|Our Olympic Silver Medalists
Jo Aleh (left) and Polly Powrie
Kayla McAlister (right) with fellow Sevens players Gayle Broughton and Niall Williams
Current staff member, Dean Flyger, Director of Sport at Westlake, has been appointed Head Coach of the Auckland Hearts cricket team for 2016/17.
There is a strong Westlake connection with two Westlake alumnae. Dean has taken over the role from a former student of Westlake who he coached while at school. Elfriede Chooi (née Komp) Class of 2001, captained the Westlake 1st XI in 2000 and 2001 and went on to represent the Auckland Hearts until 2010. She moved into a coaching role in 2014.
With a BA and PG Diploma in Psychology, she has worked in the financial services industry in various roles, most recently in Customer Relations in large financial institutions and has recently taken up a position in Sydney.
The other strong connection is with current Auckland Hearts and NZ Cricket Team player, Katie Perkin
s (2006). Dean coached her at Westlake and is back coaching her at this top level. She is Vice-Captain of the Auckland Hearts.
A Flashback to the Premier Cricket Team of 2000
Visitors to Westlake
Emma Scowcroft and Lillie Sommerville (Class of 2009)
Emma and Lillie visited to tell students about the Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) Scholarship.
Emma received a scholarship at the end of Year 13, with PwC contributing a total of $7,000 towards her university fees, assigning a PwC graduate as a mentor, and securing her a summer internship at the end of her third year of study.
She did a B.Com, majoring in Accounting and Commercial Law at the University of Auckland. She started full-time employment at PwC in 2013 in the Tax and Private Business line of service and is also involved in the PwC ‘Lean in Circle’ which is part of the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. She was a keen sportsperson at Westlake and since leaving Westlake she has been playing netball for Shore Rovers Netball Club.
joined PwC in 2014 after an internship there in 2012 after her third year of study.
She graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor in Accountancy.
A top sportsperson at Westlake, representing New Zealand in the U19 Cycling team, Lillie switched to a year of rowing at university.
Thanks to both Lillie and Emma for sharing information with our students.
A scholarship for a recent graduate
Penny Peng (Class of 2014) has received a full
scholarship (US$300,000) to study at New York University in Abu Dhabi.
She has just completed her first year there and worked as an intern with a top US law firm over the summer break. She is enjoying the international environment at the university and is involved in the Debate Union, the Women’s Leadership Network, is President of the Model UN Society and is an editor of The Gazelle, the student newsletter.
A charity scheme for children in hospital
Celine Baber (née Fris) Class of 1996
Celine Baber has set up a charity, the ‘Books for Kids Scheme’ to assist children facing surgery. She is an anaesthetist with the Counties-Manukau Health Anaesthesia & Pain Medicine Department.
Now each child checking in for surgery with the Counties-Manukau DHB is gifted a book which they can enjoy there and take home afterwards. Celine began doing this on her own but now has the support of the Middlemore Foundation and gets sponsorship from children’s book publisher, Scholastic. About 1,300 books have been given away since the scheme started in January this year.
Read the article in the Manukau Courier here
Celine did her medical studies at the Auckland Medical School, graduating with MB ChB in 2003. She worked at Middlemore Hospital and around NZ before embarking on a career in anaesthesia.
She completed her training in Perth where she moved with her husband in 2009. She worked for a few years there, starting her family and becoming a Fellow of ANZCA (Australia New Zealand College of Anaesthetists) in 2011.
She moved back to New Zealand in 2014.
A new novel
Hannah Tunnicliffe Class of 1966
Congralulations to Hannah Tunnicliffe (1996) on the recent publication of her third novel, A French Wedding.
Book launches were held in Sydney and Auckland.
Both Hannah and Celine (above) were in the Class of 1996. Join the growing FB group from that year. Westlake Girls Class of 1996
NZ Police Sportsperson of the Year
Congratulations to Constable Rachel Clarke
on winning the 2015 'NZ Police Sportsperson of the Year' award.
This is the second year in succession that Rachel has won this award and recognises another successful year on the surf ski circuit, both nationally and internationally.
Rania Alani, Class of 2007
Rania has been in the news recently when she called for SkyCity to light up SkyTower in memory of the 280 people killed in a recent suicide bombing in Baghdad.
She was drawing attention to humanitarian issues generally and to 'selective compassion' shown in the illumination of Sky Tower to recognise the victims of attacks in Paris, Brussels, and Orlando.
SkyCity responded by lighting it up in the colours of the Iraqi flag, red, white and black. TV One's Seven Sharp also invited Rania for an interview.
Rania is an Iraqi-New Zealander who attended Westlake 2003-2007, having immigrated to New Zealand with her family aged four.
At Westlake she was involved with social causes and active in the Amnesty Group. She believes that being part of Westlake's diverse population helped form her world view.
She took the opportunity to learn more about her Middle Eastern background by doing her tertiary studies at the American University in Sharjah, Dubai concentrating on International Relations.
Since graduating she has worked in both Dubai and New Zealand and uses the skills she has gained in her role in Marketing in the International Education sector, based in New Zealand and attending education fairs overseas.
Read the NZ Herald article here
Congratulations to violinist, Stella Kim,
Class of 2010, on gaining a full scholarship to the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona where she will study for a Doctorate in Music.
Her ensemble, Trinity Trio, which also includes her sister, cellist Sally (2013), is touring New Zealand in August. It is an award-winning trio that has performed in concerts around the UK.
Stella has been a solo concerto violinist with the Aotea Symphony and the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra where she was concertmaster for four years, and she had an apprenticeship with the NZ Symphony Orchestra in 2016.
At Westlake she played in the Chamber and Symphony Orchestras, and was concertmaster of both for two years, and performed in award-winning ensembles.
We look forward to following news of her musical career.
Trinity Trio (Stella, Tina, Sally Kim)
Peter Leadley (Former Staff member) 1941-2016
Peter Leadley was a long-serving former Westlake staff member who passed away in July this year. Westlake staff remembered him at a morning briefing with a tribute from Deputy Principal Michele Larnder, another long-serving and current staff member.
Staff had a minute’s silence to reflect on Peter’s contribution to Westlake over 37 years.
He started at Westlake Girls in 1973, coming from Waihi College with a background of teaching in co-ed schools. He was a teacher of Biology and had a keen interest in the outdoors, leading many groups of students on trips and annual ‘Bio Camps’.
These were greatly enjoyed by students over the years and light-hearted accounts in yearbooks reflect the respect for Peter as a teacher and also the recognition of his sense of humour.
Peter’s colleagues too, appreciated his sound, considered advice and dry sense of humour over his many years at Westlake.He was a Dean for several years before becoming Senior Master in 1977 and then Deputy Principal until he retired from the DP position in 2010. Still with a passion for science and teaching, he took on a part-time role in Guidance /Learning Support until 2011, giving valued extra assistance in science. His wife, Alison, also had links over several years with the Westlake Guidance Department as a public Health nurse then as the school nurse in 2009 and 2010.
Aside from school trips, Peter was very involved in the wider school life and joined students in the combined Westlake production of Fiddler in the Roof, as the memorable lead,Tevye.
The church was an important part of Peter’s life and he was for many years a very involved member of the Waiake Methodist church community. His farewell at Waiake was attended by a large number of friends and former colleagues from Westlake, with one, Nan Inkson, delivering a eulogy.
The 1979 yearbook has a student interview with Peter with a sketch done by Form 7 student, Heather Arnold.
(Read about Heather, the student illustrator, below)
Heather Arnold, Class of 1979
Illustrator, Graphic Designer, Web Designer
Heather has been a graphic designer and illustrator for over 30 years. She had a passion for art while at Westlake and pursued this interest at AUT, graduating with a Diploma in Graphic Design in 1985.
Working in small design studios and printing, she now works as a freelance graphic and web designer based in Wellsford.
Her further studies include classes in different art/illustration mediums, a Diploma in Digital Media at Media Design School (2007), and a Certificate in Electronic Music Production (2015).
Amongst career highlights are the designing of six stamp issues for New Zealand Post, including the 1990 Commonwealth Games, Hector’s Dolphins, and the 2010 Christmas stamps for Niue and illustrating children’s books.
Her talent as an illustrator has been recognised with national awards. Her first book, Draw New Zealand Birds (2007) won the 2008 LIANZA Elsie Locke award for non-fiction. She has designed and illustrated two other non-fiction books for children; Rangitoto (2009), authored by Maria Gill, was shortlisted for the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards in 2010, and The Call of the Kokako (2011) was shortlisted for the 2012 Elsie Locke Awards and the Russel Clark Illustration Award .
Heather has published two of these titles under her own imprint, Dragonsauce Books,
now works as a freelance graphic and web designer and is engaged in further book projects.
Online Portfolio: www.dragonsauce.com
Publisher Website: www.dragonsaucebooks.com
Dr Ngapo (Bub) Wehi
Ngapo (Bub) Wehi, one of New Zealand’s foremost exponents of traditional Maori performing arts, passed away recently. He had a strong connection with Westlake Girls over many years, particularly through the '80s and early '90s, leaving a legacy of music which is still performed and appreciated by Westlake choirs.
Nan Inkson, a former Westlake staff member who was involved with the Multi-Cultural Group remembers:
‘The culture group he founded, Waka Huia, provided several tutors for our girls, and Bub and his wife would sometimes come and help with the tutoring. They had amazing expertise and knowledge, and tremendous mana among the students and their families.’
One of the most popular pieces by Te Whanau Wehi ‘Kua Rongo’
is much loved by Westlake and other choirs and was performed by Choralation at the Big Sing in 2014 and at concerts in their European tour of 2014
Watch a performance of Kua Rongo
Read more about Ngapo Wehi
Nora Lewis (Vine); Order of Australia Medal (A.M);
Class of 1966
Nora Lewis (née Vine) has had a prominent career in music education in the Northern Territory of Australia. Her work was recognised in 2001 when she received a Women’s Achievement Award in th NT, and in 2011 when she received an Australian Honour for service to the performing arts and music education in the NT, as Music Director to the Darwin Chorale, and as a composer.
A foundation pupil of Westlake Girls in 1962, Nora returned to New Zealand in June 2016 when a group of 11 from that year (Form 6A in 1966) met to celebrate 50 years since Westlake.
Nora was singing and playing piano since her childhood in India. On arrival in Auckland she joined the (combined) Westlake madrigal choir and the North Shore Youth Choir under ex-Westlake music teacher Stuart Manins, and on leaving school, sang and toured with the Dorian Choir. On completion of her BA and teacher training at Auckland University, she returned to Westlake to teach music and English, and then Birkdale College, before moving to Darwin which has been home for 38 years.
In Darwin she was Music Advisor to the NT Education Department, overseeing the transition of the government’s Music Centre into a fully-staffed Music School. As principal of the School for 20 years, she was also manager of the Sydney-based Musica Viva in Schools program, the NT schools’ involvement with the National Music Count Us In project, and Music Director of the annual combined Primary Schools’ Beat Festival.
Nora’s awards have focused on her contribution to music in Darwin’s community – mainly as conductor of the 60-voice Darwin Chorale. Since being appointed Music Director in 2001 she has led the Chorale at numerous community events and in major performances.
Her commissioned work for voices and guitar have been performed at national and international festivals, including a musical collaboration between the Chorale and two Timorese Choirs in Dili and Darwin, which Nora also directed.
Although now retired from the Education Department, Nora still works with choirs and on community music projects in a free-lance capacity.
Nora admits eternal appreciation for the wonderful music teaching she received at Westlake Girls’ High School. “I owe you - Stuart Manins, John Rimmer, Elisabeth Curtis, Claire Aspden/Sheppard, David Wood, and Susan Rind – for mentoring of me as a neophyte teacher.”