Newsletter for alumni of Manurewa High School

Alumni Newsletter

January 2015

From the Principal:

We are aware that while many of our students have challenges, they also have strengths and resilience which not only gives them an advantage in life, it enables them to achieve at high levels. In 2014, as in previous years, we have seen outstanding achievements in sport and performance, in our trades and business academies and in overall academic achievement.

The year culminated in a Prime Minister's Award for the talented entrepreneurial students in Black Bulb Co, which had a very successful year in the Young Enterprise Scheme. Another example of what can be achieved was shown by Mele Tupueluelu, who was awarded a place in the Youth Leadership Programme Australasia. This saw her travel to the United States in December to participate in workshops and community events designed to develop leadership skills and new perspectives on environmental issues.

Be assured that we continue to develop the reputation of Manurewa High School as a place in which students achieve excellence.

Our positive attitude and proven success mean we enjoy growing support for our plans for the future. This includes the development of our Business Academy, which has been the catalyst for alumni connection. The Ministry of Education has allocated over $3 million for a new building for the academy. Business Studies currently takes place in the same prefabs that many of you will have learned in over the past decades. While we know learning can take place anywhere, a purpose-built facility will be an enormous enabler to bring out our students' creative and entrepreneurial talent. We also see it being a valuable resource for the community, including alumni.

We welcome alumni involvement in the school. This newsletter highlights some of the ways we made valued connections in 2014. We look forward to strengthening and broadening those connections in the year ahead.

Salvatore GARGIULO




Keeping it real in Silicon Valley

It was a typically sunny day in California in an untypical week for five of our students and two staff who were on a tour of Silicon Valley. They'd been to Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, the Kahn Academy and Facebook. Everything had been outstanding, but the best was to come last when they visited Stanford University.

The tour organiser, business journalist Andrew Patterson, had arranged for New Zealanders working within these businesses to speak with the students, to ensure "keep the message real". At Stanford, it was MBA candidate Graeme Fielder who took on this role. The students were suitably impressed with Graeme's CV - one of 2% of applicants chosen for the Stanford MBA, a bioscientist with a PhD in molecular medicine, who had commercialised his research in start-up companies while studying at the University of Auckland.

At the end of his talk, he told his kiwi guests he was once, just like them, a student at Manurewa High School. It was a powerful message. (Graeme is pictured back row, right, with students and staff, during the Stanford visit.)

We are very grateful to Andrew Patterson and a range of sponsors who helped make this experience happen.
Silicon Valley Experience >>


Catching up with ....

1. Kareem Brown and Marcus Winter

Attended MHS in:
The 1990s

Developed careers in:
Kareem is a professional musician. After leaving school, he enjoyed success as a member of the award-winning band Ardijah.

Marcus is a professional artist, telling stories using sand as the medium. 

Reconnecting with MHS through:
Marcus joined teacher Anna Maria Bribiesca's art class to talk with students about his practice.

Next time he visited, he brought his cousin Kareem along and the pair spoke with students in Dance, Drama and Music.

A Facebook post about their experience led to the establishment of a Facebook group, MHS in the 90s, which has developed a huge following. The strength of engagement has inspired Kareem and Marcus to plan a reunion event in October 2015. We're looking forward to working with them to help make the event a success.


2. Ezekiel Robson

Attended MHS:

Developed a career in: advocacy for people with disabilities. "I want us to have a society that's physically acceptable for everybody."

Reconnecting with MHS through: Ezekiel is a member of the Sir Peter Blake Trust "Dream Team", which has a mission to connect with schools and inspire young people to develop their leadership capability. During Leadership Week in July, he met with our vision-impaired students and encouraged them to have confidence in their role as leaders and advocates for change in society. "Your self belief is quite powerful. Your words can change how people think about people with disabilities." 


3. Lindsay Rewcastle

Attended MHS: 1969-1973. His family was instrumental in the establishment of the MHS cricket club. Lindsay represented Manawatu while studying at Massey University, and went on to play Shell Cup for Auckland.

Developed a career in: software. Lindsay was the designer of one of the software industry’s first Enterprise Resource Planning applications for process manufacturers, which is still sold in the market today. He was also instrumental in designing and launching Transportation Management and Business Process Management Workflow products. His company, Process One Solutions, develops innovative software that helps customers in the process manufacturing industry create, integrate, implement and support new business processes that conform to the way people and businesses want to operate. It is headquartered in Albany, New York, with support staff in New Zealand.

Reconnecting with MHS through: support for our Business programmes. Lindsay has been a judge in the BP Business Challenge, a Young Enterprise initiative for Year 10 students. He has committed to helping the school develop its vision for a Business Academy that will inspire and encourage students to become creative, enterprising and entrepreneurial businesspeople.


Alumni in the classroom:

Fonterra management group provides a practical lesson

We appreciated the input of alumni Anthony Mills, who is National Operational Planning Manager – Consumer & Food Service - Global Operations for Fonterra. Anthony and members of his management team delivered an authentic case study to meet aspects of NCEA Level 2 and 3 Business Studies curricula.

The connection provided two further opportunities for one of our Young Enterprise companies, Black Bulb Co, to practise its business presentation skills, and gain expert feedback.

Thanks Anthony, and your colleagues Michael Nikrou, Victoria Lam, and Peter Wynne. Anthony is pictured with Victoria Lam and students Lynna Son, Thongchai Manawanghiphat and Duyen Nguyen.


The Kite Stories

Manurewa High School's kite logo was designed in consultation with students, parents, staff and local kaumatua. The logo can be interpreted in a number of ways:

Keywords - bird, kite, whanau, four directions, community, flying as a flock.


Alumni in flight:

Lorelle McNaughton (head prefect 2007) is a member of Estrella, aka 2 pianos 8 hands, which produced its first CD in 2013 and is an in-demand quartet. Lorelle received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Auckland and then moved to Sydney to continue her studies, gaining First Class Honours from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In 2011, Lorelle was awarded the Greville/Coughtrey Scholarship in Sydney, which she used to further her studies at the Academia Marshall in Barcelona. Lorelle is currently doing Masters studies at the Sydney Conservatorium.

Mike Bennetts became Chief Executive of Z Energy after 25 years with BP in a variety of downstream roles in New Zealand, China, South Africa, the UK and Singapore. Mike has reconnected with MHS to support a tertiary education scholarship for students. He was nominated by NZ Herald journalists for Business Leader of the Year in 2014.

Charles Mulipola is a Check and Connect mentor who has worked with MHS students to help them to set and achieve their educational goals. Check and Connect is a Ministry of Education initiative. Charles enjoys seeing students turn their lives around, through improved academic achievement. He says his time at MHS was awesome. "I respect the sense of unity that was created, with a staff who did not impose their own ideas and culture upon the students, and a staff who had respect for where the students came from."

Malcolm Davey moved with his wife Marilyn (nee George - also an ex pupil of MHS) to Melbourne in 1981, initially for two years. Thirty three years later they are still there. Malcolm has worked for the same company all these years, and has held the role of Managing Director for the past 11 years. The company is American owned and manufactures magnetic separation equipment for removal of damaging tramp metal. It is very involved in the mining sector for minerals recovery. The Davey family includes two sons and six grandchildren. "Looking back on the high school years is very interesting and I do have some great memories, particularly with sport." Malcolm says he is interested in catching up with pupils of his era.

Louise Jones represented New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games in the women’s 4 x 400m relay. Karl Samupo was also in Glasgow - representing Niue in bowls.

Alexandra Price graduated from the University of Auckland with a BA and BSc in 2011 and works as a fundraiser for the Auckland City Mission. She is active on campus as a life-member and current administrative vice president of the Auckland University Canoe Club (whitewater rafting and kayaking). With Wero, the whitewater park, due for completion in Manukau at the end of 2015, she believes whitewater kayaking and rafting will become a more accessible sport for the Manurewa community in the future.

Laura Cordero has been living in Australia since 2004. She attended Griffith University and achieved a BA in Communications & Cultural Sociology. She is currently studying a Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing at Melbourne University, and working as communications manager for Tablo - a Melbourne-based start-up company that aims to change the way we read and publish by introducing a social aspect to e-publishing. 

"It looks like there are some really great things happening at the school. I was especially impressed with the Silicon Valley opportunity for students. It's really nice to see positive things coming from the school and life-changing opportunities like these being presented to the students."


In Memoriam

Colin Browne, Past Principal. Colin passed away in July. Please follow the link to read an obituary by our Archivist, David Voise, published in the 2014 School Magazine >>

Philip Hofman (1962) passed away in March. Philip was the subject of a national news story in 1989 when he and three companions survived being lost at sea for 119 days after their boat, the Rose Noelle, capsized. They drifted from the top of the South Island, eventually crashing onto a remote part of Great Barrier Island. He is survived by his wife Karen, also an alumni of MHS, and their five children.
An article was published in the NZ Woman's Weekly following his passing >>


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