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Westlake Girls
High School

Alumni Newsletter August 2015

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Coming Events

Alumna in the News
  • Rachel Clarke
Recent Events

Alumna Profile
  • Margaret Grummitt (McIntosh)
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From the Alumni Co-ordinator


Hi everyone

Our alumni community has been expanding as we make increasing contact with our Australia and UK based alumni. New Facebook Groups will be a great help in planning get-togethers and sharing information in the future. And closer to home, we are looking forward to hosting our first Class Reunion  later this year as the Class of 2004 plans a get-together.

Cathy Roughan, Alumni Co-ordinator

Coming Events

2015 Westlake High School  Reunion
11th September 2015 10.30am
This will be held on Friday September 11th at Westlake Boys High School for those who attended WHS in its co-ed years 1957-1961. There will be an Assembly, morning tea, and optional tour of the school. Details were emailed recently so if you haven't received an email from Westlake Boys, please contact  us. Please pass the word on as many email addresses are unknown.
Contact: Christine O’Dowd,  WBHS Alumni and Community Relations: or Cathy Roughan,  WGHS Alumni Co-ordinator:
The 3:15 Art Exhibition
A collaborative event with Westlake Boys featuring  teachers, current students and Alumni Artists. It is a great event to view talented artists on show and to give current students the opportunity to display their artworks in a professional gallery space.
Northart Gallery, Northcote
Opening: Sunday October 11th  (5-7pm – tbc)
Duration: 11-25 October (tbc)
London Alumni Get-together: October 12th
All ex-students based in the UK are most welcome to come to our second alumni gathering in London.It will be hosted by Roz Mexted, the principal, and will be a great chance to catch up with each other and Westlake.
Date: Monday 12th October
Time: 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Venue: tbc
Keep in contact through LinkedIn, the new Facebook Group or email directly.
Class of 2004 Catch-up: 10 years on (one year late!)
Save the Date!
Saturday 28 November, 2-5pm
The Alumnae of Class of 2004 are planning a casual get-together, to catch up on the last 11 years. This will include a shared afternoon tea in the Westlake Girls staff room, and a tour of the school to check out all the changes (there have been a lot!). If you were in Year 13 in 2004, (or left before that Year 13 year) you are welcome to come along. Please put the date in your diary, and bring a plate to share on the day.
Join the Class of 2004 FB Group for further information, or email

Former Staff Get-together
The postponed gathering will be in March next year, with a 'Save the Date' notification in the next newsletter (December)

Alumna in the News


Rachel Clarke: Class of 2007

Champion Surf Ski Paddler
NZ Police Sportsperson of the Year 2014


Rachel Clarke is an ocean surf ski paddler who is currently one of the leaders in the World Surf Ski Series 2015. She has been combining her sporting career with her work as a front line police officer on the North Shore for the last 3 years.
She was recently named the 2014 Sportsperson of the Year for the NZ Police, recognising her range of sporting skills and titles she has secured over the past year.
Her love of sport was clear through her schooling and she excelled at national level in Surf Life Saving, swimming and sprint kayaking. In 2006, in Year 12, her final year at Westlake, she was selected to compete in the world junior kayaking marathon championships in France.     

From Westlake, she headed to AUT to study Personal Training, competing her Diploma in Fitness Training before joining the NZ Police. Her sporting milestones continued through her tertiary studies and she was 1st in the NZ Ironwoman in 2009, the same year she competed in kayaking in the Youth Olympics in Australia.
 2014 was a stellar year for Rachel as she claimed national titles in New Zealand and Australia: NZ Queen of the Harbour, Australia Surf Ski Champion, ‘The Doctor’ Champion and the Molokai Surf Ski World Champion. To win the latter, she paddled 53km from Molokai to Oahu in Hawaii. In addition she was in the NZ Squad for the World Surf Life-saving Champs.
Rachel’s 2015 season started extremely well as she won the Queen of the Harbour title in Auckland, a 27km paddle from Gulf Harbour to the Royal Akarana Yacht Club. This was the 1st event in the World Series Calendar as well as being the 3rd consecutive year she has won the title. Other events in this year’s series took her to Oregon and San Francisco in early August.
Rachel has been a long-standing member of the Red Beach Surf Life Saving Club and is a Volunteer Lifeguard. Her sporting goal is to win the World Series.

                      The 2014 Molokai Championship

Recent Events

Choralation Alumni Concert, August 2015
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the formation of the Westlake Choralation Choir, a reunion concert was held at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland, with alumni combining in a performance with the 2015 Choralation Choir. Congratulations on a great night of music and thanks to Rowan Johnston and all those who worked to put on the concert and enable past choir members to be an enduring part of Westlake music.

The 2015 Choralation Alumni Choir

Alumni gatherings in Brisbane and Sydney
Brisbane and Sydney were the locations for our first Westlake Girls Alumni Gatherings in Australia this year.

A group of  ex-students met with Roz Mexted, the principal, in the Sofitel Hotel in Brisbane and  the Hilton in Sydney for an enjoyable catch-up with drinks and nibbles..It was great to meet up with ex-students from different eras now based Australia. We are pleased to have taken this first step in connecting with our alumni in Australia and hope to build on this in the future. 

A group at the Brisbane gathering: L-R, Margaret Grummitt, Victoria Clarke, Jan Elmsly, Roz Mexted, Helen Avery, Anne--Maree Jaggs, Diane Burgess, Priya Jayaram

Sydney: Di Ellis, Roz Mexted, Jenny Cui, Diana Morrison, Kiki Cao and (front) Alison Housley, Clare Payne, and Pam Dodgson
The new Facebook group for our alumni based in Australia, Westlake Girls Alumni Australia already has 66 members and we hope this will continue to grow to expand our alumni network there.

Alumna Profile

Margaret Grummitt (née McIntosh)

WGHS 1968 to 1972
Gold Coast City Councillor
Consul General of the Philippines for Queensland

Margaret Grummitt has lived and worked on the Gold Coast for 40 years, and is currently serving on the City Council for her third term. This follows a long career in the Queensland Police Force, where  she rose to the rank of Senior Sgt. in the Prosecutions Corp at Southport, running the busiest Domestic Violence Court in Queensland.
During her Westlake days she was an all-rounder with a love of sport and music. She remembers, “I was more of a sportswoman than an academic, choosing netball in the winter and athletics over the summer months.  I did enjoy the Madrigal Group that combined with the Boys’ School, and was a member of the Belmont Singers, (a local youth choir).  At the prize giving that year I won the Best All Round Pupil Award which was very kind of them.”
On leaving Westlake she attended Epsom Teachers Training College where they were required to attend a work experience outside of training college. So I had a month at the Auckland Police Station. She says “I loved it, and that exercise changed my life.  I applied to join the New Zealand Police but did not get in, so visited an aunt living on the Gold Coast where they were advertising for female recruits.  I applied and spent a very happy 30 years serving on the Gold Coast.”

Margaret  took early retirement and stood for the local Gold Coast City Council where she is a member of the  Economic Development and Major Projects Committee, the Community and Cultural Development, and a Board Member of Crime Stopper, Rotary and the Qld Prostitution Licensing.”

She is also Patron of various community groups such as Gold Coast Hockey, University of the 3rd Age, Men's Shed Labrador and the Gold Coast Woman of the Year and is a strong advocate for young women entering the workforce and for disadvantaged members of the community.

Margaret is a keen water sportswoman and is active in local issues to manage and maintain amenities for the benefit of all.  She is a NSW masters rowing gold medallist and a keen, passionate yachtswoman.

Margaret has recently been appointed the Consul General for the Philippines in Queensland. This is an honorary position  to represent the Ambassador, who resides in Canberra.


Westlake Family links: The McIntosh Family

The McIntosh Family have had strong Westlake connections over many years, with Margaret’s  father, Roy McIntosh, being on the Board of Governors from 1959 to the mid 1970s, including several years as Board Chairman. Margaret’s brother, John, was also a Board member for about 10 years from 1979, and was Chairperson of the first Board of Trustees for Westlake Girls. Margaret Grummitt (McIntosh), featured above, continues to have a strong interest in her old school, attending the 50th Jubilee Celebrations in 2012 and the 2015 get-together in Brisbane. Her late sister, Rosemary McIntosh, was also a former student from the WGHS Class of 1978. A recent donation by the McIntosh family to assist Westlake students is greatly appreciated.

As we are now in our 58th year we are discovering more families with multi-generational links to Westlake and are always keen to hear of these connections.

Looking Back

What was new in ’72?

  • The combined drama production was ‘The Travails  of Sancho Panza’

                                The Production in 1972
  • The Student Council organized a referendum on the school uniform with 95% student participation, and at the end of Term 2 1972, Westlake Girls became ‘legally hatless’. Gloves were also removed as part of the school uniform. Both had been required as student wear outside the school.

The dreaded beige Westlake gloves!
(Thanks to Kim Keene for parting with hers)

Does anyone have a photo of the hat - on or off?


Visitor to Westlake, 2015


Amanda Clinton: Class of 2004

Women in Engineering, University Adviser
Amanda works at the University of Auckland, encouraging and supporting females to study engineering. She works closely with high school students, university students and the faculty to ensure that women consider engineering as a future career, and are supported in their career success. Amanda also works with Professionelle, a charitable trust dedicated to the career development of women at all stages.
After leaving Westlake, Amanda completed a conjoint Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at the University of Auckland. She then spent a year learning French in France, and rediscovered a love of teaching. Since then, she has worked at the University of Auckland in student recruitment and advice, helping senior students to decide what path of study to take, and is now based within the Faculty of Engineering.
Amanda has been lucky to visit Westlake a number of times since she graduated in 2004 – first to say hi to past teachers, and then in various roles with the University of Auckland. She was particularly touched to have been at the senior prizegiving to award scholarships in 2013 when Ms Beaver retired after 39 years of service. She also enjoys working with Mrs Weeks, who was her past dean!
Amanda remembers her days at Westlake fondly, with particular memories of the dedication of her teachers: Mr Searle (Amanda says, “thank goodness he helped me get Excellence in Mechanics, otherwise I would feel disingenuous working in the Faculty of Engineering!”), Ms Poole, Mrs Gatland and Ms Nasmyth – who she still makes an effort to come and see every time she visits the school. Amanda admits however that post-renovations, she now gets lost in the school from time to time!

Thanks to Amanda for setting up the Class Facebook Page and being instrumental in getting plans for a reunion underway.

Westlake News, 2015

The school website has regular news of successes of individuals, teams and groups which may be of interest.

One of the successes this year is  the Westlake Girls Premier Tennis Team who are the current national title holders.

                         Westlake - 2015 National Tennis Champions

Tennis players at Westlake are fortunate these days to have access to great sporting facilities including the Covered Courts.

                      The Covered Courts facility for tennis and netball 


Looking Back

The Early Years of Tennis at Westlake

Mud ponds, instead of courts, greeted the tennis enthusiasts amongst the Foundation pupils in 1957.

Community Clubs helped out and school’s early tennis players used courts at Pupuke Tennis Club on Tuesday afternoons. Softball and tennis were the only two summer sport options available to girls in that first year.

Five courts were ready for use at Westlake by Term 3 the following year. Tennis was very popular, with a tennis ladder operating within the school and a tennis team taking part in the school exchanges.

Tennis was available for boys from 1959, and by 1960 the sport had grown to enable teams to be entered in junior, intermediate and senior divisions of the Auckland Competition.

Alison Day, Janis Mitchell, Susan Mansfield, Shona Cornwell, Robin Chalmers, Penelope Jeffreys 

                            1961 Boys Tennis Team 

W Hawkins, P Spencer, L E King, T Findlay, G Price, G E Bowler

What's new?

Westlake Girls Alumni Australia Facebook Group

Westlake Girls Alumni UK Facebook Group
There is also a new Facebook Page to follow called Friends of Westlake Music, which will keep you up-to-date with coming musical events at both Westlake High Schools.

Alumni Association Update

Our Alumni Facebook Page now has 1260 likes and our Westlake Linkedin Group has 100 members. In addition, there are 160 ex-students connected to the Alumni Co-ordinator through Linkedin. All our Facebook groups are growing steadily. Our newsletters reach about 1500 subscribers and we are growing at around 400 new subscribers a year.

Thanks to everyone for their support of our Westlake alumni community and in particular to Hannah Dymond for her great help in producing this newsletter.


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The Alumni Association thanks WGHS alumna, Hannah Dymond for her time and expertise in producing this newsletter.