Final Farewell

One of the highlights of our time together was teaching you all Drama in Year 9. It was a real privilege to teach the whole year group and learn about you that way. You might remember that at the end of our time in those classes I got you all to complete a memory square.

One of the things I really wanted to do at the end of the year was write you all a card. I feel that I’ve got quite personal things I want to express to you all – I’ve got memories with you all and I treasure them. Finding the time to write a card for everyone just didn’t work out – but instead I offered you all the opportunity to stop by me in the Dean’s Room  during your exams to see your memory square so I can share the words I might have written on a card in person. Alternatively some of those memory squares appeared in this tribute to our time together: a tribute to the memories we will keep forever. 

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Farewell Haka

In the middle of the Final Year 13 Assembly, we were all directed to go out to the carpark. This is what happened:

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Level Three Art Portfolios

The Year Group has produced outstanding contributions to the art department over the last few years. See here for the Level One efforts and here for the Level Two portfolios. And now, the final work produced by the Year 13 art students can be viewed. Congratulations on your outstanding portfolios!





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Final Assembly – Dean’s Address

When we first met, five years ago:

  • #1 film in NZ was Django Unchained;
  • #1 Song on the charts was ‘Same Love’ by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert;
  • Marmite was not still not stocked in any supermarkets because of Marmageddon;
  • National was in government, with a confidence and supply agreement with Act, United Future, and the Maori Party.

Back then, I was a skinny, scared young adult with lots of colourful socks. Today I speak to you five years later as a skinny scared young adult with a lot more colourful socks to choose from.

Remember how enormous Newlands College felt the first time you came here? Remember how cavernous the corridors felt and how the quad seemed to stretch on toward the horizon. Today I’m sure you will admit it feels much smaller. In time, your chosen professions will feel the same way.

Today I want to share some reflections of the time we have spent together. To share some stuff about me, and to share some stuff I think about you.

In preparing for this address, I went back I found my application to be your dean. This is an excerpt from my application letter sent to Ms Mills in September 2012:

I am seeking a new challenge. A Dean is a position which uses some of my main strengths…my administration and organisational skills would help me stay on top of the diverse range of responsibilities. I believe I am a teacher who values learners and cares greatly about helping them to achieve their potential. This is what I would bring to the position and why I believe I am ready for the challenge.

I got the job because from what I understand there were no other applicants.

Since then all the usual cliches apply. I’ve never looked back and I’ve never had such a fulfilling role as working beside you. I’ve learnt so much along the way. There are lots of highlights and moments where I felt like I totally nailed it. There are also lots of moments where I look back and wish I had done things differently. But there’s no part of this job that I didn’t give 100+% to, and I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved together.

Professionally now I’m off to seek new challenges. I’m ambitious. I may not have been a prefect at school, but I’m damn sure I can still make a big difference. What that means for me is learning from the world, starting with London in 2018. I want to be challenged to think differently and one day come back to New Zealand and work in positions where I can have the biggest impact possible.

To stand here and reflect on our journey together, I have to acknowledge the people that have supported us to be here. I couldn’t have done this role alone. More will be said to these people when you aren’t listening, but I want to acknowledge these people with you now and share this moment.

I want to sincerely thank all the Form Teachers like Mr Bell and Ms Uys; and pay tribute to Mr Wegener, Mr Staples and Ms Coorey having done the whole five years – not to mention Ms Wang and Mr Lander for their four years. The continuity has made a big difference.

I want to also thank SMT – Mr Jones, Ms King and Mr Pegram, the mentors, Mr Mulholland, Ms Featherstone, and every other teacher that has had a hand in making this such a stunning year group.

I also want to acknowledge Ms Mills. We have spent hundreds of hours together talking about you…and occasionally other stuff… I have learnt so much from her infectious enthusiasm and I’m so grateful to have experienced the journey of this year group together. She has been a unfaltering supporter of everything we’ve tried and everyone’s potential. Ms Mills, I would save you from the clutches of Mr Mortensen, John Claude Van Damme and impending explosions – and carry you to safety any day.


So now you…. In Year 9 you walked in here wide eyed and naive – your bright eager minds and squeaky voices scrounged for acceptance. You experienced tabloids, production, Noscars and the variety show for the first time. You also proved that coordination was no prerequisite for performing in the Year 9 dance off.

In year 10 you all got a little bit older, this time with more confidence as some of you somehow were under the impression that you ran the school. Your social lives got more interesting because I started to hear more about them. You got your Shakespeare day and proved to everyone that you still had a lot of growing up to do by chorusing “eww” when two adult Shakespearean performers kissed on stage.

And so the senior school. Year 11 brought with it business challenge, your first health day, melodramas, the semi formal and some seriously impressive sporting results. You also started hanging out with NCEA and got to find out what it feels like to be assessed every week of the year. And you all loved it. So much.

Then in 2016, the opportunity you’d waited your entire school life for, the chance to hang out in your best get up at Te Papa for five sober hours. In Year 12 we all got a little closer to the world of the grey and the decrepit. You made sensational Noscar films and went skiing to get some credits.

In Year 13, the potential of this year group really started to become realised. Your impact on the school in terms of mature leadership became clear. You started turning 18. I turned 30, which was more than just the worst. And then after another highly successful year, leaving us so proud of all you’ve achieved – you arrived here in this hall – for a chance to say goodbye.

As school leavers you are going to hear a lot of advice. And just like the advice Ms Kersten gets from keyboard warriors about anything she does on court – most of it you probably don’t need. I didn’t think I’d end up giving you advice, in fact I adamantly didn’t want to. But then I was inspired by Jon Lovett, who used to be Obama’s speechwriter. I saw a speech of his that seemed true and I want to echo it to you today.

Here’s my advice: Beware of bad stuff. Bad stuff, which I will hereby refer to as BS.

Today’s world is drowning in BS. In the public world: politics is dominated by oppositional discourse, commercial interests create journalistic bias, fake news and post-truth language are all problems. We hear things that are just true enough not to be a lie and go with them without a second thought, lowering our standards for the truth.

In our private lives: we connect with strangers on social media and call it friendship; people say I love you just because because they have begun dating; we fill spaces with so much empty talk, and we describe any thing as the best thing ever.

You are our young generation inheriting this world – you not only need to be aware of BS, you need to not contribute to BS. You need to be confident in your potential and aware of your inexperience.  You need to know your values, what you stand for.

You need to say what you mean and mean what you say, because the words you use matter. Reject a culture of insincerity by virtue of the example you set. And don’t get cynical. Even when surrounded by BS, believe it can be better. Believe we can always make the world a better place.

You are capable of extraordinary things now and in your futures. I speak from the heart when I say, I cannot wait to be a witness to all those incredible achievements and accomplishments that await you. Because I knew you I have been changed for good. I mean it sincerely when I say I absolutely love your work. To me, you are all winners. Our five years have been an absolute pleasure. And now I can’t wait for you to all join with Chantel and start calling me Jerome.

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Senior Prizegiving – Academic Awards

Senior Prizegiving is the last formal occasion of the year for the seniors. Academic success was acknowledged with those getting a placing for their subjects (or for bigger subject ‘academic excellence’ awards). The following summarises those Y13 students who were part of the evening:

2017 Dux

  • Clairce du Toit – 1st= Biology, 1st= Mathematics, 1st= Mathematics – Calculus, 3rd Chemistry, 3rd Physics; Newlands College Senior Science Prize (joint dux award with Shine Wu from Year 12)

Joint Runner up to Dux – Proxime Accessit

  • Benjamin Murdoch – 1st= Biology, 1st English, 1st= Media Studies, 2nd= Geography
  • Rachael Wilson – 1st Chemistry, 1st Geography, 1st= Physics, 3rd= English; Senior Chemistry Award

Academic Excellence Awards

  • Matthew Bain – 1st Hard Materials Technology
  • Kiya Basabas – 1st= Drama, 1st= Media Studies, Academic Excellence in English
  • Jordan Borchowsky – 1st= Accounting, 1st= Economics
    BNZ Cup – for overall achievement in business related studies
  • Vaughan Brown – 2nd Tourism
  • Liam Chan – 2nd Japanese
  • Michael Chang – 3rd= Physical Education
  • Melissa Chu-Fong – 2nd Design and Visual Communication, 2nd English
  • Tyler Cruse – 1st Classical Studies, 1st History, 1st= Media Studies; Laycock Plate – Overall Excellence in Senior History; Owen Laing Wilkinson Cup for Excellence in Social Sciences
  • Emmerson Curd – 1st Food and Nutrition, 1st= Mathematics
  • Angeline Dano – 2nd Food and Nutrition
  • Haydn Davenport-Brown – 3rd Classical Studies, 2nd= Geography, 3rd History, 3rd Science Issues
  • James Day – 3rd Mathematics
  • Nineveh Eshow – 1st= Art Design; Artist of the year – For overall achievement in Visual Art. This trophy comes with a cheque for $100 donated by Martin de Ruyter, former student of this college. This Trophy is awarded not only for Nineveh’s achievement in the Art Design course but also for her contribution to the co-curricular life of the college
  • David Fale – 1st Science Issues
  • Danica Fontein – 1st= Drama, 1st= German
  • Hollie Gillum-Taylor – 1st Retailing
  • Lateefah Idris – 1st= Art Design, 1st Design and Visual Communication
  • Dylan Jones – 1st= Accounting
  • Hayley Luckin – Academic Excellence in French
  • Simon McSweeney-Harte – 1st= German, 2nd= Geography, 3rd Economics
  • Zac Milne – 3rd= Mathematics-Statistics
  • Ella Nguon – 1st Art Photography
  • Stefania Palea’ae – 2nd Classical Studies, 2nd History, 3rd= English, 3rd Food and Nutrition; Esera Trophy –  awarded for the highest achieving Pasifika student
  • Amelia Powdrell – 1st Physical Education; Trendle Family Trophy –  This award is for the student who achieves 1st place in Year 13 Physical Education
  • Geeth Rathnayake – 2nd Chemistry, 2nd Physical Education
  • Rangiwaitatao Samson – 1st Te Reo Maori
  • Lorraine Sevilla – 1st Soft Materials Technology, 2nd Science Issues, 3rd= Mathematics-Statistics
  • Tiarne Southon – 1st Japanese
  • Laura Spiers – 1st Tourism
  • Kyran van Asch – 1st Music
  • Lochlan Young – 3rd= Physical Education
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Cultural and Service Awards – 2017

The following awards were presented at Senior Prizegiving for cultural contributions and service to the school.

School Council Distinction Awards

School Council Executive Members

  • Dylan Jones – House Captain – Matai
  • Michael Chang – House Captain – Rimu
  • Rachael Wilson – House Captain – Totara
  • Matthew Bain- House Captain – Kowhai (Winners of Inter House Cup)

Academic Captain – Kiya Basabas

Kiya has set the tone for learning at Newlands with a positive approach to making learning fun. Highlights for the year were the staff vs student debate and family feud – both well organised and well attended events. Kiya hosted inter-house competitions and promoted peer mentoring and tutoring.

Te Ngatoroirangi Te Arawa – Ian Murray

This award is an award presented to a senior male student who has made a significant contribution to the development of Maoritanga in the school.

Rawiri Whanau Trophy – Ian Murray

This was donated by Mr Bill and Mrs Ann Rawiri and whanau.  It is awarded for leadership, helpfulness and exemplary example of cross cultural relationships.

Tohu Matauranga Maori – Ian Murray

This award is the premier Maori award and presented to the student who has achieved the highest standards in all aspects of endeavour.

Head Girl Trophy – Daphne Martinez

Daphne was given the privilege and deserved the honour to lead the students as Head Girl. Together with her role, Daphne has given selflessly of her time to a tremendously wide range of initiative and activities. Her contribution to Newlands College has been immense and impressive.

Head Boy Trophy – Benjamin Murdoch

Ben is an impressive young man with a sense of loyalty and great pride towards Newlands College.  He has risen to the challenge, has provided excellent service as Head Boy and his leadership has been highly respected and valued.

It is my opinion that Daphne and Ben have led one of the most influential, hardworking, passionate Executives and they have made a significant contribution to Newlands College.

Russell Free Memorial Award – Rebekah Tiongson

Awarded in memory of Russell Free, a former student, for outstanding service to Newlands College in an activity or activities that falls within the cultural category.

Rebekah is a co-leader of the Ukulele orchestra and the string orchestra. She is a member of the Northern Notes and contributed to the Winter Wander and the Spring Serenade. Rebekah’s support for the success of others was evident at the Spring Serenade where she was either accompanying the performer on the piano or page turned for almost every performance of the night. In that spotlight the audience could see the sheer delight and pride on her face for every performer’s success. Rebekah has also been a Peer mentor, an after school peer tutor and is a long serving member of the publicity team. For active learning, she was part of a group who hosted 6 difference classes from the Intermediate to teach practical Science lessons. She is currently working towards a diploma in Classical Performance in Classical Piano from the Trinity College of London (ATCL).

Rosenthal Trophy – Darren Wong and Liam Collins

The Rosenthal Trophy is awarded to the student who has contributed significantly to improving the College environment. This year there are joint recipients. 

Darren has dedicated three hours a week for many weeks of the year to enhance the learning of a junior student. He has not only helped that student be prepared for learning, he has made an outstanding difference to the learning of another with his dedication, patience and commitment – Darren is one of a number of our year 13 students who have spent time with junior students helping them with their learning – they have all made a difference. Darren receives this award as a leader of learning.

Liam has a tendency to say ‘yes’ to any opportunity that comes his way. His enormous capacity for work means he throws himself into these opportunities and has given back so much to the school. He is the founder of the Newlands College Officiating Squad (now with 40 members in the school) and has initiated and developed a range of sporting associated opportunities to his peers. This is not to mention peer support, peer mentoring, and his active learning project where he was part of a team that organised a 3×3 basketball tournament on Friday lunchtimes. While his vision of a quad converted into a basketball court for the final didn’t quite come off, his vision and passion has made a enormous difference to the Newlands College environment.

Gareth Valley Memorial Trophy – Tiarne Southon

This is awarded to the student who has achieved a high standard in academic subjects and in sporting/cultural activities.

Tiarne puts considerable heart into everything she does. After impressive Excellence endorsements for Level One and Level Two, she has continued to achieve at high levels this year and this has been acknowledged with the scholarships she has already gained as celebrated earlier. Her contributions continue to the school production as a cast member, Totara house representative, Shave for a Cure participant, peer support, peer tutoring and peer mentoring where she has gone above and beyond by supporting Year 9 Japanese classes on a regular basis. Her passion for sport is boundless with involvement in Dragon Boating and football. The later she has captained the first XI and coached the juniors. For active learning this year she designed a Newlands College sporting flag that travelled with teams on Tournament week. Tiarne has a presence that radiates positivity. She conquers challenges with courage and determination. Her empathy and resilience has given her the boundless potential to make a difference to others and achieve enormous future success.

Me Whakamatau – Charlotte Earle

This is for service to student welfare.

Charlotte has had considerable involvement in the school life this year. Cast member in Rock of Ages, the One Act Play competition and Shelia Winn; peer support, peer tutoring, peer mentoring, and Matai house representative. As co-leader of the Queer Straight Alliance they have been a significant voice in the school for inclusion and raising awareness of LGBTI+ needs. This has seen Charlotte publicise events like Pink Shirt Day and Day of Silence in assemblies, presenting proposals to the Board of Trustees and raising awareness in lots of small ways that have made a real difference to others. Charlotte works hard for the vision of inclusion for all people no matter what their gender or sexuality. Their passion for promoting student needs has helped to see the development of well-being in the school and made a real difference. Me Whakamatau.

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Y13 End of Year Celebration Video – 2017

Thanks to Dylan Jones and Brooklyn Leota for putting this together.

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Arts Awards 2017

Previous Arts Awards in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 have seen a number of the year acknowledged for their outstanding contribution and achievements in the arts. In our final year, this was no different. Lots of Year 13s were bought on stage, and the premiere awards winners, along with their citations, are acknowledged below:

Arts Captain – Hunter Giltrap              

Hunter has been an outstanding Arts Captain. His enthusiasm and excellent organisational skills have been evident throughout the year but were particularly evident in rescuing the Newlands College Variety Show from the edge of extinction and bringing it back to vibrant life.

Hunter’s plans for next year are to go to Massey University and study a Bachelor of Creative Media Production (BCMP) specialising in animation and visual effects.

Public Speaker of the Year – Afeaki Cup – Kiya Basabas

Kiya has a gift for Public Speaking, constructing powerful speeches that focus on issues that matter in society. She competed in the Race Unity Speech Competition for the second year in a row and was runner up this year,  garnering very positive feedback from students and judges alike. Kiya also entered the Wellington Speaking Union Stockley Cup for Senior students (which she won!) with a poignant speech on immigrants and those on the fringes of our society.  This speech reinforced her ability to both move and inspire audiences which I am sure she will continue to do in the future. 

Kiya is planning on going to Victoria University to study Law with a conjoint degree in Political Science and a minor in International Relations.

Craftsperson of the Year Aditi Tiwari

Aditi was placed in the top 3 in New Zealand in the senior category of the Brother Design Stars Competition.The headpiece she designed and made was worn by a model at the NZ  fashion week runway this year in Auckland.

O le ala i le pule o le tautau – Millennium Suga

This translates as – The pathway to leadership is through service and is awarded for loyal service to Polyclub

We first saw Millennium perform in our Polyclub when he was at intermediate school and probably wanted to hang out with his cousin and the cool guys. Ever since, Millennium has been a stalwart member of the Newlands College polyclub eventually ending up as the leader of the boys section. It daunting to hit that first unaccompanied note in Te Rauparaha Arena,  and he cooly did this twice. He is a kind soul and smiles through those cold winter practices, just leaving rugby training in time for poly.

Next year Millennium is planning to take a gap year to work and save for the years afterwards, as he is planning to take a design course at Yoobee.

Polyclub Person of the Year – Jane-Edna Bryce

The Tiatia Trophy presented by the Bryce Family.

Jane-Edna follows a proud family tradition of leadership in front of her peers. She has been a staunch member of polyclub, even with numerous sports’ injuries to hinder her movement and exemplary in her leadership this year. It is incredibly hard to lead your peers, but Jane hung on to her vision and saw it through to a superb performance week. At times it was hard to keep her head up and motivate others, particularly when she lost her voice, but the way she dealt with individuals was compassionate and patient. We owe our performance to her strength of character and know she takes us with her on life’s path.

The Mona Williams Cup for Dance – Kyran van Asch

Even without a backflip in the production this year, Kyran managed to wow the audience with his incredible talent in dance. In the lead role of Drew he was eye catching in every number, channeling the more fluid form of rock in strong, robust, head-banging movements. His contribution to the NC Alphas this year was also impressive. He was a key team member, providing choreography and dazzling movement – showing that he is a true master of the craft of dance.

Kyran hopes to be working full time in order to travel to New York, USA and work as a camp counsellor at French Woods, Performing Arts camp for three months next year. After that it is either a sports scholarship through Massey University or joining the Police Force.

The Ann-Marie Ward Memorial trophy for Musician of the Year – Germaine Ambray

Germaine has represented the school nationally as a member of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Orchestra for the past two years, reached the Lower North Island Finals for Chamber Music this year, is the Concertmaster of the Wellington Sinfonietta and a member of the Wellington Youth Orchestra.

Next year Germaine is planning to go to the New Zealand School of Music where she will be doing a Bachelor of Music degree majoring in Music Studies and Classical Performance.

The New Players Cup for Actor of the Year – Kiya Basabas  

Joint winner with Isaac Andrews

While Isaac got to drive the show through outrageous excess, Kiya provided the heart. As Sherrie, the small town girl living in a lonely world, she was the relatable fame seeker that the audience grew to root for and empathise with. She created layers in her character and was so authentic with her delivery making her scenes convincing and effective. As a performer, Kiya has lit up the Newlands stage in lead roles for the last three years; however, it is a testament to her talent as a collaborator that as memorable as her performances are, what will linger for many is her warm and generous approach to rehearsals where she inspired others through her professionalism. 

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Kiya Basabas – Stockley Cup Winning Speech

The Stockley Cup is the premier public speaking competition for high school students in the Wellington region. Held annually, the competition brings together the best public speakers and orators from dozens of schools to speak on ideas such as racism, feminism, the relationship between parents and kids, and religion.

Last year in 2016, Kiya Basabas made history by being the first Newlands College student to ever claim this prize. This year in 2017, she made history again by winning the competition for the second year in a row. There are very little words that can capture the scale of this success. The speech stands for itself, recorded a week later in a Dean’s Assembly:

Please do share this video widely. And congratulations Kiya – you’ve not only made us so proud; you’ve also moved us all with your beautiful words and powerful message.

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Flashback: End of Year Nine – Celebration Video

In this ‘Flashback Friday’ – part one of a four part series – we check out the end of year video capturing 2013, the year we were Year 9. 

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