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Old Girls' News 2016

Honorary Old Girl

Mandy Britnell, President of the Marsden Old Girls' Association, made a special presentation to retiring teacher, Jennifer Stacey, at this week's final assembly. In recognition of her long service (19 years) and dedication to Marsden, Jennifer was awarded the title of "Honorary Old Girl" to much applause from the students and staff. (09/12/2016)

Old Girls Day and new Hall of Fame Laureates

It was wonderful to see so many Old Girls back for Old Girls Day.  They were rung in to assembly by our Handbell girls, took part in the traditional roll call and enjoyed performances by Altissime (a composition by student Neakiry Kivi) and Nell Clere Music Scholarship winner Amira Bajema. Congratulations to our Marsden 2016 Hall of Fame Laureates - professional sportswoman Kate McIlroy, businesswoman Victoria Spackmanand singing teacher and performer Judy Bellingham. The award was also given posthumously to Sheilah Winn, supporter and patron of the arts, best known to our students as founder of the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival. Kate touched the girls with her words and reminded them to "be kind to yourselves but be ruthless in support of your dreams"See more details on our Hall of Fame Laureates page or photos on our Facebook page. (28/10/2016)

Selbi eyes corporate social responsibility

Marsden Old Girl Selbi Soylemezoglu is now studying at Victoria University which has introduced her to the wider world of business and shown her just how far she can take her dreams.  As part of her Management Information Studies course, she took part in the Global Enterprise Experience, where students are grouped into virtual global teams to find solutions to a current problem.
“It was an amazing experience to work with people from around the world. It was enlightening to see how they approached business, how they were learning at their respective universities.”  Selbi also travelled to Texas to study in a completely different environment, something that she says helped her to grow personally and academically. “My Victoria Abroad Exchange to Texas was the best thing I ever did. It opened my eyes to the world and I learnt a lot about myself as a person, but also about how the world works in different ways.” 
Selbi's plans to use her commerce degree and her passion for corporate social responsibility as a platform to stand on to help businesses give back to the community.”  (11/10/2016)


Young Old Girls return to Marsden


It was lovely to see our young Wellington based Old Girls again on Wednesday night when they joined us for drinks, nibbles and to explore the new heart of Marsden, Te Manawa o te Kura. It was just like old times, except they were pretty amazed by the new building and gave it the BIG thumbs up! We did love catching up with them and hearing what they have been up to. See more photos on our Facebook page. (12/07/2016)

Sophia Duckor-Jones and the refugee crisis

Old Girl, Sophia Duckor-Jones is a former Hamilton-based radio journalist. She has been travelling in Europe writing about the plight of the refugees and her efforts to help. Her stories tell of the grim reality facing thousands of displaced people, as Sophia says in one article "Some of us are lucky enough to live in freedom, but for those living in this camp their freedom is quickly diminishing." Great to see Sophia out there, trying to make a difference.  Read Sophia's articles for Stuff 23 April 2016 and NZ Herald 3 September 2015.  (31/05/2016) 

Rebecca Purvis, Fulbright Scholar

We congratulate Old Girl Rebecca Purvis who won a Fulbright Science & Innovation Graduate Award to study in the USA. In this article from Fulbright NZ Rebecca talks about the warm welcome she received and the opportunities available to her while she completes her Master of Science degree in Genetic Counselling at Arcadia University in Philadelphia. (31/05/2016) 

Beckie Calder-Flynn's African Experience

It was really lovely to have Old Girl Beckie Calder-Flynn address assembly this week. She spoke passionately about her work with animals in Africa. After majoring in biological science at Auckland Uni, Beckie travelled to Thuma Forest Reserve in Malawi spending days patrolling with armed scouts, searching for elephants and hunting for poachers. She visited schools trying to teach them the importance of protecting animals and their environment. At Lilongwe Wildlife Centre she hand raised 3 orphaned baby vervet monkeys, feeding them 7 times a day, so they could be successfully released back into the wild. Beckie credits her early interest in biology to "the amazing Mrs Gunn for putting so much passion, enthusiasm, and baby animal pictures into her classes." We think you are pretty amazing too Beckie - thank you for visiting. (25/05/2016)

Gold Award for Leandra

Former Head Girl, Leandra Fiennes said working towards the Gold Duke of Ed Hillary Award pushed her out of her comfort zone but it was worth sacrificing weekends to tramping and Sundays to volunteering because of the amazing people she met along the way. We warmly congratulate Leandra on receiving her Gold Award at Government House on Saturday. (16/05/2016)

Fireside talk with Maria English

Maria English our 2009 Head Girl and Dux, gave an enthralling fireside talk to a large group of senior students and staff at lunchtime yesterday. With humour and honesty she shared her experience of life after Marsden with the message that things don't always work out like you plan and you need to be resilient. Be kind to each other, find motivation within yourself and embrace your quirkiness. Her words were like pearls, it was so lovely to have you visit Maria, we hope you will come back again soon. (07/04/2016)


Making History in Samoa

Making history, Marsden Old Girl and Hall of Fame Laureate, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, has been named Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment in the new Samoan Government. Prime Minister Auelua Fatialofa Lupesoli'ai Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, revealed his new-look Cabinet as Samoa's 16th Parliament was sworn in following the recent general election. This is the highest executive position that a woman has reached in the history of Samoa's government and we congratulate Fiame on her appointment. Photo from article by Joshua Lafoai. (05/04/2016)

Unique experience for 3 Marsden Old Girls

We were delighted to hear that 3 Marsden Old Girls were taken on as interns by Gillies McIndoe Research Institute for their summer student programme: Elysia Tan, Sabrina Koh and Helen Yu had a unique laboratory experience helping to research strawberry birthmarks, venous malformation (a type of vascular birthmark), Dupuytren’s contracture (a condition that causes contracture of the fingers) and cancer. 
Read full article. (01/04/2016)

Otago University profiles Olivia Buckner

We were delighted to hear a couple of pieces of news recently regarding two of our young Old Girls. Olivia Buckner (Y13 2009) has been profiled by Otago University for their website with her Bachelor of Teaching. See feature story. And Julia Finny (Y13, 2010) has been awarded a Victoria University Masters's by thesis Scholarship in Classical Studies.  (14/03/2016)

Gemma breaks glass ceiling

Old Girl, Gemma New has made the news again. Currently conductor of the Hamilton Philarmonic Orchestra in Ontario, Gemma is a rarity in the world of music - a female conductor. She's well aware of the gender gap for conductors, but doesn’t feel she has ever knowingly pushed up against a glass ceiling. In her words "I’ve had a really good run... growing up, it never occurred to me to ask, ‘Can I do this because I’m a girl?’ It seemed laughable to me." She may be in the minority, but Gemma is already making an impression in the USA, Canada and around the world and we couldn't be prouder!  
Read the Star article.  (08/03/2016)

Shortlisted for Prestigious Photographic Award

We were thrilled to hear that Old Girl Tilly Fraser has beaten entries from more than 400 educational institutions across five continents to be one of ten shortlisted photographers in the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards.

She will travel to London to compete for the Student Focus Photographer of the Year title and a grand prize of £30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment and we wish her all the very best for the competition. Read NZ Herald article. (03/03/2016)

Marsden Rowers


Calling Marsden Old Girls who rowed - Marsden Rowing History Oars Project - As part of always remembering Marsden rowers we have started the Oars project.  Each year current and past rowers have the chance to add an oar with their name stencilled onto the Marsden Rowing Gear trailer.  The aim is to fill the trailer top-bottom and both sides with all the Marsden rowers of past and present.  Our gear trailer travels all over the country many times in the season and the Rowers just love it when old girls (rowers or not) come to visit the Marsden tent at regattas.  If you are an Old Girl who rowed and would like to know more please pop to our website sportsground.co.nz/marsdenrowing and contact Andrew Johnstone before 6 March 2016.



Zonta Club Award

Great to hear about OG Hannah Ward receiving the Zonta Club of Wellington Young Woman in Public Affairs Award. Hannah received a certificate and a cheque for $1,000 and now joins winners from other clubs in New Zealand in the quest to find a national winner to take part in the Zonta International Young Woman in Public Affairs Award. Congratulations Hannah! Read Scoop article