centre and will feature on an internal wall of the Auditorium Foyer. Only 15 leaves remaining. Angela Coe Director of Development 09 520 9378

Arts Centre Grand Circle Anonymous Dio Arts Diocesan Parents & Friends Elias and Fletcher Families Levene Family Lydia Geng and Family Margot Thompson van den Brink Family

Bayleys Foundation Couillault Family Diocesan School Heritage Foundation Diocesan School Old Girls’ League Edgar Family LC Tiger Marita, Bruce and Annelise Hassall McIldowie & Brown Pty Ltd Prakash and Shalini Pandey Rosenbaum-Raynish Family Steven and Susan Shrubb Anonymous Christine Aixinjueluo and Familly Emily and Serena Lu Emily Peng and Family Grace Hu and Kim Yang John and Fiona Hernon Liz and Duncan Ferguson Malaghan Family Manson Family McMillan Family Peter Green and Family Prue and Denver Olde Sarah and Richard Giltrap Sophia Liu

Arts Centre Circle

Alice, Anna and Sophie Crotty Andrew and Laetitia Peterson Angela Coe and Family Angelina and Amanda Liu and Long Family Anna Wang Anonymous April Mingchen Hou Betty Yao Bo Yang and Rita Luo Catherine and Martin Spencer Chris and Connie Huljich Coco Chen Dong Hua Liu, Joanna Zhang and Mariana Liu Ella Zhang and Family Eltringham Family Trust Ghazwan Alassafi Glenn and Sonja Hawkins Glenn, Clare and Madeleine Turner Greg and Lynne Towers He Family Herrick Family Houtman Family Ivan Yu and Carol Liu Jane Williams Jing Lin (Jilly) Cheung Leach Family Leonie Lawson and Family Madeleine and Charlotte Mitchell Mason Family Mia and Ella Zhou Family Mia Ruonan Zhang Family Michelle Leong and Terence Ng Nick and Stephanie Francis O’Neill Family Paula Gair and Ross Jensen Peter W Wilson Raewyn Brebner, Keren Blakey (née Brebner) and Charlotte Blakey Richard and Yvette Hall Rosemary and Michael Horton Rosemary Eady Schnuriger Family Scott Family

Stanhope Family Stephen and Stephanie Chan The Diocesan Chinese Community Tom Winstanley and Maria Milicich Verity Jin’s Family Xiao Family Yan Lu and Jun Ye

Arts Centre Donors

Acland Family Adeline and Felicia Lisnah Alice and Marina Segedin Allison Family Andee, Sydney and Hannah Bell André and Harsha Reynolds Angel Wen Tao Angela and Shirley Anderson Anna and Nelly Yuan Anonymous x 4 Aspec Construction Ltd. Brendan and Victoria Coleman Bruce and Robyn Jacobson Celina and Jessica Gao Christine Li Craig, Lisa and Hollie Lawson Darrin, Anjala and Zara Johannink Dawn R Gibson Dingley Family Ella Cochrane and Family Eve Yi Lu Felicity Barnes and Michael Whitehead Frank and Cathy Liu Garth and Sue Williams Gault Family Greg, Shelley and Aimee Horton Guyon, Lee, Nina and Imogen Foley Gyöngyi and Julius Spencer Hanna Marshall and Family Hegley Family Isabella Li Jacob Family Jane and Neil Haines JiaYi Angela Liu John Gardiner and Sarah Simpson Joy and Grey Whitney Kaarina, Tallulah and Ava Parker Karina and Lawrence Li Family Kimberly and Matt Sumner Latimer-Bell Family Marina and Aniela Farac Martin Sowter and Alison Periera Melody Chen Melody Yitong Shao Michelle Xu’s Family Monica White Nina Crawford Olivia and Lucy Blanchard Paige Ellis Paul Dougherty and Hilary Poole Petar and Rebecca Sain Prebble and Jackson Family Quirk-Butterworth Family Richard and Annabelle Voss Rob and Pru Mandeno Sue and John Maasland Tom and Melissa Brady Wiltens-Brown Family Winter Brown and Family Wolfgram Family

Arts Centre Supporters

Abi and Hayden Butler Adalyn Tao Adrienne Calder and Alistair Cran Alex and Sarah Jorgensen Amanda and Adrian Wood Andrea and Marcus Jacobson Andy and Kate Daly Angela and Matt Beswick Anna Hendry Anonymous

Arts Council of 2012 Beverley Bray Breana Catley Charlie Barclay Charlotte Ray Crosbie Family Darryl and Emma Gregory David Gibson and Pip Greenwood Dyna and Anna Ye Edward and Philomena Wright Elise Ji Emily He Emily Xin Emma and Charli Collard Emma Parton Farrah, Edwina and Darius Mistry Flacks Halpern Family Gabriella and Francesca Sansom Glenn Joblin and Delcia Blackledge Greer Davies (Donovan) Hair Family Halle and Hayden Fenkner Haylie and Keira Wong He Gong and Lin Zhang Heidi Ye Isabella Brown Isabella Carter Janet Smith JiaYi (Jessie) Wang Joan Grant Joe and Andrea Duncan Jonathan and Victoria Cullinane Julie and Jenny Jin’s Family Kate and Adam Watson Kee and Yolanda Lam Keltie-Kewan Young Ken and Joyce Liao Kenneth Holt and Tessa Marjoram Kim Burkhart and John Etherington Laraine Holdom Lauren Ng Lily Chen Linda Lu Ling Ling Lydia and Cris Knell Mackenzie Robertson Mai and Mina Kelleher Maia Green Mander Family Margaret Field Margot and Sophie Sullivan Moira and Paul Phillips and Family Mrs M. J. Lawry Nadja Smith Paul and Catherine Casey Peilin (Penny) Feng Penelope Field Raf Otto Rod and Lynn Oram Roger Edmonds Ryann Zhou Sally and Dougal Paterson Sam and Clare Goldwater Sam, Mel and Sophie Shuttleworth Scarlett Gibb Selina Zhang Shiyan and Zihan Zhang Somerfield Family Stanfield Family Su Zhu and XiaoXiao Du Summer and Limeng Chen Sunny Sun Susan and David Rogers Thompson Family, 4 Generations of Dio Girls Tom, Dawn, Genevieve and Jacqueline Fail Vanessa Huang Vishakha Patel Wenyue Yuan Wong She Family Yan Wang and Haiquan Zhang 2013 Student Leavers DIO TODAY


Thanking our Grand Circle Campaign donors


Left to right: Angela Coe, ISNZ Chair Heather McRae, Sam Langatuki and the Associate Minister for Educataion the Hon Jenny Salesa.

ISNZ Honours Awards The ISNZ Honours Awards give recognition to staff – academic, support and others – who stand out above and beyond what might reasonably be expected as part of their paid employment. This year’s awards were presented to the successful recipients at the ISNZ Annual Conference,  held on Friday 22 June 2018 at the Grand Millennium in Auckland. Diocesan School for Girls is proud to have two award recipients this year – Angela Coe and Sam Langatuki.




Angela Coe

For Service to School Development Angela has been involved extensively in the life of Diocesan School for Girls for many years; as a student, a parent, a PE teacher, a Board member, and Chair of the Board of Governors. In 2013, Angela became Director of Development, leading a fundraising campaign for a multi-million dollar Arts Centre. The campaign has raised a record-breaking amount, sufficient to build and complete Phase 1 of the project. This includes 18 practice rooms, a choir room, orchestra room, two dance studios, drama rooms, recording studio and sound-proof percussion room. Phase 2, a 900-seat auditorium is under way, and due for completion in 2020. The Grand Circle Campaign has had a major influence on the numbers of students choosing performing arts subjects and has brought many girls into the School, as well as attracting experts they can learn from. Angela has kept the campaign alive in the minds of the Diocesan community. The continual development of new initiatives and targeting of fresh prospects has resulted in a steady stream of donations, meaning the Board and Senior

Leadership team have confidence in the project being completed on schedule. As a former student and parent, Angela knows the value of high quality facilities and the influence they have on teaching and learning. Her opinion is highly respected by the Diocesan Old Girls and she is part of a team that influences the School behind the scenes. She is humble but quietly determined in the mission she has set herself. Angela also understands that not all people can give, and she finds ways to include them. She has enabled girls to experience a Dio education by finding sponsors and philanthropic contributors. She truly embodies the Diocesan values of service, contribution and making a difference for others. With one foot in the past and the other in the future, Angela is able to respect the history and traditions of the School while embracing new ideas and contributing to a bright future. Congratulations Angela.

Sam Langatuki

For Service to the teaching of Design and Visual Communication In her FabLab specialist teacher role, Sam has brought future-focused design and production techniques to the Diocesan community. She involves students in their own learning, creating projects and presenting design challenges that are truly authentic. The work of her students testifies to the success of this approach.

teaching teams around the country. In the past two years, she has secured a Top Scholar award for a Year 12 student in 2016, and in 2017 had seven Scholarships – a stunning haul given the limited number in the subject overall. Sam’s results at Year 11, 12 and 13 are phenomenal – over 70% of her students achieve at Excellence level.

Sam has engaged students in digital fabrication through her school-wide student initiative – the Maker Space. She has established a Makers’ Club and delivered after-school activities for students. She is dedicated to student-centred learning and is tireless in her roles as Teacher In Charge of Design and Visual Communication and FabLab specialist teacher.

Sam is quiet and unassuming, modestly celebrating the continued success of her students. She places students’ needs at the forefront of her teaching. She willingly shares her expertise with others, and her colleagues across all fields regard her as a leader in her field.

Sam organises and runs a bi-annual USA digital design trip. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience tailor-made by Sam, and her passion, insights and knowledge of Stanford School, Frank Gehry and Parson’s School of Design are some of the aspects that make the trip so special. Sam’s design and visual communication results and student outcomes are the envy of design and visual communication

Students at Dio thrive on ‘being more than they ever imagined’ and Sam helps to deliver on this. In the words of former student and Top Scholar Nicola Chang: “Mrs Langatuki is not only a teacher in her students’ eyes but also a great friend. She’s approachable, open to new ideas, and helps make students’ visions happen.” Congratulations Sam.





I ndustries

material design digital technology digital media design design & visual communication food technology media studies




Creative learning is no longer a fringe area; it sits at the core of the curriculum and is a

reflection of Diocesan’s belief that the future of education needs to be collaborative. Creating ‘Tinker Belles’ is part of the ‘Maker’ culture within Diocesan’s Creative Industries Faculty, where every student is encouraged to follow their passions, be curious, take risks and problem solve. These are skills that are becoming of increasing importance in today’s workplace. Ask any employer what capabilities are needed in the workforce and three things stand out – technological skills, complex thinking, and creativity. Businesses are looking for employees who can demonstrate teamwork, problem solve and communicate. Diocesan’s Creative Industries Faculty teaches these essential skills and more, and students are encouraged to apply

these to all subjects they study, not just those within design. The process of design and creation encourages trial, risk-taking and problem-solving. It engages students and teaches them how to apply a strategic approach. Thanks to mobile devices, digital design is in the hands of everyone – it’s easier and simpler. But this demands that students design with difference. Digital design and creativity has become an integral element in numerous industries from science, engineering and architecture through to fashion design, media and many other sectors.

facilities that can enable their design journey – with state-of-the-art 3D printers, laser cutters, green screen and editing facilities, a film studio, virtual reality and design studios. The School’s ethos in Creative Industries is wrapped up in innovation and ingenuity and that’s really exciting for students, as well as arming them with essential skills for their future careers. The faculty draws together six different subjects: design and visual communication, material design, food technology, digital technology, digital media design and media studies.

Diocesan offers its students access to future-focused technologies and

Makers’ Club The Dio Makers’ Club is now in its second year with an increasing number of students signing up for this co-curricular activity. The girls are offered the opportunity to try a range of different maker modules including coding, robotics, film-making, barista training, stitch craft, electronics, silversmithing, 3D printing, and casting jewellery. Samantha Langatuki, teacher-in-charge of design and visual communication at Dio, started the Makers Club. She wanted to create more opportunities for students to explore the creation process outside of the classroom. “It’s about creating a culture of learning through play, of creating ‘maker spaces’ for the girls,” she says. “We want girls to try things out, have fun, fail, learn and explore.” She also believes in a cross-faculty approach: “Why shouldn’t learning robotics exist in the same place as learning crochet? Each one of these skills utilises the creative part of students’ brains. The aim of the club is to stimulate and excite the students, giving them opportunities to explore more traditional crafts and newer creative skills such as virtual reality and coding. The future will be in the intersection of these creative skills.” DIO TODAY


MATERIAL DESIGN TECHNOLOGY Technology is defined as intervention by design to expand human possibilities. In material design, students begin by working in a studio environment to design and make unique creative garments and/or products. They are taught to work with a range of textiles in creative ways and implement processes such as pattern adaption, garment construction, textile hacking, digital design, laser etching and cutting to explore design ideas and develop original boutique outcomes. By Year 13, the School aims to establish students who are confident and visionary practitioners in material design. They are required to identify an opportunity in the New Zealand material design industry (fashion and textiles) to develop their own collection in a range of contexts, preparing them for a future in fashion and textiles, product, interior and/or sustainable design degrees or specialist practices.

Hattie Beaumont with some of her uniform design drawings

Year 13 student Hattie Beaumont is creating a buzz around school with her investigation into a more gender-neutral uniform... and everyone wants to have their say! Hattie loves to sew and play around with fabric design. “It’s a creative outlet where I can freely express a range of different ideas,” she says. She enjoys the hands-on aspect of material design and believes that the ability to have fun and explore different ideas makes her thinking more diverse in her other subjects. Hattie is currently working on a gender-neutral alternative for the Senior School uniform as part of her Scholarship project. She’s encouraged stakeholder involvement, including a school-wide survey, and is now designing and creating prototypes to be unveiled to the School community. She hopes to create change for the better through her designs, with a more gender-diverse uniform.

Clothes on display in the materials technology area



Her love of fashion looks to continue beyond the School gates, and Hattie is currently considering further study in fashion design at university.


DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY Technology is constantly changing – it’s no longer enough to be able to sit in a dark room and write code. “Computers will be able to do that – you’ll have to be able to give it a human face,” says Lesley Sampson, Diocesan’s teacher-in-charge of computer science. “Being human will be extremely commercially viable. Empathy, narrative, communication skills – that’s what future ICT will be about.”

Virtual reality in action

The fast-paced digi-tech world is crying out for more female participation, but low numbers of females studying and working in the IT sector continues to be a serious issue faced by the industry. Diocesan is working to foster an early interest in ICT and break down some of the barriers that stop girls entering computer science and technologyrelated fields. This has seen the School become one of the early adopters of the new Digital Technologies Curriculum, which will be compulsory in all schools by 2020, for Years 7 to 10 students. Lesley is leading the charge for the School. One of the early pioneers of women working in the IT industry, she first trained in computer programming at the University of Auckland in 1987 and has worked in both the corporate sector and as a teacher. She turned to teaching 11 years ago, and her search for a way to encourage more girls into IT has led her into studying a Masters in Education, specialising in e-learning and digital technologies at Canterbury University. Younger students are first introduced to the potential of ICT through the use of spheros – a spherical robotic device that can be programmed and controlled through apps and via smartphones and tablets. This year’s cohort are currently creating algorithms to send a sphero through a maze, and are even co-ordinating groups of spheros to dance in time to music. “Girls respond to a more collaborative style of learning and like real-world examples to explain the application of technology,” says Lesley, something she has taken on board in her classroom. Virtual reality (VR) is a good example of this and Diocesan’s Year 11 students are not just using VR headsets to move around

The Junior School, through the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme, delivers the STEAM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) across six transdisciplinary themes.

‘off the shelf’ worlds, they are also creating their own worlds and characters and bringing these alive in the VR environment. “The uses for VR are limitless, from bringing to life architects’ plans, through to teaching surgical procedures or how to spray paint a car. It is the way of the future and we wanted the girls at Diocesan to gain experience working in this technology early,” says Lesley. “We’re giving our students the tools and telling them to go and create inside them, allowing them to decide what they want to innovate.” Digital media design sits alongside digital technology and will be undergoing some exciting developments – so, watch this space!

Lesley Sampson



Year 11 student, Kim van den Hurk is in her second year of DVC and says the class provides a break from words and numbers but is also expanding her creative horizons. The wide range of design contexts is what she enjoys the most: “We’re encouraged to come up with ‘out of the box’ ideas to develop original final outcomes and present our work to express our design journey.”


Kim chose to base her postcard project using the design influence of Frank Gehry and said she enjoyed merging her own style with that of the famous architect.

The use of visual communication and digital presentation skills is integral for effective designing.

She’s had the opportunity to try many different pathways through her learning, including architecture, interior design and landscaping. While she still has two years before she leaves school, she says: “The future will be full of new innovative jobs that aren’t even around now and DVC will help me create pathways for myself.”

Design and visual communication reflects the latest industry developments and provides a variety of design, drawing and digital experiences to assist in developing creative thinking and promoting a broader awareness and understanding of design in contexts such as architecture, interior design and product design. Students are encouraged to be creative in their design exploration, challenge and refine their own design practice and present their solutions digitally with flair.

A passion for design is leading Year 13 student Aimee Fairbairn towards a double degree in law and art once she leaves Diocesan. Creating social change is a common theme across the Creative Industries Faculty and Aimee says she wants to work within the art, media and fashion industry to bring more social justice to these fields. She says the creative thinking needed in DVC has been beneficial across a range of her other subjects and helps her think about more than what is simply put in front of her. She enjoys being challenged as well as the freedom to play with design. This was evident when it came to designing a café for a site on Waiheke Island. Aimee’s take on this resulted in a wellness centre and retreat, building on her own love of yoga and health. 16


She is currently exploring the cyclical nature of the tides and considering how people who visit this centre may move from space to space within the retreat, in a cyclical motion, to complete their wellness transformation.


national competitions and visits from ambassadors and successful business people in the industry.”

At the opening of the café, the food technology girls prepared a sumptuous spread for their guests.

FOOD TECHNOLOGY With more than half of New Zealand’s export revenue derived in some way from food and agriculture, the perception of food technology as a study and career choice is changing, says Diocesan School’s teacher-in-charge of food technologies, Susanna Pattison. While learning to bake and cook are still valuable skills taught in food technology, these days it’s more about the whole food journey, from growing and sourcing products to transforming and innovating food practices, designing sustainable packaging and products, and marketing and sales. Sustainability is an essential part of the ethos taught at Dio, with students learning to take care of limited natural resources and reduce their impact on the environment, as well as developing an understanding of how the serving of food in cafés, restaurants and even family

meals encourages social interaction and sustainable communities. Susanna is helping to nurture this mindset and says significant change can be created through simple practices. “I’m passionate about sustainability,” she says. “Not only sourcing sustainable food and products but also learning about how the food industry can play an important role in creating a sustainable social and economic environment. “The benefits of taking up food technology at school are significant. Food is New Zealand’s biggest export sector and there are very real opportunities for rewarding and wellpaid careers within the food industry. The Diocesan Food Technology Department works with industry to ensure that students are aware of the many opportunities that exist, including mentoring, involvement in

Diocesan’s newest teaching and learning space for students is an espresso bar with a zero waste philosophy. Cups and lids are compostable and collected for commercial composting on a weekly basis, grounds from the organic coffee are added to the School’s new kitchen garden, and all soda bottles are recycled. Dio’s Parents & Friends’ Association has been responsible for creating a stunning new kitchen garden for the School. The garden provides a space for students to get their hands dirty, learn how to garden and teaches them a garden-to-table approach to cooking. The project was led by parent Melissa Brady who says that her ‘wonderful grandmother’ taught her all she knows about gardening. It’s a passion that she wants to see passed on to a new generation and says students getting ‘hands-on in the dirt’ is the best way for them to learn. The garden supports the sustainability philosophy that Susanna is promoting: “Students want to think differently and care for their environment, and the girls are actively creating a culture around sustainability. It’s all part of preparing them for future careers in the industry.” DIO TODAY


School Birthday concert

MEDIA STUDIES Our modern culture is a visual one. The media products we consume and engage in are heavily influenced by economic factors and, beyond entertainment, have enormous influence – shaping not only our knowledge, values and desires, but also our perceptions of society, culture and ourselves. Media studies helps students critically examine the role of the media and encourages them to consider who they are as media consumers as well as media producers. Through critical analysis and the creative process, they develop the skills to become informed, discriminating citizens in a constantly changing, interconnected world.


Editing fim, from left, Katelyn Thomas, Sofie Yeung and Emily Gee

Film-making is one aspect of the media studies curriculum and the students’ growing expertise is being put to good use in the school environment.

increasingly being used as a part of the performance, with Year 13 media studies student Sofie Yeung taking on the task of film-maker, editor and producer for this year’s concert.

The Birthday Concert is a highlight for Year 13 students, and every year the girls strive to make it better, bigger and more creative than the year before. Film is

She says that while the process was quite hectic, the outcome was worth it and the overall concert was a huge success, as most Dio students will agree.


Katelyn Thomas also has a passion for filmmaking and design and is not only taking media studies, but also DVC. She loves the process of making a film from start to finish – starting with an idea and seeing that become a reality on screen. Currently she’s working on writing a script, which will then be made into her next short film, and says a career in the design and creative fields is definitely in her future.


Increasing synergy with schools Head of the Science Faculty at Diocesan, Sarah Boasman reports on a mini-symposium with a focus on promoting science by creating greater synergy between schools and university.

Technology in the 21st Century continues to develop exponentially and is impacting on all aspects of our lives. Therefore, schools and universities need to equip students with the necessary skills to navigate their way through the complex world into which they are entering. Cris Print and Thierry Lints are scientists from the Medical School of the University of Auckland and are in charge of a project that hopes to create greater synergy between schools and the university, with a particular focus on genomics. With this focus in mind, a minisymposium was held at the end of last term in which a number of organisations were invited to comment on the different initiatives that are currently available to facilitate schools in taking science out of the classroom and into the real world. Speakers represented Brain Bee; Auckland Museum; MOTAT; the Auckland Science and Technology Fair, amongst others, and included Dr Jacqui Bay, Director of LENScience and former HOF Science at Diocesan. The purpose of this mini-symposium was threefold: • To develop an overview of the range of science education and outreach activities under way in Auckland, whether involving genomics or not. • To identify potential synergies, including whether genomics could play a role in these. • To explore how a university could support any of the current projects. I was invited to comment on the benefits of the RSNZ Fellowship for teachers as well as the impact of technology on pedagogical approaches. The RSNZ Fellowship provided the opportunity for me to have six months’

sabbatical in which I was able to observe what science – in particular, genomics – looked like from a scientist’s perspective. During these six months, I worked with two highly experienced research scientists, Dr Annette Lasham and Sandra Fitzgerald, and I researched different techniques that could be used for finding meaningful markers for DCIS, a precursor disease that sometimes, but not always, leads to breast cancer.

crossover between specialist areas such as statistics, computer programming, physics and chemistry; the importance of people skills, being able to work collaboratively; and finally, the importance of being resilient, persistent and being creative in problem-solving. It is pertinent to note that these skills are all identified in the New Zealand Curriculum under a main heading of the Key Competencies.

The opportunity to upskill and delve deeper into genetics and genomics was incredible, but other unexpected learning moments occurred, which I have since transferred into the classroom. These included the observation of a clear

The impact of this experience on my own practice has been twofold. First, to seek out opportunities for students outside the school classroom. Competitions such as Brain Bee, Aurecon Bridge Building, Engineering Tournament, international schools are great programmes for students to get involved with to increase their experience and understanding of the links between the science they are learning in the classroom and their application in the outside world. Second, to provide programmes that have clear connections to real-life and allow for greater inquiry, creativity and collaboration. Within the classroom, the students all have access to iPads or laptops and thus the ability to collaborate is not confined to the inside. Instead, through the use of project-based learning and inquiry, students can learn how to network with other schools, organisations and tertiary institutes. In this way they can develop skills that they will need long after they leave school. Having held this minisymposium, the University of Auckland now has a clearer understanding of what is currently happening in Auckland schools and will be able to support and develop projects to increase the synergy between schools and the university. DIO TODAY




For everyone – staff and students alike – it certainly pays to remember that lifelong learning is a journey in itself. With credit to Dr Seuss, we have all come to appreciate that learning is a choice you make throughout your life and it can take many pathways. The New Zealand Curriculum states as part of the vision for young people that they should all be lifelong learners who actively seek knowledge. Students may be surprised to know that in evenings and weekends when they are preparing for the next day’s lessons, writing up a homework task or working on an assessment to meet a looming deadline, many of their teachers are actually doing the exact same thing. The need to learn and desire to grow knowledge and expertise does not diminish when you have finished school or university,

wrong, we struggle, but we are all in it together and there is no hiding – we have to be brave. This experience has definitely urged me to be mindful of what I ask my students to do and how I make them feel through their learning at Diocesan.” The group of teachers who are improving their Te Reo via this course also include Ms Rose Robson, Mrs Shona McIntyre-Bull and Mr Simon Walker. Lynn Tonking’s study was in Te Rito (Educators Edition) Kia Maia Bicultural

Ms Lesley Sampson is also working towards a Masters in Education


Deepening our understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi and for staff to be responsive to cultural diversity in the classroom prompted a group of our teachers to enrol in a year-long course at AUT to learn Te Reo. Alongside the language and tikanga taught, for teachers to see others’ teaching practice is also invigorating. Ms Colette Shearer says: “It has been interesting being the student in the class and I have definitely reflected on my own practice and how I can make it more engaging for my own lessons.” Mrs Kate Burkin adds to this sentiment: “Firstly, it is fun – we laugh, we get it 20


“I love learning and I really enjoy the academic journey. I also think that studying helps me to keep in touch with what the students are going through, and gives me a lot more empathy for them in times of great pressure to complete internals.” Ms Deborah Hay is in the process of completing her Masters of Applied Practice through Unitec. Ms Hay is now in the midst of writing her thesis. She has really enjoyed re-engaging with theory and research into teaching and learning, but even better than this is the chance to put her learning into practice in the classroom.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

and staff at Diocesan are role models of what it means to be a lifelong learner.

remind herself that she could only ‘do what she could do’ rather than being ‘perfect’. This is something we know many students struggle with at times and the personal reminder of the strategies we employ as adult learners to combat perfectionism is highly relevant when we talk to students about the pressure they put on themselves with assessment. Having finished her Master’s degree, Rev’d Robertson has reflected on what she gets out of studying:

communications. The course enhanced her bi-cultural confidence in the classroom and wider life. Each module explored facts, perspectives and related issues that encouraged her to relate the information to her own ideas and experiences. Key concepts and skills were mastered using an interactive tool, and an online assessment was used for each of the 14 modules. You will have seen Rev’d Robertson in the previous edition of Dio Today as she graduated from Charles Sturt University in Canberra with an MA Religious and Values Education (Distinction). When asked about the challenges of ‘going back’ to university, Rev’d Robertson notes that she struggled with her own perfectionism and had to continually

Mrs Sarah Boasman is currently completing her Masters in Educational Leadership. This has provided her with the opportunity to explore different styles of leadership and pedagogies, giving greater insight into how to lead a team in the 21st Century. Mrs Dian Fisher will begin her dissertation next year to complete her Masters in Educational Leadership, having graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma Educational Leadership (Distinction) this year. Mr Canniveng, Mr Tremblay, Mr Worsnop and Mr Easteal are also involved in Masters programmes.

Sarah McLaren graduated in April this year with a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Educational Psychology) through Massey University. Her journey to studying psychology came from her experiences as a learner at school. “As someone who faced challenges to my own learning at school I have always been interested in barriers to learning and the psychology of learning.” She says that although it has been very difficult at times, the plus side is that her two young daughters have grown up just expecting that mummy works full time and studies too – they see it as totally normal. Sarah hopes they have learned that anything is possible with determination and that learning is an ongoing process. Ms Rebecca Abbott is completing an internationally recognised two-year diploma, the NEBOSH international Diploma of Health and Safety. It is challenging her to reset goals, has reignited a passion for learning and to look beyond the now. Studying has had a direct impact on her practice here at school. The constant learning, training and consulting ensures that

what we do at Diocesan is right for us and we stay ahead in terms of the health and safety standards we adopt within our organisation.


through Canterbury University. She is specialising in e-learning and digital technologies. The new curriculum for digital technologies inspired her to take up this study, and the papers she is taking are directly related to it. Already Ms Sampson can feel the benefits in the way she approaches teaching computer science and programming. Being able to stay current with ideas around learning and teaching practice is a key driver for many teachers; they want to continue to learn as professionals and ensure that they are scrutinising their teaching practice.

Clare Norton, one of our school counsellors, is a self-professed ‘study geek’. She is in her second year working towards a Masters of Counselling but this is not her first foray into study since starting her teaching career. Over the last 10 years, Ms Norton has completed a Post Graduate Diploma Special Needs Education, then a Masters in Education where she graduated with First Class Honours, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling Theory (Distinction). The calling to counselling came and she is now working towards completing her Masters of Counselling. She writes that: “Taking the time and space to reflect on this learning journey fills me with a sense of pride and achievement, especially having completed most of it whilst working full time.” The different courses of study that staff embark on each year are incredibly varied and the examples shared here are a snapshot of what is currently being undertaken by staff here at Diocesan.



Prestigious scholarships awarded to Dio students Dio arts students Libby Johnston (Year 13, 2017) and Emily Ai (Year 8) have been awarded highly prestigious scholarships to study at two of the finest music institutions in the world – the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School, both in New York. We congratulate them on these outstanding achievements and wish them well for their futures in music.

Stairway to stardom A Diocesan School ‘Old Girl’ (although still a teenager) is now one giant step closer to achieving her dreams of Broadway stardom after being awarded a Presidential Scholarship of up to US$80,000 to the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. Selected from over 3,000 auditionees, 18-year-old Libby Johnston will move to New York later this year to commence her Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre. Libby says she can’t remember a time when she didn’t want to perform. The highly talented youngster not only acts, sings and dances, but also plays the piano and the viola. Talent runs in the family and Libby recently performed with her younger sister, Hattie, in the National Youth Theatre Company’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, playing the lead role, Grizabella, on the closing night. Libby has already had a taste of New York life after spending three weeks in the city as part of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) high school summer programme in 2015. The highly talented youngster was also accepted into Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Elon University, Pace University, Marymount Manhattan College and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. We asked Libby about this great learning opportunity.

Libby Johnston



Why did you want to study in the US? I chose to study in the United States, specifically in New York City, because there is no better place to learn and train than where musical theatre is part of the city’s heartbeat. I’ll be taught by Broadway performers and creators as well as having the opportunity to be fully immersed; honing my craft during the day and being given the opportunity to see professional theatre at night.


Why did you decide to take up the Manhattan School opportunity? What appealed about it compared to the others? Manhattan School of Music competes with the Juilliard School as being considered the top music conservatory in the United States, so it glows with prestige and has an excellent reputation. MSM’s Musical Theatre programme is considered one of the best in the world as they only accept 1.6% of applicants and in my acceptance letter, they mentioned that I was selected from over 3,000 auditionees. I was drawn to accept the offer of admission from MSM over the other schools primarily because of the fact that it’s a music conservatory, not a college. I will be working towards gaining my Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre and required to take piano lessons and music theory alongside studying musical theatre techniques, musical theatre history, dramatic studies, dance, technical production, script analysis and humanities. I’m both a pianist and a violist so I appreciate that they understand how important musicality is to becoming a successful, rounded performer. What does the Presidential Scholarship give you? The Presidential Scholarship means that I was awarded US $20,000 based on my audition. The money is renewable annually for all four years of study and is the highest amount that the conservatory gives to students so I feel incredibly honoured to have been chosen for this merit award. What have been your biggest achievements in the past few years? My biggest highlight to date was playing Liesl von Trapp in the New Zealand national tour of The Sound of Music. I performed in 22 theatres across the country throughout September and October last year, alongside The Ten Tenors member (and ex-Dilworth student) Cameron Barclay who played Rolf. Some of my most memorable achievements include being awarded

the Best Performer of the Festival in the SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival in 2017 and being the Under-18 champion of the New Zealand Aria Competition in 2016. I was also the leader of Dio’s elite choir St Cecilia Singers in Year 13, which was a dream come true as choral singing and the Big Sing competition was a hugely significant part of my identity throughout senior school. How did Dio support you and help you develop in this area? When I moved to Dio in Year 10, I felt warmly welcomed and constantly encouraged to pursue my passion for the performing arts. One of my most treasured memories was in my first drama class where Mrs Reynolds took me aside and gave me the role of Queen Titania in a five-minute scene that Dio was entering into the SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival. The girls who were also chosen to be in the scene became my closest friends and I spent the next four years enjoying every moment in classes and rehearsals with them. I always felt that I could go to the staff at Dio for help (regardless of their department) when I

Libby performing in the National Youth Theatre Company’s production of Cats

was struggling and there was always a feasible solution to any problem I might have had. Was there any person or teacher in particular who inspired you? There are two Dio teachers in particular, Mr Worsnop (Music) and Miss Woods (Classical Studies), who inspired me throughout school as well as my singing teacher, Dr Morag Atchison. They are not only inspirational teachers, but selfless, caring individuals who made achieving my goals a reality. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their pastoral care and guidance, not to mention how they were, and continue to be, two of my biggest cheerleaders whenever I’m on stage or involved in a production. I am incredibly grateful for their support. During my time at Dio, I was involved with the Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Bella Cantoris, Senior Choir, St Cecilia Singers, Shakespeare Festival, Year 9/10 Production and Senior Productions with Dilworth. Although I had a lot on my plate, I knew that my teachers believed in me and were there to support me while I navigated NCEA on top of my commitments to the performing arts. Dr Morag Atchison (my singing teacher) has helped me develop as a vocalist and performer since I was 13 years old. She is my role model and I feel very blessed to have been taught by her as she is the best of the best. What are your longer term career goals, once you graduate? Performing eight times a week in a Broadway musical is definitely the ultimate goal. Manhattan School of Music gives graduating students in their final year the opportunity to perform in a Senior Showcase where New York theatre professionals, such as agents and Broadway casting directors, are invited to watch. This is an absolutely amazing opportunity as many go on to book a Broadway show or land roles in television and film as a result of these showcases. DIO TODAY


Jetsetting cellist Last year Year 8 cellist Emily Ai racked up a long list of impressive achievements, including significant prizes at the International Salzburg Music Competition in Austria, competing in the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians and performing twice in New York’s Carnegie Hall. But this year Emily has achieved something that will set her on the path to fulfilling her dream of becoming an international soloist. She has been accepted into the junior programme at the most prestigious music school in the world, The Juilliard School in New York. Emily is the youngest New Zealand musician to be accepted into the programme and it is a significant achievement for her. Director of Performing Arts, Shelagh Thomson says: “Emily is an amazingly talented young cellist but she has a humility about her and a willingness to be part of any group. This sets her apart from other talented youngsters. She has fully immersed herself in the life and culture of the School, is a delight to have in any ensemble, and is so well adjusted, considering her life revolves around 4 to 5 hours of daily practice when preparing for auditions and international competitions. She is one to watch and Dio is very lucky to have had her level of musical talent performing in our groups.” We wish Emily all the very best on her musical journey.

“I feel a bit nervous going to New York and studying at Juilliard as everyone has such a high standards there. But I’m also really happy and feel very privileged as I know it will help me get heaps of experience and the best tuition possible.” 24


Term 3 dates 16 Aug

Design Build Maintain

Student Confirmation / Chapel of Our Glorified

ph 09 815 4250

Lord / 6–7.30pm 18 Aug

Concert Band Nationals (Wellington) / ends 19 August

19 Aug

Old Girls’ Baptisms / Chapel of Our Glorified Lord 12pm

21 Aug

Senior Old Girls’ Chapel and Morning Tea / Chapel and School Hall / 10.15am

23 Aug

Musical Showcase / Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell 6.30pm

28 Aug

Team and group photographs (Years 7-13)

29 Aug

Ethics Community Dinner / School Hall / 6.30pm

30 Aug

Big Sing National Finale (Wellington) / ends 2 September

9 Sep

AIMS Tournament Week / ends 14 September

25 Sep

Women2Watch – Dawn Jones Sports Centre 10.40–11.40am

28 Sep

Term 3 ends 3.30pm

HUM00034 Dio 1/4 page August_AW.indd 1

5/07/18 3:48 PM


CHANGING THE FUTURE BY RETHINKING THE PRESENT lbert Einstein famously said that “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” This seems particularly pertinent in today’s complex society where new ‘wicked problems’ and exponential opportunities seem to emerge almost weekly. Leaders in this increasingly unpredictable landscape are becoming more aware of their need to think differently about the future. While this still involves predicting the future and planning accordingly, it is increasingly also focused on becoming more sensitive to new risks and opportunities as (or before) they emerge. 26


At Diocesan, we recognise our need to be responsive to this increasing pace of change, and our Leadership programme is responding to this challenge by developing a new suite of workshops that help our girls learn to engage in disciplined futures thinking. While corporations and institutions compete to convince us about what the future will be like, this creates a narrow set of possible futures in our minds that are often considered inevitable. We only need to pick up a copy of the New Zealand Herald and we will read predictions relating to topics such as technological unemployment, the rise of autonomous vehicles and problems relating to our aging population.

While it is useful to be aware of these possibilities, they do shape how we make sense of the present. For example, if we anticipate technological unemployment, we are more likely to notice events that make it more likely. Conversely, we’re less likely to notice new emergent risks and opportunities that open doors to completely different futures. As part of the Leadership programme, we have been encouraging our girls to share the futures they anticipate. We also decided to direct their energy to some of the biggest challenges we face as we move into the future, such as those related to our aging population, the cycle of poverty and our environment. While our girls have had lots of fun creating videos that tell stories from the future, our teachers have also been


“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ABRAHAM LINCOLN

able to engage groups of students in rich conversations that explore and critique the assumptions on which our expectations rest. For example, during our recent Year 11 workshops relating to the future of New Zealand prosperity, conversations covered topics including: Can we really expect technology to solve our problems? In what ways would a feminist future change our perception of relationships? And my personal favourite – Could we really sell the South Island in order to raise funds to improve social welfare? Of course, we wouldn’t expect our girls to be experts in areas such as healthcare or poverty so we’ve been sure to introduce them to the ideas and scenarios created by experts within these fields. A good example of this has been the debating game played by our Year 11s. This provided a great opportunity for our girls to critique a

suite of compelling solutions to child poverty and at the same time become more aware of the complexity of the challenge. Ideas critiqued included providing a ‘universal basic income’, lowering taxes to promote economic activity, increasing government debt to improve social welfare and meanstesting superannuation. Renowned futurist James Dator suggests that “any useful idea about the future should appear to be ridiculous”. When we reflect on how we might have felt several decades ago if somebody described how the internet and social media would change our lives, we would be forgiven for suggesting it seemed ridiculous. With this in mind, we have all had some fun as we unleashed the girls’ creativity through designbased activities that have involved

creating imaginary artefacts from a time beyond the now. We have seen girls invent everything from decorations from ‘funny futures’, tools from ‘exponential futures’ and even monuments from ‘weird futures’. Considering the unpredictability of many aspects of our future, it seems unlikely that any of the futures our students are exploring will be accurate (nor is this our aim). However, by considering so many different futures, our students are becoming increasingly able to anticipate a far greater range of possibilities. Maybe this will allow them to notice the new opportunities that Einstein suggested we would need to solve the new problems of the present. Chris Clay, Director of Leadership and Futures Thinking DIO TODAY



Student’s mission for vulnerable women

Olivia is a compelling speaker and advocate for our cause. Over the last three years we have got to know her well and feel incredibly privileged to count her among Tearfund’s first Youth Ambassadors.” BETH HARPER, TEARFUND Current Year 12 student Olivia Luxon’s Tearfund involvement was sparked by her 2016 trip to Manila in the Philippines. She visited a home for children rescued from sex trafficking and wrote a slam poem based on her experience, which was then picked up by Tearfund. “Meeting these girls face to face and hearing their stories was incredibly moving and motivating for me,” Olivia says. “I knew then that I wanted to bring change for these girls and thousands like them not yet saved. I wanted to seize this opportunity to do something about this issue and get to work alongside such an incredible organisation.” Olivia has spoken for Tearfund at numerous events including high-level dinners and the Justice Conference, addressing both large and small audiences. She has also jumped on a bike, representing Dio in Tearfund’s Poverty Cycle, encouraging her schoolmates to help her fundraise for Tearfund’s anti human-trafficking cause. 28


Director of Dio’s Centre for Ethics, Nina Blumenfeld writes: “The Ethics Committee are enthusiastic and passionate students who are keenly aware of the injustices around the world. Olivia Luxon is one special young woman who has gone far further afield than many of her age to learn more about sex trafficking in countries such as Nepal, India and Thailand under the auspices of Tearfund. Her trip was entitled ‘Journey to Freedom’ and as a Tearfund Youth Ambassador, she learned about the suffering of women her age and even younger. Her comments are worth reading and acting upon. We are proud of her efforts to uncover and draw attention to such practices.”

Olivia’s 10-day trip took her to remote villages on the Nepali-Indian border where human traffickers prey on vulnerable women and children, and to the red light district of Bangkok in Thailand to see the demand side of this horrific supply chain. Bangkok, in particular, had an enormous impact on her.

While most students were relaxing during the April school holidays, Olivia Luxon was on a mission, travelling through rural Nepal, India and Thailand to learn more about sex trafficking in those countries.

Olivia says that many of the girls are her age, or even younger, and have been forced into the entrapment of sex slavery.

“As I observed the girls, the men, the madams and the pimps, I was confronted with a huge sense of injustice and sadness. Most upsetting was glimpsing through the curtains and seeing girls on carousels with their numbers, being sold to the highest bidder, and knowing their real story.”

“Knowing the cruelty that they endure on a daily basis is horrifying. These


images will stay with me forever, but will also fuel my desire to fight for these girls and their freedom.” Olivia was one of two Tearfund Youth Ambassadors on the trip and also got the chance to see Tearfund’s rescue and prosecution work in Bangkok. This is a 100% Kiwi-led operation, employing both Kiwi and Thai police officers to fight corruption and crime by investigating cases of human trafficking. The trip also took Olivia to remote villages near the Nepal/India border and enabled her to see first-hand the work and achievements of Tearfund’s two partner organisations, Share and Care, and LIFT International. From its base in Hetauda, the visiting group travelled to six villages to meet women’s action groups – girls aged between seven and 25 years – who gather together to educate their communities about the wiles

of the human traffickers. These girls bravely run public campaigns and communicate their message through song and dance, posters, news articles and public speaking. Olivia says it was “truly inspiring” to meet these women and children and see up close the difference their empowerment could make. Meeting the “amazing and dedicated” people working for these organisations was also a highlight. “I am always struck by the change and impact that can be made in communities and individuals’ lives with our help and support. It was also an important trip as it gave me a full understanding of how these organisations work, their focus and mission. This is knowledge and experience, and I feel better equipped to speak the truth about what we are supporting.”

As well as gaining a deeper understanding of the issues, the Journey to Freedom trip gives supporters and ambassadors a chance to see the issues in context, says Beth Harper, Engagement Manager for Tearfund. “Context answers that troubling question, ‘why’? In order for our ambassadors and supporters to speak and advocate with integrity, we want them to see beyond the horrific statistics. It’s important they understand the full-circle, holistic approach Tearfund has using the '5 Ps' approach: prevention, prosecution, protection, policy and partnership. Only then can they speak truly about our work.” Beth speaks highly of Olivia’s passion for, and dedication to, the Tearfund cause. “Over the last three years we have got to know Olivia well and feel incredibly privileged to count her among Tearfund’s first Youth Ambassadors,” she says.



Intergenerational relationships Two Year 12 students, Victoria Short and Lauren Dunne, were inspired by sharing different viewpoints at the Intergenerational Forum Day held at the Mercy Spirituality Centre on 9 May. A group of students from around Auckland was invited to meet some older Aucklanders to discuss their viewpoints on different topics ranging from social media to euthanasia and open each other’s eyes to the world around them.

Some of the round table discussions brought up debates or involved further questions such as ‘Is social media a friend or a foe?’ and ‘Should we be required to take care of the elderly and mentally ill in our homes?’ Victoria and Lauren commented: “This day showed us that we are very fortunate to come from such an ethically and morally diverse country

which allows us to express our opinions in an open manner. Not only this, but the experience also offered us an opportunity to meet and converse with like-minded students our age and enjoy our time with some spiritually communicative people. We felt very fortunate to represent our School, and being involved in the Intergenerational Day was a privilege.”

Ethics Soapbox Competition In Term 1, the Ethics Committee ran the Ethics Soapbox Competition for 2018 with the slogan ‘Your Voice, Your Choice’. Our committee at Diocesan aims to encourage careful reflection and debate about the current and underlying critical issues facing New Zealand and the world. By doing this, we believe that we are equipping Diocesan girls and the wider community with the knowledge and confidence to understand any ethical issue, allowing them to clarify and develop their values. Soapbox provides an opportunity for girls to engage with ethical ideas and speak up about issues close to their hearts or problems they believe need to be solved. We had an amazing group of 120 students who shared their opinions in the heats and semi-finals. Congratulations to our finalists who presented their soapbox ‘rants’ in the full school grand final on 12 April. The contestants were: Junior High School – Arielle Friedlander (Year 10), Alex Wackrow (Year 8), Maya Willis (Year 7) and Shania Kumar (Year 10). Senior School – Hannah Barber Wilson (Year 13), Sophie Lei (Year 11), Grace David (Year 11) and Jemima Heywood (Year 11). All the soapbox speakers were very well prepared and passionate about a broad range of topics from gender inequality 30


Above: Junior High winner Alex Wackrow Left: Senior winner Grace David

and LGBT rights, to deforestation, animal testing, gun violence, and the ethics of war – and above all, they were engaging. The winners of Soapbox for 2018 were Alex Wackrow in the Junior category, who presented an informative and engaging argument on the implications of nanotechnology; and Grace David in the Senior category, who presented an emotive speech highlighting the sensitive issue of mental health and youth suicide in New Zealand. Congratulations to these two students and to all the finalists!

Finally, thank you to everyone who participated and volunteered to make this event happen and to our judges Mr Farley, Ms Zinn and Ms Haf. Ms Nelson was a terrific MC who kept the audience entertained with an enjoyable teachers’ soapbox while the judges were deliberating. The student audience loved this new part of the final involving responses from a variety of teachers. Sacha Sampson, Student Leader of the Ethics Committee


Ethics Committee joins forces with Eat My Lunch On Wednesday 14 June, on Diocesan School for Girls’ 114th birthday, the Student Ethics Committee marked the occasion not only with cake, but with charity. For the third year in a row, the Ethics Committee, led by Director of the Centre for Ethics, Nina Blumenfeld, and student leaders Sacha Sampson, He Min Lee and Emma Uren, collaborated with the successful social enterprise company Eat My Lunch to feed Kiwi kids who otherwise would go without. A thousand students and over 100 teachers bought lunches from the Eat My Lunch organisation following an advertising campaign organised by the Committee with the slogan: BUY 1 GIVE 1 4 CHILDREN. As usual, the Ethics Committee did a wonderful job of organising the delivery

of the lunches. It was a marathon effort and it all went very smoothly. In August, Ethics Committee students and some teachers will volunteer to make lunches in the mornings before school. This is our way of continuing to help Kiwi children to have a healthy lunch at school and fulfils our Dio motto Ut Serviamus. In the process, we also enjoy a morning of camaraderie.

Ethics Community Dinner 2018 – Bioethics Wednesday 29 August This year, the theme of our Ethics Community Dinner is Bioethics, addressing ethical issues emerging from advances in medical and biological research.

We are fortunate to have as a presenter, Professor Michael Berridge, one of the leading scientists from the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, New Zealand’s foremost independent biomedical research institute, which is committed to finding cures for cancer, asthma, allergies and infectious diseases. We will also be delighted to hear from Professor Grant Gillett, a leading researcher in Bioethics. He has worked on end-of-life care, complementary and alternative medicine, autonomy, and the patient’s journey. He has also written widely on the subject of neuroethics.

some expert thinking and reflect on our own values in regard to scientific and medical progress. This promises to be an evening when we can shine a light on science and its potential to transform our lives but also perhaps have threatening repercussions. Passionate discussion will challenge us to find out how we learn about medical advances and increase our understanding of them.

In this era of contested issues such as euthanasia and stem cell research, we all need to listen to

Tickets for the Ethics Dinner are for sale through iTicket (Adults $65 / students $45).

There will be entertainment from our soapbox winners as well as musical items. As always, the students on the Ethics Committee will lead the evening.


Exploring technology in our teaching and learning While on sabbatical leave during Term 1 this year, Year 4 teacher Karen Loo conducted an investigation into how technology is transforming our current teaching and learning pedagogy and how explicit links are made between technology in class and real-life experiences. By investigating these areas, she also looked at the impact this then had on student achievement.

This year saw the introduction of the revised technology curriculum to strengthen the positioning of digital technologies in the New Zealand Curriculum. The goal of this major change is to ensure that all learners have an opportunity to become digitally capable individuals. Students learn how to use and select digital technologies for desired outcomes. Also, students learn to be creators in a digital world, not just learning to use a range of systems. Digital technologies is not just about learning with e-learning, it’s learning about the technology. This is important as we encourage our students not to limit themselves to consuming technology, but also to create. In February, I completed a course in ‘Strategic Planning, Design and Implementation of Educational Makerspace Programmes’ at Stanford University, California. A ‘makerspace’ work area presents readily available



This class provided comprehensive training for makerspace programmes in a primary setting to integrate the teaching and learning of the STEAM curriculum – science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Topics covered during the course included learning science theories, instructional methodologies and pedagogy, educational makerspace implementation, research practices, assessment of maker-based learning, curriculum-building and digital fabrication tools. Towards the end of the programme, I was guided in developing my own unique maker education plans tailored to suit our needs in the Junior School. This provided an excellent opportunity to network with others from around the world who were leaders in the STEAM field. Visiting public schools in East Palo Alto that modelled best practice when teaching and learning in makerspace environments inspired me to look further overseas for more examples. Being from an IB World School, I had the opportunity to contact many


materials that can act as a provocation for inquiry, as well as modern technology and items with which to invent. It is a place where students have an opportunity to explore their own interests or collaborate with others, learning to use tools and materials to develop creative projects.

schools in Singapore that had stateof-the-art makerspace classrooms that were used when delivering the STEAM curriculum, both in a single-subject and transdisciplinary way. The Singapore Government recently invested money into digital technology standards and guidelines, and all the schools I visited were well resourced to ensure these makerspaces were readily available to all students throughout the day. They were

more than happy to share resources that they had trialled to ensure their spaces met the needs of their students. We are very fortunate in the Junior School that we offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme to deliver our STEAM curriculum areas across six transdisciplinary themes. After investigating a range of makerspaces in New Zealand and overseas, the makerspace would complement our PYP Programme of Inquiry. In this area the girls can design, create prototypes, test real things and redesign – which is a hallmark of engineering. While the traditional model emphasises uniformity and predictability, makerspace encourages collaboration and creative problem-solving. I am extremely grateful to have experienced this wonderful professional development opportunity. To be able to observe and visit other schools in New Zealand and overseas was refreshing, and I know that our Junior School is heading in the right direction as we design our makerspace to suit the needs of our girls. One day we may see past Junior School girls start up new technology ventures, having begun their journey creating in a makerspace. We need to ensure the right tools are chosen and that we provide a sustainable makerspace environment where all girls have an opportunity to be ‘more than they ever imagined’! DIO TODAY


Guest sculptor inspires Year 4 artists Year 4 students recently developed a deeper understanding of sculpture through their ‘How we express ourselves’ inquiry. Through the central idea and first-hand experience working with a sculptor, the students explored how their art could reveal feelings, beliefs or aspects of their heritage. We feel very privileged to have Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi, a master sculptor of international fame, as a Dio dad! Filipe has instructed and inspired many students in the past and we can now include Diocesan on that list. Intially, he discussed images of his practice and we were inspired by his story and sharing of sculptures. With Filipe’s works and philosophy in mind, we explored images and symbols of our heritage that could be simplified for a sculpture. Ideas were drawn in our art books before sizing to fit our sculptural block. We used a new foam material that allows students to carve easily using files, chisels and sandpaper. Earlier projects worked on by the students always added materials, so the process of executing a sculpture using a subtractive process was completely new. Students were therefore encouraged to take risks, build resilience and problem solve – because once it’s carved away, it’s gone!

Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi with Ruby Ogg, Isla Watkins, Scarlett Archibald and Mariana Liu

Once carved and smoothed with sandpaper, students chose whether or not to paint their sculpture. We appreciate Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi’s generosity, giving of his time to work with our students throughout this unit of inquiry, and we look forward to collaborating on future projects. Kerrie Parker, Junior School Visual Art Teacher Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi and his daughter Dakota



LEARNING Filipe helping Lucia van Leeuwen

Filipe’s sculptures reflect a pan-Polynesian aesthetic that he sees as a means of fostering understanding between cultures and speaks not only of his homeland of Tonga, but the experiences of migrating and living in New Zealand. He works with a wide variety of media from acrylic painting, wood, stone, and wool to industrial materials such as metal and Perspex. Filipe uses natural media to represent the past, and aluminium as a contemporary component. Filipe has worked on an international level since carving his first commission for the New Zealand Embassy in Saudi Arabia in 1987. Two years later, he held his first solo exhibition at the Govett Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth.


He has been a full-time artist since 1990 and has participated in numerous exhibitions around the world. Filipe has major public sculptures in New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Japan, and China. He is a featured artist in the Pacific section of Te Papa, Tangata o le Moana and more recently in Toi Art, the permanent exhibition of New Zealand abstraction. As a master of heritage arts, Filipe was invited to Samoa by the Head of State, Tui Atua Tamasese. While there, he lashed Tamasese’s fale maota and was given the title Sopolemalama (Bringer of Light) in recognition of his contribution to Pacific culture. Claudia Queale



Working towards a litter-free environment Food shortages, limited natural resources and environmental damage are all topics that are top of mind for younger people, and reducing their impact on the world is of increasing importance to them. This year the environment team has been working hard to limit the amount of single-use plastic in our School and wider community. They have familiarised themselves with the harmful effects of plastic in our environment and looked at sustainability and ways to reduce and reuse. As a way to limit the use of plastic wrap in the Junior School, the enviro team researched about, and made their own, beeswax honey wraps. To educate the students further, they created a video of themselves making the honey wraps to share at assembly. The enviro team monitor litterless lunches in the Junior School weekly and have created a number of initiatives, including the enviro doll, to encourage 36


students to be litterfree and sustainable. This year the enviro doll has been awarded to the Foundation Class for their outstanding efforts around sustainability. The Foundation Class girls have enthusiastically embraced sustainability and initiatives to protect the environment. They have become mindful of where they recycle their rubbish, put out their waste food for the worm farm and pick up rubbish when they see it on their walks to Mt St John. We now have 90% litterless lunch boxes and the girls are quick to remind their parents when they need to! The girls were very proud of themselves when they were awarded the enviro doll from the enviro team. Learning these sustainable habits at an early age develops sustainable behaviours that will last a lifetime. The girls are contributing to an environment in which their leftovers are composted, waste is recycled and our environment is respected.

Last year there were around 28 girls in our ropu (group) and this year we have a very large ropu of approximately 53 girls. We are very proud of this amazing turnout with lots of support from our Years 1 and 2 girls. The group practices once a week with Whaea Anu and Whaea Watson. During Kapa Haka practice, the girls learn some traditional waiata (songs), karakia (prayers) and a little about tikanga (the correct way do things in Māori culture). The girls also learn action songs and are now working on adding poi or rākau to our music. When we have visitors to the Junior School, we are now able to welcome


Growing Kapa Haka in the Junior School them with a pōwhiri, which is a custom used to welcome manuhiri (visitors) to the School. The tangata whenua (our girls) perform a haka pōwhiri, a chant and dance of welcome to draw them into our School. It is wonderful to be able to welcome our visitors in such a traditional way. The Kapa Haka group also performs at assemblies and other school celebrations. This year we were exceptionally lucky to have the School purchase 30 new dresses for our group to perform in. Our youngest members wear red dresses and now, combined with our own beautiful pari, we have our full rōpū kitted out and ready for action!




We are enough

We have recently concluded a series of chapels with our Junior High School students about bullying. The series stemmed from the report of a large piece of research carried out by Robert Pereira, an Australian consultant, cognitive behavioural therapist, and trainer. He has interviewed over 186,000 children in both Australia and New Zealand to uncover the reasons why children bully and what the best forms of prevention are. I found Pereira’s research very interesting after twenty-something years of being in the classroom. Of course, bullying is not new. We probably didn’t used to call it that so much, but I am sure it has been around for as long as human beings have been around. I remember an example of bullying from when I was a very new teacher in the early 1990s. I had just started a long-term relieving position halfway through the year in a Year 6 class. A new girl arrived in the co-ed class, which had only eight girls and 23 boys. The first week was fine for the new girl, but the second week was a different story. At the start of the week she found

that someone had put a saucer of jellymeat inside her desk and when she got home that night, there was a dog collar in her bag. Other little things happened over the next couple of days such as her finding the word ‘bitch’ written on the cover of her school books, or notes saying ‘woof woof’ left in her desk. After much investigation, it turned out to be one of the other girls in the class who had done it. I remember being so shocked that a 10-year-old girl would do something so malicious to another girl. The way bullying happens has changed over the time I have been working in schools. The coming of the internet age has given many the opportunity to do their bullying from a position of anonymity. The internet is rife with apps that can be used to bully and often children and young people who are using these apps leave themselves wide open to hurtful and sustained attacks without even realising, until it happens. It is now easy, from a place of relative safety, to post anonymous comments about other students to their Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook accounts, or even to email them from fictitious email accounts. We have seen in the media the extreme results this type of bullying can engender. There are a growing number of stories of children and young people taking their own lives as a direct result of cyber-bullying.

‘I’m not beautiful like you. . . I’m beautiful like me’.



This need to compare ourselves with others is also as old as humanity, but as Theodore Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” If we are always looking at others and seeing in them traits or features we wish we had ourselves, we are never going to be happy with ourselves the way we are. Girls fall into this trap with regard to so many things. Pereira’s study identified the following: looks, popularity, hair (this one is very important), material possessions, family, talents, personality, social standing, academic success. It is hardly surprising that girls don’t feel that they are adequate in comparison to others. Advertising agencies have been telling women for a very long time that we are not quite enough – not pretty enough, not young enough, not thin enough, not rich enough, and so on. We need longer eyelashes, fewer wrinkles, no stretchmarks, no hair except on our heads, fuller lips, the right brands of clothing and shoes. We are never enough. This is the marketing tool that we are sucked in by on a daily basis – that there is always more we could be doing to improve ourselves. And this is the same message that our girls are hearing from a very young age – they are not enough. Somewhere in our thinking about ourselves we have lost the connection to our Creator, to the one who made us and looked at us and said that we

were very good. We have lost our sense of ourselves as sacred and having the spark of the Divine in us. We are made in the image of God. We are enough. We are beautiful, unique individuals. But, instead of focusing on our extraordinariness as ‘one of a kind’ creations, we focus on what is not good enough about ourselves. This kind of thinking leads us to look at others and see what they have that we don’t have, and as Pereira’s study suggests, sometimes behave in very destructive ways towards them because of our jealousy and envy. The bullying girl in the example I gave above from my Year 6 class bullied the new girl because she thought the new girl was prettier than her and cleverer than her and that the other girls in her group would like the new girl more, and thus reject her. I would like to think that, had she felt more confident in herself, she would not have felt the need to do such a thing. After reading Pereira’s research and wondering how we as chaplains could contribute to dealing with the issue of bullying, we decided to address it from a positive perspective and have a series of Junior High School chapel services that were aimed at increasing students’ acceptance of themselves, led by Rev’d Haggitt. The first service focused on the importance of realising that there is no such thing as a perfect person, that we are each amazing in our own ways, and that our differences are what makes us each wonderful. Rev’d Haggitt explained how much we are each worth to God by drawing on Matthew 10 and Psalm 139: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” And “I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me.” The students were encouraged to go home, look in the mirror and tell themselves that they are amazing. I wonder how many of them did that? I wonder how many of us would do that as adults – tell ourselves that we are worthy and unique and valuable and amazing while looking at

Pereira, R. (2006). What Do Children Say About “Why We Bully”?: A behind the scenes view into a universal problem, provided not by academics, but by our own children (6th Edition ed.). Adelaide: Self-published.

ourselves in a mirror? And, yet, the truth remains that we each are. LIVING

So, why do girls bully other girls? In Pereira’s research, he uncovers the reasons behind bullying. He says that in 80% of cases of girl-to-girl bullying, the underlying reason is envy and jealousy, and in the other 20% it is pride or an over-inflated sense of self. Envy and jealousy are very normal human emotions that everyone can feel when there are certain triggers present. The envy and jealousy that form the basis of most girl-to-girl bullying comes from a place of insecurity that develops through comparisons of self with others. A girl of any background, even one who seems to have everything at her fingertips, can experience jealousy and envy when she encounters another girl if she perceives that girl to be more popular, more beautiful, more talented than herself.

The second chapel service focused on our human need to be accepted by others and to feel loved, and how that often makes us exclude people if we are worried that they might take our place in our family, class or group of friends. The scripture for this service was from Galatians 5, about humans having freedom to choose what we do, but also being under the command to love others as much as we love ourselves. The key here is of course that the more we love and accept ourselves, the more we will be able to love and accept others without feeling threatened by them. The third service focused on humility and the need for us to accept that we are all equal in the sight of God, as well as the difference between being proud of your achievements and letting pride come between us in our relationships. Far too often we are in a world of competition, where we are competing for the best job, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to be noticed, for love and acceptance. Competition encourages us to feel threatened and encourages us to want to deal with that threat. It encourages us to compare ourselves to others and to focus on the things about ourselves that need improvement. When we look at life from the perspective of Jesus Christ, we see something very different. We see a world where everyone is valued and valuable, regardless of their appearance, wealth, gender, sexual orientation or anything else that we use to separate us from one another. Through the eyes of Jesus Christ we are all equal and there is enough love and acceptance to go around everyone. We do not need to fear rejection because we will never be rejected by God. If we are truly a Christian community at Dio then this is the way we should be looking at life. Everyone in our community is of equal value and importance, everyone matters, everyone has something to contribute. No one should ever feel that they are not enough in our community, and if they do, then we are not living as a Christian community. In our chapel services, we will come back again and again to the central idea that we are all loved and accepted, in order to try and counter the lie that we are not enough. Reverend Sandy Robertson DIO TODAY


A day in the life of a Dio boarder

is exactly what you would imagine. Amazing. We wake up, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast. School is two minutes’ walk away; anything we need is right across the road. And, knowing that at one o’clock we can come ‘home’ to a home-cooked lunch prepared by our wonderful chefs Fatema, Jared and Claudia, makes it that much better! When you think about boarding house food you may think about chunky milk or ‘Mystery Meat Monday’, but our chefs are so devoted to pleasing our stomachs that not only do they create nutritious and yummy food, but they are always bright and happy, sharing lots of laughs. They are not just chefs in the boarding house, they are our friends, more like family. By 3.30pm afternoon tea is waiting for us. We get an abundance of food, from

fruit to almost any baked delight. From then to 5.45pm we get to ‘chill’ and do whatever we want, from catching up on the latest episodes of Love Island and our other favourite shows, playing sports, to having a nap. It’s up to us. Then the bell rings. It’s dinner time. And when we say bell, we really mean a bell that someone bangs with a knife. Grace is said and we dig into yet another wonderful meal that our chefs have created. Seven o’clock signals prep time. All the Year 9s and Year 10s do this for an hour and a half in the dining room, while the older girls can use their own rooms for study. Finally, at 8.30pm, with prep out of the way, it’s now supper time. Whether you choose to eat or not, after prep is a great time to socialise and interact with

“The relationships that we as staff build with the girls is truly its own version of ‘family’.” MISS H (HOUSE DEAN)



“Boarding is such a great experience that everyone should try it sometime. Being at Dio since Year 1, I am truly lucky to have explored the deeper meaning of the ‘Dio family’ by boarding and creating friendships that will last a lifetime.” MADISON COLDHAM (YEAR 10)


everyone else in the boarding house. Who doesn’t love to have a conversation over food? Finally, at 9.30pm, our day draws to a close. It’s time for lights out and the barrier alarms to go on. The boarding house not only teaches us all to live with others, but to enjoy being together, and allows us to take on responsibilities for ourselves. There are always ups and downs: being away from family, prep for an hour and a half every night, clean-up duties, yet we learn so much from dealing with these things. Rules are put in place to make sure we get the best from the experience; things like independence, responsibility and the importance of

friendship. We grow a healthy work ethic and the self-confidence we all need. Making friends with people from all over the world may never have happened if the boarding life hadn’t brought us together. The boarding house can prepare us girls for anything the world might throw at us. We are one big family and wouldn’t have it any other way. Knowing that your friends, matrons, chefs, tutors and roommates have your back and are always willing to help makes a big difference in everyone’s lives. Through tough times, loneliness and struggles, their support helps to brighten moods and turn frowns into smiles.

“I love boarding because we are one big family. I’m so glad that I got to meet all these girls – it’s like I have 54 sisters! I wouldn't trade this experience for the world.” SHINAE CARRINGTON (YEAR 13 BOARDING HOUSE LEADER)

Thank you to the House staff, Shinae Carrington, Alex Wright, Kika Blaha-Brethouwer, Leila Bonetti and Madison Coldham for contributing to this story.

Innes House staff members Harriette Tana, Cathy Kirkman and Orini Hahipene

“I am so lucky to be responsible for such an amazing group of talented and gorgeous girls. Each day brings love and laughter. Innes House is a home away from home where everyone is respected and contributes to ensure harmony and happiness. The life skills that are learnt and fostered in a boarding environment are invaluable and contribute to the fabric of the personality of each of our girls.” MRS KIRKMAN (HOUSE DEAN) DIO TODAY



Dio delivers. . . again and again With the competition season well under way from June, we have performed exceptionally well in the regional competitions. Dio had once again been acknowledged by selection for finals in many areas and we can justifiably be very proud of the results and trophies brought home. The list of achievements is impressive indeed. Diocesan continues to live up to its reputation as a school that delivers outstanding quality in the arts and we know how incredibly lucky we are to have such stunning facilities in which to teach and rehearse. The Arts Centre is a creative hub, bursting with activity every day before school, at morning break and lunchtime, after school and at weekends. Yet again we have more ‘firsts’, especially in our drama programmes, with fabulous new initiatives rolling out this year. Hip Hop crews flourish on the national circuit, new musical theatre jazz/contemporary dance classes and music theatre singing workshops grow, and 20 Dio girls performed in NYCT’s production of Cats. Ever more singers, dancers and instrumentalists are well on their way to hitting the bright lights of the professional stage – and the list goes on. We continue to re-work existing co-curricular programmes so we can offer the very best to the girls here at Diocesan. The extraordinary achievements and the high standards achieved simply cannot happen without the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of everyone involved. We are fortunate indeed to have a team of top-end professional musicians, directors, dancers, artists and dramatists coaching our students. Sadly Josh Clark, Performing Arts Coordinator, is leaving us, but what he has brought to the department is hugely 42


significant; the Kapa Haka initiative, the re-design of the Arts Council, musical theatre jazz dance classes and singing workshops run by Jennifer Ward-Lealand. But most importantly, he has shared his wonderful energy, enthusiasm and talent with the students and has been vital in initiating the integration of our programmes and creating new projects.

Night of Dance poster image Photo credit: Sophie Hansen (Year 13)

With the construction of the Arts Centre auditorium well under way, we continue to nurture and grow the exceptional talent here at Dio. So once again, watch this space – we have exciting changes in the pipeline. Shelagh Thomson Director of Performing Arts

Emma Mason (left) and Olivia Tombs

Night of Dance OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE CUPS • Night of Dance Outstanding Performance Award in curriculum dance Maddison Knight

Jordyn Chan

• Night of Dance Outstanding Performance Award in co-curricular dance Georgia Brokenshire • Night of Dance Most Improved in Curriculum Performance Jordyn Chan and Emma Mason Night of Dance Performance Award in curriculum dance: • Year 13 dance Salutations contemporary choreography (all the members of the Year 13 dance class) • Year 12 dance Persevere (all the members of the Year 12 dance class)

Georgia Brokenshire

Night of Dance Performance Award in co-curricular dance: • Diocesan Senior Hip Hop Crew • Jazz It Up – Junior Dance Troupe


There is always something quite magical about Night of Dance happening in the intimate space of the Diocesan School Hall. Being so close to the dancers really connects the audience to the performers and their energy. It is almost as though the audience becomes part of the performance. This event is one of the highlights of the school calendar as it showcases the wonderful talent, energy and passion of our Diocesan dancers. Part of the attraction of Night of Dance is the rich array of styles, genres and cultures from curriculum and cocurricular dance that are incorporated throughout the evening. This year’s show included everything from a beautiful haka and waiata as a blessing, the Chinese umbrella dance, students’ own choreography through to contemporary performances choreographed by leading dance practitioners in the New Zealand industry. The Hall was transformed into a place for our talented girls to share their work and creativity and give something back to our community. Of particular note were curriculum dances from the senior levels including Salutations, a contemporary choreography by the Year 13 dance class in collaboration with Dan Cooper, a New Zealand dancer and choreographer who has performed with professional companies and artists such as The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Black Grace, Atamira and Michael Parmenter. The work was based on the idea of karakia and salutations being a way to connect with group unity and the environment around us. Another number that electrified the audience was Jazz It Up from the Junior Dance Troupe, an upbeat and polished routine that really showed the calibre of dancers coming through the junior levels. Olivia Tombs (Dance Captain) and Georgia Brokenshire (Deputy Dance Captain) worked with the girls to create a magical piece. Some of our girls at Year 13 level have taken part in a Night of Dance over their past seven years in the Senior School, so this being their last Night of Dance was a poignant time for them. Seven awards were made for outstanding performance in Night of Dance, four for curriculum dance and three for co-curricular dance.



Kapa Haka group

“One of the most exciting things you can do as a dancer is participating in a stage show. I look forward to Night of Dance every year, performing dances in front of an audience, making me feel alive as I share my passion with others. I have gained so much from Night of Dance, including a close bond with my class mates, which has taught me about team work and collaboration.” CHARLOTTE GARDINER

Jazz it Up



Persevere Year 12 Dance Class

“Dancing is my passion and for me, one of the highlights each year is Night of Dance. I remember back in Year 7 performing the sasa and loving every moment of my time to shine! And each year since, watching the Year 7s performing the sasa, I just know how they are feeling – the smiles tell it all. For me Night of Dance is a special school event allowing the students to showcase their talents in front of their friends and family.” OLIVIA TOMBS

LIVING Junior Dance Troupe

“I would say my most memorable moment was in Year 10 (2015) when we preformed Staying High. It was the first time I understood the true meaning of having a group consciousness and being a piece of a much larger picture. I felt the energy of the group as well as the energy from the audience, with a strong feeling of trust and security while dancing with my peers.� EMMA MASON

Maddison Knight

Senior Hip Hop Crew

Salutations Year 13 Dance Class




oncerto and Aria Competition

In the last week of Term 2, the brightest and best of our vocal and instrumental talent battled it out in the high class competition that has become an annual ‘fest of the best’ here at Diocesan. We were treated to two amazing evenings of singing and instrumental performances, and once again, it was a very glamorous and emotionally charged occasion for all these young, aspiring musicians. With the addition of the Junior category in both events, the first round saw the panel select 20 vocal and 24 instrumental finalists from over 70 auditionees. With a dozen different instruments represented, including for the first time, timpani and tuba concertos. The age range from Year 7 through to Year 13 saw many girls performing solo for the very first time.

The Junior High School girls in both concerto and aria competitions treated us to some very stylish, moving and remarkably mature performances and everyone in the audience was hugely supportive. Without any exaggeration, the Senior categories, from the get-go, were truly stunning. These older girls tackled some top-end repertoire and we heard astonishingly mature interpretations of operatic arias and instrumental concertos. The sheer artistry, talent (and glamour!) on display over these two nights was a joy to behold. Another treat was a double swan song performance from two exceptionally talented musicians – singer Libby Johnston and cellist Emily Ai. Both these girls are off to New York to

Senior Aria finalists – Olivia Couillault, Ally Quatermass, Olivia Francis, Rina Nair, Hannah Flacks, Hazel Francis, Chielin Xu, Charli Collard



further their studies and it was clear to all just how advanced and talented they both are in their respective fields. The adjudicators, Dr Robert Wiremu, New Zealand’s leading vocal clinician and lecturer in singing at the University of Auckland, and Eliah Sakakushev von Bismark, internationally renowned cellist, teacher and artistic producer, both had very difficult jobs choosing the winners of each category from the finalists. This competition is clearly going to get tougher as our instrumental and vocal programmes in the Junior School feed through amazingly talented musicians. We all feel privileged to witness the obvious dedication and commitment required to achieve at such a high level, from both the performers and the work behind the scenes by their music teachers.

SENIOR 1st Prize 2nd Prize 3rd Prize


Aria winners Olivia Couillault Hannah Flacks Chielin Xu

Most Promising Soloist Award Olivia Francis JUNIOR Years 7/8 1st Prize 2nd Prize

Ella Cochrane Alexandra Graney

Years 9/10 1st prize 2nd Prize 3rd Prize

Keltie-Kewan Young Hattie Johnston Amelia Lockley

Junior Concert winners – Heidi Yu, Eleanor Christiansen, Emily Ai, Jessica Marshall

Most Promising Soloist Award Melissa Uren

Concerto Winners SENIOR Overall Instrumental Winners Cindy Bu and Belinda Xiong Violin Cup

Sarah Casey

Strings Runner-up Cup

Sarah Lee and Rebecca He

Brass Cup

Deborah Huang

Woodwind Cup

Hannah Barber-Wilson

Viola Cup

Rebecca He

Flute Cup

Melody Chen

Piano Cup

Zoe Zhu

Piano Runner-up Cup

Emma Qiu

JUNIOR Overall Instrumental Winner

Emily Ai

2nd Place 3rd Place

Jessica Marshall Eleanor Christiansen

Junior Piano Cup

Heidi Ye

Most Promising Wind/Brass

Jessica Marshall

Senior Concerto finalists – Holly Meyers,,Rebecca He, Deborah Huang, Cindy Bu, Zoe Zhu, Belinda Xiong, Emma Qiu, Sarah Lee, Melody Chen, Teresa Gu, Sarah Casey, Hannah Barber-Wilson

Junior Aria finalists – Josh Clark (accompanist), Sophia Souloglou, Riya Raniga, Hattie Johnston, Melissa Uren, Keltie-Kewan Young, Emma Parton, Amelia Lockley, Sienna Fletcher, Alexandra Graney, Amanda Yu, Ella Cochrane



National competition time The first three weeks of June are always an incredibly busy time for all our students involved in nationwide competitions. Kicking off with Rockquest at the beginning of June, we were thrilled with the results across all the disciplines.

RockQuest RockQuest is a significant annual event for our bands, soloists, duos and songwriters. It is New Zealand’s only nationwide live, original music youth event. Now in its thirtieth year, the series of over 40 events reaches audience numbers in excess of 10,000 every year. Dio has been involved in RockQuest for over a decade.

Grace David

Feijoa Funk



This year we had just one band make it through to the Regional Finals. Feijoa Funk (Sarah Casey, Ally Quatermass, Olivia Couillault, Eloise Cameron-Smith) rebranded this year, after featuring as Renegades last year. Their presentation of original songs contributed to both performance and composition portfolios in Level 3 NCEA music. They have worked hard this year with coach Richie Pickard and have developed their style considerably. These multi-talented girls feature in a range of other music groups too, including choirs, orchestra, chamber music and jazz band! In the solos and duos category, we had superb performances by Sabreen Islam, Grace David and Gracie Scragg. We were thrilled to hear that Grace David won the Best Song Award with her original song Secrets of a Child. This is a great accomplishment as there are a large number of original songs performed in this category. Grace learns guitar and songwriting at school with Holly Christina, and wrote and performed this song as part of her Level 1 NCEA music programme. Her lyric writing is poignant and her melodies evocative. We know she will go a long way!

LIVING Bachanova – Sarah Lee, Melody Chen, Zoe Zhu, Sarah Casey, Emily Ai, Tori Wright, Rebecca He

Selisia Trio – Sarah Lee, Jacqui Li, Sarah Casey

Brasstok – Sofie Yeung, Jessica Marshall, Teresa Gu, Serena Bhindi, Zoe Zhu, Deborah Huang

Trinitas Trio – Hannah Barber-Wilson, Doris Dong, Rebecca He

Schindler Trio – Sophie-Penny Yu, Jasmine Ha, Janet Ha

Trio Allegretto – Jessica Woo, Ling-Hui Sun, Anna Casey

Chamber Music This year we had over 40 girls involved in the chamber music competition at the Raye Freedman Centre. For a second year, Performing Arts Director Shelagh Thomson worked with HOD Music Andre Worsnop to capture the girls in the classroom programmes. The initiative to coach the younger and less experienced groups within this learning environment was once again hugely successful, and this year violinist and classroom teacher Loata Mahe assisted. Of the 14 groups performing, six came directly from the Years 9 to 11 classroom programmes – quite a significant contribution.

Elise Ji Chamber Group

The semi-finals and the finals ran over a weekend, and eight finalists from the 125 regional groups had to perform twice in a gruelling and highly competitive environment on the Sunday evening. Two groups with Dio musicians competing made it through to the semi-finals and finals: TrioAstor and Trio of Serendip. At the finals, the overall Junior Award also went to a trio led by our Year 9 violist Elise Ji. All 14 groups did a fantastic job, played their hearts out and did Dio proud.



Hip Hop exploding at Dio

Big Sing We’ve made the National Finale again Once again Dio choristers excelled themselves and topped the awards table at the Big Sing regionals. Our three choirs competing in the Big Sing choral competition were presented with three major awards at the Gala Concert in the Auckland Town Hall, along with two Distinction Awards and a Highly Commended. Always a very exciting and nail-biting affair with all the big guns going for gold, the competition gets fiercer every year. But Director of Choirs Shona McIntyre-Bull led the way once again with some outstanding performances. Her Years 9 and 10 choir Bella Cantoris really blew the adjudicators away and by the end of the evening they had taken home three amazing awards and a Distinction! Two of these awards have never been won by a junior choir before, so this is quite an exceptional win for our Bella Cantoris all-comers choir and their director. The awards were: St Cecilia Singers – Distinction (directed by Shona McIntyreBull, co-director Rachel Sutherland) Senior Choir – Highly Commended (directed by Rachel Sutherland) Bella Cantoris – Distinction (directed by Shona McIntyre-Bull) Best Junior Choir (Years 9 & 10) Winner of Best Performance of an ‘Other Styles’ work Runner-up for Best Performance of a Choral Art Music Composition The Auckland Region adjudicator, Michael Stewart, was very impressed with the focused and vibrant sound produced, especially by Bella Cantoris and St Cecilia Singers. St Cecilia Singers, for the sixth consecutive year, has been selected for the National Finale and for the first time ever, Bella Cantoris is on the reserve list. So, along with the top 24 choirs from around the country, they will compete for gold, silver and bronze awards and the coveted national title, the Platinum Award at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington. Choristers and directors alike can feel justly proud of the huge efforts expended in developing such a rich and diverse choral culture here at Dio. 50


Our Years 9-13 Hip Hop group started the year proudly and confidently with their first major performance at the Hip Hop International New Zealand National Championship for Mega Crews. They were placed eleventh, a significant achievement for a group that was formed just a few short months ago. The atmosphere at the competition was electric, with the Vodafone Events Centre in Manakau at full capacity. Crews travelled from both Samoa and Vanuatu just to compete in this event. New Zealand has paved the way with hip hop on an international stage in the past 15 years, so it is really exciting for our girls to be making their presence felt in this community. They held their own well, integrating a number of styles into their routine, showing both an athletic and creative display of choreography thanks to the tutelage of renowned hip hop dancer Ashley Medcalfe. Their presence at the competition is significant as Dio was the only independent school to compete. At the beginning of July, both the intermediate and senior Dio hip hop crews competed in the NZCAF NZ Hip Hop School Competition and won their respective sections. But this year, the very exciting news is that, as part of the competition, the judges chose the top hip hop teams across all the different divisions and awarded them a bid to compete in Hawaii in 2019. The Dio senior crew won a bid, and have been invited to Hawaii next year to compete in the Global Dance & Cheer Games. This is a very exciting opportunity for the crew, who along with their exceptional choreographer Ashley Medcalfe and instigator of the programme Mindy Levene, have achieved so much in the few years we have been running this programme here at Diocesan.


Birthday Concert What happens behind the scenes? Over the last few years we have seen more and more videos screened at the Birthday Concert – this year we had some amazing integration of live and screened skits, with the brilliant Belinda Xiong linking it all together. Behind all that slick presentation, three girls worked many, many hours editing all the footage. Katelyn Thomas, Sofie Yeung and Emily Gee (pictured above) were this year’s editors and here’s how Sofie describes the process.

“One minute of footage equals one hour of editing. When editing, you have to pay attention to the smallest of details, to maintain continuity, among other things. This is why it can take so long!

“A lot can change in the editing room . . . the footage given to the editors could include maybe three takes and several mistakes, but when it comes out of the editing room it has become an amalgamation of all the best parts in the


filmed footage, enhanced by the style and manipulation of the editors. Timing is everything. Even one extra second of footage could create an entirely different tone or mood, which could prompt a different reaction from the audience. Nothing can teach you film making like editing can. You begin to pay attention to everything.

Editors not only have to think about advancing the plot, they also have to choose and assemble the shots carefully, in a way that makes sense, has a purpose and is aesthetically pleasing.”

The senior girls in Years 12 and 13 were invited to come together for a night under the stars at the 2018 School Ball. It proved a great success with the girls in their beautiful gowns and formal wear and a ballroom filled with ‘starry’ decorations. Congratulations to the four girls who won the awards on the night, voted by deans and student choice. These girls won spot prizes kindly donated by the sponsors below. A huge thank you to them for their generous support.

National Theatre Connections

When They Go Low

When They Go Low is a brand new play written especially for Connections by a selection of thea best playwriting talent in the UK. Titled after Michelle Obama's famous mantra: "When they go low, we go high", the play was performed by a New Zealand school for the first time in May.




Huge congratulations are due to all the girls involved in the National Theatre Connections 2018 production of When They Go Low by Natalie Mitchell. This is the first time a New Zealand school has been accepted into the Connections programme and is due to the efforts of Diocesan’s Head of Drama, Sarah Spicer. Originally from the UK, Sarah studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and completed her Masters in Educational Leadership at Cambridge. She took up her current role at Diocesan two years ago. “We wanted Dio students to have exposure to the best in youth theatre in the world,” says Sarah. “And it doesn’t get much more prestigious and reknowned than the UK’s National Theatre.” Diocesan had to meet strict criteria to be accepted for Connections, including attendance at the compulsory Directors’ Weekend in the UK. Following acceptance, the School was then able to select which one of 10 newly commissioned plays from some of the best contemporary playwrights in the UK it would perform. Audiences were impressed by the hardhitting message and the relevance of the material. "It was an outstanding and funny play and it showed off the incredible talents of our amazing performing arts students," said Rosey Eady, Dio Arts Patron. Many industry professionals were

"This was as good as any opening night at a professional theatre. They were outstanding!" STEPHEN BUTTERWORTH, PROFESSIONAL ACTOR

in attendance and were full of praise for the girls’ professionalism. The play is about everyday feminism and the changing face of teenage sexuality in an online world. It was inspired by the true story of a group of teenage girls in Manchester who attempted to set up a feminist society at their school, and the backlash they experienced. The play asks questions about why the ‘F’ word is so inflammatory, how misogyny has become normalised, and why equality might feel emasculating to some people, without necessarily finding the answers. The Diocesan drama company was made up of 28 students from Years 9 to 13, all of whom have strong views on the themes running throughout the play. Year 11 student, Grace Riley who plays the headstrong and confident Louise in the play, says the themes in When They Go

Low are challenging but empowering and particularly relevant now as the #metoo campaign takes off across the world. “When They Go Low encourages open discussion of sexism and is a reminder to young people that feminism is not a dirty word or something we should shy away from,” she says. “It encourages us to speak up more often and stand up for what we believe in, no matter what others’ opinions may be. Being part of this play has ignited conversations between me, my friends and family to talk about how inequality between the genders has affected them.” As part of the Connections programme, one production of each play is performed at a National Theatre Festival in London. Although Diocesan does not expect to attend this year, it has lofty aspirations – selection for performance in 2019 and even hosting a performance at the new Performing Arts Theatre at Diocesan School in 2020, as a satellite venue for the National Festival. A recording of the play will now be sent to the UK for the selection process. Thanks to the Heritage Foundation for their continued support. The girls will be performing the play again as part of the New Zealand Theatre Federation One Act Play Competition in August, along with Hard to Swallow directed by Rebekah Brady, 2b or not 2b directed by Sarah Spicer and Blind Date directed by Merrin Fagan. DIO TODAY


Shakespeare FESTIV “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” William Shakespeare


A scene from Julius Caesar

On a wet and windy Queen’s Birthday weekend, 32 representatives from Diocesan went to Wellington to join over 500 other students at the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand University of Otago Shelah Winn National Festival. This annual celebration is a collection of scenes from the best of the regional festivals and it is a huge honour to get to the National Festival. This year we won both categories, making us the Auckland Central representatives for 2018. The 5-minute category was won by Jodi Fordyce and Belinda Xiong with their amazing interpretation of Romeo and Juliet. The 15-minute adult category was won by Grace Riley and her huge ensemble with her interpretation of a female Julius Caesar. Both groups worked really hard in the time between the regional and national festivals to hone their performances. 54


The group of Diocesan thespians had a treat ahead of them. The fun-filled and busy few days included: workshops with industry professionals from around the world, two days of watching Shakespeare, a tour of Circa Theatre and a performance and mentor session with the cast of Still Life with Chickens. All of this and they performed too! Both groups did a fantastic job and represented the region brilliantly. Jodi and Belinda picked up two of the heavyweight awards – ‘Most Innovative Production’ and ‘Best Connection with the Audience’. They also received a standing ovation, which is unheard of in the history of the National Festival. Jodi Fordyce has been selected as one of only 22 students from the festival to go through to the next stage as part of the National School Production company 2018. She will be travelling to Dunedin

The Comedy of Errors

Flora Fan’s bronze award poster design

"Wow! Just wow! We had an amazing time and it was so good to spend time with other schools, learning and sharing ideas." ANISHA DE SILVA


, and uckl se, A … r 8 u o 01 acec ch 2 lie R Mar h lers t l 4 E 2 at day atur on S


VAL Jodi Fordyce and Belinda Xiong in a scene from Romeo and Juliet

Grace Riley with her third place costume design for Olivia from Twelfth Night.

to work on three Shakespeare plays. Fingers crossed that she is chosen to represent New Zealand next year as they travel to the Globe to perform. Grace Riley was very busy as she was also a finalist in the costume competition. She won a bronze award and her beautiful design was made at Toi Whaakari and is now on display at the Globe in London. Diocesan had further success in the poster competition with Flora Fan being

Jodi Fordyce and Belinda Xiong accepting their ‘Best Connection with the Audience’ award.

awarded a bronze award for her clever and vibrant design. Finishing off a great run of awards, Dio band The Renegades were awarded a silver for their music composition. It was a huge pleasure to see our girls performing well in a number of categories. We returned inspired for 2019 and the scenes are already being rehearsed. Congratulations to all the girls involved and huge thanks to Merrin Fagan and Natalie Hunter who assisted on the trip.

Jodi Fordyce and Belinda Xiong accepting their ‘Most Imaginative and Innovative Production’ award.

“This was a life changer. I loved the weekend, I am very proud of everyone involved and grateful to the Heritage Foundation members for their support." GRACE RILEY DIO TODAY



a knockout!

This year’s Dio/Dilworth senior production was a total hit. Over four nights of full houses, the students pumped out high-energy performances full of riotous comedic moments and heartfelt emotion. A brilliant satire, this musical parodies the shenanigans of big corporations, the underlings and the dystopian idea of Urinetown being a metaphor for something much darker altogether. And of course, it brilliantly parodies the whole genre of ‘the musical’ in an intelligent and hilarious way. It was wickedly funny, fast-paced and we saw some outstanding singing, dancing and acting by students from both schools. Stand-out performances were Jodi Fordyce as the hard-nosed Ms Pennywise, Francesca Towers as Little Sally and Olivia Luxon as the guileless yet earnest Miss Hope Cladwell who works her way into leading a revolution. Special mention must also go to Emma Mason who, as assistant choreographer, created some very slick dance routines for the cast. The standard of performance achieved was outstanding and as the entire cast was on stage for most of the evening, this was a perfect production for showcasing the talent from the combined schools.



In June, the National Youth Theatre Company’s production of Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber (based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T S Eliot) ran for four nights at the ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre. Dio clocked up an amazing 20 successful applicants in this all-time favourite West End musical and two of our very talented ex-students had lead roles: Libby Johnston as Grizabella and Beanie Bartlett as Rumpleteazer. Year 9 student Keltie-Kewan Young was cast in the featured role of Jemima, and Year 8 student Pascale Vincent was highlighted as a dancing mouse. Pippa Morris, Kiara Selvaratnam, Sophia Winstanley and Rosie Leishman were also featured as part of the elite extension dance group.

Amelia lands role with NZ Opera Amelia Lockley in Year 10 has once again been successful with her audition for NZ Opera. Last year she was one of the children in their production of Carmen, and this year she will be one of 12 children in the all-time classic La Boheme. This production is scheduled for September 2018 in the Aotea Centre. Well done, Amelia!

We are very proud of all of our Dio stars and special mention must go to Dio Old Girl Leonie Willis, the extraordinarily talented NYTC costume designer. This year her costume and make-up designs were exceptional and she led a team who made more than 600 costumes for the show.




Dio Rowing



A wonderful evening of story-telling and friendship was held at the Winger Maserati Showroom on 27 June to mark 25 years of the Diocesan Rowing Club. With about 160 people attending, Warren Couillault (the current club president) and Wiremu Tapara (the Sports Manager in charge of rowing) hosted the evening. Former Principal and huge supporter of rowing, Gail Thomson, attended along with many Dio girls, past and present. Warren offered a special comment when he said: “Although some things change, many things have stayed the same.” A sentiment that became obvious over the course of the evening. It was brilliant to explore the history of the club from when it was first officially formed back in 1994. However, rowing actually got under way back in 1985 with just five original rowers. Over the intervening nine years, the number of rowers grew from the five original participants to eight. In 1994, the Dio Rowing Club was formally established thanks to the hard work of Old Girl Tamney Garlick and her family, who were a driving force, along with Brian Cheeseman and Gail Thomson. It is this date that the evening celebrated – the 25th anniversary of the club’s formation. Principal, and club patron, Heather McRae gave an overview of the history




Gail Thomson and Heather McRae do the honours cutting the celebration cake.

of rowing at Dio, sharing stories and anecdotes from over the years that had the crowd smiling and reminiscing. It was very evident that the club members who were brought together by a shared experience of early mornings, hard work, and the vicissitudes of competition, have developed an enduring culture of friendship. The support and camaraderie has stayed the same over the years and it was great to share so much delightful history together. Thank you to the event sponsors: Winger Maserati, NZ Sotheby’s International Realty, Botany New World, Matrix Security and White Door Event Photography.

25th Celebration board.

LIVING Hannah Avery, Georgia Gregory, Margaret van Meeuwen, Kezia Deavoll and Ariella Rosenbaum-Raynish.

The first Dio rowing coach, Brian Cheeseman with four of the five initial rowers, who were Kim Ireland, Karyn Nicolls, Nicole O’Neill, Nicola Hutchinson and Sarah Hutchinson.

Lizzie Massey (Biffy Davies) with past rowing coach, Sarah Kate (‘Skate’) Millar.

Peter Furley and current Club President Warren Couillault.

Current Dio rowing coaches Ash Mcgirr, Kate Tidbury and Maddie Palmer.

The Organising Committee – Rebecca Johnstone, Taryn Taylor, Jodi Archibald and Deborah Griffiths.



Lena Jacob Fencing Prue Fowler Cycling

Lena Jacob FENCING At only 16 years of age, fencing has already taken Lena Jacob (11RO) around the world. Fencing has a long and proud history at Dio. The past few years have seen unprecedented success for the School, and Lena has been a big part of this success. Only in Year 11, Lena is already a two-time individual and team foil New Zealand Secondary School champion, and will attempt to defend her title at the 2018 championships in September. Prue Fowler CYCLING There has been no rest for Prue Fowler (11NE) in 2018. Whether it be on the track or on the road, Prue is a cyclist on a mission. With multiple national titles and records already under her belt, the school cycling calendar is a busy one for Prue. She competed at the North Island Championships in Karapiro in July, and will head off to Christchurch for the National Secondary School Championships at the end of Term 3. In between, she will compete at the Northern Tour, where she will set about defending her national title in the individual time trial.



Prue Fowler

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE SPORT? Lena When I was nine, I went with a friend to see her older sister compete at a fencing competition. Before then, I had no idea what fencing was, but when I finally saw it in action, I was really intrigued. A question led to an introduction, which led to a first lesson, and from then on, I was hooked. Prue I’ve been riding a bike and watching my dad and sister at cycling events for as long as I can remember. In Year 7, I

got my first road bike and joined the school cycling team. Then in Year 9, I bought my first track bike and started track cycling, as people had suggested track to me to gain some new skills and tactics for racing on the road.

WHAT INFLUENCED YOU TO DO IT? Lena It was a time when we all tried out different sports, and at the time I was heavily involved in water polo. Initially, I found fencing a nice counterbalance to water polo, and it had civilised training times (as opposed to being in the

Prue I’d been competitively swimming for three years and felt like I needed a change from looking at the bottom of a pool. Cycling looked like fun and I was really envious of the friends my sister had made through cycling and all the café brunches after a long weekend ride. I also thought the idea of being able to compete as an individual and as part of a team was something really different to most sports, and made cycling appealing to me.

WHAT SORT OF TRAINING DO YOU HAVE TO COMMIT TO? Lena I usually train around four times a week, as well as strength and conditioning. I also frequently attend training camps during the holidays. A large portion of trainings are solely dedicated to bouting, in which we get the chance to train against other fencers, applying and learning skills in a competitive environment. Being a martial art, fencing requires moves and counter moves, and you can only truly grasp these skills by applying them in competitive situations. Prue I train five days a week all year round but sometimes will train twice in one day. Trainings are always early in the morning to miss rush hour traffic, so it’s always cold and dark when riding. Trainings become more intense during the build-up to an event but I always take two rest days a week to make sure I don’t burn out, and so I always have enough energy to give training one hundred per cent.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT OR PROUDEST MOMENT? Lena At the World Cadet Championships earlier this year in Verona, Italy, I got a particularly tough poule of fencers. I only knew one of them, but as the rest were European fencers, it was obvious


pool at 5am). After a while, I really got hooked onto fencing, and especially the mental aspect of it. While it needs lots of skills and strength, it also needs speed; not just of the body but of the mind. No two bouts are the same, and no two fencers are the same. You need to figure out your opponent, and apply specific techniques to win.

Lena Jacob (right)

it would not be a walk in the park. Italian fencers where known to be the dominating figures in that particular competition, and I had one Italian fencer in my poule. I knew I had to win my bout with her to qualify for the next round, and I put everything into it, and ended up winning 5-3. By the time I got to the New Zealand athletes’ tent, I had people coming over to shake my hand, congratulating me. I had no idea what the fuss was about, and couldn’t believe it when they told me that (at the time) she was the third ranked foil fencer in our age group in the world. In all likelihood, luck probably played a large part in my win, but nevertheless, I’d still consider it my proudest moment yet. Prue My biggest achievement would be breaking the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ individual time trial record two years in a row (U-14 and U-15), as well as breaking the U-16 record as an U-15 competitor. Another highlight would be winning the National Road Club Championships U-17 girls’ individual time trial and road race, as well as winning the U-17 girls’ individual pursuit at the National Track Championships, while still in the U-16 age group.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE FUTURE? Lena My next big competition is Cadet and Junior Commonwealths, and my goal is to rank in the top 16. Throughout the next year, I will also continue to prepare for the next world championships, and would like to make it into the top 10 in Asia before I finish school. Beyond

school, I’d love to study overseas and fence for university to hopefully compete in the International University Games. Prue For the next few years, I will continue to cycle with the school team in all the school events. I have no idea where I’ll be in a few years. I enjoy the sport and I enjoy training and achieving my goals, so whatever goals I set myself in five to 10 years’ time will be the ones that matter the most. If I have the right mindset and determination, I’m confident I can achieve these dreams.

IF YOU COULD GIVE AN ASPIRING YOUNG SPORTSWOMAN A PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD THAT BE? Lena Competitive sports can be very rewarding physically, socially and emotionally, as long as you don’t focus too much on the scores and wins. Focus on your own performance and the enjoyment of each and every game, and the scores will take care of themselves. Prue I would say patience is a really important part of being successful because all good things take time and you won’t become the next Olympic star overnight. I would also say that opportunities take time to arise, but if you’re patient and work hard then the results and recognition follow. I think it is really important to enjoy the sport and enjoy training. Train because you love the sport, not because you like to win. You won’t always win but you can always enjoy the sport. DIO TODAY



Tours like these provide a unique opportunity through shared experience to foster friendships amongst the students, and the development of culture within teams.

Team Dio at the semi-final of the hockey at the Commonwealth Games

Our hockey team on a cycling tour in Amsterdam.



Left: The netball team at Stonehenge

The April school holidays, normally a time of rest and relaxation, was anything but for almost 60 Dio students, as squads for netball, hockey and football made the journey to the other side of the world for tours of Europe. Undoubtedly trips of a lifetime, the sporting tours were many years in the making, and were the result of countless hours of preparation and planning by sports staff and coaches, as well as huge fundraising efforts from the players and their families.

there were plenty of chances to see the sights, learn the history, eat the food, and even do a bit of shopping! Aside from their own games, teams had the opportunity to witness top level sport as spectators, from hockey watching the New Zealand Black Sticks in their semi-final at the Commonwealth Games (where the New Zealand team went on to win the gold medal), to football getting to see Manchester United play at their legendary home ground, Old Trafford.


Below: The Dio netball squad (in red) with the Woodhouse Grove team

Each squad had a mixture of premier and development players, with an emphasis on the development of not only the top players, but the players of the future. The tours provided brilliant preparation for the upcoming winter season, but the benefits extend well beyond this. Tours like these provide a unique opportunity through shared experience to foster friendships amongst the students, and the development of culture within teams. And, like memories, these are benefits that will last for years to come.

The highlights of the tours were endless, with many good stories to be told. A huge focus of the trips was the opportunity to train and play against quality opposition from around the world. And while there were some tough opponents, and great competition, the tours exposed the players to different styles of play, synonymous with the regions that were visited, and different to anything they would experience in their regular competition back in New Zealand. A feature of all three tours was the hospitality of the host clubs and schools, with the teams made to feel welcome wherever they went, and with many friendships and connections made. While the action on the field was a big part of the tours, the opportunities away from the field were equally valuable, if not more so. Experiencing and immersing yourself in the local culture is an important part of any tour, and

The football squad outside Old Trafford, the home ground of Manchester United



Underwater hockey success Some great news from the Underwater Hockey Northern Region Competition, where the Diocesan Junior A team finished in first place. Amidst fierce competition in the final against rival Epsom Girls Grammar School, the girls pulled out all the stops and beat their opponents 4-2. We congratulate them on this success and wish them well for the next stage of competition in Rotorua later this year.


CHAMPIONS! It was an outstanding season for the Premier water polo team, culminating in them winning the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ national title in April. The team faced St Cuthbert’s in the grand final, in a game that had everything. In a titanic battle, the teams were tied 5-5 at the end of regulation time, which meant the game went to a penalty shoot-out. In a nail-biting finish, Dio saved the final penalty to claim the title in spectacular fashion. Shinae Carrington and Morgan McDowall were selected in the tournament team, with Shinae named as the tournament’s MVP – the most valuable player. The title capped off a remarkable season, which saw the team go undefeated while achieving the triple crown, winning the Auckland, North Island and New Zealand championships. Highlighting the depth of Dio water polo, the Senior A team also competed at the national championships, finishing in tenth place overall, and claiming silver in the plate final. Congratulations to all the players, coaches and managers, and thank you to the girls’ families and friends for their support throughout the season. 64


Conditions were perfect for some fast racing, and the top runners did not disappoint. The course once again featured the notorious climb up and around Mount St John, which has become a feature of the Dio cross country race. The climb tested even the strongest runners, as students battled it out for both individual placings and house points.

School Cross Country


Friday 4 May saw the running of the 2018 Diocesan School cross country. With the start and finish based on School House lawn, there was a festival atmosphere as houses proudly showed their colours in support of their peers.

A feature of the day was the support along the finishing shute, with all runners receiving a cheer as they crossed the finish line. House spirit was to the fore, with Mitchelson taking out the coveted house trophy. Thank you to the Sports Department and Sports Council who organised the event, and to all the parents and friends who came out to support the runners. Congratulations to all students who competed, and to the following students who placed in the top three of each age division:

Year 7 1st 2nd 3rd

Amy Shennan Imogen Worrell Anais Hamilton

Year 8 1st 2nd 3rd

Jessica Finnegan Cassie Wood Kate Gibson

Junior 1st 2nd 3rd

Ella Hanton Estie Hamilton Anei Todd

Intermediate 1st Imogen Foley 2nd Cara Bradding 3rd Lauren Williams Senior 1st 2nd 3rd

Conor Tarrant India James Ruby Cotter Conor Tarrant




In June 2018, we conducted our Annual P&F Annual General Meeting. It was our 54th year, so a very good heritage of service to reflect back on between 1965 and today. As is our mantra at P&F, we have continued to ‘friend raise and fund raise’ successfully over the last quarter with several key highlights. The bottom line is that the friend base continues to be particularly strong and the finances are in good shape with a $100,000 cheque recently presented to the School from P&F as part of our ongoing support of the Arts Centre development. Our Father/Daughter Breakfast was again a sell-out in May with Sir Ray Avery inspiring the girls and their fathers to maintain a ‘can-do’ attitude and to continue to cherish the New Zealand brand and its uniqueness. He certainly thinks big and his ethos of service and philanthropy is a mirror of our School values. Thank you to Working Style, Jacks Coffee and our major sponsor, Sotheby’s. Not only did Sotheby’s sponsor the event but also supplied the MC – Shane Cortese from the Herne Bay office did an admirable job. During the course of the year, the team has been working on a major outdoor project behind the Shrewsbury building. Headed up by Melissa Brady, the voluntary hours that have gone into this project are massive and the result has been equally impressive. Melissa and the team have created a wonderful garden space that the girls, teachers and parents can utilise for food tech creations, events and reflection 66


Sir Ray Avery

throughout the year. If you haven’t seen it, go and check it out. We will hold an official opening next term in spring to celebrate this wonderful outdoor space.

Tickets for the event will go on sale in mid-August, so look out for that announcement as early indications are that this will again be a sell-out.

Our next major project for 2018 is the third Dio House Tour scheduled for Friday 9 November. We have assembled a wonderful diverse and inspiring group of properties and a huge thank you goes to those homeowners who have supported us by opening their homes to the public.

Thanks, as always, to all the Dio parents who support our events and through their actions create an inclusive and supportive environment in which the girls can prosper. Rex Pearce President, Parents & Friends’ Association

LIVING Pictured in the Shrewsbury Garden at the opening of the Diosphere cafĂŠ, staff and students with local MP David Seymour, who was accompanied by his Dancing with the Stars partner, Amelia McGregor.




DIOCESAN OLD GIRLS’ LEAGUE COMMITTEE CONTACT DETAILS Email for all enquiries. PRESIDENT Jenny Spillane (Orsborn) | P. 09 630 3843 From left to right, OGL President Jenny Spillane, 2018 Alumnae Meritae Prof Phillippa Poole and Dr Margaret Horsburgh and Principal Heather McRae.

President’s column

VICE PRESIDENT Melanie Eady (Perkins) | E. TREASURER Felicity Buche (Olson) | P. 09 521 8387 SECRETARY Amber Oram (Railley) | M. 021 757 504

I recently had the privilege of being part of the 2018 Alumnae Meritae Assembly where the Diocesan Old Girls acknowledged and celebrated the achievements of two incredibly accomplished and equally delightful women: Margaret Horsburgh and Phillippa Poole. I left School afterwards in a warm bubble of wonder, admiration, confidence and gratitude. Wonder at how these two women have maintained the energy and ambition to continue to achieve what they have achieved when I struggle to think about how to fill school lunchboxes; admiration at what they have done and when they have done it; confidence in what our current Dio girls can learn from their stories; and gratitude to Margaret and Phillippa for accepting our awards and coming back to School to tell their stories. Both our recipients (particularly Margaret) left Dio at a time when girls were not necessarily encouraged to ‘be more than you ever imagined’, yet their life stories have embodied the present-day Dio vision. The women both commented that when they embarked on their particular journeys, they could hardly have imagined returning to school now as alumnae. We often hear comment that our current Dio generation lead privileged lives – fortunate to be growing up in this particular time and to be receiving such 68


a quality education. At the Alumnae Meritae Assembly on Wednesday 6 June, they were indeed privileged to hear about the journeys of these two remarkable Old Girls. Too often, for whatever reason, our young girls feel pressured to choose a particular path. However, Margaret and Phillippa (and Dianna Barrowclough last year) encouraged the girls to choose what they enjoy and then to have the confidence to follow the path that presents itself. This path may not always be in a straight line… and that’s okay.

FELLOWSHIP SECRETARY Emma Cleary (Dillon) | P. 09 522 9564 COMMITTEE Sarah Couillault (Willis) | M. 021 489 102 Annabel French (Smaill) | P. 09 575 1175 Penny Tucker (Macdonald) | E. Tania Fairgray (Railley) | P. 09 529 1736 Kimberly Sumner (Wragge) | E. Kirsty Eady (McDonald) | P. 09 522 2652 Dio Today Editor, League pages Deirdre Coleman | E. Diocesan School Old Girls’ League PO Box 28 382, Remuera, Auckland 1541

The Alumna Merita awards show us how the stories of a small number of women can have a huge impact on our current Dio students and our Old Girl population. But there are so many Old Girls’ journeys out there, and tales of accomplishments, of just getting on with it and, so often, of ‘Ut serviamus’. Please let us know about your journeys. If a story in the pages of Dio Today is too ‘high profile’ for you, the Old Girls’ Facebook page is another wonderful way to share, learn and connect as Dio Old Girls. Penny Tucker is happy to help you tell your story or promote your endeavour. Contact her at or email Deirdre Coleman (, editor of the Dio Today Old Girls’ League pages. Ut serviamus Jenny Spillane

Notice of Annual General Meeting Notice is given that the 107th Annual General Meeting/Conference of the Auckland Diocesan School Old Girls’ League (Inc) will be held on Sunday 4 November at 11.15am in the School Hall in the grounds of Diocesan School for Girls, Clyde Street, Epsom. It will follow the Founders’ Day Service, starting at 10am, and will be led by Reverend Sandy Robertson. Old Girls’ baptisms will take place in the Chapel at 12pm. Amber Oram (Railley), Secretary PO Box 28-382, Remuera Auckland 1541 M. 021 757 504



Queen’s Service Medal for Jane Williams (Mitchelson, 1963) Our warm congratulations to Dio Old Girl and staff member Jane Williams who recently received the Queen’s Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the arts and education.

Royal Society of London fellowship for Margaret Brimble (Macmillan, 1978)

Jane’s connection and contribution to Diocesan is extensive and far-reaching. The great granddaughter of Sir Edwin Mitchelson, the founding Chairman of Diocesan School for Girls, Jane attended Diocesan for 12 years until 1963. Two aunts and her younger sisters, the late Johanna, Christine and Sally, also went to Dio, as did Jane’s daughter Katie Houtman (1989) and five of her nieces. Jane currently has two granddaughters at the School, with another two starting shortly.

From 1985 to 1990, Jane was on the Diocesan Board of Governors. In 1988, she became a founding trustee of Doris Innes House, which Jane Williams with was set up by a group of Old Girls granddaughters Lauren Williams to establish a new boarding facility and Evie Houtman. In May this year, scientist and Dio Old Girl Professor at Dio. She is a past Old Girls’ League Margaret Brimble CNZM, became the first New Zealand committee member and was Diocesan’s woman to be elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Director of Development from 1994 to 2004. London, the world’s oldest and most prestigious scientific Jane played a lead role in the 2003/4 centennial celebrations, academy. A fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS) is granted co-chairing the Planning Committee from 1999 to 2004. to those who the Royal Society deems to have made a During this time, she set up the reunion programme both in ‘substantial contribution to the improvement of natural New Zealand and internationally. She is currently a trustee of knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and the Heritage Foundation, which she helped establish in 2001, medical science’. and is a member of the Dio Arts committee. Each year, up to 52 Fellows and 10 Foreign Members are elected from a group of 700 candidates proposed by the existing fellowship. Margaret was one of just two women nominated this year and is now part of a very illustrious group that includes Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. Sir Ernest Rutherford and Sir Paul Callaghan are the only other New Zealanders who have become Fellows. Margaret is Distinguished Professor at the University of Auckland where she is Chair of Organic Chemistry and Director of Medicinal Chemistry at the School of Chemical Sciences and the School of Biological Sciences. Her work as an organic chemist has seen her develop bioactive compounds from natural products such as marine algae and fungi. These are synthesised for their potential use in developing drugs to treat infectious diseases and cancer. Among her pioneering research is a drug that is currently in phase III human trials as a new treatment for autism disorders, Rett Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome. Margaret’s research group is also developing technology to create cancer vaccines. Margaret attended Dio from 1972 to 1978 and she is passionate about encouraging girls in science. She was the 2000 Alumna Merita recipient and we are very proud of her achievements.

Beyond Dio, Jane’s involvement in the arts, has included her work with the Guild of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra since 1986. She has worked to create sponsorship openings for the orchestra through highprofile events and has raised money for children in low decile schools to enjoy orchestral experiences. Among other committee positions, Jane has been chairperson of the Auckland Decorative and Fine Arts Society, and for three years Chair of the NZ Co-ordinating Committee. Jane was a leading member of the liaison committee between the Society and the James Wallace Arts Centre. she has worked as a volunteer guide at the historic Pah Homestead in Hillsborough, which houses the James Wallace Art Trust’s collection of New Zealand art. Jane has also been on the board of the Auckland War Memorial Museum’s Museum Circle. Jane says she is humbled and extremely surprised to receive this honour. “All that I have done has given me a great deal of pleasure; I have worked with some inspirational people and had plenty of fun,” she says. “I hope I have added something to the people and the fabric of Auckland.” DIO TODAY


“I’m really interested in contemporary architecture as no single style is dominant and it’s fascinating to see how technology has allowed us to create some unique forms,” she says. “I really like the work of Zaha Hadid – she’s a very influential female architect who’s won multiple prestigious awards and is definitely someone I can look up to.”

Celine Cheng is in her fourth year of architecture studies and recently won the Victoria University Warren Trust Award.

GRAND DESIGNS Three Dio Old Girls studying at Victoria University’s School of Architecture have seen their efforts rewarded with academic awards this year. Celine Cheng (2014) is currently in her fourth year of architecture at Victoria University. She completed her Bachelor of Architecture last year and has 18 months left of study for her Master of Architecture degree. Earlier this year, Celine received the Warren Trust Award, which rewards and acknowledges high-achieving students and their commitment to their architectural studies. She plans to use the prize to help her complete her thesis research in 2019. Despite some late nights required to get through the coursework, Celine is enjoying her architecture studies. “A project I really enjoyed, but one that also challenged me, required us to design a building that met the criteria of the Living Building Challenge,” she says. “It had to be self-sufficient, produce more energy than it used, and collect and treat all water on site.”



The strong work ethic instilled in her at Dio has really helped her achieve at university, she says. In Year 13, Celine took design and visual communication (DVC), physics, calculus, Japanese and history. This diverse combination of subjects taught her different skills that she’s been able to draw on during her time at architecture school.

After graduating, Celine plans to gain the necessary work experience to become a New Zealand registered architect. Isabella Woolley (2013) is in her fifth and final year of architecture at Victoria University. In 2016 she completed her Bachelor of Architectural Studies, and is now doing postgraduate study in the Master of Architecture programme. At the end of 2017, she won a Team Architects Scholarship Distinction Award, which aims to help students complete their final year of their Master of Architecture (Professional) degree. “The Team Architects Scholarship gave me confidence in myself and my design work, and showed that going outside the ‘norm’ can pay off,” says Isabella. “The project I entered was the most unconventional building I’d designed in my time at university. Getting the scholarship made me realise that daring designs are important, especially while they are purely hypothetical projects! I did work experience with New Plymouth

Isabella Woolley receiving her Team Architects Scholarship Distinction Award from Team Architects director Warwick Bell.


Fulbright success for Isabelle Smith Team Architects and Auckland’s Avery Team Architects, which gave me the confidence and knowledge to enter such a competition. Work experience has been vital in my growth – it’s taught me about real-world limitations and how to work around them.” At Dio, Isabella studied print and painting through NCEA in Year 11, then visual art for the IB course for Years 12 and 13. She says taking IB at Dio taught her crucial skills in time management and working to her strengths. It also meant she kept her options open and the broad range of subjects she studied was a great basis for architecture school. “Dio encourages you to do your absolute best, and this has always stuck with me throughout my university days,” she says. As part of her postgraduate study, Isabella will spend 12 months creating a research portfolio (a design-led thesis), which gives her the freedom to investigate the aspects of architecture that interest her the most. “My research this year focuses around creating mindful architecture for the New Zealand coastline, looking at the old Kiwi bach as the ultimate example of sustainable, smart, and small designs.” In addition to her studies, this year Isabella is a tutor for the second-year architecture design course. She says it’s been great so far, with her students teaching her as much as she teaches them! She’ll finish her degree in March 2019 and hopes to travel before getting into the workforce and focusing on becoming registered as an architect. Meen Treewattanasuwan (2016) was Deputy Head of International Students in her final year at Dio and a DVC Dio scholar. Now studying architecture at Victoria University, Meen was recently awarded the NZIA Central Innovation Student Design Award for Year 1 Bachelor of Architectural Studies. In 2017, she was also named on Victoria University Dean’s List, which celebrates excellence in academic achievement for students enrolled in an undergraduate degree programme.

In the August 2017 issue of Dio Today and more recently in our April 2018 issue, we featured Dio Old Girl Isabelle Smith (2010). Isabelle studied law, geography and environmental science at the University of Canterbury, graduating with an LLB (Hons First Class) last year. In mid-June Isabelle attended the annual Fulbright New Zealand Awards Ceremony at Parliament in Wellington where she received a Fulbright Science and Innovation Graduate Award. The Fulbright programme was founded in 1946 by US Senator  J. William Fulbright and is among the most widely recognised and prestigious scholarships in the

world. The programme provides 8000 grants annually. Isabelle is now completing a Masters of Law specialising in Environmental and Energy Law at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Kristina Lowndes (2015) attends Brown University Diocesan’s mission is to lead boldly so that our young women can do the same and make their mark on the world. Many of our Old Girls have gone on to study abroad, after gaining entry to some of the most prestigious universities in the world. Among them is Kristina Lowndes who attended Dio from Year 7 to 13 and took up a place at the Ivy League college, Brown University, in 2016. She is now in her second year, concentrating on neuroscience and fulfilling the premed requirements needed in order to apply to medical school.

Kristina (right) at the start of her freshman year in front of the Van Wickle Gates. During their time at Brown University, students walk through these gates just twice: at the beginning of their freshman year, and then when they graduate. Throughout the year, the gates remain closed.

Despite the study pressures, Kristina has also found the time to continue the love of rowing she developed at Dio, and is now part of the Women’s Crew Team at Brown. She’s also a Healthy Athletes Ambassador, a Meiklejohn Peer Advisor, and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Next semester, she’ll be working with a neuroscience professor as a research assistant. The process of going to an American university can be somewhat intimidating, but Kristina says the staff at Dio’s careers centre were really supportive and helpful. She wanted to get out into the world and experience people from many different countries in one place. Brown is filled with students from all over the world who are extremely passionate about a wide range of disciplines, she says. “This makes for a positive learning environment. Being surrounded by people interning at Twitter, Goldman Sachs and the Brookings Institute is a constant reminder that hard work can get you where you want to be and that these opportunities are well within reach.” DIO TODAY


MODEL BEHAVIOUR She’s graced the covers of some of the world’s top magazines and has walked the runway for Mui Mui, Calvin Klein and Victoria’s Secret. Now based in New York, model and Dio Old Girl Georgia Fowler (2009) was recently back home in New Zealand to film her role as host of the first season of Project Runway New Zealand. Georgia spoke to Deirdre Coleman about her school days and her exciting career. 72


Tell us about your days at Dio I attended Dio from Year 9 to Year 12. My older sister, Kate, also went to Dio for her high school years. One of the things I loved most about Dio was all the opportunities presented to us. I put my hand up for almost every sport and extracurricular activity available. I did speech and drama, netball, basketball, tennis, athletics, water polo, Stage Challenge… maths and sciences were my favourite subjects – I loved that the answers were so black and white. I also made some wonderful long-term friends at Dio and I love coming home to New Zealand and knowing I have such incredible solid friends back here, and that nothing ever changes.

You signed with IMG Models when you were 15. How did you get into modelling? I began modelling at about 12. My sister had a casting at a local modelling agency and I went along too. We both got put on the books. I was modelling all throughout my high school years at Dio, though I don’t think any of my peers realised. Mum only let me to do a job every month or so, or made sure the jobs were at times where I didn’t miss too much school. I was very driven and loved to learn so I didn’t have much problem teaching myself any curriculum that I missed. I did my first overseas trip to Europe to model during the school holidays when I was 15, and had a few trips to Paris and New York until I travelled full time after Year 12.

Modelling in the fashion industry is quite interesting because the high-profile jobs (editorials for big magazines, or campaigns and shows for high-end designers) often don’t pay all that well because they’re a coup to be selected for.

How did you combine schoolwork and modelling? I am so grateful for how helpful Dio was in making sure I could travel and keep up with my schooling. Even though I began to travel a lot for work towards the end of my schooling, I never once fell behind in my schoolwork. I think I owe a lot of that to my mum for always keeping me focused – even though I was working as a model from so young, education was most important for us, and getting into university and doing a degree was always the plan. Mum helped me navigate the modelling industry and made sure I was safe. She travelled with me and kept my feet on the ground throughout the whole journey. At what point did you begin to consider modelling as a serious career option? When I finished Diocesan, I enrolled in a Bachelor of Science course at Massey University. I wanted to become an engineer, but that degree wasn’t feasible to do via extramural tuition, so I thought I’d start with a science degree and major in psychology. I always wanted to get a degree and I looked at modelling as an incredible experience that was too good to turn down. But as the year passed and I was landing some big jobs, I realised I could really make my dream come true and it was absolutely a serious career path I would go down. Modelling and my studies became too difficult to juggle so I’ve put my degree on the back burner for now.

I’ve had to work hard for my jobs. I auditioned for the Victoria’s Secret show for five years in a row before I got selected. I always put my heart and soul into everything I do, and this is no different. I wanted to be a star for as long as I can remember, and I was given a very lucky gift. I’ve had to give up a lot for it, and it certainly didn’t come easy. I left friends, family and boyfriends at home, and was incredibly lonely a lot of the time dealing with very adult problems at a young age. But modelling became my career and I was driven to be the best I could be and succeed in it.


People think modelling is very glamorous; but it’s obviously about much more than how you look. What do people not know about the hard work you put in? Absolutely, a beautiful model can get the job the first time, but you only get rebooked if you’re hard working and a pleasure to work with. Most of the jobs I get now are from rebooking or from a stylist or photographer requesting you for another job, so it’s incredibly important to always do your best as you never know what may come from it.

I now ‘live’ in New York, though I’m on a long-haul flight on average every four days between New York, Europe, Los Angeles and Australia. So I pretty much live in the sky, which comes with all its perks and downfalls. What are some of the big brands you’ve worked for? My career highlights include Victoria’s Secret, Balmain, French, Italian and Australian Vogue, and being on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, plus walking for Miu Miu, Calvin Klein and Balmain. One of the jobs I’m most proud of to date was an unpaid editorial for French Vogue with the incredible photography duo Inez and Vinoodh. I’m fortunate that I can do both photographic work and catwalk. Catwalk is an incredible thrill once you’re on that runway, and you get to do it alongside friends. And in photo shoots you get to be more of an actor and become the person they want you to be on set, which I love. Working for Victoria’s Secret was always a dream of mine. It’s the most elite modelling gig, and I guess being included in a line-up of such hardworking and beautiful models proves you’ve really made it. I cried for days after finding out I was walking for them the first time. It didn’t come easy, but after five years of auditions it paid off. Tell us about your latest job hosting Project Runway New Zealand Being the host of Project Runway New Zealand has been an amazing experience. I was approached, and it was too good an opportunity to turn down. It was an incredible learning experience, and most of all I loved that I could be home with friends and family and enjoy New Zealand after being gone for so long. What are your plans for the next year or two? I hardly know what my plans are a few days out, but I plan to continue working hard and enjoying whatever journey I’m taken on. Perhaps I’ll try out some acting, but who knows what will happen in the future.

You can see Georgia hosting the first season of Project Runway New Zealand, which will screen soon on TVNZ 2.



Honouring two healthcare heroines 2018 Alumnae Meritae awards 74


On Wednesday 6 June, two incredible Dio Old Girls, Professor Phillippa Poole and Dr Margaret Horsburgh (Rickard) CNZM, were celebrated as the 2018 Diocesan Alumnae Meritae for their achievements in the fields of medicine and the education of medical professionals. At a full School Assembly in the Dawn Jones Sports Centre, Principal Heather McRae welcomed and introduced Phillippa and Margaret, and Jenny Spillane, President of the Old Girls’ League, presented each of them with an Alumna Merita pin and a specially commissioned bronze statuette. At the presentation, Margaret was accompanied by a group of close friends from her year group at Dio, while Phillippa attended with her husband, Paul Gilkison, and her sister Hilary Poole, who was chair of the Board of Governors at Diocesan and a 2013 Alumna Merita recipient.


Professor Phillippa Poole (1976) Phillippa started Dio in 1964 in what was then known as the Lower Preps. She recalled freezing cold swims in the outdoor pool, listening to radio broadcasts to schools, including commentary of the moon landing, and walking up to the Senior School for the hilarious birthday concerts in the School Hall. As she got older, Phillippa enjoyed maths, geography and sport, and says Dio sport probably led to her love of orienteering – an activity that keeps her both mentally and physically healthy for her challenging and busy career. Midway through Year 13, Phillippa left to go on an American Field Service Scholarship to the United States. The last of five headmistresses she had while at Dio was Dawn Jones who Phillippa says was extremely influential right at the end of her school education. Not only did Dawn Jones put in a good word for Phillippa to enter the University of Auckland that following July, but she showed that it was possible to balance academic life and sport. “She pushed us hard to reach our full potential. She was a great mentor and encouraged me to go onto maths at university,” said Phillippa. “But I didn’t really see myself in that field forever, and fortunately I had a chance conversation with my uncle who was an eye surgeon and who suggested medicine.” After gaining her science degree in maths, Phillippa entered medical school where she topped her class. She undertook her eight years of postgraduate specialist training in New Zealand and overseas. During her specialty training, Phillippa gave birth to her daughter, Sarah Gilkison, who also attended Dio and was a member of the School’s successful cycling team in the mid 2000s. In 1993, Phillippa and her family returned to New Zealand where she took up a position lecturing at the University of Auckland and working as a specialist physician at Auckland Hospital. She was subsequently asked to lead the changes in the university’s medical programme.

Phillippa Poole with her husband, Paul Gilkison, and sister, Hilary Poole.

During her 10 years heading this programme, she developed a more integrated curriculum, designed new courses, introduced the earlier teaching of clinical skills and established all the necessary administrative structures to make it a success. Phillippa is grateful that Margaret Horsburgh arrived at the university at just the right time to help her with the educational aspects of this challenging role. Now Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Auckland, with staff from Whangarei to New Plymouth, Phillippa has taught clinical and professional skills to hundreds of New Zealand’s doctors. She was president of the Internal Medical Society of Australia and New Zealand,

and passionately advocates for equal opportunities for women and for Māori and Pasifika doctors. “We’re now very proud at the university that of the 280 students in the medical class, 60% each year are female, 15% are Māori and 9% have Pacific ancestry. Over a fifth of our medical students come from rural areas, which is important as they’re much more likely to go back to those areas to work.” Addressing the Dio students in particular, Phillippa shared four important learnings from her career. She stressed that a career pathway is not always linear, and that any learning experience is valuable. “It’s very hard to imagine your career endpoint so be prepared to follow some less traditional paths and don’t be afraid to change,” she said. “In the end, your job must fit well with your values and your capabilities. For me, maths was good but medicine was a perfect fit. Yet my maths skills are still very important today in my research, so no learning is ever wasted.” She said many people will help shape your career path, both openly and behind the scenes. “They may see things in you that you can’t see for yourself. Dawn Jones was an example of that, as are many of your teachers here. Of course, your family and close friends are your most important DIO TODAY


supporters, so be careful to cherish and respect them.” She highlighted the importance of remaining curious. “No one knows all the answers today. You must continue to learn throughout your life, from your colleagues, your clients, your students, your friends and through your own experiences and research.” With privilege comes responsibility, so Phillippa urged everyone not to simply accept things as they are, but to volunteer their time, use their skills and put the School motto into action to make the world a better place. “I encourage you all to ‘think global and act local’ with some of the big issues we’re facing such as poverty, homelessness or climate change. These big problems must be tackled. We are in systems in which we must work together. The famous anthropologist Dr Margaret Mead said: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has’.”

Dr Margaret Horsburgh, CNZM, (Rickard, 1959) Margaret attended Diocesan from 1954 to 1959. Reflecting on her school days, she described a very different Dio to the one we know today. In the 1950s, sport was favoured above academic study and the facilities were basic. “We had a tremendous amount of fun and we made lifelong friends, including with some of our teachers who were quite dedicated and inspirational. We were always remembered as a very naughty class. I’m not sure what that really meant, but we did play tricks on our teachers. Suspension from school for a week or two wasn’t the least bit uncommon. I was banned from being in a class photo because I’d been talking too much. Other class mates were suspended for not wearing their beret or gloves in Newmarket.” The career opportunities for girls in the 1950s and ’60s were limited, and most were ill prepared for the real world, she said.

Margaret Horsburgh with some of her classmates. L to R: Dee Parks (Carol McCrystal); Di Harrop (Diane Horrocks); Margaret; Sue Waddell (Susan Sharpe); and Verna Harford (Caskie).



“We were very young when we left school. There’d been no career advice and you either went into nursing or teaching, or on to business college and waited until you got married.” But the Diocesan Class of 1959 clearly didn’t let that hold them back. Among their many examples of success, Margaret and two of her classmates have been awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Margaret received her honour in 2011 for services to health. It all began when, at her parents’ prompting, she started her nursing training at Green Lane Hospital in 1961. Margaret then travelled to England where she enjoyed the chance to travel and undertake midwifery training. Having arrived back home in 1967, she returned to work at Green Lane Hospital, which was part of a New Zealand healthcare system in which 18-year-olds were left in sole charge of entire hospital wards, often over night. Margaret went on to complete postgraduate studies in cardiothoracic


nursing and to hold senior cardiac nursing roles. Her experiences led her to co-author a book honouring the cardiothoracic nurses of Green Lane. Entitled Heart, Hands and Minds, it was published in 2010. “It was a fantastic experience. Those of us there at that time were generally part of a team that led the world in cardiac surgery and cardiology,” she said. But Margaret also recognised that improvement was required. “When you were a nurse in the ’60s and ‘70s, you quickly became aware that you had to do something about nurse training. We couldn’t go on staffing our hospitals with 18-year-old student nurses. There had to be a change; we had to follow the trends of the rest of the world.” A bigger focus on community health was needed and Margaret seized the opportunity to be part of a national leadership for the move to a tertiarybased education for nurses. She joined the staff of the Auckland Technical Institute (ATI), now AUT, and helped to establish the Diploma in Nursing. “It was hard work at the time, there was a lot of opposition – ‘Oh no, you can’t possibly train nurses in an academic setting.’ But we did.” Margaret remained at AUT until the end of 1998 in a number of roles including Head of the Nursing and Midwifery School. She continued to be at the forefront of continual improvement and health education, developing degree and postgraduate tertiary-level nursing courses. During her time at AUT, her experience and interests in education widened, and as their academic director, she was part of the team that prepared AUT for university status. Margaret also undertook distance study for her doctoral degree through Australia’s Charles Sturt University, and the award-winning research she conducted on what makes quality in higher education is still referred to today. But the biggest challenge of her career came in 1998 when she was invited to help establish nursing at the University

of Auckland, to put it alongside medicine in the prestigious Faculty of Medicine, now the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. Her first task was to establish the postgraduate courses that nurses need to become highly specialised and to study to doctoral level. The undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing programme followed. Margaret’s educational background supported her in the faculty leadership roles and in establishing the Centre for Health Professional Education. This is where she came to work with Phillippa Poole, and other medical and pharmacy colleagues to establish the interprofessional learning programme that continues today. In 2001, Margaret was invited to chair the 23-member national Nurse Prescribers Advisory Committee. Agreement was eventually reached and legislation passed to allow nurses, pharmacists, podiatrists and other health professionals to prescribe medications.

“That was quite an amazing time,” said Margaret. “I needed skills in consultation and collaboration, and bringing people together to get 23 people to move on that one. The last bits of the legislation that needed to change have only just finally gone through.” Margaret has also served as a member of the Auckland District Health Board, and since her retirement, has become interested in preserving New Zealand’s medical and health heritage. She is a trustee of Auckland Museum Foundation and now chairs a smaller trust, the Auckland Medical Museum Trust. Its first exhibition, Brave Hearts – The New Zealand Cardiac Story, is a mobile museum that honours the pioneers who made modern cardiac medicine possible. Acknowledging Dio’s marketing message – ‘be more than you ever imagined’ – Margaret says: “That’s what it’s been for me. I would never have imagined when I left school in 1959 that this is where I’d be now in 2018, having all of these achievements.” DIO TODAY


Character Study For someone who ‘fell into acting’, Dio Old Girl Jodie Dorday has managed to parlay her talent into a very successful career. When Jodie was at school from 1979 to 1983, her focus was more on ballet, jazz and modern dance, but she was involved in the drama club and Dio/ Dilworth productions of Kiss Me Kate and The Boyfriend. “I made some lifelong friends at Dio and I have friends with daughters there now. Last year I went to see Into the Woods – it was an extraordinary production. It’s wonderful to see how the arts are being supported at Dio and there are some really talented kids.” After school, Jodie worked for five years as lead dancer/comedienne at the iconic cabaret club Burgundy’s of Parnell (owned by her mum, Debbie). During the mid ’90s, she landed some TV work on the Xena and Hercules series, and by 1997 went on to do a 78


35-episode stint as Annabel Lustwick on Shortland Street. Her first major theatre role came about when a friend introduced Jodie to the production manager at Auckland Theatre Company (ATC). She subsequently landed a role as one of the five sisters in the ATC production of Brian Friel’s play Dancing at Lughnasa, set in Ireland during the 1930s’ potato famine. “It was an extraordinary cast of women. Simon Praast was artistic director at the time and it’s one of the most amazing theatre experiences I’ve ever had. It’s incredible to have a break like that for your first theatre gig.” It was just the start of a string of TV and theatre jobs during the 1990s and early 2000s. In 1997, Jodie won ‘Best Supporting

Actress’ at the Nokia New Zealand Film Awards for her role as Lynn in Anthony McCarten’s film Via Satellite. McCarten has gone on to gain screenwriting Academy Award nominations for The Theory of Everything and Darkest Hour. “Via Satellite was my first film and I loved working with Anthony. I’ve been following his career very closely and I’m very proud of where he’s ended up. There’s a lot of talent in New Zealand and it’s great to see Kiwis doing well.” Jodie is grateful for the support and encouragement of so many experienced New Zealanders in the theatre world, including Raymond Hawthorn and Colin McColl. “I didn’t get the chance to go to drama school, so I found myself learning from and


looking up to mentors within the theatre world – and I still do. I was lucky to start gaining some extraordinary experience. “I did put myself out there and immerse myself with people who were experienced. The training at Burgundy’s and the discipline we were taught as dancers put me in good stead. I had a lot of respect for people around me, and a hunger to learn. I think it’s really important to be humble and open to learning.” At 29, following some time at Centrepoint Theatre in Palmerston North, Jodie moved to Sydney. There, she was noticed by the Sydney Theatre Company and scored an audition for King Lear, securing the role of Goneril, the eldest daughter of King Lear, who was played by the acclaimed actor Barry Otto. In 2007 she played Jodie Welch in the TV series Burying Brian, about a suburban mum who accidentally kills her ex-rock singer husband, and is convinced by her friends to bury the body. It was Jodie’s last acting gig for almost a decade. After moving to Melbourne, she took a job in sales and met her now husband. They ran their own business together, had a little boy, and eventually moved to Bali to enjoy the more relaxed pace of life. But acting was always Jodie’s calling, and in 2016 the opportunity came up to audition

Jodie as Trish Miller in Westside Season 3. Image courtesy of South Pacific Pictures.

for the role of dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson in the Auckland Theatre Company’s production of Billy Elliot. Jodie admits she would never have auditioned had it not been for the encouragement of her mum. “It was tap dancing and singing, which I’ve never done live, so I was terrified and pretty reluctant. It’s always the ones you don’t want that you end up getting,” she laughs. “Mum came over to Bali and said ‘let’s put an audition down’. I’m very grateful to her for giving me a kick up the bum and pushing me along. She’s always been extra supportive with my acting. “I then spent a week in bed freaking out because I got the role. It meant we had to come back to New Zealand.” After her 10-year acting hiatus, Jodie has worked solidly since returning home. The life lesson, she believes, is that if something’s not serving you, step away from it for a while. “There’s a lot of rejection involved in the acting world, but I feel very blessed now to be working.”

In an updated version of Roger Hall’s play The Book Club, Jodie took to the stage solo. Image courtesy of Tadpole Productions.

At the end of rehearsals for Billy Elliot, Jodie was asked to audition for Westside. This prequel to the hugely successful Outrageous Fortune sees Jodie playing Trish Miller, Cheryl West’s mum – a wonderful and challenging role. In May this year, Jodie pushed herself

right beyond her comfort zone, taking the stage solo to play several characters in an updated version of Roger Hall’s play The Book Club. “It was full-on, but very well received and reviewed, much to my surprise,” she says. “I underestimated the time it would take to learn 45 pages of script on my own. You have all sorts of doubts, but I realised that when you do a one-woman play, it’s your baby and it doesn’t matter what happens. You can make it your own, so I really started playing with the audience and having fun with it.” Jodie is now producing her own version of The Book Club and taking it on tour around the top of the North Island. The first performance on Waiheke in early September will be followed by shows in Orewa, South Auckland, Tauranga and Whangarei. She’s also about to do a smaller role with the ATC in a play called Filthy Business. Forever grateful to her acting mentors, Jodie also now shares her own knowledge with younger actors. She has worked with NZ Youth Theatre, and runs acting workshops for teens, teaching them how to break down scripts, do monologue work and prepare for auditions. “I love working with young people. They’re so bright and are so much braver than adults with their choices. Drama and dance are a great way to express yourself.” DIO TODAY


Megan Baker Smith, Anna Wight, Rosie Hitchcock and Sarah Couillault

A par-fect way to spend the day Unlike last year’s very soggy event, the 2018 Bryan Bartley Golf Day on Friday 4 May was held on a stunning autumn morning that began with crisp temperatures but warmed up beautifully. This year’s event was at a new location, Windross Farm Golf Course in Ardmore, which proved a very popular course. Old Girls’ League President Jenny Spillane (Orsborn) and League committee member Annabel French (Smaill) greeted 80


the 68 players as they arrived. In another change this year, the event was opened up to also include men. It’s a move that saw numbers swell and made for a wonderful day, which also happened to be the birthday of one of the organisers, Kirsty Eady (McDonald). During their round, players enjoyed goodie bags loaded with treats, including the famous Dio brownie made by co-organiser Melanie Eady (Perkins). A wonderful raffle raised

$500, which will be put towards Old Girls’ League bursaries. The winner of the Bryan Bartley Cup was Old Girl Margot Thompson, who admitted to having a blinder of a round. A new award this year, the Eady Cup, kindly donated by sisters-in-law and event organisers Kirsty and Melanie Eady, was presented to the winner of the Men’s Best Stableford Points. This year it went to Tim Hitchcock, current parent and husband of past Old Girls’


Up to their old tricks again! Caption

This year’s Bryan Bartley Cup winner, Margot Thompson (left) with Melanie and Kirsty Eady.

Tim Hitchcock won the inaugural Eady Cup.

League committee member Rosie Hitchcock (Hartson). Following the game, lunch was a delicious platter-style affair enjoyed with a glass of wine. And everyone agreed it was a very pleasant way to spend a Friday. Special thanks to the Diocesan School Development Office, New World Botany, New World Milford, Farro Fresh, The Be group, and Aon and James Crisp.

The 30th Innes House Bridge and Mahjong Day was held on Thursday 24 May. The event was started in 1988 by a group of Old Girls who had formed the Doris Innes House Trust to help raise money to build a boarding house facility, after boarding was closed by the School. Thirty years on, many of these Old Girls are still actively involved in the Trust and in organising the event, among them: Nina Crawford, Bryan Bartley, Marg Tapper, Hilary Reid, Pat Barfoot, and Noeleen Palmer. Today, the funds raised go towards providing scholarships to talented students who need to board or to provide financial assistance where needed. The Bridge and Mahjong Day is always a most enjoyable event. It begins with everyone gathering at the Auckland Bridge Club at 10am for morning tea, made by Trust Board members and supportive Old Girls Roz and Julia Vyle. Those who attend then settle into games of bridge or mahjong, followed by wine or juice and the famous homemade kumara soup for lunch. This year, thanks to the large number of raffle items up for grabs, raffle tickets sold out. A huge thanks to Farro Fresh and the Dio Parents and Friends’ Association, who both provided some wonderful gift hampers for the raffles. Innes House Board trustee Hilary Reid turned 90 the week prior to the event and received a beautiful bunch of flowers in honour of this impressive milestone. Innes House Bridge and Mahjong Day is an annual event and next year’s gathering has tentatively been booked for 23 May 2019. The organisers would love to welcome new players, so if you are interested

in attending next year, please email Nina Crawford ( and she will add you to the list and contact you nearer to the time. Lastly, Innes House Trust is looking to hold a reunion for all past boarders of Dio, both Innes House and prior School boarders, says Jo Hill, Chair of the Innes House Trust. “We are looking for anyone who might be interested in joining our group to help organise the event. It will likely be held on a weekend afternoon/early evening in March 2019 at the School. If you are keen to be involved, contact Sue Hornblow ( DIO TODAY



1998 Reunion 20 years out

Held on Friday 6 April, this 20-yearout reunion was well attended by 40 Old Girls from the class of 1998. They enjoyed a tour of the School and a great chance to catch up with friends and share the changes in their lives over the two decades since they left Dio.




2008 Reunion 10 years out

A decade after leaving Dio, an intimate group of Old Girls, including Head Girl Jess Davidson, who had travelled from Australia for the occasion, gathered for their 10-year reunion on Friday 13 April. A highlight of the reunion was the opening of the 10-year-old time capsule, which contained a lot of memories from the girls’ school days. The Old Girls’ committee also held an open day on Saturday 9 June for any girls from the class of 2008 who could not attend their reunion. They were invited to come into school and retrieve their time capsule contents.



We hope many of you have enjoyed reconnecting with your school friends through the 10-year reunion programme that has run over many years. As a result of feedback we have received on the reunions programme, we have reviewed the overall format in the hopes of providing something that works for most people. We’re excited to announce the following changes: 2019 The final year for the 10-year programme will be 2019, when the classes of 1969,

1979, 1989, 1999 and 2009 will be invited to host a reunion at the School. We will contact the Head Prefect from that year to find out if the year group wants a reunion in that format. If so, our Old Girls’ resources are at your disposal to help with the organisation. However, please remember that it is your reunion and it success stems from your work in re-establishing connections within your year group. Five-yearly reunion celebration weekends Starting in 2020, the Old Girls’ League and the School will host five-yearly reunion celebration weekends. These will be primarily for the class year groups corresponding to the year of the reunion

weekend and the following four years. So, for example, the 2020 reunion celebration weekend will be for the classes of 1970-1974, 1980-1984, 1990-1994, 20002004 and 2010-2014. The 2025 reunion weekend is for the classes of 1975-1979, 1985-1989, 1995-99, 2005-2009. In 2030, we will go back to the first group. The format for the reunion celebration weekend has not yet been decided, however our vision is that it would include a cocktail party, a weekend lunch and a Chapel service, and Old Girls would be invited to attend whichever events appeal to them. We hope the first reunion weekend might be held the magnificent new Dio Arts Centre auditorium. DIO TODAY



Births Sarah Carlsen (Taylor, 1999), a son on 3 December 2017 Morgan Hahn (2003), daughters born on 5 July 2015 and 12 August 2017 Cynthia Lam (2000), a daughter on 23 June 2017 Marina Matthews (Blows, 1978), sons born on 12 August 1996 and 25 May 2000 Diana Meek (Sanders, 2001), sons born on 19 May 2013 and 9 June 2015, and a daughter on 15 December 2017 Rachelle Miller (Wenden, 1991), a daughter on 11 April 2017 Louisa Pannell (Gault, 1997), a son on 6 December 2017

Marriages Christine Anderson (1966) to Sally Haigh on 9 March 2018 Kate Andrew (2005) to Dane Lowe on 23 March 2018 Marina Blows (1978) to John Matthews on 14 February 1993 Ella Frater (2000) to Nicholas Murley on 2 February 2018

Mikaela Kornman (2007) to Tyla Otene on 24 November 2017 in the Diocesan Chapel Diana Sanders (2001) to Thomas Meek on 16 December 2011 Ashleigh Simpson (2006) to Scott Jackson on 7 April 2018 Rachelle Wenden (1991) to Patrick Miller on 22 September 2017

Deaths Patricia Allen (Morris, 1956) on 28 March 2018 Belinda Jane Burns (1992) on 22 March 2018 Judith Carr (Lintott, 1947) on 23 April 2018 Gwen Emmette (Floyd, 1945) on 17 January 2018 in her 91st year Rosemary (Rosi) Horrocks (1971) on 4 May 2018 Liz (Elizabeth) McCarthy (Ley, 1962) on 6 January 2018 Gillian McLeay (Walton, 1955) on 13 June 2018 Margaret Strauchon (1967) on 28 March 2013

UPCOMING EVENTS SUNDAY 19 AUGUST Old Girls’ Baptisms 12pm, Chapel of our Glorified Lord, Diocesan School TUESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER Women2Watch Assembly Dawn Jones Sports Centre, Diocesan School SUNDAY 4 NOVEMBER Founders’ Day Service 10am, Chapel of our Glorified Lord, Diocesan School Auckland Diocesan School Old Girls’ League (Inc) AGM 11.15am, Diocesan School Hall Old Girls’ Baptisms 12pm, Chapel of our Glorified Lord, Diocesan School SATURDAY 1 DECEMBER 2018 Diocesan Year 13 Graduation Ball New venue: Pullman Hotel, Princess Street, Auckland. More details to follow.



Achievements Margaret Brimble (Macmillan, 1978) elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London Naoko Chapman (Akakura, 1987) Postgraduate Diploma in Science with Distinction (Optometry), University of Auckland Deborah Fitzpatrick (McPherson, 1984) Master of Emergency Management (Hons), Auckland University of Technology Rose Frater (2004) MA with Distinction in Counselling, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK Ashleigh Jackson (2006) BSc, University of Auckland Cynthia Lam (2000) MBus, Auckland University of Technology Marina Matthews (Blows, 1978) BA / Diploma of Library/Information Services, University of Melbourne Anna Squelch (2001) Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Institute of Integrative Nutrition, NYC

SENIOR OLD GIRLS’ MORNING TEA – DATE CHANGE Please note that the date for the 2018 Senior Old Girls Morning Tea has had to be changed from that advised in the last issue of Dio Today. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. This popular event is now being held on Tuesday 21 August in the School Hall.  We will also be (gradually) increasing the age by which one may be considered a ‘Senior’ Old Girl. The League has received feedback that, while some of our younger Senior Old Girls appreciate receiving the invitation, they don’t consider themselves to quite qualify. This year the invitation is being sent to those aged 66 and above. Each year the age will increase by one year until we reach the age of 70 (in 2022). In this way, no one who has previously received an invitation will miss out. By the time you receive this issue of Dio Today, letters will have been sent to qualifying Senior Old Girls in the upper North Island area who have their current details on the Old Girls’ database. If you have friends who may not hear about this event, please encourage them to update their details so that we can remain in touch with them.  RSVP is by Friday 10 August to Jenny Spillane (P. 027 603 6990) or E.

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Dio Today August 2018  
Dio Today August 2018