In the News
Lina Kim (2015), who was the student representative on the Westlake Board of Trustees for two years, has continued her interest in school representation with her election onto the Board of Trustees of her former primary school, Upper Harbour Primary.
Congratulations to a new alumna, Zara Jillings Class of 2016, who has been awarded a 4-year scholarship to Fordham University in New York, where she will combine her basketball career with study for a degree in business. She is currently in the NZ Junior Tall Ferns team.
Emma Lane AIMES award
Emma Lane (2015) has received an AIMES Emerging Talent Award at the North Harbour Club annual awards in November 2016.
The $5000 grant she was awarded will assist her greatly with ongoing costs for her study in London. She is attending the Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance, developing her technique and creativity as a choreographer.
Congratulations to Tui Fleming
(1997) who has published
her first book, ‘Dear Mummy, You’re Important too’.
Her debut self-published book is a positive, motivational guide about reaching one’s potential as a mother and woman,
offering new ways of thinking about the challenges of motherhood in the early years. It was launched earlier this year, followed by an interview on Breakfast TV.
See the interview here
Tui has founded a company, Dear Mummy Ltd,
and blogs and presents at workshops and events, as well as working on contract as a Marketing Manager for the Skin Institute.
Tui was Head Girl at Westlake in 1997 and then completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Auckland followed by a Graduate Diploma of Communication and Public Relations at AUT. She is drawing on her 12 years’ experience in Marketing and Communication, including her specialty, digital marketing, in this new venture.
Congratulations to Cindy Eunyoung Ryu
(2004) who is the new
Chairperson of the Kiwi Alumni – New Zealand
Alumni Association Korea. She met with around 80 education providers and their alumni, including staff and alumni from Westlake, at the NZ Residence in Seoul to celebrate their NZ experiences.
After leaving Westlake in 2004, Cindy graduated from the University of Auckland, completing a B.Sc. in Food Science, followed by a Master of Engineering in Food Science and Technology at Sejong University in Korea.
Cindy worked at a combined junior and senior High School in Kyoto, Japan as an assistant teacher of English on the JET programme. She then took up her current role as a Marketing Specialist with the biggest flavour and fragrance company in Korea.
We are delighted that Cindy has assumed this prominent role in engaging with Kiwi/Korean alumni and look forward to meeting up with her again.
Chanelle O’Sullivan (née Lister) Class of 2006
Based near Geraldine in Canterbury, Chanelle is making her mark as a social media marketing specialist supporting rural women. She recently appeared on Seven Sharp
where she spoke about young rural women struggling with a lack of support, particularly in the area of mental health,and regularly features in various forums and publications.
Her Facebook Group, Farming Mums NZ
was started a few years ago and now has 8,000 members, providing a means of networking and involvement, primarily for young women living and working in the agricultural sector.
After leaving Westlake, she gained qualifications in Agribusiness management, followed by experience as a shepherd, dairy assistant and vet nurse. Chanelle, who is involved in the deer-farming sector, blogs as Just a Farmers Wife
, cares for two young children, organises regional events, works part-time for Landcare, and is studying at Lincoln University in the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme.
Chanelle has joined the Class of 2006 Westlake Girls FB group, as its first member. If this is your alumni year (Year 9 2002) join the group to re-connect with others.
The Westlake Girls Class of 2006
Read more about Chanelle here
Former students at Sports Prize giving
Former students, Kayla McAlistair
, Anona Pak
and Tia Tuiburelevu
returned to Westlake as presenters at the annual Sports Awards. Kayla was interviewed about her recent experience at the Rio Olympics where she won a Silver Medal as a member of the NZ Women's Rugby Sevens.
Congratulations to Anona Pak
(2011) who has been named Massey University Sportswoman of the Year 2016 (Manawatu).
Anona won the 2011 National Badminton Women’s Singles title and has had further wins in the 2016 championship with the Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles titles. She has supported Westlake badminton with coaching since she left school.
She is currently studying for a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science and is aiming for the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane 2018. Read more here
Congratulations to Tia Tuiburelevu (2012)
on receiving the 2016 University of Auckland Sportswoman of the Year award, recognizing her success in karate.
She was a member of the NZ karate team for the XV11 Oceania karate Championships and won two silver medals at the World Go-ju Ryu Karate Championship in the senior kumite and team kumite sections.
Tia is in her fourth year of BA/LLB (Hons) degree and is continuing on the very successful academic path from her Westlake years where she was the 2012 Dux.
She is active in Student Association Groups and this year was a university delegate for the Harvard National MUN (Model United Nations) Conference which included a month-long educational tour across the United States.
Naomi Ballantyne (née Lassen)
Class of '81
Entrepreneur, Managing Director
Naomi Ballantyne was the guest speaker at the 2016 Westlake Girls prizegiving. We were delighted to welcome Naomi back to Westlake to hear her story and advice to current students.
Naomi has received numerous accolades recognizing her skills and experience in the New Zealand Life Insurance industry including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. In 2014 she was a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
In 2013 she was inducted into the prestigious NZ Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs, acknowledging her success as an industry pioneer, in job creation, and making a difference.
She has founded three major insurance companies in New Zealand and led them through to success. Currently the Managing Director of Partners Life,
which she founded in 2010, she has overseen its growth from 3 employees to 155 in 2016. The company is based in Takapuna and has 130,000 clients around New Zealand. The growth and success of her latest venture was recognized when it received the Insurance Company of the Year Award last year.
When Naomi became a CEO in her early thirties, there were few other young women working as executives in financial industries. Today, she is a member of Global Women New Zealand which is a collaboration of influential women leaders promoting inclusive policies for improved societal and economic growth.
We are delighted to recognize Naomi as one of Westlake’s notable alumni.
Read more here
The NZ Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs Induction
Jan Dawson (née Dillon) Class of 1971
Jan Dawson is a leading New Zealand business executive who received the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2016 for services to governance.
She attended Westlake Girls High School from 1967 to 1970 and was a prefect, with a keen interest in sport. She graduated from the University of Auckland in 1975 with a B. Com and as Senior Scholar in Accounting.
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, she worked overseas for 8 years, in London and then Vancouver where she began her long association with KPMG.
Back in New Zealand, Jan became a partner at KPMG in 1987 and was appointed CEO in New Zealand in 2006, thus becoming the first woman to hold the top position at one of the Big Four Australasian accountancy firms. In 2011 she was named NZ Chartered Accountant of the Year.
Jan became an independent director in 2011 and has served on the boards of several leading companies. In 2016 she is a Director of Becca Group, AIG New Zealand, Meridian Energy, Air New Zealand (Deputy Chair), and Westpac NZ, where her appointment as Chairperson in 2015 was the first time a woman has chaired a major bank in New Zealand. She is also on the University of Auckland Council.
Jan’s career includes several other significant firsts. In 2010 she was the first female president of the Auckland Club, the year it celebrated its 150th
anniversary. She was a Board member of Yachting NZ from 2007 – 2013, and as chairperson for 6 of those years, was the first woman in that role. This month she was elected as a Vice President of World Sailing, the governing body of sailing globally.
She has had a lifetime interest in sailing and has competed as well as having a role in governance. She has been a regular skipper in keelboat racing on both sides of the Tasman, has been recognised as a life member for her service to Yachting New Zealand and is a trustee of the Voyager National Maritime Museum in Auckland.
As a member of Global Women NZ, and the 25 Percent Club, Jan actively supports policies of diversity and inclusion, for improvements in societal and economic growth.
We are delighted to recognise Jan as one of Westlake’s notable alumni
Helen Ryburn QSO, 1925 - 2016
WGHS Principal 1969 - 1982
Here is part of the tribute delivered by Michele Larnder on behalf of Westlake Girls High School at the celebration of Helen's life.
Helen joined the staff of the co-ed Westlake High School in 1960 as HOD History and Social studies before being appointed Principal in 1968, a position she held for 14 years.
She had strong political views and was an active participant in the anti-apartheid movement. She was on the field with the other 100s of protestors (including many of the staff of WGHS) on that fateful day in Hamilton July 1981.
Helen was on the executive of the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) and chairperson for a number of years. Many of the advances secondary teachers gained in the 1970’s could be attributed to her excellent negotiation skills.
Helen’s meeting skills were extraordinary. She had an uncanny ability of be able to gain consensus and make everyone emerge from the meeting feeling they were the winners.
She was one of the few women principals at the time – one of her male North Shore Principal colleagues, said at the Principals’ meetings, when "Helen talks, we listen” - she had us guys quivering in our boots!”
Helen was a passionate historian who loved her subject and enjoyed teaching it. She continued to teach a class- usually a Form 5 – Year 11 studying for School Certificate. These girls felt very privileged to have Helen as their teacher.
After retiring from Westlake Girls Helen went into local body politics and was on the East Coast Bay council for two terms. Helen had a road in Torbay named after her – Helen Ryburn Place- in recognition of her contribution to the local community.
She was an active participant in U3A (University of the Third Age) whose purpose is to encourage further learning, understanding, contributing and participation in discussions about new topics and to tap the great reservoir of knowledge, skills and experience of retired men and women.
Helen instilled into our students that gender was neither a barrier nor an excuse – girls really can do anything. This mantra has continued as a core value in our school and today’s students leave with it as a central belief. After 14 years as Principal Helen left the school as one that was well respected for its myriads of achievements and was one of our leading girls' schools.