Rowing Crew Claim Bronze

12 April 2019

Rowing Crew Claim Bronze

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Term 2 Key Dates and 2019 Term Dates

11 April 2019

Term 2 Key Dates and 2019 Term Dates

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South Island Touch Champions

10 April 2019

South Island Touch Champions

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Academic Blues Assembly

05 April 2019

Academic Blues Assembly

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Senior A Waterpolo - Bronze Medal

04 April 2019

Senior A Waterpolo - Bronze Medal

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New Zealand Secondary Schools 12 hour Adventure Race

03 April 2019

New Zealand Secondary Schools 12 hour Adventure Race

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Wonderful results for the 2019 Post It Notes competition!

02 April 2019

Wonderful results for the 2019 Post It Notes competition!

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Columba College student in the Ice Fernz

29 March 2019

Columba College student in the Ice Fernz

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Response to the tragedy in Christchurch

28 March 2019

Response to the tragedy in Christchurch

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STAC Annual Exchange

28 March 2019

STAC Annual Exchange

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Year 12 Geography Karitane Field Trip

27 March 2019

Year 12 Geography Karitane Field Trip

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South Island Secondary Schools Triathlon and Duathlon Champs

18 March 2019

South Island Secondary Schools Triathlon and Duathlon Champs

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Kids’ Lit Quiz Success

17 March 2019

Kids’ Lit Quiz Success

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GATE Science Club

16 March 2019

GATE Science Club

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Message from the Acting Principal

20 February 2019

Message from the Acting Principal

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16 Scholarships for 2018 Seniors

19 February 2019

16 Scholarships for 2018 Seniors

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5 Questions with Mrs Duthie

18 February 2019

5 Questions with Mrs Duthie

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Columba College Fair

17 February 2019

Columba College Fair

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Year 8 Camp to Deep Cove 12 – 15 February 2019

16 February 2019

Year 8 Camp to Deep Cove 12 – 15 February 2019

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2019 Start Dates

12 December 2018

Term 1: 29 January – 12 April 

Thursday 24 - Friday 25 January:

  • Years 12 and 13 course approvals where necessary (students to be contacted by Mrs Graves)

Sunday 27 January: 

  • Year 13 boarders return between 3pm and 5.30pm

Monday 28 January: 

  • Year 7,8 and 9 boarders arrive between 10am and 11am
  • Induction of Year 8 & 9 boarders by Year 13 boarders
  • Year 10, 11 and 12 boarders return between 1.30pm and 5.30pm

Tuesday 29 January: 

  • Full school day for Years 0 – 13 students


Thursday 31 January 5pm - Friday 1 February 5pm:

  • Year 13 Leadership Camp at Knox College (overnight)

Wednesday 6 February: 

  • Waitangi Day - School closed

Monday 25 March: 

  • Otago Anniversary Day - School closed

Friday 12 April: 

  • End Term 1

School Stationery 2019

11 December 2018

Click on the image below for school stationery requirements for 2019...

PaperPlus Logo

Columba College musicians take to national stage

05 December 2018

Columba College musicians take to national stage

Three of Columba College’s students will be joining talented young musicians from around the country next year when they take the stage with the New Zealand Secondary Schools Orchestra (NZSSO) and New Zealand Secondary Students Choir (NZSSC).

Victoria Williamson (Y12) and Skyla Murray (Y8) have been selected to play in the second violins section of the NZSSO with Victoria taking the lead as the section’s Principal Violinist.

The NZSSO will congregate in Christchurch next April for a week of rehearsal ahead of performing on April 27 at the Charles Luney Auditorium at St Margaret’s College.

Year 10 student Rosie Auchinvole has been selected to join

 the New Zealand Secondary Schools choir which meets regularly throughout the year for workshops and performances.

Columba College’s Acting Principal Jenness Riethmaier congratulated the students, commending their commitment and discipline.

“There is no doubt that these three young women are talented musicians, however talent must be supported with hours of practice to hone their skills,” said Ms Riethmaier.

“These students have demonstrated commitment to improving their musical abilities and it is excellent to see this hard work rewarded.”  

Columba College Appoints New Principal

29 November 2018

The Board of Governors and Board of Trustees are very pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs Pauline Duthie to the position of Principal of Columba College.

Mrs Duthie is currently the Principal at Christchurch Girls' High School and was a former Principal of Iona College, a Presbyterian state integrated school in Hawkes Bay.  She has previously worked at St Hilda's Collegiate in Dunedin as Assistant Principal and Head of English.

Mrs Duthie brings outstanding leadership qualities as well as in depth knowledge and experience in both state integrated and state schools.

Mrs Duthie is looking forward to her new position at Columba and both Boards are looking forward to her joining the College community.

Mrs Duthie will start at Columba in early March 2019.

The Boards would also like to express their gratitude for the commitment and support of the school leadership and staff stepping up into acting roles while they were going through the recruitment process.  A special thank you is also given to Jenness Riethmaier for taking on the Acting Principal role.


Message from the Acting Principal

21 September 2018

Message from the Acting Principal

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Years 6 -10 Book Quiz

20 September 2018

Years 6 -10 Book Quiz

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2018 Pädagogische Austauschdienst scholarship trip

19 September 2018

2018 Pädagogische Austauschdienst scholarship trip

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Columba College becomes seventh NZ Partnership School

18 September 2018

Columba College becomes seventh NZ Partnership School

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Fiddler on the Roof

17 September 2018

Fiddler on the Roof

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Runner Up Honours

16 September 2018

Runner Up Honours

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Teamwork prevails as First XI Hockey shine on Tournament

15 September 2018

Teamwork prevails as First XI Hockey shine on Tournament

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2018 Golf Tournament

13 September 2018

On Friday 28 September the Columba College Sports Council will hold their main fundraiser and annual Golf Tournament at the St Clair Golf Course.

This has been a great fun day in the past and a key opportunity to support all sports at Columba. We welcome you to sponsor a hole, enter a team (or both!) or help the Council on the day so that we can continue to develop and advance sport at Columba. We hope to get a great response from you all and are looking forward to an awesome day.

For more details on a great day we have planned please click the attached link or contact Fiona Smith at or Sports Director Dayna Turnbull at the College on 027 344 7904 Columba College.  We have around 400 students through Years 9-13, with an 88% participation rate in a sport. We offer 28 various codes and have teams to cater for every skill level. The College and Sports Council are passionate about improving the sporting experiences for the school and allowing them to reach their potential.

For these reasons we encourage you to support the day by:

  • Entering a 4 person team entry for $400
  • Sponsoring a hole for $400 and market your business at the hole
  • If you sponsor a hole and enter a team the cost is $600
    • Signage opportunities at your designated hole that will be viewed by over 120 supporters with great prizes on certain holes to make unique talking points
    • Coverage on the Columba Sports Facebook page that has over 12,000 views and increasing daily!
  • Provided during the day will be:
    • 2x Tents run by Badminton and Hockey providing continuous free all-day BBQ’s
    • Free liquid refreshments at the tents and also delivered on course courtesy of a drinks cart
    • Food available afterwards in the Clubhouse prior to prize giving
    • A $50 entry to win a $10,000 hole in one prize opportunity
    • Exclusive Auction prizes. A list of proposed items will be announced prior to the day

For entries and queries please contact:

· Fiona Smith, Sports Council Secretary at or

· Dayna Turnbull, Director of Sport on 027 344 7904

Message from the Acting Principal

10 August 2018

Message from the Acting Principal

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Otago Southland Secondary Schools Ski and Snowboarding Champs

09 August 2018

Otago Southland Secondary Schools Ski and Snowboarding Champs

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Hibiya High School Global Heart Warming visit to Columba College

08 August 2018

Hibiya High School Global Heart Warming visit to Columba College

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Year 10 Ninjas unleashed!

07 August 2018

Year 10 Ninjas unleashed!

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06 August 2018

Keep up with the latest Columba College news and events at our Hail Home Page: 

Debating World Championships

06 August 2018

Debating World Championships

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Black Ferns Visit

05 August 2018

Black Ferns Visit

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Columba College congratulates Fullbright scholar

03 July 2018

Columba College congratulates former student Rachael Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka) who has been awarded a Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga award.


The Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga award is granted to promising New Zealand graduate students, allowing them to undertake postgraduate study or research at a US institution in the field of Indigenous development.


Ms Jones, who attended Columba College from 2002 to 2008 has a LLB (Hons) and BA (Economics) from the University of Otago. An experienced lawyer, Ms Jones has advised iwi on issues relating to Treaty of Waitangi settlements, as well as growing post-settlement assets – most recently appearing in the Supreme Court acting for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei.

Columba College’s Acting Principal Mrs Jenness Riethmaier said the College was incredibly proud of Ms Jone’s achievements and that she was an inspiration for current students to look to. Ms Jones was the second Columba alumni to receive a Fullbright award in recent times with Charlotte Skerten receiving the award in 2017

The Fullbright award will see Ms Jones complete a Master of Law specialising in constitutional and Indigenous law at New York’s Columbia University.

June 2018 Newsletter

28 June 2018

You can read the latest newsletter here:  Columba College Newsletter June 2018 


International Assembly 2018

01 June 2018

International Assembly 2018

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Key Dates - Term 2 2018

27 April 2018

Click here for Term 2 2018 key dates.

Message from the Principal

02 April 2018

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Athletics Day 2018

31 March 2018

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Kate Truman and Jaime Preston’s exchange to Germany

30 March 2018

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Academic Blues

29 March 2018

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Columba Rowers on the dais at SISS

28 March 2018

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Year 8 Deep Cove Camp Report

27 March 2018

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Healthy Harbour Watchers

26 March 2018

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We value your expertise!

25 March 2018

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Columba students argue their way to nationals

19 March 2018

Columba students argue their way to nationals

Two Columba College students have argued their way into the Otago/Southland debating team which will compete in the national competition in Wellington later this year.

Columba’s head prefect Lydia Joseph and fellow Year 13 student Bridget Scott were selected from a pool of talented debaters at the Otago/Southland Regional Debating Tournament held at the University of Otago’s Hunter Centre over the weekend.

Along with teammate Lydia Christensen, the girls won the regional tournament for the second year in a row, successfully debating the moot “This house would ban zoos”.

This is the second year Lydia has been selected for the Otago/Southland team and Columba College Principal Juliette Hayes was very proud of the students’ efforts.

“Our debaters are very enthusiastic about their craft and put many hours into researching and practising. It is a great privilege to be selected to represent the region and I know Lydia and Bridget will honour this opportunity by doing their absolute best at the national competition,” said Mrs Hayes.

Columba College had 4 teams competing in the regional competition, including a year 10 team who were invited to compete against the seniors.  There were a total of 20 teams competing from schools throughout Otago and Southland.


Message from the Principal

05 February 2018

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Message from Lydia Joseph, Head Prefect

04 February 2018

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Introducing our Chaplain

04 February 2018

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Introducing our Guidance Counsellor

03 February 2018

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We need your help!

03 February 2018

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The French Exchange 2017/2018

03 February 2018

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Vietnam Trip - December 2017

20 January 2018

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Key Dates - Term 1 2018

18 January 2018

Key Dates - Term 1 2018

Key Dates - Term 1 2018

Key Dates for 2018

01 January 2018

Key Dates for 2018


Thursday 18 January:                School Office opens

Thursday 25 January:                Year 13 leadership camp (overnight)

                                                               Year 12 course confirmation

Friday 26 January:                       Year 13 course confirmation

Sunday 28 January:                    Boarding House opens at 3pm for Year 9 and 13 to return

Monday 29 January:                  Term 1 begins: Years 0-6, Year 7, Year 9, Year 13

                                                               Year 8, 10, 11, 12 boarders return


Tuesday 30 January:                   Full school in attendance



Term One                                         Monday 29 January to Friday 13 April

Term Two                                          Monday 30 April to Friday 6 July

Term Three                                      Monday 23 July to Friday 28 September

Term Four                                         Monday 15 October to Wednesday 5 December



The College will be closed in 2018 on the following public holidays:

Waitangi Day                                Tuesday 6 February 

Teacher Only Day                       Monday 5 March

Otago Anniversary Day          Monday 26 March

Good Friday                                  Friday 30 March

Easter Monday                            Monday 2 April

Easter Tuesday                            Tuesday 3 April

Anzac Day                                      Wednesday 25 April (during school holidays)

Labour Day                                   Monday 22 October

2018 Back to School Stationery

11 December 2017

Webtile 167x100


Second Hand Uniform Shop Open Days

06 December 2017

Second Hand Uniform Shop Open Days

Please see below for opening days and times of our Second Hand Uniform Shop.

Available for drop offs and purchasing at the following times:


Tuesday 12 December: 2-4pm

Tuesday 23 January: 2-4pm

Thursday 25 January: 2-4pm


Please note the shop will not be open this Friday (8 December) as previously advertised. 

The Second Hand Uniform Shop is located in the College Administration building. 

For further information please email

French and German Exchange update!

05 December 2017

French and German Exchange update!

Eight students have travelled to France and two to German on exchanges where they will spend the next six weeks.

Tired but happy students were reunited with their French exchange partners at Nice Airport last Sunday.  Eight Columba students will spend the next six weeks at our sister school in Valbonne, Provence, enjoying the second half of the French exchange with their host families.  

 We also have two students on the German Exchange, Kate Truman in Aachen and Jaime Preston in Cologne for the next eight weeks. They are in separate schools but will join the NZ group at the end of January for a week in Berlin. 

 We wish both groups "Joyeux Noel" and "Fröhliche Weihnachten" and all the best for their immersion in a new culture.

Year 10 German class place Second Equal at German Short Film Contest

05 December 2017

Year 10 German class place Second Equal at German Short Film Contest
Year 10 girls enjoying their yo-yo's!


The Year 10 German class' film will be shown on the big screen at the National Film archives in Wellington and included in the annual DVD of the best entries.

Congratulations to the Year 10 German class who all contributed to their entry in the German Short Film Contest run by the National German Adviser and the Goethe Institut in Wellington.

After struggling with ideas for this year’s topic , “YoYo,” they drew on their avid interest in food and created a competition for the most original version of a yo yo biscuit. We ended up with All Black, German and New Zealand Flag, Kiwi Fruit, Pavlova and Cinnamon Star versions, all of which had to be consumed at the end, leaving the girls with bizarre coloured teeth.  

Mathletics Medals

04 December 2017

Mathletics Medals
Year 8 students posing with their Mathletics medals — Olivia Norris-Heenan, Nicole O'Brien and Renee Mosley


Congratulations to all students who gained medals for their great use of the Mathletics Learning Tool.

During the year all of our Years 7 to 10 Mathematics and Statistics classes have used the online Mathletics Learning Tool. Each completed set activities and time spent on Live earns points. 


This year the following students were awarded with medals for their great use of Mathletics.


3rd Place: Renee Mosley 31 929 points

2nd Place: Olivia Norris-Heenan 33 427 points

1st Place: Nicole O'Brien 38 495 points

Year 7 - 10 Prizegiving

03 December 2017

Year 7 - 10 Prizegiving
Bridgette Sutton, Year 7, collecting The Parents' Association Prize for Consistent Diligence, Courtesy and All-Round Achievement in Year Seven

2017 is now over for our Year 7 - 10 students and what better way to finish the year, celebrating special achievements at the Year 7 - 10 Prizegiving.

Click here for the Prize List.

Junior School Prizegiving

03 December 2017

Junior School Prizegiving
Cups and Prizes ready to be presented


The Junior School finished the year celebrating everyone's achievements and congratulating those who earned prizes at the Junior School Prizegiving.

Click here to see the Prize List.

Calling on Coaches for 2018

03 December 2017

Calling on Coaches for 2018

We need you. Whether it be coaching, managing or being a parent in charge, we would love to have you involved.

With an incredible number of students participating in sport at Columba there is always a need for support within our teams. If you would like to help out a team next year, please let Miss Turnbull know by emailing

Best wishes from the Columba College Foundation

03 December 2017

Best wishes from the Columba College Foundation

2017 has been an exciting year for the Columba College Foundation with our launch marking an important milestone for the future role the Foundation will play in supporting the development of the College. 

As Trustees, the months since the launch have involved developing our processes, policies and procedures, not particularly glamourous work but important never the less!

In 2018, you can expect to see more from the Foundation as we get in behind the College’s key campus development projects. We will also be seeking to build stronger connections with our alumni and friends of the College be they former staff, parents or grandparents. One of the first opportunities to do this will be a joint event in Wanaka with John McGlashan College in March.

There are many families who have long-standing connections with Columba College that span generations and honouring this legacy is important to us. The Foundation recently received a generous donation from the Anderson Family of Outram, whose history with the College stretches back to 1917 when Jean Mary Harrison attended as one of Columba’s first students.

Jean was on campus when peace was declared, signalling the end of WW1 and was part of the celebrations at school. In her graduating year she was first in Napping and Fancy Work (needlework) and second in Scripture and Botany.

Since then nine of Jean’s great nieces (grandchildren and great grandchildren of her sister June) have followed in her footsteps and worn the Dove with pride, the most recent Kayla Godkin in 2016.

The Foundation would like to thank the Anderson family for their investment into the future of Columba College, we look forward to continuing to grow the family’s long history with the College.

On behalf of the Columba College Foundation, I would like to thank all of you who have supported us this year and wish you all peace and blessings this Christmas.

Michael Crosbie
Chair, Columba College Foundation  

Order your 2017 Yearbook - The Chronicle!

30 November 2017

Order your 2017 Yearbook - The Chronicle!

The 2017 The Chronicle is now ready for to order.

he 2017 College Yearbook will be available early March 2018.

The cost is likely to be around $50 per copy. 

Please place your order by Friday 2 February at the following link: 


We still have copies of the 2016 The Chronicle available for purchase ($50) at the College Office.

2018 Exchange Opportunities: Japan and Australia

30 November 2017

2018 Exchange Opportunities: Japan and Australia

Calling for Expressions of Interest from our Year 9-12 girls for two exchange opportunities in 2018.


A wonderful opportunity to visit Hibiya High School, experience first hand Japanese culture, study history including Hiroshima, eat delicious Japanese food and see Tokyo and Kyoto!

Dates: April school holidays


Cost: Approximately $6500 – accommodation will be a homestay in Tokyo and hotels in Kyoto/Osaka



Experience Australian culture, make long-lasting friendships, visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, explore the north Queensland region and shop in Brisbane.

Dates: July school holidays


Cost: Approximately $5000 – accommodation will be a homestay


MORE INFORMATION: See attached promotional flyers

INTERESTED: Please contact the College Office (email )



JAPAN flyer

2018 Columba College Fair

29 November 2017

2018 Columba College Fair

Save the Date – the 2018 Columba College Fair will be held on Saturday 7 April 2018 and we need your assistance!

It’s the summer holidays, the perfect time to have a clean out! All your unwanted treasures –toys, sports gear, books, clothes, household items etc will be gratefully received. We welcome just about anything in clean, workable and saleable condition. The container will be back - watch your Inbox late January for drop off details.

With new and exciting stalls the 2018 Columba College Fair is set to be bigger and better than ever!! We need your help to stock our plant and produce stalls - parents, grandparents, Old Girls, teachers and students. The holidays are the perfect time to get started – plants, trees, fruit, vegetables, preserves, chutneys, pickles etc. Don’t forget if you would like to be involved we would love to have you on board, please contact us at .

The Columba College Parents’ Association wish you all a very Merry Christmas and safe and fun-filled holiday season.

A big welcome for our new 2018 students

29 November 2017

A big welcome for our new 2018 students

It has been our pleasure to recently welcome new families to our campus through our Year 7, 9 and Boarding orientation days

Starting a new school can be a nervous time for many students but meeting other students and staff can ease those nerves. During the orientation our 2018 students got to tour the campus, meet some of their teachers and participate in sports and activities throughout the day.

For our new boarding students the orientation included a taste of life in the boarding house.

The girls participated in activities designed to get to know each other and have fun. They also experienced the routines of boarding through communal eating, sleeping and handing in their phones at bed time!

The girls were ably supported by our Head of House for 2018 Isabelle Keeling and deputy Charlotte Smith. Along with others, the girls shared their boarding experiences and gave advice on how to make the most of the years ahead.

We also relished the opportunity to meet the new parents over afternoon tea or, in the case of the boarding parents, dinner, and trust they feel as welcomed to our College family as their girls do. We also look forward to connecting with the Year 7 families again soon at the introduction interviews.

Message from the Principal

28 November 2017

Message from the Principal

This is the time of year where we often reflect on what we are grateful for, and we give thanks for our many blessings. Ngā mihi.

In 2017 we aimed to show GRACE by taking the time to be grateful, to be thankful for our place of work and learning and living, and to appreciate those around us. Ngā mihi was our theme - to acknowledge, thank, pay tribute, to greet. We remembered to greet one another with a smile, to say thank you. We noticed each other - that we seemed under pressure and could do with some help, that we had celebrated a personal milestone, that we had made some progress small or large. We used our words and actions kindly, to build others up and to see the best in others. We thought of things we appreciate about each other and we let them know. We aimed to take an appreciative inquiry approach to problem solving, avoiding deficit thinking about people and problems.

This is the time of year where we often reflect on what we are grateful for, and we give thanks for our many blessings. Ngā mihi.

To our staff, thank you for the enormous contribution you have given to the College this year, especially in the year of a Education Review Office visit. The outcome of the review is a credit to the care and attention given to every student in their education at Columba. The Boards recently acknowleged the long service of several members of staff, including Ms Leah Hanan (10 years); Mrs Lauren Piebenga and Mrs Julie Armstrong-Homan (15 years); Mrs Annette Freeman (20 years); and Mrs Beverley Bridger (30 years). We wish those who are leaving us every happiness for the future.

To our parents and whanau, we are so grateful for the partnerships we enjoy in educating your children. It was wonderful to join with so many of you at the recent Carol Service, and I thank you for your generosity in supporting the Presbyterian Support food bank and the church renovation fund – $345 was raised on the night. I hope that over the summer break you manage to have much special family time together, especially time off screens.

Our Boards, Parents Association, Old Girls Association, Sports Council and Foudation Trust are made up of people dedicated to the continued success of the College, and many have put in countless hours to support the College. We acknowledge the retirement from the Boards of Mr Steve Addison, Mr Michael Wennekes, Mrs Barbara Hamilton and Miss Lily Rodger, and thank them for their contribution.

To the students of Columba College 2017, thank you for the joy your bring us every day: your determination to be the best you can be, to take every opportunity, to be kind and fun loving, and to show GRACE. We have celebrated some outstanding achievements by our students this year, but the most important thing is that each of you can look back on your year and know you achieved your personal best. Ngā mihi.

Psalm 118 says ‘This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it’.  2017 has been our year of being thankful for all of our many blessings, to one another and to our Lord. I wish you a blessed and joyful Christmas and summer break.

Chinese Essay Writing Competition Success

28 November 2017

Chinese Essay Writing Competition Success

This year Columba College senior students entered the 11th Chinese Essay Competition organised by the Confucius Institute (Auckland University). 

The topic was “My Chinese Learning Experience”. Students were required to write at least three hundred characters on this theme. The students all did extremely well in this national competition. Three Columba College students won prizes: Galina Mandich (second prize), Eleanor Dunn (third prize), Georgia Hamilton (third prize), and Hannah Prout gained a merit award. We congratulate these students for their achievements.

A Chinese Evening with Max Quinn

16 November 2017

Columba College Languages Department in conjunction with the Columba College Confucius Classroom warmly invite you to attend “A Chinese Evening with Max Quinn” as a part of the Columba College China Day Activities.

Max is an award- winning director, producer and cameraman with over 50 years of film-making experience. Max will share his experiences working around the world with a focus on his work on wildlife, cultural and architectural documentaries he made in China for global broadcasters.

Supper will be provided at the end of the presentation


Location: Columba College (Caroline Freeman Theatre), 399 Highgate

Time: Thursday November 23, 7:00-9:00pm

Cost: Free

RSVP: by Tuesday November 21(for catering purposes) to Lauren Stirling 

Design up-and-comer scoops national award

26 October 2017

Design up-and-comer scoops national award

Columba College student Lucy Beres has won the Graphic Design category at this year’s Bright Awards.

Run by the Media Design School, the Bright Awards recognise New Zealand’s up-and-coming creative talents and are open to year 11-13 students from around New Zealand. 

Lucy’s work, entitled Black, White and the Inbetween, focused on the lack of representation of people of colour in film.

"The representation of cultures does not translate to film industries overseas, more specifically Hollywood and its consistent dismissal of people of colour actors and actresses for top award nominations and for its now infamous ‘whitewashing’ in film," explained Lucy.

Another Columba College student Sasha Meyer was highly commended for her design entry: Earthsong Eco Campaign.

Suzie Dixon, a visual art teacher at Columba College, said to receive two accolades in the design category was very special and she was incredibly proud of the students’ work.

Winners of each of the Bright Award’s five categories receive $1000 for themselves and $3000 for their schools.

Columba College student earns prestigious Royal Society CREST Award

26 October 2017

Year 13 Columba College student, Corrie Anderson has earned a Royal Society Gold CREST award for her research into the native Horopito plant, making her the second student from the South Island to ever have achieved this accolade.    

CREST is an international awards scheme designed to encourage school students to be innovative, creative, and to problem solve in science, technology and environmental studies.

With five achievement levels in the programme, Gold CREST is the highest accolade, requiring students to expand their knowledge of specific techniques, language and analysis methods used in their area of research.  It is typically only attained by one or two students in the country each year.

Corrie started her CREST project in 2015 and examined the insecticidal and chemical properties of horopito, a plant known to many New Zealanders as the pepper tree due to the hot taste of its leaves. 

“The plant’s leaves have anti-fungal and insecticidal properties and fungi and insects generally don’t attack its leaves, meaning it has a long lifespan.” Corrie explained.

"My research looked at Horopito’s insecticidal properties, and I found it repels aphids. Although more tests are needed, there is evidence to suggest Horopito could be developed as a natural insecticide.”

Participating in the CREST programme has equipped Corrie with a variety of skills and she believes has given her more confidence in the fields of chemistry and biology.

“I decided to do CREST as it seemed like an amazing opportunity to explore and expand my knowledge of science. It lets you look at science beyond a high school standard to access and discover new scientific techniques.”

One of those techniques was the opportunity for Corrie to undertake her own column chromatography, a process to separate the different components of a chemical, using state of the art infrared technology in the University of Otago’s refurbished chemistry laboratories. 

Corrie is grateful to the support and resources provided by Columba College, especially her supervising teacher Dr Murray Vickers who has encouraged her throughout the project.

Next year Corries plans to study zoology and ecology at the University of Otago and she still sees plenty of scope for further Horopito research. 

“There’s so much that can still be investigated, like the difference between South and North Island Horopito, its effects on a variety of insects and plant types, and the most effective ways to store Horopito extract.

2018 Y11 - 13 Course and Careers Handbook

15 September 2017

Click here for the 2018 Y11-13 Course and Careers Handbook 

Columba College presses home their debating strength

14 September 2017

Columba College presses home their debating strength

While many parents and teachers long for teenagers to stop arguing, Columba College girls are being applauded for their argumentative ways.

Columba College currently holds every cup available in Otago/Southland for debating – five in total – some of which the College has held for three years running.

This year’s top senior debating team, Lydia Joseph (Captain), Lydia Christensen and Bridget Scott, concluded an undefeated Dunedin Schools’ Debating season to win the senior division. The team also made history for their College, taking out top honours at the Russell McVeagh Otago Southland Regionals for the first time.

Last week’s Junior Dunedin Schools Debating competition was the feather in cap for Columba College. Three of the four teams to make the semi-finals were from Columba with Isobel Fraser, Abby Bowmar and Lara Seaton bringing home the win for the College.

Dunedin Schools' Debating also awards certificates to the top 10 debaters across the debate rounds throughout the year. Columba College won 4 of the 10 senior certificates and 7 of the 10 junior.

Lead teacher Anna Togneri credited the success to a strong sense of community.

“The ongoing legacy of debating at Columba College means that there is a great community where girls from as young as year 7 are encouraged and taught to debate by older girls,” said Ms Togneri.

“There is no obligation to debate competitively and everyone is encouraged to give it a go meaning that the debating club is a welcoming environment for all,”

During 2017 Columba College has received the following accolades for debating:

Dunedin Schools' Senior Debating Champions Trophy
Dunedin Schools' Debating Junior Champions Trophy
Best Speakers Dunedin Schools Debating Senior & Junior Division
Winners Otago Southland Russell McVeagh Regionals
Otago Southland Russel McVeagh Rachel Carrell Cup for the Best Speaker
Otago Southland Russel McVeagh Most Promising Speaker
Regional team representation at Russell McVeagh New Zealand Debating Championships


Otago Representatives

21 August 2017

Otago Representatives


U17 Girls: 

Macee Cuthbertson

U15 Girls: 

Madi Loudon and Jenna Paterson

U13 Girls: 

Brenna Lyons, Amelia Loudon and Ryan Dailey

Congratulations to Charlotte Hayes and Grace Macbeth who were selected in the Otago U15 Football Team.


Southern U18: 

Grace Brosnahan, Ellie Duncan, Holly Haig, Mia Nevill, Jaime Preston, Isabelle Becconsall-Ryan and Charlotte Wheeler 

Southern U18 Development:

Audrey Hayes, Stephanie Smith, Andrea Smith, Megan Maslin, and Liv Preston

Otago U15:

Emily Brosnahan, Jorja Dinan, Ella Heffernan, Ashleigh McDonald, Maddie Flaws, Angelique Peyroux and Cierra Reid.

Otago U15 Development: 

Alexandra Cockerill, Holly Friedlander, Holly Griffin, Grace Creighton.

Otago U13 Collier: 

Lily Ferro, Amelia Francis, Madison Lobb, Sophie-Joe Potter and Jaime Reid.

Otago U13 Development: 

Alisha Horne, Neve Graamans, Sophie Bowmar and Grace Darling.


U19 Girls: 

Clora Quinlan-Thompson and Katherine Morris

U17 Girls: 

Kristin Dore and Milly Nesbit

U17B Girls: 

Abby Anderson, Shannon Inch, Chenoa Metua and Ashlee Turner

U15A Girls: 

Olivia Fowler, Maia Joseph – Training Partner: Madi Williams

U15B Girls: 

Jess Cowie and Emily Peacock

U14B Girls: 

Madi Loudon

Year 8: 

Lucy Cowie and Riley Piebenga

Year 7: 

Neve Graamans and Brooke Duncan

Ski racing

07 August 2017

Ski racing

On Monday 7 August, the Columba College ski racing teams competed in the Otago Southland Secondary School Ski & Snowboard Competition at Cardrona. 

We had a great day up the mountain, and all the girls Ember McAughtrie, Abbey Hamilton, Jessie O’Connell, Liberty Vile, Laura Hamilton, Grace Creighton, Hannah White, Lily Rodger, Katie Sewell, Bella Norman, Daizy Thompson-Fawcett, Emily Hill, Imogene Maclean, Samantha Smith, Gemma O’Donnell, Mary Gavin, Siena Snow, represented the school well and gained valuable experience from competing at this level.

There were a lot of pleasing results:  

1st Girls Ski Team, Gold Medal - Ember McAughtrie, Abbey Hamilton, Liberty Vile, Jessie O'Connell

1st Ski Giant Slalom, Gold Medal - Liberty Vile

2nd Girls Snowboarding, Silver Medal - Siena Snow

This is the first time that Columba has won the Girls section overall. It is also the biggest group that we have had ski racing, which was awesome to see . Our thanks go to Dr D Hill, Mr A Hamilton and Mr A Williams for assisting the team on the day. 

Abbey Hamilton, Ski Team Co-Captain (Year 13)


Columba College Foundation Launch

03 August 2017

Columba College Foundation Launch

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for the launch of the Columba College Foundation. The Marsh Sports Centre underwent quite a transformation and we had a great evening dining with the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Bill English and Hon. Michael Woodhouse.  

Throughout the evening we were treated to performances from some of our talented musicians, from the Primary Choir to our chamber musicians and the award-winning vocals of the girls who did so well in this year’s Golden Guitar competition.  This will be a memorable experience for all our students involved to have served or performed for the Prime Minister. 

For the Foundation, the evening marked an important milestone as we look towards Columba College’s secondary century of providing educational excellence.  

The Columba College Foundation, which replaces the Columba College Charitable Trust formed in the 1990’s, exists to resource and enable the College to meet our present and future needs.  To do that we need to grow a capital base with which to make sound investments that ensure we are in a strong financial position to support the College. 

A second, yet equally as important aim, is to help foster connections within our College community.  Columba College prides itself on having a culture that promotes a sense of family. Through the Foundation we want to help support and grow the relationships of our alumni with one another and the College. That’s likely to mean more events and networking opportunities for current families and alumni and, from time to time, you can expect to hear from the Foundation in addition to your regular communication from the College.


There are some exciting plans in the wings for Columba which will require the support of our College community. We’ll be able to share these with you soon. In the meantime, we’ve created a new section on the College’s website under “Support Us” if you’d like to read more about the Foundation. You can also follow us on facebook - @columbacollegefoundation or LinkedIn – search ‘Columba College Foundation’. 

Ngā Mihi

Michael Crosbie, Chair Columba College Foundation 

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

Click here to

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.


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.