Now We Are One.

This is the transcript of my end of year prize giving speech.

One year down, bring on 2018.


Now we are one.

A year ago there was no such thing as a Rolleston College prizegiving because there were no achievements to acknowledge and recognise.

There was no such thing as a Rolleston College dramatic production, no Rolleston College sports teams, no Rolleston College sustainable garden, no Rolleston College art exhibition.

There were no Rolleston College stories because there was no Rolleston College.

But now we are one, We have a history, a culture, we have our stories, our achievements and today is about celebrating them because we are proud of them.

What do those stories tell us? The Establishment Board of Trustees had a phrase when they began to develop their vision for this school and it was a phrase that they passed on to me for me to give to the staff to guide them.

They wanted a school that ‘walked the boundaries.’ Not a school that played safe but a school that realised and released potential. So our stories are about walking the boundaries.

I see this everyday I see hungry, inquisitive young adults walking the boundaries of their learning, sometimes stumbling, not always finding the answers straight away but not giving up, never giving up. I see learners lost in the moment, I see courage and resilience and bravery and kindness. I see deep thinking, deep understanding and deep questioning. I see  young people discovering and it is the real discovery that only takes place when you walk the boundaries.

I see it when I see Breanna on the netball court on  freezing cold day in Christchurch, in the sleet and the rain and the cold so injured that she can hardly walk but still finding the courage to, not only, take the court but dominate the game.

I see it every time Ella walks in to the school smiling,  I see it when I watch Philippa  lost in the moment of capturing the perfect photo and believing that she is a professional photographer or Willow and Emelia lost in the mopment of being forensic scientists.

I see it in Nikau  who at the beginning of the year was just this shy timid lad and now with Chloe  lead the haka and when they lead the whole school follows them.

I see it in Jessie when she and her friends realized that there was no girls Rugby team, no girls rugby competition they simply created both.

I see it in Abbey who told me she doesn’t do the ‘creative stuff’ and then created the most wonderful artistic tribute to her friend who passed away when she was 9 years old.

I see it in Boston who out of care for his peers organised for the families of those personally affected by fatal traffic accidents to address our learners.

I see it everyday and I could stand here for hours and list so many more examples but you get the idea.

Our stories are about young people standing and succeeding as the marvelous young individuals they are. Finding their way and  finding their voice.

He kakano I ruia mai I Rangiatea.

Far from being lost the seed the seeds are thriving.


So to all of you who have wandered the boundaries, I congratulate you.

To the staff I thank you for the guidance and support you have offered our first cohort.

To the families I thank you for the love and support you have given your children as they start their challenging journey into adulthood.


To you the learners. Know that I admire you. I have been impressed by you on a daily basis.

We are proud of you.

You are loved.

But also know that you scare me because if this is what you have done when you are 13 years old just what heights are you going to reach next year and the year after, what are you going to achieve in five years, ten years?

Congratulations and well done.


Have a great holiday

Have a safe holiday

Take the time to tell your family you love them.

See you in the new year.


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