Principal's Blog: Term 4 Week 2
Monday, 16 October 2023
Kia ora whānau
It has been a high octane start to Term 4 with Week 1 bringing Mihi Whakatau to welcome six new students, including two proud graduates from Marsden Preschool, a wonderful Year 12 Mother/Daughter dinner to ignite our 2024 student leadership process, a spectacular Performing Arts Awards evening, our Year 11 Dance and two successful Open Mornings. Our students are in exceptionally good heart with high spirits, carrying a healthy degree of tension that comes with wanting to do well. Being unapologetic in the relentless pursuit of excellence is a Marsden hallmark, yet with good grace and a desire to see others do well also. It is incredibly heartening to witness young women celebrating one another.

At our annual Year 12 Mother/Daughter dinner, we were privileged to be joined by Brooke Roberts, the co-founder, director and co-CEO of Sharesies. As the co-winner of the 2020 Women of Influence - Business award and 2022 NZ High-Tech inspiring individual, it was inspiring to hear from such an inspirational and charismatic wāhine toa. Brooke is passionate about creating equal opportunities and business being a force for good. She spoke of the path she took to get where she is now, the importance of pursuing your passion in your professional career, and her connection with six inspirational Marsden Old Girls who celebrate and encourage one another's successes, 'a rising tide lifts all boats'.

Our Performing Arts Awards brought a second inspiring and entertaining guest speaker. Georgia Jamieson Emms is a singer of classical and musical theatre repertoire, a teacher, translator, diction coach, librettist, vocal adjudicator and compère. She sang professionally for several years in Germany before returning to New Zealand, where she founded her own opera company, Wanderlust Opera. Georgia spoke of what it takes to carve out a career in the performing arts, and whilst the road can be bumpy with lots of potholes and unexpected curves, remaining tenacious and resilient in following your passion and chasing your dreams is totally worth it. She encouraged our students to 'say yes' to every opportunity, because you never know where that detour might take you and to remember that the path to success is never linear. It was uplifting and inspirational to hear Georgia reinforce to our students that they are so much more capable than they think.

This weekend, Year 11 student Telesia Tanoa'i and teacher Jing Ying Herrington are travelling to China with the Confucious Institute, where Telesia will be representing New Zealand at the International 'Chinese Bridge' Chinese Proficiency Competition. In just one of the criteria that Telesia will participate in, her prepared speech shares her ambition for filmmaking and tells of her desire to create art that parallels Chinese and Pasifika cultures. We are so proud of Telesia and wish her all the best as she embarks on this incredible experience.

In a further staff update, we received the bittersweet news this week that longstanding and highly respected HOD Science - Gabrielle Gunn, will be retiring at the end of the year following 33 dedicated and inspiring years at Marsden. It is hard to fathom life at Marsden without Gabrielle who has positively influenced generations of Marsden scientists. We look forward to celebrating Gabrielle's stellar career at our end of year celebrations. Teachers Sahar Lin and Tina Sturland have also indicated that they will complete their respective tenures at the end of the year, with each planning exciting new beginnings outside of Wellington. We wish them every happiness and success.

We look forward to buckling in for another high-energy and uplifting week ahead, and look forward to our Sports Awards on Wednesday evening, where we have the wonderful opportunity to hear from another inspiring wāhine, Rugby World Cup winning captain, Kendra Cocksedge.