News Archive

Spring Golf Tournament

29 September 2017

Spring Golf Tournament

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.

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.


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

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

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

2014 Distinguished Alumnae Service

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.

2014 Young Enterprise National Finals

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

2015 Otago Polytechnic Pasifika Awards Ceremony

2014 10 28 otago polytechnic pasifika awards ceremony 2

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

2015 Mana Pounamu Awards Ceremony

Scholarship Winners

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).


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

2014 South Island Secondary Schools’ Ski Championships

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

2014 School Musical

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





2014 Audrey Timlin NZ Hockey Tournament

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

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

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”

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

NZ Secondary Schools' Athletics Championships

Maddy Spence and Hanna English

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

Carol Service at First Church of Otago





Confucius “Classroom of the Year” Award, South Island

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.


Year 7 Camp at Mt. Cook

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

2016 Years 9 to 13 Option Guides

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

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

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

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

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

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.

RoboCup Nationals

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

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

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.

Sports Awards Evening

Global Education – Columba College

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2015 Exhibition Flyer EmailDESIGN

399 Highgate – Constance Hall

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.

Stationery 2016



Start of Year Arrangements

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

Newsletter to Boarding Families

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

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

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.

Term Dates 2016

Term Dates 2016

Private Speech Lessons 2016

Click here for more information.

Private Music Lessons 2016

Click here for more information.

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

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

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’.