The Columba College Foundation

03 August 2017

The Columba College Foundation

Open Day 2017

31 July 2017

Invitation for prospective parents and students.

Open Day


Monday 31 July 2017

Tours: 9am - 3pm

Principal's address: 1pm Constance Hall

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Congratulations Mr Madden – Queens Service Medal Award

07 July 2017

Congratulations to Mr Madden, the head of the music department, on his Queens Service Medal which he received for his services to music in this year’s Queens Birthday Honours.

Mr Madden has been a part of the Columba College community since 2007, and took up the position of head of the music department in 2008. Throughout his time so far at Columba he has made countless contributions to music within the school, through his roles as the music director of multiple school musicals, the conductor of the senior school orchestra, and also as a part-time music director of the junior choir, and the full-time music director of the senior madrigal choir, which notably gained highly commended this year at the Big Sing.

Mr Madden also does many other various musical roles at Columba, such as performing at chapel services and also arranging songs for the choir to perform, and recently this term he successfully organised a fundraising concert for our artist in residence Harry Grigg which featured performances from chamber music groups, the senior orchestra and both school choirs. 

Alongside this, Mr Madden has many musical commitments outside of school, including various leadership roles within multiple local choirs, and he is also a distinguished composer. 

But above all, Mr Madden is a valued teacher to many students throughout the school, and his dedication and love for music has encouraged many students to reach their full musical potential, a number who have continued to pursue music after Columba. I know I easily speak on behalf of most of the music students when I say I am so lucky to have him as a teacher. 

Recognition of Mr Madden’s passion, talent and commitment to music has clearly been well overdue, and this award could not have been more deserved. We are so fortunate to have Mr Madden as part of the Columba College community, and the time he dedicates to keeping music alive within the school is truly appreciated.

By Mia Neville

Arts Prefect

Prime Minister to attend launch of the Columba College Foundation

06 July 2017

Prime Minister to attend launch of the Columba College Foundation

On Thursday 3 August we will be launching the Columba College Foundation and are very honoured to have Prime Minister Bill English attend this event as our guest speaker.

We recognise that today’s Columba College is the legacy of those who came before us. Their vision and generosity are realised by every student, every day.  We want to honour their contribution by continuing to pass this legacy on to future generations of Columba students. 

The Columba College Foundation is a charitable trust which looks beyond the daily running of the school, supporting long-term capital projects and activities.

The Foundation is reliant on the support of our past and present families, alumni and the generous contributions of those who share our values.  In time, we’ll share with you the upcoming projects the Foundation is working on and ways you may be able to support these.

To assist us in growing the Foundation we have appointed a Director of Development. Caroline Rowe took up this position in June 2017 and will closely work with the Trustees, Principal and wider College community. 

Parents and alumni are invited to the Foundation’s launch dinner which will be held in the Marsh Sports Centre. Tickets are a donation of $120 per person (table of ten $1200) and include a three course dinner and refreshments. They can be purchased from the office or by emailing

We hope to see many of you there as we showcase our College. 

Magnificent Martial Arts

05 July 2017

Magnificent Martial Arts

The Columba College Confucius Classroom, in collaboration of the Christchurch branch of the Confucius Institute, was fortunate enough to invite a Chinese martial arts master to Dunedin for two days of lessons and a martial arts demonstration. The purpose of the two-day event was to promote Chinese culture to   not only students of Chinese language, but also a wider audience of students who might not otherwise experience Chinese martial arts first-hand. Columba College extended invitations to two neighbouring schools, Balmacewen Intermediate and Maori Hill Primary School, to also enjoy the programme. 

Mr Kezhong Sun, a master of traditional Chinese martial arts, amazed students and staff with his flexibility, power and agility during his stay in Dunedin at the start of June. While based at Columba College, Mr Sun taught Year 3 and Year 6 Chinese language students the art of taichi and balance. Mr Sun also collaborated with the PE department and worked with junior and senior PE students teaching them the art of taichi, balance and self-defence. Mr Sun made all his movements look easy, but as the students found out, it was much harder than it looked. 

Mr Sun finally put on a spectacular demonstration at the school gymnasium for students from Year 1 to Year 13 and school staff to enjoy. Mr Sun enthralled the large turnout of students and staff with a non-stop demonstration of taichi, Chinese sword fighting and nun-chucks.  The action-packed demonstration wowed the audience with his skill and stamina. Mr Sun’s message to the audience was with practice you can do well in anything you put your mind to. The demonstration ended with a group photo, a lot of high fives with Mr Sun, admiration for his skills and fond memories of his performance.

Mr Sun is returning to China in July, so we feel fortunate to have him come to Dunedin to work with our school. On behalf of the school, we would like to wish Mr Sun all the best with his future endeavours. The Languages Department is also looking forward to working with the Confucius Institute again soon to put on similar cultural activities. 

Lauren Stirling – Chinese Teacher

Serenity Grace Nielsen-Year 8, Winner of The 2017 Junior Golden Guitars

04 July 2017

Tell us a little about your Country Music journey. Where did you compete and what Awards have you received?


Mum and Dad noticed that I liked to sing and organised some lessons with a Vocal Coach by the name of Catherine Short, who happened to specialise in Country Music.  I was encouraged by Catherine to enter the NZ Gold Guitar Awards in 2014 and I qualified for the finals with my Vocal Solo performance ‘Grandpa’ by The Judds.  In 2015, I returned to the NZ Gold Guitar Awards,  and to my surprise I once again qualified for the finals with my Country Rock audition ‘We’re from the Country’ by Tracy Byrd.  In 2016, I did not make the finals, however I received three highly commended acknowledgments for the Junior Solo, Junior Duet and Junior Gospel sections.  This year was particularly difficult for me, Dad passed away in April and our family were still dealing with the loss.  Dad was my biggest fan, he would ask me to perform to the nurses whenever I visited him in Hospital. 

Our Silverpeaks Country Music Club, Youth Leader (Melissa Partridge) encouraged the youth members to enter other competitions in the South Island.  I chose to enter the Central Coast Country Music Awards in Oamaru in July 2016.


It was after this competition that I was inspired to enter more competitions on the circuit to gain more experience, and over 2016 amd 2017 I have been placed in competitions across New Zealand.


The absolute highlight of my journey was when I recently competed at the NZ Gold Guitar Awards on 3 June 2017 and was placed:

  • 1st Vocal Solo
  • Junior Overall Award Winner

As a result of winning the Junior Overall Award, I now have the opportunity to enter the Tamworth Country Music Festival Talent Quest from 17 – 29 January 2018.


When my name was announced I sat there shocked, amazed and could not contain the overwhelming joy I felt.  I could not believe that I was the Junior Overall Winner, it was a dream come true. I was asked to perform my winning song again, and could not stop smiling and giggling, it was a moment that I will treasure for a lifetime.

Why did you choose to sing Country songs, do you perform anywhere else?


I enjoy Country songs because of the stories and catchy tunes. I particularly enjoy Gospel songs because of the heartfelt meanings and messages. I am a member of the Church Youth Group at Nations and I would like to be a worship leader one day, and perform at places like Hillsong and Planetshakers.  Just recently I have volunteered as a Co Host for the Otago Access Radio station with Jayden TJ and Daniel Tucker. As a Silverpeaks Country Music youth member, I really enjoy performing at the Retirement Villages and Rest homes for the elderly.  It is wonderul watching them sing along to ‘Paper roses’ or smile when I perform ‘Happy Anniversary’.

Do you have any plans to enter other competitions?


NZ Entertainer of the Year 2017 (14 October, Rotorua)

Sun City Country Music Awards (Labour Weekend, Nelson)

Tamworth Country Music Festival (17 – 29 January, New South Wales)


My focus is on maintaining my school work while preparing for the next group of competitions. I will be fundraising for flights, accommodation, car rentals  and performance costumes to attend the next three events and would welcome any assistance towards these costs.  You can contact mum (Hinerangi) on 022 371 8596 for any enquiries.

New Zealand Representatives

03 July 2017

New Zealand Representatives

Congratulations to Mikayla Gray who has gained selection in the New Zealand Secondary School Football team to compete in Singapore later this year.

She is a Co-Captain of our First XI and leads her team with pride. 

Congratulations also to Zoe Allibone, Year 6, who participated in the National Diving competition held in Auckland in July.  She was placed second in the under 12 age group in the Nationals on both the 1m and 3m springboard. Zoë has been selected as a member of the New Zealand schools team to attend the Pacific Schools games. This competition is in Adelaide in December. 

Top Art

21 June 2017

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Freeze-dried ice cream winning idea

02 June 2017

Freeze-dried ice cream winning idea

The problem of melting ice cream might have been solved by a team of enterprising teenagers from Columba College.

Click here to read "The Star" article.

Course cultivates wider understanding

30 May 2017

Growing up on a North Otago dairy farm,  Isabelle Keeling’s knowledge of the agricultural sector was limited to the dairy industry.

Click here to read the ODT article...

Anti-Bullying Week

26 May 2017

Anti-Bullying Week

It's anti-bullying week at Columba College; mufti day on Friday to support mental health initiatives.

Academic Blues 2017

30 April 2017

 CC Blues

Pictured above: Academic Blues recipients as well as Board of Trustees Chair Mr Ray Anton, Ms Rachel McLauchlan Board of Governors Vice-chair, and Miss Holly Hansen, Old Girl and guest speaker.


Year 13 - NCEA Level 3 

Selena Ballantyne
Margot Brown
Kathryn Campbell
Fiona Cannon
Heidi Chin
Miriam Finnie
Chloe Lai
Jingyi Mi
Caroline Moratti
Annabelle Ritchie
Zoe Sinclair
Brittany Spark
Olivia Sycamore
Lily Van Buskirk
Yinuo Wang
Emily Ward
Josephine Williamson
Ching Yeung
Shiqi Zhao

Year 12 - NCEA Level 2

Annabelle Alloo
Brittany Bancroft
Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan
Lucy Beres
Clare Cocks
Bridget Collins
Caitlin Deans
Bethan Dunstone-Leitch
Ruby Edwards
Megan Guest
Khairunnisa Binti Jaafar Amsak
Ellena Khoo
Ling Long Lui
Jade MacMillan
Bianca Malcolm
Jamie McAuslan
Lauren McNeill
Zoe Murrell
Mia Nevill
Ella Porter
Clora Quinlan-Thompson
Teigan Tarapi
Katerina Thompson
Callie Turner
Isabella Wood
Claire Yang

Year 11 - NCEA Level 1 

Rose Abdul Aziz
Ximena Botafogo
Lydia Christensen
Sophie Cochrane
Sophie Cooper
Madeleine Cooper-Forster
Jeannie Corona
Molly Crighton
Macee Cuthbertson
Erin Dailey
Regan Death
Ghazal Dousti
Mikayla Gray
Hillary Grey
Holly Haig
Lydia Joseph
Isabelle Keeling
Lucy Liebergreen
Chenoa Metua
Sasha Meyer
Olivia Miller
Bethany Moody
Milly Nesbit
Maisie Offen
Jaime Preston
Hannah Prout
Lilli Renner
Hannah Rogers
Fiona Schultz
Bridget Scott
Katherine Sewell
Rooma Shailaj
Thirza Smith
Anna Snow
Kate Truman
Amelia Wright-Sear

2017 Art Department Post It Note Competition

21 March 2017

2017 Art Department  Post It Note Competition

This year the Visual Art Department received a variety of interesting and stunning final artworks for this annual competition.

The theme for this year was He aho tahuhu – 

a continuous thread of knowledge and creative expression – from the past, to the present and into the future.

The department would like to congratulate all students who entered a note and the final winners: 

1st place, Year 10 - Allison Le Buffe 

2nd place, Year 7 - Millie Procter & Anise MacClean

3rd place, Year 10 - Emily Wesley-Jones.

Distinguished Alumna

17 March 2017

Distinguished Alumna

We were honoured to present to the school our Distinguished Alumna for 2016, Dr Helen Anderson.

Year 8 Camp

16 March 2017

Year 8 Camp

On Tuesday 14 February, the Year 8's set off onto a journey of what we later on realised was the experience of a lifetime. 

It was an early start on Tuesday morning. Some of us were tired, but everyone was super excited. We piled onto the bus and van and we were off on an adventure down to Deep Cove. As soon as we arrived in Manapouri for lunch, the rain came pouring down.   We transported all of our gear, onto a boat. Cruising through the Fiords on the boat trip was amazing. We were allowed to go on the top level, just a few of us at a time, but we were pretty lucky no one was blown off the boat. The views were amazing as all we saw around us was beautiful mountains and bush. 

When we arrived in Deep Cove, we were immediately covered in sand-flies. Plenty of us got bitten in the first few minutes, but that didn’t worry us as we were all eager to get down and see where we were staying. The hostel was amazing. We were in an isolated area with an unbelievable view of mountains and waterfalls but also no cell phone reception which was a bit of an issue for some of the girls. After hearing the plan for the week, we were all enthusiastic and excited to get straight into it. 

year8camp2017 2

Set in the beautiful Deep Cove, Fiordland our camp was absolutely spectacular. It was the most, or rather should I say the second most, memorable camp of my life (Year 7 camp was the most memorable...) For those who didn’t know about our Year 7 camp, we all caught the gastro bug…

I really enjoyed it because it was a fun, yet challenging camp. We all did a compulsory walk which took all of us just under 4 hours long. Although our entire bodies were aching at the end of that day, most of us were eager to do another. 


We all enjoyed the activities we completed over the week. Separated into three groups, we all gave a go at fishing, ABL team building and weaving with Tahu. These activities were a great time to have fun as a group and also learn different skills independently and in teams. I especially loved swimming in the rock pools. The water was absolutely freezing but everyone was brave or should I say crazy enough to jump in.

So, the next day, a solid group of us set off again to the Hanging Valley walk which, in my opinion was completely worth the difficult tramp. 

We trod for hours climbing under, over and on top of different sized tree roots, I’ll tell you now, it was a challenge. Finally, we reached the top: hot, sweaty and exhausted but the significant view of Deep Cove most definitely made up for the task. 

On day 3, we were up early and ready to catch a Real Journeys boat out to the Tasman Sea. This was a real highlight as it was a beautiful morning and the views were magnificent. 

We were very lucky enough to see dolphins in their natural environment and seals sunbathing on the rocks, something I know we will remember for many years.

We were very lucky to have Amy and Mizey from Adventure Southland and also Tahu from the Orokonui Eco-sanctuary with us. We took part in fun team activities with them after dinner and they also took us on the walks and joined in with everything else we were doing. Tahu was so fun to have with us as she had such an adventurous and positive attitude. She arranged some acting, games and learning about where we were and also the wildlife around us. Amy and Mizey accompanied us on our walks and also were great to have on our trip.

Also, the wildlife and the scenery were absolutely magnificent. I have been lucky enough to have travelled to many different countries in my life and so far, nothing has compared to the beautiful Fiordland. It was so natural and un-touched that it almost seemed like an artwork. We were actually lucky enough to meet Wendy and Wally the Wekas, and a couple of cheeky Keas which we later on named Colleen and Kev. Throughout our stay we noticed that both of these species enjoy stealing human shoes…

We would like to make a special thanks to all the parents that came to Deep Cove with us and also a big thank you to Mrs Walker and Mr Walden - without both of you this camp would not have been possible. 

Year 8 camp was honestly the most amazing, so all of the Year 7’s this year, please make the most of this unique camp. We all wish we could go again.

By Lucy Cowie and Grace Johnston 


15 March 2017


The Columba College Rowing squad has had an impressive start to the year representing the school well on Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel. The Canterbury Rowing Championships were held on 14-15 January with two Fours taking first place. These were the Club Women’s Coxed Four - Milly Nesbit, Clora Quinlan-Thompson, Callie Turner, Abby Anderson and Megan Maslin (cox) and the U17 Four of Amber Cunningham, Ellen Foley, Abby Anderson, Millie Wright and Megan Maslin (cox). It was very disappointing that some of the finals were called off due to windy weather, however all of the Columba crews displayed strong efforts in their heats. 

After the squad had trained solidly right through the summer holidays, everyone was determined to do well at the South Island Rowing Championships. This was held in the final weekend of the holidays (28-29 January) with medals up for grabs! This determination of the squad was shown clearly and paid off with the best ever results at the regatta the school has had yet. 

U19 Four-  Milly Nesbit, Clora Quinlan-Thompson, Callie Turner, Abby Anderson and Megan Maslin (cox) took out gold.

U17 Four - Amber Cunningham, Ellen Foley, Abby Anderson, Millie Wright and Megan Maslin (cox) won silver.

This regatta was also affected by weather with the last finals raced over 1000m rather than 2000m which the girls were used to, however this didn’t affect their success.

U17 Eight - Milly Nesbit, Abby Anderson, Callie Turner, Ellen Foley, Amber Cunningham, Abby Griffin, Sophie Anderson, Millie Wright and Megan Maslin (cox) claimed bronze.

U19 Eight - Milly Nesbit, Abby Anderson, Callie Turner, Clora Quinlan-Thompson, Amber Cunningham, Ellen Foley, Ella Smillie, Millie Wright and Megan Maslin (cox) took bronze.

rowing2017 2

Columba College was represented at National Rowing Championships held on Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel 14-18 February by Milly Nesbit, Clora Quinlan-Thompson, Callie Turner, Abby Anderson and old girl Margot Darling (cox) who competed in the U18 four. They got off to a great start by winning their heat 8 seconds ahead of second place. This ranked them 3rd going into the final, however the girls improved this ranking with a gutsy effort in what ended up being an incredibly tight race. They placed a very respectable 2nd, with just 1 second between 1st and 4th place. 

The Columba rowing squad is going from strength to strength under the expertise of coaches Natalie Matheson and Matthew Adam and is looking to continue this form at both South Island and New Zealand Secondary Schools regattas.

Clora Quinlan-Thompson

Rowing Co-Captain


Columba College Wins Regional Debating Competition

14 March 2017

Columba College Wins Regional Debating Competition

Columba College has won the Russell McVeagh Otago-Southland Schools’ Debating Championships which concluded at the University of Otago on Sunday afternoon. 

The Columba College team of Lydia Christensen, Lydia Joseph and Bridget Scott beat Otago Girls High School in the Grand Final. They successfully affirmed the motion “This House would aggressively raise the age of superannuation in New Zealand.”

The organisers were delighted to have Hon Michael Woodhouse attend the Grand Final for the Championships. He spoke after conclusion of the Grand Final on why superannuation was originally introduced in New Zealand and why the Government had proposed to raise the age of superannuation as an election promise this year. The Minister also presented the winning trophy to Columba College and the Best Speaker prize to Lydia Joseph.

The Otago-Southland regional competition, held annually and sponsored by Russell McVeagh, involved 25 teams this year from around the region.  

Students debated in five preliminary rounds, on topics ranging from compulsory Te Reo in primary schools to raising taxes on property investors.

"Its great to see young students from Otago speaking powerfully on these difficult issues", said Hamish Saunders, President of the New Zealand Schools' Debating Council.  

Students had half an hour to prepare their speeches after finding out what side of the topic they were arguing. 

An Otago-Southland Regional Team was chosen for the annual New Zealand Schools' Debating Championships which will be held in Wellington in May. The Otago-Southland region will be represented by Sabrina Swerdloff (Otago Girls High School), Lydia Joseph (Columba College) and Patrick Hantler (John MacGlashan High School).



14 March 2017


On Thursday February 16 a strong Columba team of nine triathletes competed at the Cromwell Secondary Schools Triathlon Competition. In 26 degree heat our Columba College team competed very successfully. 

Lilli Renner (running), Thirza Smith (biking) and Gabrielle Trotter (swimming) won the senior team section.

Sophie Gaudin came second in the individual senior section.  Caitlyn O'Brien came second in the individual junior section.

All other athletes performed admirably and gained very good placings. Congratulations to all our Columba triathlon representatives

Centre of Excellence for Agricultural Science and Business

06 March 2017

Centre of Excellence for Agricultural Science and Business

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Years 7-13 Athletics Sports

07 February 2017

Click here.

Global Heart Warming

07 February 2017

Global Heart Warming

Click here for information about Year 9 – 11 Exchange Opportunities.

Important Boarding Dates 2017

19 January 2017

Sunday Jan 29 - Boarding house Re opens for 2017 at 11am - Year 13 Boarders leadership training

Sunday Jan 29 3pm - Year 9 Boarders arrive. Parent and Family BBQ at 5.15pm to 6.45pm (Year 9 and 13 parents welcome)

Monday Jan 30th - Years 9 and 13 at school.

Other year levels to register at the house from 10am onwards.

To allow time to settle we recommend you are in House by 6pm.

Tuesday Jan 31- all levels at school.

H & J Smith Back to School Promotion

11 January 2017

H & J Smith Back to School Promotion

School Stationery 2017

15 December 2016

Click here to for 2017 school stationery lists.



BTS Newsletter Advert 56x213mm

Centre of Excellence for Agricultural Science and Business

14 December 2016

Centre of Excellence for Agricultural Science and Business
Mr Neil Garry, Principal of John McGlashan College, Mrs Suzanne Bishop, Business teacher, Dr Craig Preston, Agriculture teacher, Mrs Juliette Hayes, Principal Columba College, Mr Ian McGilchrist, Assistant Principal, John McGlashan College


Agribusiness is being introduced as a Year 12 subject next year, in conjunction with John McGlashan College. John McGlashan College will be teaching the Agriculture and Columba teaching the Business component. Many exciting activities have been planned for the year.

Agribusiness is significantly different to AgHort, a subject that has been around for many years, which focussed on skills for work on-farm. Students who receive the Certificate of Excellence in Agribusiness will have expertise that will be helpful in a wide range of occupations - those that require ‘high heels and smart shoes’ just as much as those that require gumboots.

In 2017, 8 students from each school will be selected for the Year 12 Agribusiness class. These students will demonstrate high academic capability with at least Merit endorsements in commerce or sciences.

After years of planning by St Pauls’ Collegiate (Hamilton) and the Lead schools, the course is ready for implementation. In preparation for the launch in each school the Principals of all of the schools as well as the teachers involved went to Hamilton on November 23 for a meeting to ensure readiness.

Columba is one of just ten accredited Centres of Excellence for Agribusiness in New Zealand. 

Otago Chinese Prize Giving

13 December 2016

Otago Chinese Prize Giving
Columba College receiving “Best School” prize in the Chinese Calligraphy Competition


Columba College hosted the 2016 Otago Chinese Prize Giving on 11th November. 

Kara Bethune (Year 13), Heidi Chin (Year 13), Isabella Lau (Year 12), Ashlee Turner (Year 10) achieved “HSK Excellence Awards”.

The Year 9 Chinese class and the GATE class participated in “The First NZ Intermediate and Secondary Schools’ Students Chinese Short Film Competition” in July.  Sophie Baron, Sylvie Brosnahan, Ella Heffernan, Kiki Iseya, Maia Joseph, Joanna Liu, Sacha McConnon, Bree Mosley, Shannon Sealy, Lara Seaton, Georgia Tattersall, Serim Woo (Year 9) won a Merit Award for their film “Columba College Got Talent”.  Samantha Lindsay, Mia Warman, Joelle Gatenby, Joanna Zhang (Year 10) won a Merit Award for their film Dining In.

Year 10-12 students participated in the 2016 New Zealand Chinese Essay Competition in August. Niruthmie Pallawala (Year 10), Eleanor Dunn (Year 10), Lilli Renner (Year 11) and Jamie McAuslan (Year 12) won national Merit prizes. 

Columba College won “Best School” prize in the Chinese calligraphy competition. 

2016 Excellence School Students Awards went to Lara Seaton (Year 9), Zara Galliven (Year 10), Eleanor Dunn (Year 10), Hannah Prout (Year 11), Jamie McAuslan (Year 12), Kara Bethune (Year 13). 

Prizes gained in these various competitions were awarded at the Chinese Confucius Institute Prize-Giving evening held on 11th November and hosted by Columba College.  Years 7-10 students performed a Chinese Folk Dance at the Prize-Giving. 


Chinese Prize-Giving – GATE class performance

Sports Awards

12 December 2016

Sports Awards
Prize Winners


The annual Sports Awards were held on Friday 28th October in Constance Hall during the afternoon.  The awards were well attended by parents, staff and students in Years 9-13.

2016 has been a record breaking year for sport at the college, with athletes and teams excelling in a wide range of sports.

14 New Zealand Representatives
73 Otago Representatives
65 Blues
37 Coaching Awards
10 Refereeing Awards
93% school wide participation in sport

This has been achieved through the dedication and commitment of the girls, staff, coaches, mentors, managers and families.  It has been supported by the College Boards and Sports Council.

Congratulations to the girls listed below for outstanding achievements in 2016.  We have had a year of Excellence and Grace in sport.

Mrs S. Harvey
Director of Sport


Year 9

Antonia Bachop

For Swimming, a 1st year Blue and an Otago representative badge 

Maia Joseph

For Touch, a 1st year Blue and an Otago representative badge for U15 Mixed Touch and Under 14A Netball

Mia also receives a badge for a Junior in the Senior A Touch, Sevens Rugby and 1st 15 Rugby teams

Molly Law

For Swimming, a 1st year Blue

Emma McCaughan

For Aerobics, a 1st year Blue and an Otago representative badge for Years 12 to 14 

Zoe McCane

Swimming, a 1st year Blue and an Otago junior representative badge

Mila Rollo

For Cycling, a 1st year Blue

Jordan Summers

For Swimming, a 1st year Blue and an Otago representative badge


Year 10

Abby Anderson

For Rowing, a 1st year Blue and an Otago representative badge for U15A Netball

Zola Close

For Rowing, a 1st year Blue

Hannah Cross

For Ice Hockey, a New Zealand representative badge, a 1st year Blue and an Otago U17 representative badge 

Amber Cunningham

For Rowing, a 1st year Blue

Ellen Foley

For Rowing, a 1st year Blue

Zara Galliven

For Rhythmic Gymnastics, a NZ representative badge, a 2nd year Blue and an Otago representative badge for Level 8 Rhythmic Gymnastics

Abby Griffin

For Rowing, a 1st year Blue and a Coaching Award for 1 years service to Netball

Audrey Hayes

For Athletics, a 1st year Blue and an Otago U15 representative badge for Hockey, Audrey also receives a badge for a junior in the 1st XI Hockey Team and a Refereeing Award for 1 year service to Hockey

Nikita Horne

For Rowing a 1st year Blue

Olivia McRae

For Rowing, a 1st year Blue and a Coaching Award for 1 year service to Netball

Charlotte Wheeler

For Athletics, a 1st year Blue and an Otago U15 representative badge for Hockey and Netball. Charlotte also receives a badge for a junior in the 1st XI Hockey Team

Milly Wright

For Rowing, a 1st year Blue


Year 11

Tayna Barnes

An Otago representative badge for U17 Volleyball

Meg Breen

For Athletics, a 2nd year Blue and an Otago representative badge for Secondary Schools’ 15’s Rugby

Claudia Carruthers

For Touch 3rd year Blue and an Otago U17 representative badge 

Sophie Cochrane

For Ice Hockey a NZ representative Badge, a 1st year Blue and an Otago Representative Badge for Southern Women’s Team

Erin Chittock

A coaching Award for 1 year service to Netball

Sophie Cooper

An Otago Representative Badge for U16 Water polo, a coaching award for 2 years service to Water polo and a refereeing award for 3 years service

Madeleine Cooper-Forster

For Cycling 1st year Blue and Otago representative badge for U17 Track cycling

Macee Cuthbertson

An Otago representative badge for U17 Basketball

Erin Dailey

An Otago representative Badge for U17 Basketball

Zoe Flockton

Otago Representative Badge for U17 Volleyball and a coaching award for 1st year Volleyball and Netball

Mikayla Gray

For Football 1st year Blue and an Otago U17 representative badge 

Holly Haig

For Hockey 1st year Blue, an Otago Representative Badge for Southern U18 Regional Hockey. Also a coaching award for 1 year service to Hockey

Georgia Hamilton

For Water-skiing, a NZ representative badge, a 3rd year Blue and an Otago representative badge for the Southern Region team

Chenoa Metua

Otago Representative Badge for U17 Volleyball and a 1st year coaching Award for service to volleyball

Ella Mercer-Black

For Karate, 1st year Blue

McKayler Moore

For Touch, an NZ representative badge, a, 3rd year Blue and an Otago U17 Representative Badge 

Millie Nesbit

For Rowing 1st year Blue

Georgia O’Halloran

For Surf Life-Saving, 1st year Blue and an Otago representative badge for U16 Water Polo and 2nd year Coaching badge for service to Water polo

Jaime Preston

For Hockey, 1st year Blue and an Otago representative badge for Southern U18 Regional Hockey. Also a Coaching Award for 1 years service to Hockey

Fiona Schultz

An Otago representative badge for U16 Water polo and a coaching award for 2 years service to Hockey

Katie Sewell

For Figure skating, 2nd year Blue 

Thirza Smith

An Otago Representative badge for U17 road and track Cycling

Amelia Willis

A Coaching and Refereeing award for 2 years service to Water polo


Year 12

Annabelle Alloo

An Otago Representative badge for U16 Tennis

Sophie Anderson

For Rowing a 2nd year Blue and a Coaching Award for 1 year service to Netball

Ella Bennett

A Coaching award for 2 years service to Netball

Isabella Becconsall-Ryan

For Hockey a 2nd year Blue and an Otago representative badge for Southern U18 Regional Hockey. A Coaching Award for 3 years service to Hockey

Grace Brosnahan

For Hockey, 1st year Blue and an Otago Representative badge for Southern U18 Regional Hockey. Also a coaching award for 3 years service to Hockey

Caitlin Deans

A NZ Representative badge in Swimming and a 4th year Blue.  Also an Otago representative badge for 16 and over Swimming

Lillie Driscoll-King

An Otago representative badge for Athletics

Margot Fowler

A coaching award for 2 years service to Netball

Abbey Hamilton

A Coaching Award for 2 years service to Miniball

Shannon Inch

For Athletics a 1st year Blue and an Otago representative badge for Athletics

Stephanie Jasperse

For Equestrian, a NZ representative badge and a 4th year Blue and an Otago Representative badge 

Isabella Lau

A Coaching Award for 4 years service to Miniball and a Refereeing award for 1 years service

Jamie McAuslan

Athletics a 1st year Blue

Bianca Malcolm

An Otago Representative badge for U17 squash and a Refereeing award for 1 year service 

Mia Nevill

For Hockey a NZ Junior Black Sticks squad member, a 1st year Blue and an Otago Representative badge for U18 Southern Regional Hockey. Also a Coaching Award for 3 years service to Hockey

Clora Quinlan-Thompson

For Rowing, a 1st year Blue and an Otago Representative badge for U20 Rowing

Lily Rodger

A coaching award for 1 year service to volleyball

Bridget Sim

A coaching award for 2 years service to Netball and a Refereeing award for 4 years service.

Grace Small

For Rowing a 1st year Blue

Ella Smillie

For Rowing a 1st year Blue

Katerina Thompson

A refereeing award for 2 years service to Hockey

Callie Turner

For rowing a 1st year Blue and an Otago representative badge for U20 Rowing. Also a coaching Award for 1 years service to Netball

Alice Young

A coaching award for 1 years service to Netball

Hannah White

A coaching award for 2 years to Touch and Netball

Year 13

Olivia Anderson

A coaching award for 3 years service to Netball

Charlotte Calder

An Otago representative badge for U21 Cricket

Kate Campbell

For Rowing a 2nd year Blue and Otago representative badge for U20 Rowing

Kaitlin Chamberlain

For Figure Skating a NZ representative badge and a 2nd year Blue

Kendra Crawford

Otago representative badge for 15s Rugby and a Coaching Award for 2 years service to Netball

Margot Darling

For Rowing a 3rd year Blue and an Otago representative badge. Also a coaching award for 4 years service to Netball and Hockey and a Refereeing award for 1 year service to Netball

Rileigh Fields

For Tennis a 4th year Blue and an Otago representative badge for Senior A Tennis and U19 Badminton

Kenzie Findlay

A coaching award for 1 years service to Netball

Tahlia Green

A coaching award for 3 years service to Hockey

Sara Griffin

For Rowing a 3rd year Blue and a coaching award for 3 years service to Netball

Ella Harris 

For Cycling a NZ representative badge for cycling and a 3rd year Blues and an Otago representative badge for U19 Cycling

Holly Lang

A coaching award for 3 years service to Hockey

Tania Savery

An Otago representative badge for U17 Football

Lydia Shirley

For Hockey a Junior Black Sticks Squad member, a 3rd year Blue and an Otago representative badge for Southern U21 and U18 Hockey. Also a coaching award for 2 years service to Hockey

Libby Sycamore

A coaching award for 4 years service to Water polo

Christine Wierda

For Diving, a NZ representative badge and a 1st year Blue

Heidi Wright

For Rowing a 2nd year Blue 


Students Receiving 2 Blues


Lily Cunningham

For Athletics a 2nd year Blue and Netball a 1st year Blue. An Otago representative badge for Athletics and U19 Netball

Ellie Duncan

For Hockey, a Junior Black Sticks Squad member and a 1st year Blue.  For Athletics a 3rd year Blue. An Otago representative badge for U17 Athletics and Southern U18 Regional Hockey.  Also a 1st year coaching award for Hockey

Devon Familton

For Surf lifesaving, a New Zealand Youth Squad member and a 4th year Blue. For swimming a 4th year Blue and an Otago Representative badge

Amaya Leslie

For both Aerobics and Gymnastics a 1st year Blue and an Otago representative badge for step 8 Gymnastics

Anna McCaughan

For Touch a 1st year Blue and Aerobics a 2nd year Blue also an Otago Representative badge for U17 Touch and Aerobics

Meg Sycamore

For Touch, a NZ representative badge, and 2nd year Blues for both Touch and Swimming.  An Otago Representative badge for U15 Girls and U15 mixed Touch, and Otago U15 Netball.  Meg also receives a badge for a junior in the Senior A Touch and Basketball Teams

Gabrielle Trotter

For both Surf Lifesaving and Swimming, 3rd year Blues and an Otago representative badge for U15 Swimming. Also a refereeing Award for 3years service to Netball


Special Awards


Team of the Year

Rowing Under 18 Light Weight Coxed Four Sophie Anderson, Sara Griffin, Heidi Wright, Millie Wright, cox Margot Darling.


Sports Council Coaching Award

Natalie Matheson and Matt Adam (rowing)


S English and S Wood Cup for Commitment and Sportsmanship

Margot Darling


Sports Personality Trophy and the Shona Harvey 'Inspire and Excel' cup

Lily Cunningham


Sport Awards Speech - ‘Grace in Sport’ 

2016 has been a year of records, we have had record numbers in participation with 93% of students. Also with a record number of 13 NZ representatives and 79 Otago representatives. 

This year ‘Grace’ has been a major focus and an important value for College. Grace stands for Good discipline, Respect, Aroha, Citizenship and Excellence. 

So this year Rileigh and I had decided to make our motto ‘’Grace in Sport”. We then looked into each of the meanings within Grace and specified it to sport and how it relates. 

Good Discipline - meaning attending and committing to all your games and practices. 

Respect - Having respect for your teammates and competitors during and around competing. Having manners and respect to coaches, umpires and managers who take time to coach, support and organise.  Also having respect for equipment used and leaving facilities the way you found them. 

Aroha - To love your sport, to play and enjoy yourself, with your teammates. 

Citizenship - Doing your part in your chosen sport, including chores, fundraising and jobs that may have to be done. 

Excellence - This is giving 100% effort in all that you do, never giving up and having a positive attitude. It also means setting goals for yourself, these may be long term or short term and be determined to achieve them, even with set backs and disappointment that everyone sometimes has. It is being able to get up, dust yourself off and keep going. 

I have been extremely honoured to be Sports Prefect this year and I have really enjoyed seeing all the accomplishments we have achieved. I would like to give thanks to all those who help support sport at Columba, including the girls, teachers and parents, without you these achievements here today would not have been possible. I would like to say congratulations to everyone, these are amazing results and you should all be very proud. 

Personally I would like thank Mrs Harvey who has supported and helped guide Rileigh and I in this role. Also to mum and dad, thank you for supporting me since I was little and taking me around to my trainings and watching 99% of my games and competition. I wouldn’t have got to where I am today without you. Lastly I would like to say a big thank you to Rileigh, you have has been amazing with your help and support; we made a great team and it has been lots of fun working with you. 

To everyone retuning in 2017 make the most of the opportunities Columba offers you. I wish you good luck and keep striving for Grace and Excellence.

Lily Cunningham
Sports Prefect


Deputy Sports Prefect, Rileigh Fields and Sports Prefect, Lily Cunningham

Sports Council Scholarship Recipients

11 December 2016

Sports Council Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to Kaitlin Chamberlain (Figure Skating), Stephanie Jasperse (Equestrian) and McKayler Moore (Touch) who all received scholarships from the Sports Council for gaining New Zealand representative honours in their chosen sports. They are photographed with principal Mrs Hayes and Council chairman Mr Pete Turner.

New Zealand Junior Black Sticks

10 December 2016

New Zealand Junior Black Sticks

Columba Hockey boasts three New Zealand Junior Black Sticks Squad members

Congratulations to Ellie Duncan Year 11, Mia Nevill Year 12 and Lydia Shirley Year 13 who have been named in Hockey New Zealand’s Junior Black Sticks squad for 2016/2017.

This is fantastic news and just reward for their fantastic season at school and provincial levels. To have three selected from a small school at New Zealand level is truly outstanding.

Old Girl Phoebe Steele Selected in the Black Sticks Hockey Team

09 December 2016

Old Girl Phoebe Steele Selected in the Black Sticks Hockey Team

Congratulations to Phoebe Steele who captained the Columba College 1st Xl Hockey in 2013 and 2014 on gaining selection in the Black Sticks team. Phoebe will debut against Malaysia in New Zealand in a series from December 12-18th.

Presently Phoebe is Co-Captain of the Junior Black Sticks at the Junior Under 21 World Cup in Chile.

Columba College Fair 2017

08 December 2016

Columba College Fair 2017

1st April 2017 - Save the Date

Click her to

2016 Columba College junior school prize list

08 December 2016

Click here to read the 2016 Columba College junior school prize list.

2016 Columba College prize list for Years 7 to 10

08 December 2016

Click here for the 2016 Columba College prize list for Years 7 to 10.

Blue Light Anti Bullying Video Competition

06 December 2016

Blue Light Anti Bullying Video Competition

The Year 10 Video Technology class entered 12 videos into the Blue Light, Anti Bullying Video competition. The specifications were to create a 40second clip illustrating ‘A small gesture goes a long way’. There were 80 entries nationwide and 1 group from Columba College won the Secondary School category. The winners were Ash Biggs and Alana Walsh.

Watch on youtube:

Important Boarding Dates 2017

05 December 2016

Jan 26 and 27 - Course confirmation for Yr 12 and 13 students

Jan 26 - 27 - Yr 13 Leadership camp

Sunday Jan 29 - Boarding house Re opens for 2017 at 11am - Year 13 Boarders leadership training

Jan 29 - 3pm - Year 9 Boarders arrive. Parent and Family BBQ at 5.15pm to 6.45pm (Year 9 and 13 parents welcome)

Monday - Jan 30th - Years 9 and 13 at school.

Other year levels to register at the house from 10am onwards.

To allow time to settle we recommend you are in House by 6pm.

Tuesday -Jan 31- all levels at school.

Columba joins Presbyterian school in recording a new song

17 November 2016

Columba joins Presbyterian school in recording a new song

View on youtube:

Columba College Choir Performance

16 November 2016

Columba College Choir Performance

2016 Columba College Prize Giving
“Ave Maria” by Caccini

View on YouTube:


Jenny Mi, 2016 Columba College Dux

14 November 2016

Jenny Mi, 2016 Columba College Dux

Tertiary Scholarship Recipients 2016

13 November 2016

Click here to read the Tertiary Scholarship Recipients 2016.

2016 Columba College Prize List for Years 11 to 13

12 November 2016

Click here to read the 2016 Columba College Prize List for Years 11 to 13.

Annabelle Ritchie selected for an opportunity in Wellington - 'Powering Potential'

25 October 2016

Annabelle Ritchie selected for an opportunity in Wellington - 'Powering Potential'

Forty talented school students will be tasked to find answers and recommendations to some of New Zealand’s future problems around climate change, having been selected to attend Powering Potential in Wellington from 12–15 December.

Click her to

Saving lives with pink pavlovas

03 October 2016

Saving lives with pink pavlovas

This story and movie appears on NewsHub. Link:

A group of Dunedin students have put a new twist on the classic Kiwi dessert - they've developed pink pavlovas as part of a school business project, which is also raising awareness of breast cancer.

The 'Pink Ladies' from Columba College had the idea of adding a touch of pink to the traditional pavlova... but insist the new look hasn't spoilt the flavour.

"It's just delicious. It's like that kind of theory with triangle sandwiches and square sandwiches. Like, they're the same, but really triangle sandwiches are just better," says Caroline Moratti.

The pink pavs are the students' Young Enterprise project for the year, which they're juggling alongside their studies.

"And then when you put on top of it running a business, it's been a bit difficult. But we've really enjoyed the experience," says Simone Reid.

They've designed and marketed the sweet treat, with a portion of sales going to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

But the job of actually making the perfect pink pavlova was left to the experts at Cowell's.

"The good thing about it was the outside, we thought it would look burnt but it doesn't. And the inside is still very pink and it looks really good," says Matthew Heaton, managing director at Cowell's Pavlova.

The Pink Ladies have already sold over 9000 of their pavlovas through friends, family, and local supermarkets, with hopes of doubling that during October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"Our slogan for October is actually 'take one for mum'. Because we know that the age bracket for breast cancer starts to increase around that mother age," says Ms Reid.

The limited-edition pink pavs will be sold in selected stores across the country - benefiting a good cause, and leaving a great taste in the mouth.


Woolf Fisher Fellowship

23 September 2016

Woolf Fisher Fellowship
Ruby Edwards, Mr J Hayden, Nisa Jaafar Amsak


Mr John Hayden, Classics and English teacher at Columba College, has been awarded the Woolf Fisher Fellowship.  This Fellowship was crafted to encourage excellence in educational leadership and sends the award receivers overseas to experience and examine different teaching principles and practices.  This Fellowship cannot be applied for and is recognised for the element of surprise that the recipient receives when being presented this award.

The following is an interview of Mr Hayden by Nisa Jaafar Amsak and Ruby Edwards on the 28th August, 2016 in G3.

What’s the name of the Fellowship?

The Woolf Fisher Fellowship, it was set up in the 60’s by Woolf Fisher.


How did you come to know about the Fellowship?

When they informed me that I had won one.  One day a letter appeared on my desk and I legitimately thought it was a joke.


Where will you be going?

Italy, specifically landing in Rome. Then I’ll be heading up to Naples in the south of Italy, and lastly to Pompeii. I’ll then tour around Athens in Greece, and then visit a small town named Limia.


What will you be doing there?

Mostly being a tourist, taking selfies, trying not to get mugged, talking to some pretty intense academics about the future of classics.  I will try to make my way around museums, talk to some curators and develop an insight on where classics can take me, and just generally be a snoop.


Are you bringing anyone along?

Just myself.  The decision was made that it was more practical for just me to go.


What do you think you’ll get out of this trip?

My mind will be blown.  Seeing these things that I’ve been obsessed with since I was in Year 13, hopefully bring back more excitement and enthusiasm towards teaching.  Also, a better knowledge of not only the classical world, but how we can apply it into a school setting.


How long will you be there?

I’m leaving on the 12th September, coming back 6th of October.


What are you most looking forward to?

Just being able to reach out and touch these things, being able to breathe it all in rather than just staring lovingly at a text book.


Congratulations Mr Hayden and on behalf of all students at Columba College we wish you well and look forward to a follow-up interview on your return.

9Be English perform ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’

22 September 2016

9Be English perform ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’
Evie Ballantyne as Hermia and Sophie Baron as Lysander


Over two nights and three days in the Caroline Freeman Theatre 9Be performed an abridged version of the Bard's comedy.  The class had two versions of the play featuring a lot of role swapping, especially when one of the leads rolled her ankle.  Sacha McConnon holds the record for most parts played in one show - four.

It took a lot of hard work over two terms and wonderful support from teachers, students, Columba staff, and whãnau.

A special mention to: Raewyn Lippert and Peter Thomas our Masterclass teachers; Rachel Bird for set design and astro turf; Anna Togneri for lighting; Nick Wooliscroft for lifting and carrying...everything, and Kate Lindsay for dramatic assistance.  A final mention to all teachers who were so generous in allowing 9Be to 'take over' the Caroline Freeman Theatre for what seemed an eternity. 


Debating Club

21 September 2016

Debating Club
Khaleeda Jaafar Amsak


The Columba College Debating Club is in excellent health.  We continue to foster enthusiasm for debating at all Year levels with Intermediate Debating Club going strong.  Under the tutelage of Lydia Joseph, Lydia Christensen, Bridget Scott and Kate Truman there are a dozen regulars who attend every Wednesday at lunch-time for games, discussions and debates. 


Dunedin Schools’ Debating is over for another year and we congratulate all Columba College teams for their achievements in the competition.  There were seven rounds at both levels.


Two of our senior teams made the semi-finals, losing to Logan Park and John McGlashan with John McGlashan winning the senior tournament this year.  Well done to Selena Ballantyne (Debating Captain), Lydia Joseph, Bridget Scott, Rebecca MacDonell, Caroline Moratti, Kate Truman and Lydia Christensen for making it to the semi-finals. 


The junior finals were held on Wednesday the 7th in the evening, notably with three of the four teams being from Columba College (this is unprecedented).  It was an all Columba final with the win going to a Year 9 team of Allison LeBuffe, Lara Seaton, Isobel Fraser and Tessa Campbell who did not debate in the final but has been debating with her team all year. The girls beat the Year 10 team of Georgia Francis, Khaleeda Jaafar Amsak and Madeline McCane, arguing that New Zealand police should carry guns, thereby ensuring the junior trophy stays in Columba’s hands for another year.


Certificates were given out to the best ten speakers in the tournament with Columba doing very well indeed. Our results were –


Khaleeda Jaafar AmsakBest Speaker

Abby Bowmar 2nd= ranked speaker

Georgia Francis  2nd= ranked speaker

Madeline McCane 4th ranked speaker

Lara Seaton 6th ranked speaker

Tessa Campbell7th= ranked speaker

Cara Busse  7th= ranked speaker

Holly Friedlander 9th ranked speaker


Well-done girls!  On the calendar for the year we still have House Debating; Selena is organising Junior and Senior House Debates and our second year of ‘Debate Camp’ on the 11th of November.


Lara Seaton, Allison LeBuffe, Isobel Fraser

Caitlin Deans NZ Rep

21 September 2016

Caitlin Deans NZ Rep

Congratulations to Caitlin Deans on her selection by Swimming New Zealand for the 2016 State Teams Age Short Course Championships to be held in Canberra from 23rd to 25th September 2016.

This is a recognition by Swimming New Zealand of the dedication to training and performance made by Caitlin.

Her selection follows a very successful South Island Swimming Championships in August.  In the 15-16yrs girls age group Caitlin won 5 gold medals (50, 100, 200, 400 and 800 freestyle), 4 silver medals (400 IM, 200 IM and regional medley and freestyle relays) and 1 bronze medal (50 fly).  She also recorded Open wins in the 400 and 800 freestyle.

2016 Federation Cup/Marie Fry Secondary Schools’ Girls Hockey Tournament

20 September 2016

2016 Federation Cup/Marie Fry Secondary Schools’ Girls Hockey Tournament

hockey2Columba College finished the 2016 Federation Cup Hockey tournament in style with two 8-0 victories. The tournament was held in North Harbour from 29th August to 3rd September.  There were 32 schools taking part in this national tournament.  Columba are now the only Otago/Southland school to stay in this top national tournament for 2017.  The team played great hockey throughout the week scoring some awesome goals through good linking in the mid-field and strong defense.

On the first day of competition Columba defeated Waikato Diocesan 3-1, goal scorers were Ella Heffernan, Holly Lang and Tahlia Green.  On day two Columba drew 4-4 with Wairarapa College, goals to Ellie Duncan, Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan, Laura Becker and Lydia Shirley.  Unfortunately, in the final game in Pool play Columba lost 0-1 to Burnside High School.

In the first day of playoffs Columba lost to Otumoetai College 1-2, the sole goal by Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan.  Then Columba faced off against St Hilda's Collegiate and won this game 4-0, goals to Holly Lang two, Ellie Duncan and Audrey Hayes one each. 

On 2nd September Columba had a crushing 8-0 win over St Peters School Cambridge with Lydia Shirley scoring a hat-trick and Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan scoring two goals, Savanna Westgate, Ellie Duncan and Tahlia Green one each.

On the final day of competition Columba had another crushing 8-0 win over Timaru Girls High School in the play-off for 25th position, Lydia Shirley, Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan and Ellie Duncan all scoring two goals each and Tahlia Green and Holly Lang one each. 

Special mention to Mrs Tina Becker and Mrs Lorraine Duncan who managed working tirelessly for the team.  The Year 13 girls, Lydia Shirley, Laura Becker, Tahlia Green and Holly Lang, who have played their last hockey for Columba, you have all contributed so much to school hockey and will be missed, good luck for 2017.

Thank you to all the parents who made the long trek north to support the team and encourage them.  Mr Joe Piggott who has helped with coaching the team for two years has been excellent and has added to the strength of Columba hockey, I wish him well as he heads back to Christchurch at the conclusion of university study.

To all players, thank you for being a great team and training hard this season. You played some great hockey at tournament, congratulations.

Shona Harvey

1st X1 Coach


Year 9 Ski Camp

19 September 2016

Year 9 Ski Camp

This was held at Coronet Peak from 8th - 12th August, with the girls staying in three Ski Club lodges on the mountain.  The weather and snow conditions were wonderful and all girls made great progress with their skiing and boarding. Thank-you to all the parents who helped with the camp:  Mrs Angela Mosely, Mrs Tracy Paterson, Mr Sacha Gray, Mr Peter O'Brien, Mr Ash O'Halloran, Mr Rafe Maclean and Mr Tony Fraser.






A Midsummer Night's Dream

09 September 2016

hannah c poster

Download full invitation here.

Drawing up for awards

05 September 2016

Lily Van Buskirk

Columba College artist Lily Van Buskirk (left) with her pencil drawing of fellow pupil Ashleigh McDonald. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery.


It was a case of being in the right place at the right time.

Ashleigh McDonald (14) was in a year 9 digital technology class when Lily Van Buskirk (18) came from the art studio next door looking for someone to photograph and then draw as part of her year 13 visual arts class.

Ashleigh was one of several pupils whom Lily photographed for her art work portfolio.

But there was something about the photo of Ashleigh that prompted Lily to pick up a pencil and turn it into a portrait.

Now that portrait has been selected as a finalist in the 2016 Wallace Secondary Schools Art Awards.

"I think her gaze in the photo is interesting. There’s something about the way she can hold a scene in the photograph, and that translates well to the drawing.  

"Her eyes tell some unknown story. I think you can truly see the wisdom in her.

"It’s about looking at schools, especially schools like Columba, which have such a strong character, and the aspects of Columba that went into building my character — looking at what it means to be a part of tradition and part of a school that has so much history, and what that means to me.

"It’s all encapsulated within this portrait."

Ashleigh was delighted with the portrait.

"It’s freaky how much it looks like me. It’s like a black and white photo."

Judges in the 2016 Wallace Secondary Schools Art Awards also found the pencil drawing to be good.

More than 500 entries were received this year, and Lily’s work was among 38 from across the country (one of three from across the South Island) to be selected for the finals of the prestigious awards.

The awards ceremony will take place in Auckland on September 12, and Lily’s work will be exhibited at the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre until November 6.

It is not the first time Lily has had success with her art.

Last year, she received an NZQA scholarship in visual art for a painting she did in year 12 — a qualification that is more usually achieved by year 13 pupils.

Lily said she was excited to have reached the final of the competition.

"I have no idea what they are looking for or what they want. But I’m looking forward to seeing what happens."


Photo and article curtesy of the Otago Daily times

Works on Paper Exhibition

23 August 2016

FINAL the FIX 2016


18 August 2016


annie poster

Term Dates

08 August 2016

Term Dates for Terms three and four, 2016 and Term one, 2017.

School Open Day 2016

01 August 2016

School Open Day 2016

See our School in action on Monday 1 August 2016 from 9.00am to 3.00pm.

Click here for information about this year’s School Open Day.


31 July 2016



Applications are now open for the Columba College Sports Council Scholarship – for a student new to  the College in 2017, in Year 10, 11, 12 or 13.

One Sports Scholarship to the value of $500 for a day girl and $1000 for a boarder, tenable for one year, is available to a senior student entering the  College in 2017. The scholarship is credited against the 2017 attendance dues (and boarding fee, if relevant).

Applications for the Sports Council Scholarship should be made in writing, with an accompanying CV, by 10 October 2016. 

Address the application to:

Sports Council Scholarship

Columba College Office

Private Bag 1911

Dunedin 9054

Sir Peter Blake Award for Future Leaders

28 July 2016

Sir Peter Blake Award for Future Leaders

Brianna is extremely involved in sports -  playing Waterpolo, Volleyball, Netball and Hockey as well as participating in the sports PAL programme through school.  She belongs to a swimming club outside of school. 

Brianna is confident to speak out and often acts as spokesperson for a group.  She enjoys being able to help people out and likes to think of ways to solve problems that arise. She has respect from her peers and they support her in leadership roles.

Otakou/Murihiku Regional Nga Manu Korero Competition

27 July 2016

Otakou/Murihiku Regional Nga Manu Korero Competition

On Friday June 24th, a small group of girls from our school’s Kapa Haka group (including ex-Columba student Cherish Peace-Nielsen) were lucky enough to attend the 2016 Otakou/Murihiku Regional Nga Manu Korero Competition. This is a Maori and English speaking competition and was held in the Civic Theatre in Invercargill.  We went to support one of our own, Te Anihana Anderson.

The competition hosted junior and senior students from all over the Southland and Otago regions, where students were expected to prepare an informative, persuasive or motivational piece of work, (based on a topic of each student’s choosing) involving controversial topics relating to the preservation and respect of the Maori culture.

Each student’s abilities were put to the test with an unprepared speech which comprised 50% of each competitor’s final mark. Each competitor was given a topic and five minutes to prepare a two-minute speech. Te Anihana chose the topic, ‘Who owns Aotearoa?’ and amazed everyone with her ability to fluently and confidently present her argument with absolute ease. Each prepared speech had to be six minutes long; the choice of topic being unique to each student, with no cue cards in hand. Te Anihana chose the topic of ‘My Maori Culture, My Holistic Being’, explaining her connection to, and love for her culture, which was extremely inspirational for all who listened. I do not think anyone had dry eyes after she finished. In support, the ten girls who accompanied Te Anihana stood behind her while she delivered her speech and then presented the school’s karakia as a sign of respect and admiration for her.

As one of the girls lucky enough to attend the competition for the first time, I would most definitely recommend to anyone to go along next year because it is an amazing experience, seeing everyone bond over a much-loved culture; it was something I will never forget.

We would all like to say a huge thank you to Mrs Lindsay and Claire Gillies who took time out of their busy lives to support us all, taking us to and from

Invercargill and managing to still have smiles on their faces, on the extremely loud trip home.  It was most definitely an experience none of us will forget.


Isabella Wood

Daffodil Day Badge Design Competition

26 July 2016

Daffodil Day Badge Design Competition

Art classes from Years 7 to 10 enter designs for the upcoming Daffodil Day Badge Competition. The students designed a button badge for the Otago Cancer Society and this may help raise funds for people affected by cancer.  The winner of this competition has their badge design produced and sold as part of the Daffodil Day appeal and receives a voucher from the society. The Department was so pleased with the results we decided to have an exhibition of the designs in Hall Block.

Claire Yang in Year 12 has won the regional Daffodil Day Badge Competition.

Claire’s design will be featured on a badge and sold on the Cancer Society Street Appeal Daffodil Day in August.



25 July 2016


Congratulations to Christine Wierda on her selection for the New Zealand National Schools’ Diving Team following the recent Diving New Zealand Autumn Championships in Hamilton. 

Christine was competing in the 16 and Over category and was selected in the New Zealand Schools’ Team to compete at the Australian School Games in the New South Wales town of Lightning Ridge in August. 

She came second in the platform and 3m disciplines and took third place in the 1m event.

We wish Christine well for her coming international diving event representing her country.

Junior School Musical

24 July 2016

Junior School Musical

On 22nd June, the Junior School children performed another wonderful Musical Production in Constance Hall called ‘Friends Reunited’ – a pantomime of the favourite characters of Folk and Fairy Tales but with a ‘modern’ twist.






Sports Council Ambrose Golf Tournament

31 May 2016

Sports Council Ambrose Golf Tournament

On Friday 13 May the Sports Council held its annual Ambrose Golf Tournament fundraiser.  This is a key event for the Council to help support, foster and enhance all sports at the College. 

The event was well supported with all 18 holes being sponsored and 16 teams lining up for battle for the trophy.  The event was narrowly won by the Otago Sports Team in a bizarre afternoon of weather where all four seasons were experienced; but everyone had a great time.

The support from local business was great with some amazing prizes and the top two auction packages being to Queenstown and Te Anau.  This support allowed everyone to go home with a prize of some nature.

A big thanks to Keri Young, Kerri Heenan, Kate Swale and Carmel Leslie who took the lead organising roles, plus Juliette Hayes, Shona Harvey and Christina West from the College who offered great support.

A special thanks to the 18 hole sponsors and the team members for supporting the day, plus all businesses and individuals who donated prizes to make the events a success and to allow the Sports Council to continue past efforts to support the girls sport.

Pete Turner
Sports Council Chairman

Columba College Cross Country

31 May 2016

Columba College Cross Country


Year 7

1.    Jaime Reid                         10:31.52
2.    Anika Itadani                       10:48.46
3.    Josephine O’Halloran            11:57.24


Year 8

1.    Anaya Cole                         10:53.24
2.    Charlotte Hayes                   11:05.48
3.    Caitlyn O’Brien                    11:05.74


Junior (Years 9 and 10)

1.    Meg Sycamore                    10:20.43
2.    Zoe McCane                       10:38.77
3.    Audrey Hayes                      10:53.50


Senior (Years 11, 12 and 13)

1.    Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan      10:10.50
2.    Hannah Prout                      10:18.33
3.    Lilli Renner                         10:20.10


House Points

1.    Solway            1396
2.    Braemar          1223
3.    Girton             1198
4.    Iona               1163

Columba College 2015 Academic Blues

16 May 2016

Columba College 2015 Academic Blues

Columba College is proud to congratulate our students on their NCEA academic achievements.

In recognition and celebration of their success, 68 Academic Blues were recently presented in a special school assembly to students who gained NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 with Excellence Endorsement in 2015.

As Mrs Juliette Hayes, Principal, acknowledged: “Academic excellence comes from hard work, planning, self-motivation, goal setting, wise use of available resources, excellent teaching and support from home.

A strong academic foundation sets our students up with far more options and opportunities available to their future. With this foundation they are so much better prepared to ask questions, think critically, solve problems, innovate, create, challenge the status quo, be empathetic, and find joy through resilience.

These are the competencies we need in young women of this century.”




Click here to see Academic Blues results. 

Sports Council Honours Columba’s New Zealand Sporting Representatives

06 May 2016

Sports Council Honours Columba’s New Zealand Sporting Representatives

Back row: Caitlin Deans, Zara Gallivan, Hannah Cross. Middle row: Mrs J. Hayes, Principal and Mr Pete Turner, Chairman, Columba Sports Council. Front row: Ella Harris, Meg Sycamore and Sophie Cochrane.


The Columba College Sports Council honoured the six 2016 New Zealand representatives to date at their meeting on Friday 6th May.  Chairman Pete Turner spoke about how proud the school was of their achievements.  The athletes spoke of their New Zealand experience to the Council and for those who were about to compete they gave an account of the event they were going to.


These were Ella Harris - Under 19 Cycling Team, Meg Sycamore - Under 15 mixed Touch Team, Caitlin Deans - NZ team for Australian Age Group Swimming Championships, Zara Gallivan - Level 8 Rhythmic Gym sport, Hannah Cross and Sophie Cochrane - Under 18 Ice Hockey Team.  This is the most the council has awarded at this time of the year and is good recognition for the work the girls, the College and their support networks are doing for these girls.


Columba College Boarding 2016 Country Visits

03 May 2016

Parents of prospective boarding students for 2017 or beyond are warmly invited to attend one of our Country Visits listed to meet Mrs Juliette Hayes, Principal of Columba College, Mrs Philippa Wright, Director of Boarding and Mrs Kathryn Riepl, Dean of Year 9.

Daughters are very welcome to accompany their parents to our presentations and present and past parents are also warmly invited to attend.

If you would like to attend, please contact the relevant named host. We look forward to meeting you in person, sharing the Columba College experience with you and answering your questions.

Applications for boarding places in 2017 close on Thursday 26 May 2016.

Please phone (03) 467 5188 or email for details or go to for more information.

Click here for dates and locations.

China Trip – April holidays

02 May 2016

China Trip – April holidays

On 7th May, the first Saturday of the April holidays, 15 Years 10 – 13 students set off with Mrs Medary and Ms Riethmaier for three weeks in China.  We travelled via Singapore to Wuhan, where we spent the first week based on the University Campus, then in the neighbouring city of Huanggang, before travelling to Beijing on the night train.  These first two weeks of our stay were organised and funded by the Confucius Institute, and included a good balance of language classes followed by trying out our language skills by bartering, and shopping for clothing bargains, visiting schools, sightseeing and experiencing Chinese culture.  In Huanggang and Wuhan we saw hardly any westerners and no tourists so our girls were a big hit with the local Chinese, who were constantly asking to be photographed with them.  There were forty six  participants in the Confucius Camp and getting to know the students from St Kevin’s, Christchurch Boys’, Lynfield and Rangiora High Schools was one of the many advantages of the Programme.  

Our week in Beijing was spent mainly visiting the major sights – Tiananmen Square, The Temple of Heaven, The Forbidden City and Summer Palace, The Olympic Stadium and Water Cube and, of course, The Great Wall.  Along the way we learned a lot about Chinese History and the great gap between the ruling and peasant classes.  One highlight was a visit to the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing, where we were delighted to be treated to kiwi specialities such as Louise cake, ginger crunch and brownies.  It was also interesting to hear each staff member talk about their portfolio and to learn how New Zealand is represented in China.  

At the end of two weeks it was time to part with the rest of the Camp group and fly to Chengdu, where we visited the Panda Breeding Sanctuary and the historic market alleys.  This was followed by a very welcome rest day, the only one of the whole three weeks.  We divided up our fundraising money and were allowed to head to the restaurants of our choice, mostly Pizza Hut and McDonald’s.  Although we coped well with the Chinese food, with only the odd minor stomach upset, we all felt ready for a break. The rest of the day was spent shopping for gifts and relaxing in the hotel pool.  

The final stage was four nights at our sister school, Datong High School.  We stayed in the boarding house units they keep for visiting schools and enjoyed the programme they had organised for us – visits to the Pearl Tower, the local Fabric Market, the Science and Technology Museum, a river cruise and an acrobatic show.  

We were really impressed with the generosity of both the Confucius Institute and Datong High School in providing our accommodation, our meals and the programmes that they organised for us.  Mrs Medary and I were impressed at how well the girls coped with three weeks in a very different culture and with the challenges of travelling as a group.  They remained positive, good-humoured and receptive to all their new experiences and were a pleasure to travel with. It was also good to hear them comment on their new-found appreciation of what they have in New Zealand, in particular the clean air and the wide, open spaces.  All in all a very successful trip!

Jenness Riethmaier, Deputy Principal







01 May 2016


Congratulations to Stephanie Jasperse who has been selected to represent New Zealand in Ireland in July/August this year, where she will take part in two international Equestrian based competitions. 


24 April 2016


Ella Harris had a significant achievement on Sunday 24 April (ANZAC weekend) representing Otago at the National Club Road Cycling Championships in Alexandra.

She was awarded a Bronze Medal in the 80km Road Race, clocking the same time as the Silver Medal winner, and out of a field of 19 riders.  The Gold and Silver Medal winners are already New Zealand representatives and champions in other Cycling disciplines.

Thirza Smith was the only other competitor from Columba - unfortunately a crash early into her race resulted in a fractured elbow, which she bravely (albeit unknowingly!) rode with for the remainder of her 40km race.

Fair 2016

19 April 2016

Fair 2016

Our Fair theme this year was being ‘Connected at Columba’ and this year’s Fair on Saturday 2 April certainly brought our community together.  As 11am ticked over school piper Hannah Sim’s beautiful bagpiping heralded the opening of the Columba College 2016 Fair. 

There were over 45 different stalls, games, events and contests and with Oban Street closed and a “KidsZone” in the Junior School grounds the festive fun atmosphere was evident on all the smiling faces!!  The class and house stalls were hugely popular from the Frozen Stall, Go Fish, Grand Fun Palace, Cup Cake Decorating and Face Painting to the Capture Photo Booth, Running Bungy and Dunking the Clown, where Highlander Tai Walden was a popular target.  There was fun to be had by everyone!  

Heading across Oban Street to join the long lines at Laser Force it was hard to sneak past the Octagon Night n Day ice creams and the scrumptious aroma of the food carts in the car park.  There was no avoiding being caught in the throng of people in the Sports Centre, home to the five powerhouse stalls, and once again Clothing, Elegant Junk, Baby/Toys, Sporting and Books did not disappoint, there was plenty to choose from!

Leaving the Sports Centre you were drawn down the stairs to the Girton block by the fabulous sounds of the Alcoves Cover Band and the smell of sausages sizzling on the BBQ!  After negotiating COGA Classy Clothing and Plants as well as Gourmet Food and Produce there was the infamous Silent Auction that definitely did not disappoint, the delightful Cake Stall and, if the timing was right, a Magic Show with Jonathan Usher!

After a year’s hiatus it was certainly fantastic to have the Fair again bringing the school community together for a day of fun and festivities.

On behalf of the Columba College Parents’ Association, we would like to thank you all for the donations and outstanding work and effort you put into making this year’s Columba College Fair such a success.  This would not have been possible without the support, enthusiasm and excitement of everyone who participated. 


Kerri Heenan and Alison Blacker

2016 Fair Committee

Columba College Parents’ Association



Congratulations to all of our winners...

Raffle results

First prize - International Travel Credit to the value of $1500 through Brooker Travel Group - WINNER Lyn and Bill Hore

Second prize - voucher for family/individual/group portrait sitting with a framed 36 x 28cm print courtesy of Kelk Photography Ltd value $475-  WINNER Nikki Penno

Cake competition results  

Section 1 – Primary School

Cup Celia Cannon

2nd Anaya Cole

3rd Ella Anderson and Grace Macbeth


Secondary School

1st Lauren Buttery

2nd Ophelia Yeung and Chloe Lai


Alexandra Pratley, Year 2

Super excited winner of the Guess the Number of Jellybeans contest!

ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition

19 April 2016

ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition

The ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition is a partnership between the RSA and ANZ New Zealand, aimed at helping young people to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices made by those who served New Zealand in wars and armed conflicts overseas.

The competition is a tribute to Cyril Bassett, VC, (1892-1983) who was the only New Zealander at Gallipoli to be awarded the Victoria Cross, and who worked his entire career at The National Bank, now ANZ New Zealand.

The Southland - Otago regional finals were held this year on Sunday March 13th in the Balclutha RSA rooms. As per usual it was hotly contested and all of the speakers representing their schools delivered their speeches with prestige and humility.

Caroline Moratti delivered her eight-minute speech flawlessly; representing Columba College beautifully. Caroline’s speech spoke of the incredible bond that was established between the Turks and the ANZACs as a result of their ‘fair-play’ approach to the war in which both sides found themselves. Here are Caroline’s opening words: 

“There is no denying the simple truth that war holds the brutal and terrifying reality of humanity. War is death; war is the very essence of civilisation’s hamartia, our fatal flaw. But yet, amongst this violence, there can be the beauty of rebirth from man to soldier, from soldier to citizen. April 25th 1915 marks the Gallipoli landings, where for 8 long months, New Zealand troops fought bravely against determined Ottoman forces resulting in the tragic loss of life in the thousands. The Gallipoli campaign was no ordinary campaign. Inside the struggle of the battlefields, a relationship unlike no other was forged between the opposing sides:  a relationship of respect, of recognition and awareness. How is it that to this very day, Turkey and New Zealand maintain such a positive, such a friendly international relationship? The answer lies in the trenches”

For those of you who enjoy ANZAC services, you will very much be moved by the incredible speeches that these amazing young students produce year after year. Get along to the RSA rooms next March and witness the respect that our young people have for our veterans. 

Congratulations Caroline – you were outstanding!

2016 South Island Otago Sub-Regional “Chinese Bridge” Speech Competition Proved a Big Success

19 April 2016

2016 South Island Otago Sub-Regional “Chinese Bridge” Speech Competition Proved a Big Success

Co-hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury (CIUC) and the Confucius Classroom at Columba College, the 2016 South Island Otago Sub-Regional “Chinese Bridge” Speech Competition achieved a big success on March 30th.

There were 70 students participating in this competition, and special guests from the Chinese Education consul, the staff in CIUC, Chinese teacher representatives of the Otago area, parents, as well as other Chinese language lovers. 

The “Chinese Bridge” Speech Competition has gained great popularity since it opened in the schools of Otago area.  The whole contest consists of three parts--- a prepared speech on “My Chinese study and daily life”, basic Chinese knowledge conversation questions and talent show.  From Columba Heidi Chin (Year 13) and Katie Sewell (Year 11) won the first and second place respectively in the senior category, Eleanor Dunn and Galina Mandich from Year 10 gained the first and second prizes in the junior category. Junior Distinguish award: Mia Warman (Year 10) and Niruthmie Pallawala (Year 10), Brianna Horne (Year 8) and Caitlin O’Brien (Year 8).

What’s more, Ying Sun (Year 10) won the first place and “Best talent” prize in International/native category, Katie Zhao (Year 13) won the third place in the International/native category. Miss Jennifer Zhu (MLA) won “Best coach” for the category of International students.  Ms Ivy Ding (Chinese teacher) won “best coach” for the category of Senior students, and “best coach” for the category of Junior students. 

Chinese Education consul Mr Yucai Li gave much credit for the incredible achievement we’ve made for Chinese teaching in the awards ceremony.  Mrs Juliette Hayes, the principal of Columba College, expressed her support for Chinese language development and showed willingness to contribute to a better future for Chinese language development.

2016 Winners for the Grace “POST IT NOTES” Competition

19 April 2016

The department was excited to see all the wonderful entries for this school competition – The "Post It Notes" Competition was announced in assembly on 7 April.

Congratulations to the following students -

1st Place – Year 8, Caitlin O’Brien – the school rose.


2nd Place – Year 10, Sennah Lee – book of Grace – page “Aroha”


3rd Place – Year 7, Caitlin Hopgood – origami love heart.


Otago/Southland Secondary Schools’ Athletics

19 April 2016

Otago/Southland Secondary Schools’ Athletics

Nineteen athletes competed at the Otago Southland Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships held on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 March at the Caledonian Ground.

For Ellie Duncan it seemed everything she ran turned to gold.  After two record breaking runs in the girls Under 16 grade where she clocked a record time in the 300m hurdles of 46.07sec and smashed the 10-year-old 400m record clocking 58.92sec, she then carried on her winning ways in the 100m clocking 13.28sec, 200m (24.63sec) and anchored the Columba open 4x400m relay team to victory in 4min 19.82sec.

In the Under 15 grade Meg Breen claimed two titles, winning the 100m and 200m with a second placing in the long jump.  Meg was also a member of the 4x400m relay team that won and the 4x100m relay team that was a close second, decided by a photo finish.

Jamie McAuslan won the Senior High Jump, while Lily Cunningham won the Senior 400m, was 2nd in the 100m and was also a member of the two relay teams that ran strongly as was Shannon Inch.  Charlotte Wheeler won the U15 hammer from a very strong field, where the competition was close.

Congratulations to the following athletes on superb performances gaining top five finishes.


Under 14

Niamh Paterson

3rd Discus Throw 1kg 

Zoe McCane



Niamh Paterson, Amaya Leslie, Zoe McCane, Erin Duff

5th 4 x 100m Relay 



Under 15

Meg Breen

1st 100m 

1st 200m 

2nd Long Jump 



Audrey Hayes

2nd 3000m

5th 800m


Ashlee Turner 

4th 800m 



Charlotte Wheeler

1st Hammer Throw 3kg 

4th Triple Jump 



Under 16

Ellie Duncan

1st 400m (record)

1st 300m Hurdles (record)

1st 100m 

1st 200m 


Shannon Inch

2nd 300m Hurdles

5th 100m


Chenoa Metua

2ndShot Put 3kg

2ndDiscus Throw 1kg 


Lilli Renner




Lily Cunningham

1st 400m

2nd 100m 

4th 200m 


Lillie Driscoll-King

4th Long Jump



Jamie McAuslan

1st High Jump



Ella Porter

3rd 800m 


Shannon Inch, Lily Cunningham, Meg Breen, Ellie Duncan

2nd 4 x 100m Relay 


Lily Cunningham, Meg Breen, Shannon Inch, Ellie Duncan 

1st 4 x 400m Relay Open


Audrey Hayes, Hannah Cross, Ashlee Turner, Charlotte Wheeler (Columba B)

5th 4 x 400m Relay Open

Maadi Cup Results 2016

18 April 2016

The rowing squad together made 3 B Finals and 6 A Finals.

The following girls medaled:

Bronze Medal:  Under 17 8:  Sophie Anderson was the stroke of this boat alongside Heidi Wright, MIlly Nesbit, Clora Quinlan-Thompson, Ella Smillie, Callie Turner, Abby Anderson, Grace Small and Margot Darling (Cox).

Silver Medal: Novice Under 18 8:  The crew consisted of Milly Nesbit (stroke), Abby Anderson, Amber Cunningham, Olivia McRae, Abby Griffin, Ellen Foley, Nikita Horne, Millie Wright and Margot Darling (Cox).

Finally, Gold Medal was won by the Under 18 Lightweight Four of: Sara Griffin (stroke), Heidi Wright, Sophie Anderson, Millie Wright and Margot Darling (Cox).  The Lightweight Four also won the Rex Farrelly trophy.

Congratulations to Heidi Wright, selected for the South Island representative rowing squad!


Order an Entertainment Membership and support Columba College

30 March 2016


We're very excited to be fundraising with Entertainment™ this year. Order your NEW 2016 | 2017 Entertainment™ Books and Entertainment™ Digital Memberships from us today, and 20% of the proceeds contribute towards our School!

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Order your new Entertainment™ Book or Entertainment™ Digital Membership before 5 April 2016 and you will receive over $150 worth of additional offers that you can use right away!

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Entertainment™ Memberships are packed with thousands of up to 50% OFF and 2-for-1 offers for the best local restaurants, café, attractions, hotel accommodation, travel, and much more! 

Click here to Order Today!

Development Band Results 2015

17 March 2016

Development Band Results 2015

As part of the GATE Mathematics and Statistics programme, many of our Year 7 to 10 students take part in the National Development Band Programme. This is a series of extension units of work which, for the most part, the students complete individually in their own time. Only the top 20% of students in New Zealand are involved in this programme. The students receive a certificate form NZAMT (NZ Association of Mathematics Teachers) for either completion, merit or excellence. The level of work expected in this programme requires hard work, determination and perseverance. Congratulations to all of the students who completed this programme.

Year 10 in 2015 

Regan Death, Ghazal Dousti, Lydia Joseph, Isabelle Keeling, Chenoa Metua, Sasha Meyer, Hannah Prout, Hannah Rogers, Thirza Smith and Kate Truman.


Lydia Christensen, Molly Crighton, Erin Dailey, Claudia Gallagher, Mikayla Gray, Lucy Liebergreen, Emily Paterson, Jaime Preston, Heather Robertson, Bridget Scott, Katherine Sewell and Amy Waldburger.

Year 9 in 2015

Brielle Alliott, Samantha Couper, Hannah Cross, Amber Cunningham, Peyton Fields, Zara Galliven, Sophie Gaudin, Audrey Hayes, Nakita Horne, Saffron Lai, Sennah Lee, Galina Mandich, Madeline McCane, Sophie O'Neill, Liv Preston, Jessica Sime, Sophie Strathern, Ying Sun, Michaela Sutherland, Meg Sycamore, Ashlee Turner, Mia Warman, Charlotte Wheeler, Victoria Williamson and Millie Wright.


Grace Blackie, Libby Cassie, Zola Close, Eleanor Dunn, Joelle Gatenby, Rowena German, Emily Hill, Khaleeda Jaafar Amsak, Lucy Sansom, Meg Stedman, Abigail Taylor and Morgan Treleaven.


Charlotte Cook, Polly Marshall and Jihan Zhang.

Year 8 in 2015

Ruth Huang, Lara Seaton and Isabella Su.


Sophie Baron, Piper Charteris, Jessie Cowie, Maia Joseph, Joanna Liu, Imogene Maclean and Cierra Reid.

Year 7 in 2015

Holly Bettis, Laura Canton, Olivia Charles, Cindy Chou, Emma Davis, Megan Macdiarmid, Caitlin O'Brien, Jenna Paterson and Georgia Wong.


Anaya Cole, Kennedy Dailey, Angela Fu, Brianna Horne, Phoebe Kirkwood, Maia Robertson and Grace Togneri.


Rosie Auchinvole, Camryn Bain, Willow Bain, Charlotte Hayes, Phoebe Jennings, Macey Mercer-Black and Jody Syme.


Artist in Residence 2016

29 February 2016

Artist in Residence 2016

Introducing our 2016 Artist in Residence, funded by the Columba College Parents’ Association.  Mr Harry Grigg is a specialist in voice and will be leading our junior choirs along with encouraging school wide singing initiatives. 

Mr Grigg is the recipient of the 2014 Dame Malvina Major Foundation Cecily Maccoll High Achiever’s Award. He was the 2013-2014 co-leader of the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Choir and travelled to South Africa, Singapore and Malaysia with the choir. In 2014 he was awarded a prestigious Inspire Foundation Grant in support of his activities with the group.  In 2013 he won the Bill Toomey Award for Most Outstanding Canterbury Male Vocalist under 25 years at the Christchurch Competitions and also sang for the Governor General. He performed as a tenor soloist with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in their 2014 Last Night of the Proms concert. He was offered a place in the New Zealand Opera’s Freemasons Chorus and has once again been offered a place in the 2016 chorus.  Mr Grigg has recently completed his first year of study towards a Bachelor of Music at the University of Otago with Judith Henley and was awarded a 2015 Otago University Callis Trust Performance Scholarship.  He competed at the 2015 Christchurch and Dunedin Singing competitions, with firsts and other placings at both competitions, including winning the Webb Farry Scholarship at the Dunedin Competitions.  He also performed a recital for the Christchurch Music Centre in August at St Augustine’s.  Mr Grigg has been successful in applying for a second grant from the Inspire Foundation to help with funding for the 2016 New Zealand Opera School, which he attended in January in Wanganui. He looks forward to performances with Opera Otago in the coming months, including performing the role of ‘Ben’ in Menotti’s one act opera, ‘the Telephone’.

2015 Visual Arts Scholarship

28 February 2016

The Art Department would like to congratulate the 2015 Art Students who received Level 3 Scholarships Awards.

The Department received five awards in the Scholarship Examination – two in Photography and three in Painting. Two of those awards achieved Outstanding Scholarships.  New Zealand Scholarship is regarded as the most prestigious secondary school award available in New Zealand.  Students are required to demonstrate a very high level of critical thinking and clear application of knowledge, skills and ideas. 

Ms K Field

HOD Visual Art


2015 Photography Outstanding Scholarship – Roseanna Greer

Roseanna Greer has been invited by NZQA to submit her outstanding portfolio in the annual NZQA Top Art exhibition.  From March to September, 60 portfolios that achieved highly in NCEA Level 3 in 2015 will tour the country in an exhibition that allows the public to view the high calibre of work created by our New Zealand students. It also allows an opportunity for this year’s Visual Arts students to gain an idea of what they need to aim for in order to achieve the high grades.

Top Art Exhibition, Dunedin, 11th April - 22nd April, Dunedin School of Art


2015 Painting Outstanding Scholarship – Katherine Woodfield

Katherine had the lovely opportunity to display her outstanding portfolio in the window at the art supplies shop Art Zone in Hanover Street.



Image credit: Roseanne Greer of Columba College

International Old Girls

27 February 2016

Congratulations are in order to our former International students.

Se Yoon (Kate) Kim (Korea) Year 13 in 2015

Co-International Prefect: Kate has been offered two scholarships in Design, one at the prestigious University of Hong Kong, and one at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.  Kate has chosen to study a degree in Communication Design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University for 2016.

Polo Diep Nguyen (Vietnam) Year 13 in 2015

Co-International Prefect: Polo starts life back in Dunedin this month as a first year at the University of Otago.  Polo is studying First Year Health Science and will be living at Toroa House. 

Apollonia and Albertina Tay (Singapore) Year 13 in 2014: Apollonia and Albertina have gained first year entry into the University of Otago's Medical School for 2016 after a very successful (and very, very busy) year studying Health Science in 2015.

 Kistina Wu (China) Year 13 in 2012: Kistina completed a double major in Geography and Information Science last year at the University of Otago, and has a local internship.  On a delightful personal note, Kistina married her fiancé Kevin last week in Dunedin's Registry office, and both are happily settled in the city. 


26 February 2016


Congratulations to Ella Harris on her selection by Cycling New Zealand to represent New Zealand in the U19 team to ride at the Oceania Road Championships in Bendigo, Australia, during the first week of March.  

Ella is one of three women selected from throughout the country out of a total team of eight. 

We also congratulate Madeleine Cooper-Forster, Ella Harris and Thirza Smith who have been training with the Cycling New Zealand Junior Development Programme.


25 February 2016


On 17th February Columba had a strong team of 12 athletes competing at the Cromwell Schools’ Triathlon. The strong group of girls showed great results with gaining 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the senior girls category and also taking out 1st in the junior girls category.

The teams consisted of:

1st place senior girls
- Devon Familton (swim)
- Madeleine Cooper-Forster (cycle)
- Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan (run)

2nd place senior girls
- Kenzie Findlay (swim)
- Ruby Knight (cycle)
- Olivia Anderson (run)

3rd place senior girls
- Gabrielle Trotter (swim)
- Phoebe Swale (bike)
- Lilli Renner (run)

1st place junior girls
- Jordan Summers (swim)
- Mila Rollo (bike)
- Madeleine O’Malley (run)

All of the girls showed domination in each of their fields, and we would like to say a huge thank you to Mrs Lindsay and Mr Rollo for their support and transport to this event.

Phoebe Swale
Multisport Captain

2016 prefects

23 February 2016

2016 prefects

Congratulations 2016 Columba College Prefects

Head Prefect

Alice Jones

Deputy Head Prefect

Margot Brown


Olivia Sycamore

Head Boarder

Lydia Shirley

Deputy Head Boarder

Emily Thomas



Arts Prefect

Lily van Buskirk

Deputy Arts Prefect

Annabelle Ritchie

Chapel Prefect

Fiona Cannon

Deputy Chapel Prefect

Jingyi (Jenny) Mi

Citizenship Prefect

Kate Campbell

House Prefects



Tahlia Green


Margot Darling


Briar Crosbie


Heidi Wright

International Prefect

Ophelia Yeung

Sports Prefect

Lily Cunningham

Deputy Sports Prefect

Rileigh Fields

Student Council and BOT Rep.

Selena Ballantyne

Private Speech Lessons 2016

27 January 2016

Click here for more information.

Private Music Lessons 2016

27 January 2016

Click here for more information.

Term Dates 2016

22 January 2016

Term Dates 2016

Start of Year Arrangements

21 January 2016

Welcome to Columba for 2016. Please click here for the start of year arrangements.

Newsletter to Boarding Families

20 January 2016

Happy New Year to our boarding families. Please click here for an introduction to our new Director of Boarding and arrangements for the start of year.

Course Confirmation Notice for Years 11, 12 and 13 girls

20 January 2016

Welcome to 2016 and your senior academic programme.

Please click here for information for confirming your course of study for this year. It is imperative that you attend the allocated session next week, in order to ensure you begin classes with the correct timetable.

Year 13 Leadership

20 January 2016

Happy New Year to our 2016 leaders.  The leadership camp is an important opportunity to set the tone for the year to come and we are really looking forward to working with you. Click here for information, and boarders have also received information about options for them.

Mrs Hayes and Mrs Wafer.

Stationery 2016

19 January 2016

Stationery 2016



Columba College pupil strikes ICAS gold again

08 December 2015

Columba College pupil strikes ICAS gold again

Kate Truman was only one mark off getting a perfect score in the recent International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) English examination.

While the 15-year-old Columba College pupil is kicking herself about the error, she is delighted to have won an ICAS medal for gaining the top year 10 mark in New Zealand.

It is the second time she has won an ICAS medal. The first time was in 2011 when she gained the top mark in the year 6 science exam.

She said the latest ICAS medal came about because she had developed a taste for gold.

''After winning the first one, I decided I would quite like another one.''

So since then, she had practised for the annual exams by studying previous exam papers and she had been in the top 1% of New Zealand for the English exam for the past five years.

So will she do it again next year?

Kate said she would be starting NCEA level 1 then, so it would only happen if time permitted.

''I don't know. You just really give it a go on the day and see what happens.

''I just do it for fun. It's not something I have to stress out about.''

Kate was among three Otago secondary school pupils and three Southland primary school pupils to win ICAS medals in the latest round of examinations.

John McGlashan College pupil Boen Deng won one for gaining the top New Zealand mark in the year 10 digital technologies examination, and St Hilda's Collegiate School pupil Caroline Burchell got hers for gaining the highest New Zealand mark in the year 12 English exam.

Winton School pupils Riley Chapman and Kendrick Dela Cruz won ICAS medals for gaining the top marks in year 3 English and year 5 spelling respectively; and Limehills School pupil Lucas Gill gained the top mark in year 3 science.

All six will receive their awards at a ceremony at the University of Auckland Business School tomorrow.


03 November 2015

2015 Exhibition Flyer EmailDESIGN

399 Highgate – Constance Hall

Sports Awards Evening

28 October 2015

Sports Awards Evening

Global Education – Columba College

13 October 2015

Click here to

2016 Years 9 to 13 Option Guides

18 September 2015

The new 2016 option guides are now available, head to our Years 9 to 13 page for full information

RoboCup Nationals

15 September 2015

RoboCup Nationals
Ailsa Carroll, Chloe Lai, Annabelle Ritchie, Ryely Burtenshaw-Day

Columba College had a strong showing at the 2015 RoboCup Nationals held in Christchurch on 12 September 2015. There were six teams representing Columba, with students ranging in age from Year 5 - Year 12.  Columba teams earned placings in three categories, which was an excellent result.  In the Senior Soccer and Premier Search and Rescue categories, we had the only girls teams at the competition and still earned places against larger schools with all boys teams.  There were 51 teams at RoboCup Nationals representing both North and South Island schools.

It was great to have the support of so many parents who travelled to Christchurch for the event.  Also, on behalf of the Columba Robotics Club, I would like to thank Sandy Garner for her continued support of our programme.  She has given time and expertise all throughout the year to make this possible.  She also helps to co-ordinate RoboCup for both the Otago and National competitions, so without her efforts the students wouldn’t have such a wonderful competition to attend.

The following teams earned National Top 3 Places:

1st Place Senior Theatre - Heather Robertson, Nirhjah Selvarjah, Amelia Wright-Sear
2nd Place Senior Soccer - Annabelle Ritchie and Chloe Lai
3rd Place Premiere Search and Rescue - Kate Truman and Ghazal Dousti

Other teams representing Columba:

Junior Theatre - Alex Seaton, Lara Seaton, Isabelle Coe
Junior Search and Rescue - Imogen Maclean, Ella Calder
Premiere Search and Rescue - Ketaki Bagal, Alice German

All the teams worked very hard and displayed excellent programming and problem solving skills.  They all deserve recognition for the hard work they have put into the preparation all year.

It was also great to see two old girls, Ailsa Carroll and Ryely Burtenshaw-Day, at the competition.  They are now studying Mechatronic Engineering at Canterbury University  as a result of their Robotics work at Columba and came to assist as volunteer as judges for the competition.
Julie McMahon    
TIC Robotics

Columba College kapa haka

14 September 2015

Columba College kapa haka

Otago Polyfest

The Columba College Kapahaka grouped performed at the Otago Polyfest on Wednesday, 16 September.  We travelled by bus to the Edgar Centre excited, nervous and positive about our performance.  Food is always a great enticement to an event and when we arrived we enjoyed pizza’s.

In preparation for the performance we spent considerable hours training, videoing practises for girls who could not attend and organising fittings for our uniforms.  

Leading up to the performance we visited John McGlashan College to combine with the boys to integrate our programmes.  Our combined practise with the boys meant we had to be sharp and focussed.  The practise went well and we were able to perform together seamlessly on the night.

I would like to thank the Principal of John McGlashan College, Mr Garry for allowing the John McGlashan group to combine with Columba College and look forward to future opportunities to perform together.  A huge thank you to Mr James and Mr Martin for providing back up support, we were really impressed with their ability to pick up our repertoire at such short notice.

A special thank you to our Principal, Mrs Hayes for her unwavering support and attendance on the night, Ms Field our teacher in charge along with our parents Mrs Nielsen, Mrs Dickson and Mrs Joseph who assisted with makeup and dress.  

Last but not least, a big shout out to the girls and John McGlashan boys for making this all possible. To the girls who started with us and who eventually could not make it on the night, the junior squad and our support team.  If there is anything that I have learned, it is that there is no ‘I’ in team, we did this together.  Without you all, this performance would not have been possible.

Ngā mihi ki a koutou katoa

Cherish Peace Nielsen
Kapahaka group Leader

International and Languages Week

13 September 2015

International and Languages Week

Once again International Week and International Languages Week was an amazing spectacle of cultural activities.  The Chapel Service involved girls talking about their different religions and how they worship within their own faith. Wednesday was International Food Day and the change of venue to Constance Hall proved a great success with music, merriment and brightly covered tables.  The food was diverse and delicious with the aroma of Patai and spring rolls as the girls cooked on site.  The performance at Thursday’s assembly was slick, polished and a contrast of modern and traditional.  The students and staff enjoyed the fun of it, joining in when necessary.  Friday was Costume Day and students dressed in national costume and took part in International games.  A huge thank you to all those families who contributed to the Week, from delicious food to Italian soft drinks, we couldn't do it without you.

New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Cycling Championships

10 September 2015

New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Cycling Championships

Congratulations to Ella on her success in the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Individual Cycling Championship held in Auckland on 5th and 6th September.

Ella competed in the Under 20 Girls A Grade event.  Second in the Criterium is Ella's best placing yet, after having achieved a 7th in the Individual Time Trial and 4th in the Hill Climb.

Overall Ella finished 5th in the general classification (the aggregate of all three events) out of a total of 41 riders - just one point away from 3rd placing.  There were only two riders from Otago who placed at this national championship, with the other being a cyclist from Otago Boys High School.

This is Ella's first year in the grade.

Pädagogischer Austauschdienst Scholarship

15 August 2015

Pädagogischer Austauschdienst Scholarship

Congratulations to Selena Ballantyne, who has been awarded a Pädagogischer Austauschdienst Scholarship after a series of interviews and social events at the Goethe Institut in Wellington.  This is a very prestigious award funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will give Selena an all expenses paid trip to Germany in July, 2016.  She will spend two weeks with a host family, attending school with her host sister, and then be taken on a tour around Germany with recipients of the PAD scholarship from other countries.  This is the same award that Modi Deng won in 2014, and is a reflection of the generous support the German government offers to students of the language, both at secondary and tertiary levels.

Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award

14 August 2015

Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award
Olivia Adam and Ellen Richardson

Ellen Richardson and Olivia Adam of Year 13 have earned their Gold level of the Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award. The Governor General will acknowledge them in a ceremony later in the year. They have worked consistently on their Bronze, Silver and finally Gold awards since they signed up in Year 10. They are the first Columba College students in six years to earn their gold award so we congratulate them on their efforts and success.

Ellen would be the first to say that she is not a huge fan of tramping which highlights her resilient and persevering attitude over the years. Her final tramp had the highlight of being in the snow over the Gillespie Pass in the Makarora area. Her service has included years of assisting in after school care at Columba College. Her skill has been in playing the violin and her physical recreation was swimming. To achieve her residential project for Gold, Ellen went on a Jamboree camp last January.

Olivia has enjoyed her tramping and has become a very good navigator. Her service has involved managing the Duke of Edinburgh administration for the College whilst her skill has been playing the piano. She has joined Crossfit and used that as her physical recreation for the last year. Olivia’s residential project was as a very able assistant at the Edmund Rice Camps.

Speech and Drama Success

13 August 2015

Speech and Drama Success
Georgia Burgess and Olivia Norris Heenan with their Trinity High Achievers Awards Absent: Gabby Bird

Congratulations to Gabrielle Bird (Year 8), Georgia Burgess (Year 7) and Olivia Norris-Heenan (Year 6) who were recognised as High Achievers at the Trinity College, London, International Examining Board Awards in Term 2.

Olivia won the supreme award, the Trinity Medal, for achieving the highest mark (96% Grade 1) across all Grades 1-4 candidates in both 2014 examination sessions in Drama and Speech at the Dunedin centre.

Georgia (87% Grade 3) and Gabrielle (86% Grade 4) were recognised as High Achievers, being in the small group of candidates who achieved Distinction passes in both 2014 examination sessions in Drama and Speech at the Dunedin centre.

Congratulations, girls. This is an outstanding effort, your successes are well-deserved.

Dunedin Schools’ Debating Senior Division

12 August 2015

Dunedin Schools’ Debating Senior Division
Shanti Girande, Emily Williams and Selena Ballantyne

Congratulations to Columba 1 (Emily Williams (Year 13), Selena Ballantyne (Year 12) and Shanti Girande (Year 11) who successfully defended their title as Dunedin Schools’ Debating champions in the final on Wednesday the 12th of August. They successfully negated the motion that humanity should actively seek to create sentient artificial intelligence in a 7-0 decision against John McGlashan. The team got to the final having beaten Logan Park High School affirming the motion assuming it was possible, and could be implemented instantaneously, and without anyone noticing or remembering, this house would brainwash the entire earth to become more progressive.
Speaker prizes were also awarded on the night with Emily Williams ranked 1st overall speaker in the tournament, Selena Ballantyne 2nd overall and Shanti Girande, best Year 11 Speaker and 10th overall.

National Swimming Success

11 August 2015

National Swimming Success
Caitlin Deans

Cailtlin Deans and Gabrielle Trotter both excelled at the recent National Swimming Championships in the North Island. This is just reward for the many hours the girls put into training.  From us all, congratulations on these outstanding results at national level.

Gabrielle Trotter (Girls 14 years age group):
Silver     400m Freestyle
Gold    800m Freestyle
Bronze     4x200m Freestyle regional relay

Caitlin Deans (Girls 15years age group):
Silver     200m Freestyle
Gold     400m Freestyle
Bronze     200m Individual Medley
Bronze     400m Individual Medley
Bronze     4x200m Freestyle regional relay
Gold     800m Freestyle
Silver     Open age group for 800 freestyle and broke the Otago record for this race which was set from 2008

Caitlin Deans has been selected to represent New Zealand in swimming at the Swimming Australia State Teams Age Group Championships in Canberra. A big congratulations to Caitlin from everyone at Columba.

Chilean pupils spice up midwinter day

31 July 2015

Chilean pupils spice up midwinter day

Compared with life in South America, Dunedin can be a bit cold and dull at this time of year.

But that changed yesterday, when a group of Chilean schoolgirls spiced up the midwinter day with a good old-fashioned fiesta.

Ten pupils from St Margaret's British School for Girls, in Vina Del Mar, brought a bit of ''olé!'' to the day at Columba College by having music, food and dance from the South American country.

One of the pupils, Antonia Lopez (15), said she and her classmates took great delight in bringing a bit of their culture to Dunedin.

''Here everything is more like safe - everyone follows the rules perfectly.

''I'm very impressed with the driving here. In Chile, we don't follow the speed instructions or anything like that.

''In Chile, we are like more noisy and very athletic. We are like hugging and kissing persons; we are more like, I don't know, a party.''

Despite her assessment of life in New Zealand, she insisted it was not akin to an old folks' home.

''No, New Zealand is not boring. It takes longer to get to know people here, but the great thing is, once you know a person here, you become lifelong friends.

''We are really enjoying our time here. None of us want to go home.''

Columba College principal Juliette Hayes said a group of Columba pupils recently returned from a four-week visit to St Margaret's - their sister school - and this was a reciprocal visit from the Chileans.

They had been visiting the attractions of Dunedin for the past two weeks and were due to return home this weekend.


06 July 2015


Columba College performed exceptionally well at Otago Robo Cup held on Saturday. We had placings in every category!  The girls really worked hard and even the teams that didn’t get places put in so much effort and problem solving that they deserve congratulations too.  Robotics is truly “STEAM” - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths”.  They have to combine skills from across the curriculum, become independent problems solvers and work together as teams.  
It was great to see so many family members at the competition. Thank you for taking the time to support the school and the students.
Robo Cup Place Getters:

2nd Place Junior Theatre - Alex Seaton (Year 5), Isabelle Coe and Lara Seaton (Year 8)
1st Place Senior Theatre - Emily Cao, Heather Robertson, Nirhjah Selvarajah and Amelia Wright-Sear (Year 10)
3rd Place Senior Theatre - Charlotte Smith, Jessika Stratton and Gabby Trotter (Year 10)
Search and Rescue
3rd Place Junior Search and Rescue - Ella Calder and Imogene Maclean (Year 8),
3rd Place Senior Search and Rescue - Isabelle Keeling and Jamie Preston (Year 10)

1st Place Premiere Search and Rescue – Emily Cao, Ghazal Dousti, Heather Robertson and Kate Truman (Year 10)
3rd Place Premiere Search and Rescue - Ketaki Bagal and Alice German (Year 11)
1st Place Senior Soccer - Chloe Lai and Annabelle Ritchie (Year 12)
Overall Programming Prize
Chloe Lai and Annabelle Ritchie (Year 12)
Robotics is one of the many ways in which Columba College encourages girls to participate in STEAM related activities and to pursue careers in digital technology and engineering fields. In fact, Columba College has recently been profiled on TKI Technology Online in regard to its strategies for engaging girls in computer science. Follow the link below to read the article:

Visit from French Exchange Students

05 July 2015

Visit from French Exchange Students

Back row (with correspondent in italics): Matteo Cadence (Joshua Mackay), Paul Magnier de Maisonneuve,
Alexia Coward (Annabelle Alloo), Marion L'Huillier-Husinger (Selena Ballantyne)
Second row: Charlotte Moulinoux (Silkie Alliott), Ethel Vetillard (Eleanore Hamel),
Léna Ribière (Bethan Dunstone-Leitch), Josephine Cousins (Ximena Botafogo).
Front row: Behnaz Takeshian (Ruby Whitaker), Ariane Monge (Ania Kowalewski), Chiara Lumia (Camelia Harrison), Fleur Harmsen (Ella Bennett), Sebastian Partarrieu (Joshua Meads - Christs College),
Jeppe Kalksma (William Archer).
Absent: Jean Baptiste Michel (André Theis)

Columba and John McGlashan College families are currently hosting 15 students from the Centre International de Valbonne in the South of France, who are in New Zealand for six weeks.  They have adapted well to the inhospitable weather and taken part in a wide variety of activities in and around Dunedin including learning Maori martial arts at Puketeraki marae, taking the microphone at Otago Access Radio and dressing up as early settlers at Toitū.  They have also enjoyed interacting with Columba French students and are honing their netball skills, learned with the Year 9 PE classes, for a lunchtime match during their final week.

They will have one more week at Columba and John McGlashan in Week 1 of Term 3 before returning to their summer.  Many thanks to the host families who have made them so welcome.  They have been a wonderful group to work with and are really appreciating their home-stay experience.  Bonnes vacances à tous!!

Junior School Musical Production ‘Minibeast Madness’

04 July 2015

Junior School Musical Production ‘Minibeast Madness’

On Wednesday, 24th June, the Junior School children performed their musical ‘Minibeast Madness’ to a packed hall of parents, grandparents and friends.  

This lively musical was packed with Minibeast information.  It alerted us to the threat insecticides pose to all creatures and the environment.

It's the Minibeast Midsummer Fiesta.  Fireflies, Butterflies and Creepy Crawlies flutter and wriggle to the rhythm of Senor Cicada’s band.  Snails come out of their shells, singing the blues, and Daisy the Spider performs on her flying trapeze.  Even Mr and Mrs Praying Mantis are getting on!  Suddenly, Inspector Secticide and The Bug Squad storm the scene.  But, there is nowhere for the Minibeasts to run and hide from their assault with fly swatters, nets and cocktail of insecticide.  Luckily these resourceful little creatures united and used their own defences against an attack.

This is the Junior School’s 10th Musical Production.  Mrs Judith Borick (Musical Director), Mr Richard Warnock (Pianist) and Mrs Virginia Theis (Choreographer) along with the staff and children are to be congratulated on such an excellent effort.  All have put so many hours into perfecting and bringing ‘Minibeast Madness’ to life.

We also performed ‘Minibeast Madness’ on Tuesday, 23rd June for the local rest homes and for Maori Hill School.  This was followed again on Thursday at 8.30 a.m. for the secondary school who were a very appreciative audience.

As usual with any production, there are always behind the scene activities, which must take place to ensure its success.  Many thanks go to Mrs Clair Robertson and Heather Robertson for the wonderful work they do with the lighting, to Mrs Liana Johnston who lead a team of parents in the creation and making of costumes, Mrs Lucienne Wallace for the wonderful scenery and Evie Ballantyne and Holly Friedlander for assisting us with the programmes at the door.

Once again the Junior School children are to be congratulated on three wonderful performances.  They managed to showcase their many talents in a highly successful 2015 Musical Production.

Marion Hogg
Dean of the Junior School

Book Week 2015

03 July 2015

Book Week 2015

Books come in many shapes and forms, as Pastor Geoff reminded us during our Chapel service in the first week of June.  The important thing is that we read them and allow ourselves to be changed by them.

And it was the reading which featured during Book Week 2015.  Year 10 English students buddied with Junior School children to share picture books, an experience which all enjoyed.  Lunch-time quizzes were held in the Library, testing our readers.  Magazines were available in the dining room for girls to read while they enjoyed their Book Week hot chocolate and marshmallows.

The whole school Book Assembly, delayed a day because of the floods, was led by Durga Selvarajah and Eleanor O’Neill, our head librarians.  Over 150 wonderful books were presented to the library.

The Years 6 – 10 Book Quiz, organised by Mrs Walker in the Sports Centre, was once again a popular event. Spot prizes and running totals on whiteboards kept the excitement level high.

Thanks are due to all those who helped in any way to contribute to the success of the week.

Competition winners were:

“Literary pairs”  -  Evie Ballantyne
“Who said this?”  -  Sylvie Brosnahan
“What are your teachers reading?”  -   Maia Joseph

Book Quiz winners:

Year 6:      Reading Queens (Hannah Cole, Niamh Mason, Olivia Norris-Heenan, Charlotte Wollstein)
Year 7:      Whomping Willows (Holly Bettis, Rachael Boardman, Megan Macdiarmid, Lily Murdoch)
Year 8:      Secret library (Ella Calder, Isabelle Coe, Holly Friedlander, Imogene Maclean)
Year 9:      Question Mark (Brielle Alliott, Saffron Lai, Galina Mandich)
Year 10:    Les Quizarables (Molly Crighton, Ghazal Dousti, Mavis Teo, Kate Truman)

Mrs H. Thew

Otago Secondary Schools’ Cross Country

02 July 2015

Otago Secondary Schools’ Cross Country

Fourteen athletes attended the Otago Secondary Schools’ Cross Country Championships at Gladfield Golf course on Tuesday, 9th June.  Races were run in perfect conditions with fantastic results.

Under 14
1st    Meg Sycamore
5th    Audrey Hayes
6th    Hannah Prout

Columba won the team trophy for the three person team with St. Hilda’s 2nd and Otago Girls 3rd.

Under 15
2nd    Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan
7th    Gabrielle Trotter
13th    Chenoa Metua

Columba was 1st in the Team section with St. Hilda’s 2nd and Otago Girls 3rd.
Under 16
2nd    Indiana Williams
3rd    Teigan Tarapi
4th    Ella Porter

These individual results placed the Team 1st with St. Hilda’s 2nd.

4th    Kate Guildford

This was a great dress rehearsal for the New Zealand Championships on the same course on 20th June.  All girls ran with maximum effort giving of their best.  This is the best results Columba has had in recent years. Well done to everyone.

Otago Secondary Schools’ Netball Championships

01 July 2015

Otago Secondary Schools’ Netball Championships

The Otago Secondary Schools’ Netball Championships were held recently in Dunedin, with the Senior A, 10A and 9A competing and the Senior B netball team taking part as an invitation team.  The Senior A Netball team played defending champions South Otago High School in the first game and had a good win over this team; this was followed by very tough games against Dunstan (which Dunstan won) and Waitaki Girls’ (Waitaki won).  This placed our Senior A team in the playoffs for 9-16.   The girls were gutted to be in this position, but they worked hard on the Monday to win all three of their games and to end up ninth overall.  Special mention to Clora Quinlan-Thompson who was brought into the team at the last minute due to injuries to other girls and to all of the girls for picking themselves back up after the Sunday games to play well on Monday.

Our Senior B Netball team were an invitation team who played in the B grade of  the tournament.  The found the level of competition to be quite tough, but they still managed a number of wins.  Without this team competing in the tournament, the B grade would not have been able to play at all, so a big thank you to the girls an coaches for competing.

The 10A netball team had wins against South Otago, Dunstan High School and Kavanagh College on the first day to win their pool and go through to the top eight.  The competition was fierce on the Monday but they had a good win in their quarter final to progress through to the semi-final, where they faced a very determined Otago Girls High School.  The score see-sawed throughout the match and ended in a draw after regulation time.  To win in extra time a team needs to get ahead by two points at any stage.  After playing for a few minutes, Otago Girls High School gained a turn over and then scored off their next centre pass to win the game by two goals.  The Year 10 girls were understandably upset, but they went on to win their next game, coming 3rd overall.

The 9A netball team had a strong tournament and won all three of their games on the first day, against Waitaki Girls’, Dunstan and Roxbrugh, also going through to the top eight.  They won their quarter-final and semi-final on Monday to go through to the final against St. Hilda’s.  This was a hard fought match, with St. Hilda’s leading throughout and finally taking out the win by a couple of goals, so our Year 9A team came 2nd overall.

The Columba teams performed very well and I would like to thank the coaches and managers of the teams: Mrs Piebenga, Ginny Cowie, Mrs Hope, Trudy Quirk, Joanna Hurst, Nik Stumbles and Sophie Borland.  Also, we had many wonderful umpires who took time out of their busy schedules to umpire on our behalf.  Claudia Sim and Gabby Trotter were selected as two out of five ‘promising umpires’ at the tournament – well done girls.  With this tournament behind them, the Senior A team now look forward to their South Island tournament in Timaru in August/September and 9A and 10A their South Island tournament in Christchurch in the next school holidays.

Christie Sinclair
TIC Netball

Columba Student to be New Zealand Representative in Debating

27 May 2015

Columba Student to be New Zealand Representative in Debating

A student from Dunedin has been named as one of the best five school debaters in the country.

Emily Williams from Columba College excelled at the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Champs which concluded in Wellington this afternoon, being named as a member of the five person Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools' Debating Team.

She will now go on to represent New Zealand at the World Schools' Debating Champs in Singapore in July.

"Emily is a funny and fiery debater," says Josh Baxter, the President of the New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council, the organisers of the tournament.

"She debated consistently well throughout the weekend, and will be a fine representative of New Zealand," says Mr Baxter.

Emily was selected for the Otago team after representing Columba at the Otago Regional Competition in March.

Teams from Wellington, Auckland, Canterbury, Otago-Southland, Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Central North Island, Waikato and Kahurangi-Marlborough took part in seven preliminary rounds of debates over the weekend, confronting such issues as whether criminal trials should be televised, whether alternative medicine should be banned, and whether President Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize.
Students found out the topics and what side they were to argue only one hour before the debate.
Wellington defeated Auckland in the Grand Final.
The other members of the NZ team are Georgina Lomax-Sawyers (Buller High School) (Captain), Shakked Noy (Wellington High School), Peter McKenzie (Scots College) and Rhaz Solomon (Wanganui High School).
The Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships have been held annually since 1988 and are recognised as the country’s most prestigious school debating competition. The Championships are sponsored by Russell McVeagh.

Chinese Speech Competitions

15 May 2015

Chinese Speech Competitions

Columba students did very well in the Regional and National Chinese Speech Competitions.

We had two winners in the International Category: 1st Place Isabella Lau, Year 11 and 2nd Place Shiqi Zhao, Year 11.  Three girls won distinguished awards which is Third Place: Rachael Jannink, Year 13 and Kara Bethune and Heidi Chin, Year 12.

We had two overall winners:  Hannah Sim, Year 10 in the Junior Category and Ellena Khoo, Year 11 in the Senior Category.  These went to Christchurch on Saturday, 16th May to compete the National Chinese Speech
Competition and gained Distinction awards.  

Ms Ding was also recognised for her work, winning two Best Coach Awards.  Well done Ms

Visual Arts Department

14 May 2015

Visual Arts Department

This term the Visual Arts Department had another competition - The Jackson Pollock Interactive ART Competition.
All students had the opportunity to create an arrangement in the style of the famous artist Jackson Pollock using an interactive ART website -  It was a great success!  

Check out the Visual ARTS Departments blog so you can view the other winners artworks -

Congratulations to the following students:

1st Place     Lara Seaton, Year 8
2nd Place    Isobel Keeling, Year 10
3rd Place     Georgia Tattersall, Year 8

Logan Park Road Race

13 May 2015

Logan Park Road Race

Back row: Indiana Williams, Chenoa Metua, Ella Porter, Bridget Collins, Meg Breen, Claudia Carruthers,
Kate Guildford, Kate Turnbull, Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan, Ellie Duncan
Front row: Hannah Cross, Teigan Tarapi, Mikayla Gray, Lilli Renner, Audrey Hayes, Madison Williams,
Hannah Prout, Meg Sycamore, Ashlee Turner, Charlotte Wheeler

The first of the Term Two Cross Country series started with the Logan Park Road Race which was held on Tuesday, 5th May.  Columba had a strong group of runners selected from the school Cross Country.  Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan ran with class to win the U15 race over 2.5km in a smart time.  Meg Sycamore was the second Columba runner home in 7th place followed by Chenoa Metua in 9th and Claudia Carruthers in 12th place.  There were over 40 runners entered.

In the senior race Indiana Williams ran well to finish 3rd followed by Teigan Tarapi in 4th, Kate Guildford in 5th and Ella Porter in 7th.

Mrs S. Harvey
Director of Sport


12 May 2015


Caitlin Deans, Devon Familton, Gabrielle Trotter and Dani Walsh took part in the National Age Group Championships in Wellington from 5th to 9th May.  Congratulations girls on excellent team and individual results.

Caitlin Deans took gold in the Girls 15 years 800m Freestyle, silver in the 200m and 400m Freestyle and bronze in the 400m Individual Medley.

Devon Familton in the Girls 15 years 50m Backstroke set a new Otago record of 31.40 in the final where she finished 5th in the ten strong field.  Devon took bronze in the 15 years 100m Backstroke.

Gabrielle Trotter won bronze in the Girls 14 years 800m Freestyle.

In the Girls 15 years 800m Regional relay Caitlin Deans, Gabrielle Trotter and Danielle Walsh took 2nd place as part of the Swimming Otago team.

Three Week Study Abroad Programme

06 May 2015

internationalDeptColumba College, an all-girls school, located in Dunedin, New Zealand is proud to announce the addition of a three week, short course programme offered to the International community. International students who are seeking greater insight into western studies, culture, and English language requirements are welcome to apply.

Why Columba?

With not only being Dunedin’s most highly rated educational college, Columba is consistently acclaimed for its proven achievements and academic success. Set on beautiful grounds in scenic Dunedin, Columba offers high quality teaching to a host of over 565 students, 100 of which being international.

ESOL Staff

  • All staff have (at the minimum) an MA in TESOL or a related field, plus several international teaching accreditations
  • Several years of experience abroad
  • A genuine desire to help students

What to Gain

  • Focused instruction with our intimate class sizes (no more than 10 students per class)
  • International accreditation by taking the OCESOL
  • Broader knowledge of 4 Skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking)
  • Collaboration with other native students in a wide range of subjects and activities
  • Experience with all that New Zealand has to offer, including student life in and out of the classroom, fascinating history and culture, never before seen wildlife, and unforgettable nature

For further information and enquiries contact:

Sue Medary: Director of International Students and Homestay Manager

Telephone: +64 3 467 5188 Extn. 817  
Fax: +64 3 464 0418

* All groups of 10 students are intended to derive from one location.

Student Council Centenary Gifts

21 April 2015

Student Council Centenary Gifts

The Student Council has presented its centenary gifts to the College. Student Council Prefect, Analise Cowie, said the Council had commissioned a poem by alumna Dr Cilla McQueen, which was read for the first time at the centenary church service.

The Council also commissioned a statue by renown Oamaru sculptor Ian Anderson.  The statue was unveiled by Analise and Head Prefect Sarah Dippie at a ceremony attended by class representatives.  Analise said, “Thanks to the vision of Columba girls over the past five years, the Student Council is proud to present the students’ gift on the occasion of Columba’s centenary.  This gift is given with love for the past and hope for the future”.  In response, Sarah said, “On behalf of the current students we accept this gift and thank you for all the effort it took to raise the funds and commission this statue.  We are happy that future students will enjoy the beauty of this work and the legacy of your vision”.   Following the unveiling the gathered students burst into a spontaneous rendition of the Columba song which reflected their pride in the moment.

The statue is proudly displayed outside Girton, in a garden that will be filled with Columba’s Rose, a new rose that has also been created on the occasion of the centenary.




Return to school simply wizard

20 April 2015

Return to school simply wizard
Columba College pupils (from left) Clara Ballantyne (9) as an owl, Alex Seaton (9) as an older Harry Potter, Jacob Hill (5) as a younger Harry Potter, head girl Sarah Dippie (17) as Luna Lovegood, Emily Ung (9) as Hermione Granger and parent John Sear.

There were broomsticks everywhere, people wearing glasses who should not be wearing glasses and vice-versa, people hanging up their invisibility cloaks and then not being able to find them again - the return to school yesterday was chaos.

Columba College pupils returned from their term holidays to find the school gymnasium had been transformed into the Hogwarts School dining hall and everyone - staff included - was dressed as a character from Harry Potter.

The transformation was part of Columba College's centenary celebrations.

The entire school had lunch, seated at long house tables, just as Harry Potter and his friends did at JK Rowling's Hogwarts School. And in true Dumbledore style, Columba College principal Juliette Hayes gave a welcome speech and reminded the pupils there was ''a little bit of magic in them all'', urging them to use it kindly to help each other, aim high, and do good in the world.

Special effects were put to good use, with moving faces in picture frames, a puff of magic smoke at dinner time, a mysterious smoky atmosphere, fire torches lighting the room and white candles floating above.
The pupils also enjoyed a Hogwarts quiz and several musical performances from fellow pupils, and entered a knitted scarf competition.

A game of quidditch (an outdoors game played by Harry Potter, which was slightly amended because the school does not have broomsticks that fly) and a glass of butterbeer (a butterscotch-flavoured beverage) had to be postponed because no-one seemed to have a spell capable of clearing yesterday's drizzly weather.

''It was an enjoyable return from the holidays and an opportunity for current pupils, staff and parents to have a little magical fun to celebrate the school's centenary year,'' Mrs Hayes said.

Artist-in-Residence 2015 (Theatre) Dr Kim Morgan

28 March 2015

Artist-in-Residence 2015 (Theatre) Dr Kim Morgan

Columba College students have the privilege of the vast experience of Dr Kim Morgan as our Artist-in-Residence this year, proudly supported by the Columba College Parents’ Association.  Dr Morgan relocated to NZ in 2012 after helming the MA Program in Theatre at SUNY-Binghamton (2000-2) and serving as Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Denver (2002-12).  She holds a PhD in Theatre (Shakespeare, Directing, Theatre History) from the University of Colorado, and specialises in Renaissance/Baroque, Commedia dell’Arte, Russia, and Popular Theatre/Culture.  

Dr Morgan has also written a monograph on Hamlet in 20c Russia, and been a regular director, actress, dramaturg and “Jill-of-all-trades” at universities, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and various regional theatres.  She still lectures on her favourite topics (“Theatre History,” “Directing,” “Archetypes Through the Ages,” “The Supernatural and the Popular Imagination”), and teaches “Mask & Scenario” or “Creating Theatre” at the University of Otago each summer. 

In Term 1 at Columba College, Dr Morgan has enjoyed working with the senior drama students on workshopping Shakespearean scenes for the Sheilah Wynn Shakespeare Festival, masked/physical theatre and the Laramie Project.

We are grateful to the Parents’ Association for funding the Artist in Residence programme.

South Island Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships

27 March 2015

South Island Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships

Fourteen athletes travelled to Nelson to compete at the South Island Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships after having gained a top five finish at the Otago Southland championships. The event was held from Friday 27th-29th March.

Team members were: Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan, Meg Breen, Ruby Coers, Lily Cunningham, Lillie Driscoll-King, Ellie Duncan, Shannon Inch, Chenoa Metua, Ella Porter, Hannah Prout, Fiona Schultz, Maddy Spence, Kaitlynn Wheeler, Indiana Williams.

Team captain Maddy Spence broke the South Island record in the Open Girls 300m Hurdles with a very smart time. The senior 4x400m relay team also broke a record, lowering the time by 5 seconds. Members were Ellie Duncan, Ruby Coers, Lily Cunningham and Maddy Spence.

All 14 athletes made the top 8 in their events, many gained personal bests and several athletes gained Placings.

Thank you to Stuart and Lorraine Duncan for their fantastic support in Nelson, this was very much appreciated by myself and the team.

Congratulations to all team members who gave their all to finish term one athletics in fine style. Your team spirit, dedication and focus is to be commended.

Mrs S. Harvey
Director of Sport

Under 14
Meg Breen
3rd Long jump

Under 15
Chenoa Metua
3rd 80m Hurdles

Ellie Duncan
2nd 200m
3rd 100m

Meg Breen, Shannon Inch, Chenoa Metua, Fiona Schultz
3rd 4x100m relay

Under 19
Maddy Spence
1st 300m hurdles (record)
2nd 400m

Kaitlynn Wheeler
2nd Hammer

Ruby Coers, Lily Cunningham, Ellie Duncan, Maddy Spence
4x400m relay team 1st (record)

Ruby Coers, Lily Cunningham, Ellie Duncan, Maddy Spence
2nd 4x100m relay

“Post It Note” ART Competition

26 March 2015

The annual “Post It Note” ART Competition was a great success and the theme this year was based on the 100th Columba College Celebrations. The results were outstanding with a variety of interesting entries:

1st Place – Year 10 Heather Robertson assisted by Katie Closs –   The artwork beautifully represented the Columba College 100th celebrations by using a 100 hand crafted doves.


2nd Place – Year 10 Lucy Stephens


3rd Place – Year 10 Milly Nesbit  


Blumine Island trip and Hands On

25 March 2015

Blumine Island trip and Hands On

At the beginning of the summer holidays I was offered a scholarship from Untouched World Charitable Trust to go on their week-long Blumine Island Leadership Programme.  Blumine Island, or Oruawairua, is a pest-free island in the Marlborough Sounds, which Untouched World and the Department of Conservation maintain and which currently hosts many endangered species such as kiwi, saddleback, and mohua.  The idea of going not knowing anybody was daunting, but by the time the week was over the whole group had become incredibly close.  During our stay on the island, we got involved with several projects, including clearing and marking tracks all over the island for DoC rangers, tracking mohua and kiwi, cleaning historic gun emplacements, clearing an infestation of a pest vine, and leadership and team bonding activities.  This experience really opened my eyes to the amount of effort that goes into maintaining New Zealand’s walking tracks and native ecosystems. Being on the island made me incredibly appreciative of what a beautiful country we live in, and also of flushing toilets, lights and heaters. Being exposed to the ideas and the passion of the people I met, both students and adults, was incredibly inspiring.  I learnt so much about the island, conservation, and leadership, and it was such an incredible opportunity.  I would encourage anybody to apply for this trip, and to take up any opportunities offered to you, as you never know where it could lead. I certainly never thought an email from Mrs Graves would lead to such an amazing experience. 

Kate Campbell

Year 12

New Zealand Sporting Reps 2015

24 March 2015

New Zealand Sporting Reps 2015

Columba is proud to have five current New Zealand Sporting Representatives in 2015. They are Claudia Carruthers in Touch, Grace Finnerty in BMX, Megan Guest in Synchronised Swimming, Georgia Hamilton in Water-Skiing and Maddy Spence in Athletics.


Columba cancels Vanuatu trip; sets up appeal instead

20 March 2015

Cyclone Pam has ended months of planning and fundraising for pupils at Columba College, whose planned trip to Vanuatu has been cancelled.
Columba College principal Juliette Hayes said about a dozen years 12 and 13 girls, and three adults, were to visit Hog Harbour Secondary School and Prenter Primary School on Espiritu Santo Island in Vanuatu, during the Easter holidays.
However, the category 5 cyclone which had wind gusts up to 300kmh, destroyed much of the island's infrastructure and forced the college to cancel the week-long trip.
The trip was expected to be similar to the college's 2013 trip when pupils visited Paama Island, where they taught classes, coached individual pupils, created resources and sorted and catalogued library books.
This time, the college planned to focus on building a new partnership with the two schools, and taking over about $2000 worth of much-needed educational equipment, such as sports gear, pens and pencils, activities for children, as well as funds ''to do what needed doing''.
Mrs Hayes said each pupil had to raise about $3000 to pay for flights and expenses.
She said the college decided to cancel the trip because it was not known how long it would be until Vanuatu was in a position to host visitors again.
''We certainly didn't want to put any pressure on them or be a burden to them while we were there.
''Because they are senior girls and they have very little time available for the rest of this year, we thought we'd cancel it and then support the schools in other ways - through financial aid.''
The school set up an appeal earlier this week, which has since raised more than $2000 for the schools.
Mrs Hayes said Columba College would hold on to the equipment until the schools were ready to receive it.

John Lewis - ODT

Congratulations to our 2015 Prefects

02 March 2015

Head Prefect

Sarah Dippie

Deputy Head Prefect

Claire Anglin


Amy Logie

Head Boarder

Emma Stackhouse

Deputy Head Boarder

Sandy Reid

Chapel Prefect

Katherine Woodfield

Deputy Chapel Prefect

Sarah Wishart

Health Prefect

Elisa Maierl

International Prefect

Kate (Se Yoon) Kim

International Prefect

Polo Nguyen

Music Prefect

Serena Waterworth

Deputy Music Prefect

Sophie Graham

Head Librarian

Durga Selvarajah

Deputy Head Librarian

Eleanor O’Neill

Peer Support Prefect

Katie Willis

Sport Prefect

Kate Guildford

Deputy Sport Prefect

Bailey Saville

Technology Prefect

Ameila McGeorge

Student Council Prefect

Analise Cowie

Deputy Technology Prefect

Isla Anderson


BoT Rep

Jodie Llewellyn

Scholarship Results

02 March 2015

Columba students received 23 Scholarship grades in 2014.

Subject totals: 

Art History 1 

Biology 2 

Calculus 1 

Chemistry 1 

Classical Studies 4 

Economics 1 

English 2 

French 1 

History 1 

Japanese 1 

Painting 1 

Photography 1 

Physical Education 1 

Physics 1 

Statistics 3 

Technology 1 


Recipients of the Scholarship grades are: 

Natalie Paterson - Classical Studies 

Emily Williams - Economics 

Ella Barclay - Statistics 

Modi Deng - Classical Studies and History (2) 

Jamie Wood - Statistics 

Aïcha Wijland - Classical Studies 

Holly Barclay - Biology 

Holly Hanson - Technology 

Emily Huddleston - Physical Education 

Ella MacDiarmid - Photography 

Priyal Patel - Biology, Painting and Statistics (3) 

Emily Willis - Art History 

Kiri Lenagh-Glue - Classical Studies 

Nanako Shitara - Calculus, Chemistry, English, Japanese and Physics (5) 

Ailish Wallace-Buckland - English 

Anna-Sophia Weidling 


01 March 2015


During January, six Columba students and Mrs McMahon attended the NZOI (New Zealand Olympiad of Informatics) Camp in Wellington. Ketaki Bagel, Emily Cao, Alice German, Nirhjah Selvarajah and Kate Truman attended the junior camp, during which they learned how to program in C++ and also attended some fun activities around Wellington. Annabelle Ritchie (Year 12) attended the camp for the 3rd time and was part of the intermediate group, which focused on learning how to solve more challenging algorithms in preparation for the International Olympiad in Informatics. Based on her results at the camp, Annabelle was selected to be part of the training squad for the New Zealand Olympiad in Informatics Team. She was the first girl to be selected for the training squad and this is a wonderful achievement. Annabelle now has more intensive training and programming challenges to complete during the year, and we wish her well for the final team selection. 

It was a pleasure to accompany the girls on the camp and they were a credit to the school, being the only female participants. We all learned a great deal about programming and problem solving, and had a great time as well. 


Mrs McMahon 

HOD Digital Technology



28 February 2015


Congratulations to Maddy Spence, Year 13, who has been selected in the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Athletics Team to tour California after the South Island Championships in late March. 

Maddy is having an exceptional season to date winning the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ 300m hurdles in December and she has recently broken the Otago 300m and 400m hurdles records. These strong performances have justifiably warranted her selection. 

The team leaves Auckland on March 31 and returns April 20. The team will be based in Los Angeles and compete in meets over three weekends in Northern and Southern California. This is the fifth California Tour and many personal bests have been achieved against top US high school competition in an ideal climate. 

Well done Maddy, we are very proud of you. 


Mrs Harvey 

Director of Sport (Years 9 to 13)


Otago/Southland Triathlon

19 February 2015

Otago/Southland Triathlon

Columba College fielded a large team for the Otago/Southland Triathlon, with 38 girls representing the school. It was a warm and sunny day in Cromwell and the team atmosphere was great with a large number of schools from Otago and Southland competing. There was also great support from the Columba parents who came out for the day. Special thanks goes to Mel Bennett for being a Columba marshal for the event. All the girls performed very well and showed the excellence of Columba athletes. Most of the girls would agree that the highlights of day (besides our great results) were swimming in Lake Dunstan and getting ice creams to cool off after the race!

Congratulations to the following girls for their Otago/Southland places:

Senior Individual
2nd – Jodie Llewellyn

Senior Team
1st – Devon Familton (swim), Ella Harris (cycle), Kate Guildford (run)
2nd – Caitlin Deans (swim), Bailey Saville (cycle), Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan (run)
3rd – Kenzie Findlay (swim and run), Ruby Knight (cycle)

Junior Team
1st – Gabrielle Trotter (swim), Mila Rollo (cycle), Lilli Renner (run)
2nd – Alana Walsh (swim), Charlotte Wheeler (cycle), Ashlee Turner (run)
3rd – Millie Wright (swim), Olivia Miller (cycle), Maddy Williams (run)

Mrs Julie McMahon
Teacher in charge of Triathlon


07 February 2015


Rileigh Fields competed in the Otago Junior Open on the 7th and 8th February and won the girls 16s Singles and girls 16s Doubles. 

Columba Tennis Team Victorious in Otago Secondary Schools’ Tennis Championships 

The number 1 tennis team consisting of Rileigh Fields (Captain), Anabelle Alloo, Laura Hamilton and Senah Lee beat St. Hilda's, then beat Otago Girl's in the final to win the Otago Secondary Schools’ Tennis title for 2015. This means Columba has qualified for the South Island Championships which is a first in at least 20 years. 

Congratulations to all four girls who played fantastic tennis. 


Course Confirmation - Year 11, 12, 13

23 January 2015

Dear Senior Students

I wish you a happy new year, and hope you have enjoyed a wonderful summer break. I’m looking forward to meeting you all, and to the busy year we will have together.

Your first task is to attend school on Thursday 29th January to have your courses confirmed. This is compulsory for Year 12 and 13, and optional for Year 11 if you wish to make changes to the course you chose at the end of last year. Attached you will find a schedule of times to attend. It is a good idea to bring your 2014 report and NCEA results to this meeting.

I look forward to seeing you on Thursday. Enjoy your final week of holidays!

Mrs Hayes

Click here to download the Course Confirmation Notice.

Start of the School Year

23 January 2015

Dear Columba families

Please find attached details of our plans for the start of the school year. I look forward to meeting with you all over the next few weeks.

Kind regards, Juliette

Click here for the Week 1 Notice.

2015 Stationery

06 December 2014

2015 Stationery

Stationery is now available to order online at the Paper Plus website.

Click here to order Stationery online.

NZ Secondary Schools' Athletics Championships

05 December 2014

Maddy Spence and Hanna English

Gold Medal winners at the 2014 New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships

NZ Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships

05 December 2014

NZ Secondary Schools’ Athletics Championships
Meg Breen, McKayler Moore, Ellie Duncan and Chenoa Metua

A group of 13 Columba College athletes travelled to Wanganui for the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Track, Field and Road Race Championships on the 5th and 6th of December.

Hanna English and Maddy Spence were named in the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Team.

Gold Medals were won by Maddy Spence in the 300m Hurdles and Hanna English in the 3000m.

Silver Medals were awarded to Meg Breen, Ellie Duncan, Chenoa Metua and McKayler Moore in the Junior 4x100m relay.

A Bronze Medal was won by Hanna English in the 1500m.


Rowing Scholarship to the States

01 December 2014

Rowing Scholarship to the States
Emma Winders

Warmest congratulations to Emma Winders in Year 13 who is the recipient of an Athletics Scholarship (Rowing) to study at West Virginia University in America starting in August, 2015.

Emma has had an exemplary record of results in rowing throughout her secondary school years, and we are delighted that she has been awarded this very special opportunity to study in America and also to continue rowing there.


Otago Primary Schools’ Athletics Championships Title

01 December 2014

Otago Primary Schools’ Athletics Championships Title
Over 13 Relay Team 1st 200m Meg Sycamore, Annia Tomkins, Abby Anderson, Isabella Geytenbeek



Otago Junior Touch Tournament - Winning Team

01 December 2014

Otago Junior Touch Tournament - Winning Team
Back row: Clora Quinlan-Thompson, Lydia Joseph, Claudia Carruthers, McKayler Moore, Dayna Turnbull (coach), Margo Fowler, Lily Robin, Anna McCaughan Front: Alice Young, Olivia Miller, Meg Breen, Kate Macbeth

As part of Junior Tournament Week, our Junior A Touch team competed in the Otago Junior Touch Tournament, winning all five games, including the final against St. Hilda's 10A team.


Sailing - A New Sport at Columba

29 November 2014

Sailing - A New Sport at Columba
Columba students in Toppers – Otago Harbour



Confucius “Classroom of the Year” Award, South Island

21 November 2014

At a special awards ceremony held at the University of Canterbury on the 21st November, Columba College was awarded the honour of receiving the inaugural trophy for “Confucius Classroom of the Year”.

The award was based on the number of students we have learning Chinese and the range of Year levels, cultural activities held or hosted at the school such as the South Island Chinese Bridge Speech Competition, the Chinese evening classes, Chinese-focused activities during International Week, our students’ performance at the Chinese Garden during the mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations, two students’ attendance at the Confucius Institute Cultural  Immersion Camp in Wuhan and Beijing (Ellena Khoo and Semolina Schillberg) and the school trip to China in April/May.


Columba’s Rose

18 November 2014

Columba’s Rose
Columba's Rose

Columba’s Rose will be available to order at the time of Columba College’s centenary next year.  The Centennial Committee decided that a rose named after Columba would be a very special way of marking the College’s centenary.  Columba’s Rose will be stocked by Tasman Bay Roses in Nelson and available to the wider public for purchase.

Description.  Hybrid tea.  Very large full flowers produced in small clusters.  The flowers are like a nostalgic rose, very fragrant, cup-shaped and often quartered.  The colour changes from cream on the outside to deep yellow in the centre.  A good container rose also with long-lasting flowers


Dual International

07 November 2014

Dual International
Phoebe Steele, Year 13

Selected for the Junior Black Sticks and the New Zealand Under 19 Touch Team

2015 Mana Pounamu Awards Ceremony

31 October 2014

2015 Mana Pounamu Awards Ceremony
Lydia Joseph, Year 9 Junior Recipient and Jamie Wood, Year 13 Senior Recipient

2014 Distinguished Alumnae Service

28 October 2014

2014 Distinguished Alumnae Service
Dr Helen Cleugh

Chief Scientist in CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, CSIRO, Canberra
Dr Cleugh has been a senior leader in CSIRO since 2007.

2014 10 28 distinguished alumnae service 2
Mrs Rosemary Paterson (née Skinner)

NZ Ambassador to Chile, Peru and Colombia 2009 - 2012
Manager, Environment Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade July 2014 – present.

2015 Otago Polytechnic Pasifika Awards Ceremony

28 October 2014

2015 Otago Polytechnic Pasifika Awards Ceremony
Jacinda Kumar receiving her award from Mr Phil Ker, CEO of Otago Polytechnic

2014 10 28 otago polytechnic pasifika awards ceremony 2

Jacinda Kumar and Teigan Tarapi (our Senior and Junior Award recipients)

2014 Young Enterprise National Finals

22 October 2014

2014 Young Enterprise National Finals
Avila Kan, Claudia Sim, Jamie Wood, Christie Wood, Ailish Wallace-Buckland (absent: Emily Williams)

Reine from Columba College won the Otago Regional Competition and is went forward to the Young Enterprise Finals in Wellington on the 10th December.

National Figure Skating Title

09 October 2014

National Figure Skating Title
Katie Sewell in No. 1 position on the podium

2014 New Zealand Pre-Primary National Figure Skating Champion

Scholarship Winners

30 September 2014

Scholarship Winners
Jamie Wood, Recipient of a 2014 PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) Scholarship

PricewaterhouseCoopers received a record 240 applications from 100 schools and awarded 23 Scholarships with Jamie Wood being the only Otago recipient.

2014 09 30 scholarship winners 2
Ashleigh Neill
Recipient of a 2014 Russell McVeagh School Leavers’ Scholarship

Russell McVeagh received nearly 300 applications from around the country and awarded 11 School Leavers’ Scholarships this year with two of them going to Otago students (both with Columba connections – Ashleigh Neill has attended Columba College for all of her education to date and Tom Sycamore, John McGlashan College, received his primary school education in our Junior School).


29 September 2014

Mrs J. McMahon, Ella Harris, Bailey Saville, Phoebe Swale and Ruby Knight

Gold Medal (Under 20 time trial)
2014 National Secondary Schools’ Cycling Championships

Year 7 Camp at Mt. Cook

26 September 2014

Year 7 Camp at Mt. Cook
Students involved in a mock search and rescue scenario

2014 South Island Secondary Schools’ Ski Championships

14 September 2014

2014 South Island Secondary Schools’ Ski Championships
Jodie Llewellyn

2nd in the Giant Slalom and Ski-Cross.  Jodie has also gained the Level 2 Ski Instructors Certificate this year.

2014 School Musical

11 September 2014

2014 School Musical
2014 School Musical

“The Wizard of Oz”
Director: Gladys Hope
Musical Director: Richard Madden





2014 Audrey Timlin NZ Hockey Tournament

05 September 2014

2014 Audrey Timlin NZ Hockey Tournament
Columba College First XI Hockey Team

Winners of the 2014 Audrey Timlin NZ Hockey Tournament in Timaru.  The win qualifies the team to compete in the Federation Cup (the top national tournament) in 2015.


The Audrey Timlin Trophy

Alex Menzies, Miss Elizabeth Wilson, Phoebe Steele (Captain)


2014 New Zealand Sports Representatives

02 September 2014

2014 New Zealand Sports Representatives
Hanna English, Charlotte Cahill (Cross Country), Georgia Hamilton (Water Skiing)

The photograph was taken at the AGM of the Sports Council where the girls’ success was acknowledged and each received a presentation from the Sports Council.

2014 09 02 new zealand sports representatives 2
Emma Winders (Rowing), Phoebe Steele (Touch), Hanna English (Football), Holly Barclay (Triathlon) and Megan Guest (Synchronised Swimming)

New Zealand Triathlon World Championships

01 September 2014

New Zealand Triathlon World Championships
Holly Barclay, Year 13

Holly Barclay was a member of the New Zealand Triathlon World Championships Team that completed in Canada at the ITO World Triathlon Grand Final

2014 09 01 nz triathlon world championships 2

Launch of “The Good Dunedin Book”

16 August 2014

Launch of “The Good Dunedin Book”
Deputy Prime Minister Bill English with Jamie Wood, Emily Williams and Claudia Sim

Launch of “The Good Dunedin Book” produced by Reine that won the Young Enterprise Otago Regional Awards.

Information Science Technology Challenge

30 June 2014

Information Science Technology Challenge
Ryely Burtenshaw-Day, Gabrielle Magnuson and Aïcha Wijland

Years 12 and 13 Information Science Technology Challenge at the University of Otago
Winners of the overall Prize

NZ Secondary Schools’ Cross Country Championships

22 June 2014

NZ Secondary Schools’ Cross Country Championships
Charlotte Cahill and Hanna English

Hanna and Charlotte were selected for the 2014 New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Cross Country team to compete in Perth on the 20th August.  They follow in the footsteps of Sian English and Laura Carruthers who have previously been selected.  Of the twelve athletes selected for the 2014 team, two are from Columba.

Hanna also won the Gold Medal in the Senior Girls’ 4000m event.

NZ Community Trust Chamber Music Contest

14 June 2014

NZ Community Trust Chamber Music Contest
Jacinda Kumar, Paddy Ou and Elliot Tay Winning Chamber Music Group in the Dunedin District Section

Jacinda Kumar, Year 13 was a member of the winning group in the Dunedin district section of the New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest at Marama Hall.  The two-day contest featured more than 150 Dunedin musicians from 12 high schools competing in 49 ensembles.  The adjudicator of the Dunedin contest was pianist Richard Mapp.

2014 International Jeunes Auteurs French Writing Competition

29 May 2014

2014 International Jeunes Auteurs French Writing Competition
Ailish Wallace-Buckland and Emily Willis, Year 13

First place in the 2014 International Jeunes Auteurs (Young Authors) French Writing Competition

Otago Regional Shakespeare Festival

10 April 2014

Otago Regional Shakespeare Festival
A scene from Romeo and Juliet

Columba College won the best five-minute student-directed entry with a scene from Romeo and Juliet directed by Hannah Pearson

2014 South Island Secondary Schools’ Touch Tournament

30 March 2014

2014 South Island Secondary Schools’ Touch Tournament
Columba Senior A Touch Team

Columba Senior A Touch Team - 2nd in the South Island

2014 South Island “Chinese Bridge” Regional Speech Competition

29 March 2014

2014 South Island “Chinese Bridge” Regional Speech Competition
Columba College Place-getters

Outstanding Scholar Award

16 March 2014

Outstanding Scholar Award
Katie Mulholland, 2013 Dux

Katie Mulholland was one of 60 recipients nationally of an Outstanding Scholar Award.

For over a decade Columba College students have gained overall the highest number of Scholarship Grades in Otago.

In 2013 20 Scholarship Grades were gained over ten subjects, four of them were Outstanding.

Carol Service at First Church of Otago

07 December 2012





Boarding Forms

Medical Form Roslyn 2016

Host List 2016

Excursion Consent 2016

Confidential Health Form 22016

Code of Conduct agreement 2016

Personal Information 2016

Vehicle Application 2016 - Full Licence Form

Vehicle Application 2016 - Restricted Form

Medical Form for Boarders 2016