2018 Old Girls' News

Old Girls represent NZ

We were excited to hear there are 2 Marsden Old Girls, Maddy Hazelton and Alex Mair, in Japan representing NZ at the 17th Asian Women's Handball Championship. It will be a tough tournament, but an amazing experience for them! (06/12/2018)

Highly Commended Business

Four years ago Old Girl India Korner and her husband Steven (pictured on right) founded Method, a recycling business. They have transformed the humble waste bin into a thing of beauty. Their award-winning 60L Office Recycling Bins are designed to provide an effective, flexible and attractive system to promote recycling in modern workplaces. On 8 November, Method was highly commended in ANZs Best Emerging Business category at the NZ International Business Awards. Congratulations! Read more ... (04/12/2018)

Finding her voice

Old Girl Bianca Andrew has been profiled by Victoria University. After leaving Marsden she studied Performance Voice at the New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī (NZSM), graduating in 2011. After a few years as a freelance singer in New Zealand and further study in London, she’s now based in Frankfurt where she sings with the world-renowned Oper Frankfurt. Read full article (image credit Bertie Watson). (03/12/2018)

Gold Duke of Ed Awards

Anne Field was delighted to attend the recent Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards presentation where young Old Girls Tessa Aitken and Tessa Dalgety-Evans received their Gold Award. Well done girls. (20/11/2018)

Old Girls' Day and Hall of Fame

We are excited to have our Old Girls back at school today, a special day that includes the MOGA AGM, school tours and a decade 'ending in 8' dinner.  As well we celebrate our newest Marsden Hall of Fame Laureates announced in assembly, congratulations to Dorothy Brown (posthumously)Nina HallGemma New and Janne Shewan, your varied contributions to society have made a real difference. It was lovely to have Rachel Brown, (Dorothy Brown's daughter) and Kim New (Gemma's mother) on hand to receive the Hall of Fame awards on their behalf, along with Janne Shewan who has done so much behind the scenes for Marsden Old Girls. Unfortunately Nina Hall was unable to join us today.

We would like to thank our fabulous guest speaker and Old Girl, Lauren Quaintance. Lauren has a background in journalism and has edited some of Australasia’s most high profile magazines including Metro and Sunday magazine. In 2013 she launched Storyation an award-winning content marketing agency in Sydney and last month Lauren was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the B&T Women in Media Awards in Sydney. 

The newly remodelled dance studio has been renamed the Rua Chandler Dance Studio, after a much loved teacher/deputy head at Marsden. Many Old Girls remember her fondly. Jennifer Evans, who runs her dance company in the space, received the name plaque.

Also during assembly our new Marsden Strategic Plan 2019-2021 was officially launched by Principal Narelle Umbers. The plan is included in the 2018 WORD from Marsden, which has been emailed to families and Old Girls today. Hard copies will be sent to those who have indicated they would like one, or you can view the Strategic Plan online here.  

What a wonderful morning. Thank you to everyone involved in the planning and execution of Old Girls' Day and a special thank you to our Old Girls who came back to visit today, it was lovely to see you all.  (26/10/2018)

New to conduct in New York

Congratulations to Old Girl Gemma New who has been invited to conduct the New York Philharmonic's upcoming 'Young People's Concert' on 17 November at New York's Lincoln Center. A graduate of the Peabody Institute of Music and former Dudamel Conducting Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gemma currently serves as Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic in Ontario, Canada – and as Resident Conductor with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.(11/10/2018)

Research presented Internationally

It's great to hear that two Old Girls have presented papers internationally on research they conducted as summer students at the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute. Sabrina Koh presented at the Annual Scientific Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Head and Neck Cancer Society and the International Society for Maxillofacial Rehabilitation in Melbourne in August.
 At the end of May, Elysia Tan presented her research on venous malformation at the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies (ISSVA) conference in Amsterdam. We congratulate them both. For full article ... (18/09/2018)

Women of Influence

Congratulations to members of the Marsden community, Alumni and past parents who are finalists in the 2018 Stuff-Westpac Women of Influence Awards. They are Old Girls: Miranda Harcourt, Performance Consultant Rata Studios (Arts & Culture); Susan Freeman-Greene, CEO of Engineering NZ (Board & Management); Cassandra Treadwell, CEO and Founder of So They Can (Global); Jackie Clark, Aunty in Charge The Aunties (Community & Not for Profit) and, past parent Jane Wrightson, Chief Executive NZ On Air (Board & Management). The winners will be announced on September 18 at an awards dinner at SkyCity in Auckland and we wish them all the very best. (10/09/2018)

On Girl on Tennis Scholarship

2017 school leaver Christy Robinson was awarded a tennis scholarship to study at Northern Illinois University, which looks a very impressive campus! We wish her all the very best as she starts her studies in the USA. (20/08/2018)

Basketball Book Launched

Congratulations to young OG Madeleine Chapman on the launch of her first book on the life of New Zealand basketballer, Steven Adams. Called 'My Life, My Fight' , Maddie has kindly given us an autographed copy for the Library. Read Madeleine’s fantastic article about co-writing it here. (02/08/2018)

Majestic Conductor

We do urge you to watch Old Girl, Gemma New conducting Douglas Lilburn's sweeping 'Overture: Aotearoa' with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, it's amazing! The NZ Herald said "It was a remarkable reading. With broad, sweeping gestures, New invested the opening pages with a sense of majesty". Bravo Gemma! Here's the link to the video: https://www.sounz.org.nz/resources/21174 (20/07/2018)

'Chinese Bridge' Speech Competition

We were delighted to hear that two of our young Old Girls, Anna de Boer and Arielle Edwards-Brown, along with current Y13 student Annabelle Jessop, participated in the recent Wellington region "Chinese Bridge" speech competition. Anna previously won prizes in both the regional and national competitions and all three girls studied Chinese at Marsden. In the University category, Anna came second and is currently representing the Confucius Institute of Victoria University at the competition in China. Annabelle was third in the University category and is in China as an observer of this year's competition. Read more ... (19/07/2018)

Save the Date

One of the ways we wish to commemorate 140 years of excellence in education is with a special service at St Paul's Cathedral on 24 September 6pm-7:30pm. Staff and students are expected to attend this event. Old Girls, family and friends are welcome to join us. (14/06/2018)

Acting Workshop

A big thank you to Old Girl and acting coach Miranda Harcourt, actor Peter Hambleton and casting director Tina Cleary for coming to run acting workshops for 36 of our students on Sunday. The girls had a fantastic time and learnt lots of new skills.  We are always grateful to have members of our Alumni come and share their expertise with our students. (12/06/2018)

How Maddie Chapman got to write Steven Adams autobiography

Young Old Girl, Madeleine Chapman (24) is a staff writer for The Spinoff, an Auckland-based online media brand.  She has known Steven Adams since she was about 15 when they were both playing school basketball. Their paths crossed again in 2016 and Steven asked her to ghost write his autobiography "My Life, My Fight" which comes out  in July. Read the full article ... (05/06/2018)

Commanding Performance by Old Girl

Principal Narelle Umbers met up with past Principal Gillian Eadie at a concert at the Auckland Town Hall conducted by international conductor and Old Girl, Gemma New. She said "It was outstanding. To see a young female commanding such a performance was a real privilege." When Gemma spoke during the Q & A afterwards she mentioned that her first opportunity to conduct was when she was 15 here at Marsden and this set her on her current pathway. Bravo Gemma! (21/05/2018)

GAP year in Spain

It's always great to hear what our young Old Girls are up to and we were delighted to read an article about Briana Woodward (Y13, 2017) who is enjoying her GAP year in Spain. Although studying French and German at School, Briana spoke “next to no Spanish” when she arrived in Spain. But this hasn’t been a problem, she says, because everyone has been willing to teach her. So much so, Briana is thinking about studying tourism and Spanish at AUT next year. “Since I have already learnt a bit of Spanish here, it will be easy to continue learning at university." Read full article https://lattitude.org.nz/gap-year-gorgeous-spain/ (18/05/2018)


It is with great sadness that we learned of the recent death of Dr Diana Lennon in Auckland.  Diana was a Laureate in the Marsden Hall of Fame, recognised for  her work in children’s health especially in the area of infectious diseases.   Diana was Dux in 1966 and in 2005 she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to science and health. We offer our sincere condolences to her family and friends. See Diana's Hall of Fame page. Diana, pictured with Steven Joyce in 2013, was a recipient of the Auckland University Vice-Chancellor’s Commercialisation Medal for her work on the vaccine for Group B Meningococcal Disease. (17/05/2018)

Gemma New to conduct Organ Symphony

If you are planning to be in Auckland on 17 May, the Auckland Philharmonia is presenting an Organ Symphony conducted by International Conductor and Old Girl, Gemma New. It will be impossible not to be swept away when the full power of the magnificent Auckland Town Hall organ is unleashed! See details. (10/05/2018)

Nicola Willis MP

Congratulations to Nicola Willis  (Marsden 1991-1996 Years 6-11) who has become parliament's newest MP in mid April, after retirements from the National party list.  She is National's spokesperson for Early Childhood Education.  Based in Wellington Nicola has four children aged from 2-8 years.  Her career spans both business and the public sector, starting as a researcher and policy advisor to then Opposition education spokesman , Rt Hon Bill English then as senior adviser to Rt Hon Sir John Key, a  member of his 2008 winning campaign and his first term as Prime Minister.  In 2012 she left the Prime Minister's office to join dairy co-operative Fonterra where she has held a number of roles.  We are very proud of Nicola's commitment to Wellington and to having a positive impact on New Zealand lives. Photo Maarten Holl (10/05/2018)

Sasha's father collects Award

Principal Narelle Umbers had the pleasant task of presenting Mr Ang with Sasha's academic colours as she was unable to attend Scholar's Assembly last week. Sasha, who was our 2017 Cultural Capatain, is back in Singapore preparing for university at the Sorbonne in Paris. (09/05/2018)

Summer of Science Research

Two Marsden young Old Girls, Sabrina Koh (far left) and Shanella Nallaiah (2nd right), have been doing some amazing practical research during their summer internship with Gillies McIndoe Research Institute.

Sabrina Koh made an important discovery about Dupuytren’s disease — an untreatable condition that can cause the fingers to contract and lose function. She discovered a unique group of stem cells that may in fact be the cause of the common disease.  While Shanella Nallaiah worked with Therese Featherston (another summer intern) to progress our understanding of skin cancer of the head and neck. Read article ... (08/05/2018)

3 Commonwealth Games, 3 Different Sports

Old Girl Kate McIlroy's sheer grit and determination to adapt and overcome career ending injury is inspiring! She will be competing at her third Commonwealth Games, in a third different sport! Athletics in 2006, Triathlon in 2014 and this month she will race with the road cycling team attacking the challenging 112.2km course on the Gold Coast! She truly is legend and we wish her all the very best! Read Stuff article. (06/04/2018)

Off to study in Paris

Congratulations to Sasha Ang (Y13, 2017) who has been accepted to study at the Sorbonne University in Paris. C'est magnifique! (06/04/2018)

Head of new Wellington Creative

A lifelong love of theatre is the driving force for Marsden Old Girl and 2016 Hall of Fame laureate, Victoria Spackman, who has recently become the first director of Wellington's Te Auaha New Zealand Institute of Applied Creativity.  It brings together the creative technologies and applied arts programmes of WelTec and Whitireia under one roof, encouraging students to collaborate and work across disciplines. Read full article.  (28/03/2018)

Medals in Weightlifting

We're in awe of the grit shown by young old girl Ruby Straugheir (Year 13, 2016) who has just won gold in the junior and bronze in the senior Auckland weightlifting champs, lifting 63kg in the Snatch and 80 kg in the the Clean and Jerk. Ruby is now off to the Oceania competitions. A great 'next step' for a focused and committed athlete. (15/03/2018)