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Top in NZ. Top 3 in the World!

Making to the top three in the world’s largest ICT competition is no easy task. To do it twice is extraordinary! Meet Jayden Cooke, who has now added a second medal and a cheque for USD$1,500 to his collection, following his success in the Excel 2016 category of the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship held in the USA in July/August.

Beating more than 670,000 contestants worldwide, Jayden (an Avondale College graduate and current intern at the college’s Innovation Programme) is just one of four Avondale College students who achieved top-ten results in the final round of the international competition.

It’s an extraordinary tally for the west Auckland secondary school, which has now achieved twelve world top-ten results including three medals since they began taking part four years ago.

The competition tests participants’ ability to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint as they race against the clock to create unique project-based assignments.

Open to secondary and tertiary students aged 13 to 22, this year the competition grew to attract 1.1 million entries from 670,000 individuals in 122 countries.

Avondale College fielded the entire Australasian team of six at the international final after dominating the New Zealand finals for the fourth year running.

Only 200 finalists from 50 countries made it through to the world championship, and after an intense round of competition, the final tally saw New Zealand’s Avondale team score highly in the published results.

Three of Jayden’s teammates achieved top-ten in the world results: Shrey Tailor (Year 12) - fifth in Microsoft Excel 2013, Sebastian Thomas (Year 11) - eighth in Microsoft PowerPoint 2013, and Ed Allison (Year 10) - eighth place in Microsoft PowerPoint 2016.

“The Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship is inspiring – not only because these students won an impressive award, but because they have gained valuable workforce skills that will benefit them throughout their academic and career pursuits,” said Aaron Osmond, General Manager of certification provider and competition organiser, Certiport.

“The best part is watching the champions go home and then reporting back to us with all of the amazing things they are doing academically and in the workforce.”

Meet Nadia Lim!

Avondale College is delighted to welcome Nadia home to celebrate the launch of her new book! For tickets, call in to the school office (8am-4pm) or email

Multiple Awards for Tauranga Jazz Festival

Term 1 concluded with the much-anticipated Tauranga Jazz Festival held at the Baycourt Theatre over Easter. Despite a delayed start due to Cyclone Cook, our Big Band and two Jazz Combos performed superbly, winning a gold award (Avondale Jazz Combo) and two silver awards (Big Band and Blue Note Combo).

Particular congratulations go to Kiara Ferandes who won the award for the best vocalist, and to James Poss who won the award for the best guitarist. These are astonishing achievements given the calibre of the students performing at this national event, and we warmly congratulate James, Kiara, and teacher-in-charge Mr Robinson for achieving such outstanding success.

The trip to Tauranga also included a four hour gig at the Tauranga Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning – the sixth year that we have performed here.  The chairs put out in front of our stage were full all morning as market goers enjoyed listening to jazz in the sunshine.


Avcol´s got talent!

There's no doubt about it: Avondale's got talent! Wednesday's final of the annual Talent Quest was a night to remember with  instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers coming together to create a diverse and hugely entertaining evening. 

Returning to the Avondale College stage this year as a judge was musician (and alumnus) Thomas Stoneman (aka Thomston). He was joined on the judging panel by vocalist, song writer and producer Cherie Mathieson, and choreographer Eloise Gantuangco.

The night concluded with the much-anticipated items from the staff and prefects.


Congratulations to all who made it through to the finals, and in particular to the winners:

1st: Hip hop dancer Kiahan Simons-Tipau

2nd: Drummer Akhilesh Madhur (India meets Africa - a Rhythmic Journey)

3rd: BPM K-Pop Dance crew




Avcol beats Polyfest record

With 13 groups performing in this year's ASB Polyfest, Avondale College is the leading school at the event. The NZ Herald caught up with our Filipino group as they prepared for their performance on the Diversity Stage...


Athletics Day

Avcol IS the NZ team to the MOS World Champs

Avondale College will be sending seven national champions to the world finals of the Microsoft Office Specialist and Adobe Certified champs in the USA next month.  They have beaten approximately 1.3 million global competitors to make it there.
The Certiport Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship is a global competition that tests students’ skills on Microsoft Office applications. The students with the highest exam scores and lowest exam-taking times will represent their countries and compete at the World Championship to be held in Anaheim, California from 30 July to 2 August.
For the fourth year running Avondale College has dominated the national competition – with 2017 being the second year in a row that all finalists are from our school.
These students are the youngest and most high performing group ever – and they have yet to be coached in any way for their tests, so their potential for success at the international level is exciting!
The Avondale students can’t wait to be let loose on the global stage - in the past four years Avondale College students have achieved eight top-ten results (including one silver and one bronze); this group want to do even better!
MOS NZ Contestants for the World Champs:
Category: Microsoft Word 2013
Evan Ng (Y12)

Category: Microsoft Excel 2013
Shrey Tailor (Y12)

Category: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
Sebastian Thomas (Y11)

Word 2016

Christopher Tang (Y10)
Excel 2016
Jayden Cooke (Alumnus)
PowerPoint 2016
Ed Allison (Y10)
Adobe National Champion
Rita Zhong (Y11)


Jazz & Soul Concert: 10 Aug

Don't miss one of the musical highlights of the school year - Avondale College's Jazz & Soul Night is happening on Thursday 10 August at 7pm in the college's theatre. Gold coin admission.

Evening for Parents/Caregivers of Year 9 Students

Tuesday 14 February

All Parents and Caregivers of Year 9 students are warmly invited to the College on Tuesday 14 February at 7:00pm. (We are meeting in the College theatre).

You will receive information about much of what we have to offer our community in terms of activities, support, curriculum, the Family Connection and other online services that are available to you.

There will also be an opportunity to meet the Principal, Deans and your child's home room teacher.

We look forward to meeting you and further developing our relationship with you for the benefit of your child.

Christmas Concert

Orchestra Fundraiser

Don't miss our Christmas Concert, on Monday 28th November in the theatre.  Funds raised are going towards the Music Department's trip to the Inspire Music Festival next year.  With carolling and other musical items, and even Santa, it will be a not-to-be missed event!

Tickets: Adults $10; Children $5

Special: 3 tickets for $10 (with an adult ticket)

Door sales available or contact

Dance Showcase

In recent years the Avondale College Dance Showcase has become one of the highlights on the school's Performing Arts calendar, and last week's performances showed once again the serious talent of our dance community.  With more than 120 students taking to the stage in the two hour show, the audience was treated to a variety of dance styles; from hip hop to jazz, ballet, contemporary and more.  Of particular note were the performances choreographed and performed by our Year 13 Scholarship students, with their dances communicating thought-provoking themes that were executed with imagination and technical expertise.

Congratulations to Director of Dance Clare Jennings, teacher of Dance Kiaya Lupi, and the many other staff, backstage helpers, costume designers and most of  all the performers for putting together such an entertaining evening of dance.



Iris G wins Smokefreerockquest Solo/Duo 2016!

Congratulations to our talented singer/songwriter Iris Guevarra who won the top solo award at this year's national Smokefreerockquest competition...

Read more here....

Avondale College is now on Twitter.... follow us!


Avondale students Walk the Line at NZ Fashion Week

Emma Richards models Lucy Parkinson's design at NZ Fashion Week. Photo by Luke Foley-Martin

Avondale students ‘walk the line’ at NZ Fashion Week

Eight Avondale designers took a step into the real world of fashion on Saturday, when their garments were modelled at the ‘Walk the Line’ show during New Zealand Fashion Week.

Organised by YMCA Auckland and Raise Up, the Walk the Line event gives young designers aged between thirteen and eighteen the opportunity to display their creativity on a world stage platform.

 Fashion Technology teacher Ms Shannon Freestone says the event was a great opportunity for students to showcase designs they had been working on in their NCEA senior classes. 

 “The show gave them real world experience - along with a concrete deadline to work towards,” she says.

 Also entering alongside Avondale’s seven senior students were two Year 9 students, designer Lucy Parkinson and model Emma Richards. Their garment was entered in the ‘recyclable’ category, meaning it had to be made from at least 80% recycled materials that are not used in everyday clothing.

Lucy’s stunning design caught the eye of fashion photographer Luke Foley-Martin, with photographs of her outfit featuring on the NZ Fashion Week website.  Check it out here!

Double Gold for Avondale musicians

Avondale College Big Band performing at KBB Music Festival 2016. Photo by KBB official photograper.

Years of hard work is leading to the sweet sound of success for Avondale College musicians, whose String Ensemble and Big Band both won Gold awards at the prestigious Auckland-wide KBB Music festival.


Avondale’s String Ensemble (tutored by David Snelling and led by Genevieve Tang) not only won a Gold award, but they were one of only four chamber orchestras invited to play at the exclusive Gala Concert at the conclusion of the festival.


“It’s the culmination of years of work,” says Director of Music Mr Mathew Stenbo.  He notes the combination of students coming through the college’s Performing Arts Academy, the dedication of the tutors and the hard work of the students as key factors in their success. 


“To be standing alongside the best chamber orchestras from all the schools is wonderful recognition.”


Avondale College’s Head of Jazz, Michael Robinson, also attributes his students’ success to their passion for music combined with hard work and commitment over many years. 


“The majority of our senior Big Band students have come through the College’s jazz programme or Performing Arts Academy and have taken part in numerous co-curricular opportunities,” he says.


Prime Minister opens Atrium & A Block


Prime Minister John Key led the celebrations at the official opening of the third and final stage of Avondale College’s multi-million dollar rebuilding programme on Thursday 11 August.

In his speech the Prime Minister praised principal Brent Lewis and staff of the college, noting their significant contribution to the achievements of Avondale College as a top performing school.

He also applauded the use of timber from the old school that had been incorporated into feature beams in the new Atrium building.

“The building itself is remarkable,” said Mr Key, “… it speaks to the past and the history of the school. Avondale College has a deep history and a huge future in front of it.”

Principal Brent Lewis noted that the new buildings have accompanied record achievement by students at the college, in national and international examination results, outstanding University Entrance pass rates, and astonishing success in industry ICT certifications, of which Avondale College is now New Zealand’s leading provider.

Architects Jasmax won a New Zealand Architecture Award for the rebuild, with the judges’ citation stating that the completion of the four year project “at this large, aspirational state high school has given the community buildings that it can be inspired by and proud of.”

Silver medal for New Zealand at Microsoft ´Olympics´

At Microsoft’s version of the Olympics, New Zealand just won a silver medal.

Beating a pool of more than 700,000 hopeful competitors and 150 finalists from 40 countries, Avondale College student Aidan Sharpe (17) won second place in the PowerPoint competition at the 15th annual Microsoft Office Specialist World Championships held in Orlando, Florida last week.

The global competition tests the expertise of tech wizards aged 13-23 as they create documents and complete timed tasks in PowerPoint, Excel or Microsoft Word with accuracy and speed.  Convened by computer skills certification company Certiport, Aidan also took home a cash prize of USD$3,750.

Narrowly missing out on a medal was fellow Avondale College student Di Kun Ong, who placed fifth in the Microsoft Excel competition; the third consecutive year that he has achieved results within the world’s top ten. 

Australasia now boasts a total of eight top-ten place winners in the competition’s history. All eight have hailed from Avondale College.

Both Ong and Sharpe have also earned multiple industry-recognised Microsoft certifications as part of their involvement in Avondale College’s Innovation Programme.  The Auckland secondary school is now New Zealand’s largest provider of ICT industry qualifications.

“In today’s global economy these young people understand that Microsoft Office Specialist certification gives them an edge and prepares them for success,” says Bob Whelan, president of Pearson Assessments which owns Certiport.  “The competition is a lot of fun, but it also gives participants a valuable, industry-recognized certification on their resume.”

PowerPoint whiz Sharpe attributes his success in the competition to having developed creative thinking skills rather than rote learning.  “The task is more about engaging problem-solving skills – you just have to figure it out,” he says. 

His top tips for PowerPoint users: get to grips with the slide master feature, and always make sure your design suits the purpose of the presentation.

Pereira living Football Ferns Olympic dream

Jasmine Pereira is living every school athlete's dream. Four years ago Pereira was just another excited kid at Avondale College, avidly watching all the action from the London Olympics.

Today, the 19-year-old was back at the West Auckland school - but this time up on stage - as one of the youngest members of the 18-strong New Zealand women's football squad named for the Rio Olympics.

It was extra special for Pereira, one of four Avondale College alumni - along with Kirsty Yallop, Amber Hearn and Betsy Hassett - to be selected by coach Tony Readings.

"It wasn't so long ago that I was one of those kids in that assembly," said Pereira. "I always looked up to those athletes going to the Olympics, thought it was pretty amazing, so to be part of it is quite special."

Avondale College has a strong sporting tradition - the likes of Martin Guptill, Francis Meli, Emily Drumm and Sir Murray Halberg passed through the doors - and an established footballing reputation.

But to have almost one-quarter of the Football Ferns' Olympic squad is quite an achievement, especially as the school doesn't have the financial muscle of other institutions.

"When I was at school, it was one of the places to go to for women's football," said Yallop, a 12-year veteran of the Ferns who made her debut as a seventh former in 2004. "There was Hayley [Bowden], Maia Jackman and Kristy Hill, while Amber [Hearn] was a couple of years older than me."

The fourth member of the quartet is midfielder Hassett, who has played professionally in England and Germany since her school days.

"I've seen a couple of teachers today. It all feels very familiar," said Hassett. "Someone like Kirsty [Yallop] inspired me a lot. When you saw someone at your school playing for New Zealand you realised what was possible."

The hundreds of pupils at today's announcement created a special energy, but there were few surprises in Readings' squad. It's easily the most experienced team in Ferns' history, with five players boasting more than 100 caps (Abby Erceg, Katie Duncan, Hearn, Ria Percival and Ali Riley) and another six who have more than 70 appearances. There are seven players who played in both Beijing and London, and only two members of the squad have yet to experience an Olympics.

"It makes such a difference when you have been there, done that," said Yallop. "It means you are more prepared for everything that might happen."

And just like they did before the 2015 Women's World Cup, Readings and his team aren't holding back from making bold pronouncements.

"It's the strongest team we have ever assembled," said Readings. "We are going there to win a gold medal. Whether people think that it is realistic or not, we are not really bothered. We have set gold medal standards. Everything we do is [around aiming] to be the best in the world. We will take it one game at a time and once you get out of your group you are a game away from a medal. We will strive for the top spot and do the best we can."

NZ Olympic squad: Katie Bowen (FC Kansas City), Katie Duncan (FC Zurich), Abby Erceg (Western New York Flash), Anna Green (Malbackens IF), Sarah Gregorius (Speranza FC Osaka-Takatsuki), Betsy Hassett (Werder Bremen), Amber Hearn (USV Jena), Annalie Longo (Cashmere Technical), Meikayla Moore (Norwest United), Erin Nayler (Norwest United), Ria Percival (USV Jena), Jasmine Pereira (Three Kings United), Ali Riley (FC Rosengard), Rebecca Rolls (Three Kings Utd), Rebekah Stott (SC Sand), Rosie White (Liverpool), Hannah Wilkinson (University of Tennessee), Kirsty Yallop (Malbackens IF).

By Michael Burgess - NZ Herald

Jazz and Soul Night - Wednesday 10 August 2016

Come and celebrate our incredibly talented students at Jazz and Soul Night. This year's lineup includes performances from our award winning Jazz Combos, Big Band, Soul Band and Acapella groups. With guest performances from the prestigious Auckland Jazz Orchestra, it promises to be a spectacular evening of jazz, soul and funk.

Come and listen to our accomplished Deputy Head Girl Natasha van Etten and brilliant Perfects You Wu and Arjuna De Simas-Oakes for their final concert.

The show is on Wednesday 10 August in the PAC. Doors open at 6.30pm and the concert starts at 7pm.

Board of Trustee Election Results

Parent representatives Votes


ALLISON, Mike 139

ERSON, Dave 180

GAUTAM, Dinesh 51 

HAN, Shuming (Sam) 102

KERNOHAN, Ngaire 52 

MATĀFAI, Ulalemamae Te’evā113

MUDDAIAH, Jayalakshmi 49 

MURPHY, Chris 126


SAMU, Tanya Wendt 139

SILIPA, Nua 133 

SMITH, Nigel 113

TUPU, Jenni 123 

Invalid votes: 0

I hereby declare the following duly elected:

Dave Erson
Mike Allison
Tanya Wendt Samu
Nua Silipa
Chris Murphy

Jenni Tupu

Staff Representative

At the close of nominations, as there was only one valid nomination received I hereby declare Rhonda Donaldson duly elected.

- Catherine Constable, Returning Officer

Bullying-free New Zealand Week

Avondale College has always set the highest of expectations as a safe school. As part of this commitment we are supporting Bullying-free NZ Week.

A number of events  have been run across the school this week in support of this nation-wide focus, including Home Room discussions, and a HEART OF GOLD initiative in which students and staff have been encouraged to identify acts of kindness shown by individuals throughout the week.  Each HEART OF GOLD card is then placed in a box in the Atrium, and at the end of the week, these cards will be distributed school-wide.  On Friday staff will further show their support for these positive behaviours by wearing pink on the nation-wide Pink Shirt Day.

PARENTS:  We have an excellent information sheet that will be extremely helpful should a child or young person tell you they (or someone they know) is affected by bullying.  Follow the link below to download.


Related Links > Advice for Parents

Students win Excellence awards at Jazz festival

Avondale College’s combos Poss and the Possibilities and Dale JC both came away with Excellence Awards for their performances at the New Zealand School of Music’s Jazz Project competition in Wellington from 8th-11th June.


As part of the project, the students also attended workshops with world renowned jazz educators Karrin Allyson, Tom Warrington, Larry Koonse and Joe La Barbera.


Over the four days the students attended two to three concerts every day, including international artists Wayne Shorter and Snarky Puppy.


Show Camp gets Hairspray underway

The cast of Avondale College’s 2016 show, Hairspray, came together for the first time in an intensive few days at the Peter Snell Village in Whangaporaoa from 8-11 June.


Show Camp gives the students the opportunity learn the songs and come to grips with the various aspects that the performance involves. The students’ enthusiasm for the show was obvious by the way they were grooving along to the music as they learned their parts...


The directing team (Ms Newlands, Mr Stenbo and Ms Jennings) are very excited about the quality and the professionalism of the leads, whose input into the rehearsals at camp lifted the quality of the entire cast.


We look forward to seeing the fi nal results of this hard work when Hairspray hits the stage at Avondale College in Week 8 of Term 3, from 12-16 September.


Elections for the Board of Trustees

Avondale College invites nominations for the election of parent representatives to their Board of Trustees.

A nomination form and a notice calling for nominations will be posted to all eligible voters.

Additional nomination forms can be obtained from the School Office.

The voting roll is open for inspection at the school and can be viewed during normal school hours.

There will also be a list of candidates’ names, as they come to hand, for inspection at the school.

Nominations are invited for the election of six parent representatives.

Nominations close at noon on Friday 20 May 2016.

Voting closes at noon on Friday 3 June 2016.

- Catherine Constable, Returning Officer

Students off to national Shakespeare competition

Transporting a scene from Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’ to a modern reality television show proved to be a winning idea for a group of Avondale drama students who are now on their way to the national finals of the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare competition in Wellington in June.

The group of six (Sammie Campbell, Sammie Rae, Jiwoo Oh, Arjuna De Simas-Oakes, Xavier Loretz, and Jahaan Nordien) won the Auckland competition in April, with teacher Mr Ben Moore’s re-write of the famous ‘casket’ scene for the 15 minute teacher-led section of the competition.  In this scene Portia’s suitors are presented with three caskets, and asked to choose one – if he chooses the one with her portrait inside, he will win her hand in marriage.

It’s a scene well-suited to a Bachelor-style treatment, and the drama students thoroughly enjoyed hamming it up, complete with suitably dramatic (and cheesy) music played live by Arjuna.

In the process the students gained a new appreciation for the 400 year old play. 

“The scene was confusing at first,” said Xavier, “but modernising the setting helped to open up the language.  You realise that Shakespeare means so much more than what you see on the surface.” 

Don't miss the Avondale College Talent Quest final:  Wednesday 13 April 7pm in the Theatre.

$10 Adults

$5 Children


Careers Evening

Pacific Island Tertiary Careers Evening: Tuesday 5 April 7-9pm in the Theatre

Maori Tertiary Careers Evening: Monday 11 April 7-9pm in the Whare


Polyfest 2016

Polyfest performances

Twelve different cultural groups are working hard towards their performances at Polyfest, scheduled for Friday and Saturday 17 March at the Manukau Sports Bowl.

Parents and students are welcome to attend three special performances to be held in the College's Performing Arts Centre:

Monday 14 March:  Niuean Group   7pm, Gold Coin donation.

Tuesday 15 March: Tongan Group   7pm, Gold Coin donation

Wednesday 16 March: Samoan Group, 7.30pm, Door Sales: $15


Science field trip to Mt Mangere

Four classes of Year 12 Science students hit the slopes of Mt Mangere on Friday, as part of their Level 2 Earth Space Science topic. From the top of the mountain, students were able to gather panoramic views of some of Auckland’s (nearly 50!) volcanoes, as well as photograph volcanic rock samples at the site. The Auckland Domain was also part of the day’s trip, as another excellent example of volcanic activity in our region.

Netsafe Parents Evening

Thursday 10 March, 7pm-8pm, Avondale College Atrium

Presented by Lee Chisholm

Lee is the Operations and Training Manager at NetSafe.  She delivers cybersafety and digital citizenship presentations around the country to parents and caregivers, school staff and management and the wider community.

Lee has a background in counselling, mediation and management, and joined NetSafe in 2005.  Schools and the public contact NetSafe to seek advice on a wide range of online challenges. Lee’s experience enables her to share some preventative strategies to reduce the chances of your children being adversely impacted by online challenges.

The session will cover

  • Internet safety
  • Safe online habits at home and beyond
  • Understanding social networks and how they can be used positively 
  • Some challenges presented by using social media
  • Conversations you might have with your children about online practice 
  • A chance to ask questions

Two friends at the top of the world

First in the world results: Camille Balducci and Bronwen Lamb

Two Avondale College students gained the world’s top marks in two Cambridge International Examinations in 2015.

Camille Balducci (16) was first in the world for Cambridge International Examinations AS French, and Bronwen Lamb (16) was first in the world for AS Geography, making it the fourth consecutive year that students from Avondale College have topped the world in the international exams. 

“It was a very unexpected result,” says Bronwen. “It was a really difficult exam – three hours long – and it took all of that time.”

Bronwen’s time in all her exams was obviously well spent – she achieved straight A grades in all five of her CIE subjects, including 96% in Geography, 90% in Psychology and 89% in History. 

Camille Balducci also topped the world in her subject, AS French.

“I wasn’t expecting such a great result,” she says. “French grammar trips everyone up… I was very, very happy!” 

Camille and Bronwen were presented with awards recognising their achievement at a ceremony held by the Association of Cambridge Schools in New Zealand on Thursday 25 February.


Excellent Scholarship results for Avondale students

Avondale College's Scholarship winners, and their teachers

Avondale College students once again achieved excellent results in the 2015 NZQA Scholarship examinations, with a total of 46 Scholarships awarded, including five Outstanding Scholarships, and one Outstanding Scholar Award winner.

Regarded as the most prestigious secondary school award available in New Zealand, around 8000 students participated in the 2015 examinations, with only 2381 students nationwide being awarded one or more subject scholarships.

Avondale College students received 46 scholarships across fifteen subjects; four gained Outstanding Scholarships (Jaclyn Chetty (two); Favor Nweke, Ka Ho Lam and Daniel Shorrock).  Five students achieved scholarships in three or more subjects (Jaclyn Chetty, Alysha Johnson, Favor Nweke, Kartikey Vyas and Johnny Zhang). Two students (Rokaya Islam and Ki Kun Ong) received scholarships while still in Year 12, with Rokaya achieving in two subjects (Calculus and Statistics).

Jaclyn Chetty’s excellent results across all her Scholarship examinations were recognised with her also winning an Outstanding Scholar Award.

Avondale’s Scholarship award winners were recognised at a special assembly on Wednesday 17 February, where they were presented with the prestigious Avondale College Scholars badge.

“The students gaining New Zealand Scholarship are the best of the best,” says NZQA Deputy Chief Executive, Kristine Kilkelly, “and their hard work throughout the school year is reflected in these results.”

“Congratulations to all students on their achievements.”

Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club is on 8.00am – 8.45am Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays upstairs in Food Technology with the Guidance staff. Students are welcome to come up for free Weetbix, Milo and Fruit. It's a great chance to meet new people, have a healthy breakfast and to hang out with your friends before school.

Year 9 Parents' Evening - Tues 9 Feb

All parents and caregivers of Year 9 students are warmly invited to the school on Tuesday 9 February at 7:00pm.

(We are meeting in the school theatre)

You will receive information about much of what we have to offer our community in terms of activities, support, curriculum, the Family Connection and the online services that are available to you.

There will also be an opportunity to meet the Principal, Deans and your child’s homeroom teacher.

We look forward to meeting you and further developing our relationship with you for the benefit of your child.

Athletics Day 2016

Avondale's annual school-wide athletics day was a fun event that saw some serious (and some not-so-serious) competition on the field and track!

Lean on Me - Junior performs on TVNZ's Good Morning show

When Head Boy Junior Soqueta joined with some other students in singing an impromptu rendition of "Lean on Me" at the Stand Up Stand Out semifinals, the clip went viral, with more than half a million views. This morning Junior and two other friends from Aorere College and Manurewa High School regrouped to give a soulful performance on TVNZ's Good Morning show.

Check it out on Good Morning's Facebook page here....


'Footloose' wins choreography award

Congratulations to the entire cast of 'Footloose' whose dancing won the Best Performed Choreography Award at the Showdown Awards on Friday 6 November!

Top teaching award for Mr Irwin

Avondale College's Director of Science, Mr Philip Irwin, has received a Woolf Fisher Fellowship in recognition of his excellence in teaching. Mr Irwin was presented with the award at today's senior assembly.

The late Sir Woolf Fisher was a passionate supporter of education in New Zealand. In 1960 he founded the Woolf Fisher Trust for the advancement of scientific and general education in New Zealand through its prestigious fellowships and scholarships.

Woolf Fisher Fellowships provide overseas study and travel for outstanding secondary school principals and teachers, polytechnic senior managers and, most recently, primary and intermediate school principals.

National architecture award for Avondale!

Avondale College was awarded the top prize in the Education section of the New Zealand Architecture awards on Friday 30 October.

The redevelopment of Avondale College is one of the biggest school rebuilding programmes in New Zealand and the Jasmax work there won an education category award, praised for "producing an outstanding new learning environment. This is a school for kids - busy and purposeful but never regimented or patronising".

Read more: NZ Herald Article


Avondale College wins National Architecture Award

Avondale College wins National Institute of Architecture Award

As one of 28 winners announced at the NZIA awards ceremony hosted on Friday 30 October, we’re extremely proud to congratulate Avondale College and the project and contractor teams, who dedicated four years to making this exciting three-stage development a success.

One of the largest school rebuilding programmes in New Zealand’s history, a study of the internal performance temperature of the classrooms within Avondale College concludes the newly built thermomass classrooms are 2.8 degrees warmer*.

Working closely with an integrated Jasmax architecture and landscape architecture team, and dedicated contractor team, the design has “Deploy[ed] the language of an urban street, the arrangement of confident buildings and courtyards, which are given texture and interest via textured concrete formwork and coloured plywood paneling, [it] must surely energise and affirm its pupils each day.” - NZIA Citation

The Board’s vision to create a modern, future-focused and cohesive campus came to fruition over a four year period.

Directly raising funds for certain initiatives within the design, the project has succeeded in creating an urban streetscape within an interconnected campus.  

Sustainable initiatives were integrated throughout the 92 new and refurbished teaching and resource spaces. Professor Bin Su of UNITEC has already completed and published a first paper on the internal temperature performance of thermomass (or heavy weight construction) in classrooms during winter. He compared heavy weight, lightweight and prefab classrooms at the school. The conclusion is that these classrooms are 2.8 degrees warmer* than the insulated light weight structure classrooms.

“A multi-stage redevelopment of a large secondary school has produced an outstanding new learning environment that meets contemporary needs while keeping continuity with the school’s particular pedagogical legacy. The school may have lost its old buildings, but it has kept its heart. This is a school designed for kids; although it retains its traditional character and classroom organisation, it is not regimented or patronising – deliberately, there is scope for random movement along its streetscapes. All spaces are treated as rooms of their own, and are pleasingly proportioned. The school is robust and purposeful; the drama of movement is especially evident in the big central courtyard funded, as were many of the school’s sustainability features, above and beyond standard Ministry of Education provisions by a Board ambitious for students’ progress in education and early life.” - NZIA Judges’ Citation


Sports Awards Dinner

Congratulations to all our outstanding sports men and women who were awarded prizes at this year's Sports Awards Dinner!

Related Links > Sports Awards 2016

Dance Show

An outstanding showcase of dance was presented by Avondale College students in their two nights of performance on 28 and 29 October. With styles ranging from hip hop to tap; rock n' roll to jazz, and performances by senior and Scholarship Dance students, there was a multitude of creative talent on display. Congratulations to all who took part!

Footloose nominated for Showdown Awards

'Footloose' has been nominated for a number of awards in the Auckland Showdown Awards to be held at Sky City on 6 November.

We have the chance of winning the People's Choice award, but we need your help!  To vote for Footloose in the 'People's Choice' category, head to the Showdown website:  register, and cast your votes!

Congratulations (and good luck!) to our nominees:
  • Best female soloist in a minor role - Gemma Rushton
  • Best male in a supporting role - Junior Soqeta
  • Best set design in a musical - Walter Jenks
  • Best costume design in a musical -  Ms Fraser, Ms Freestone, Mrs Dutta & Ms Nelson
  • Best performed choreography - Avondale College cast
  • Best choreographer - Ms Jennings

Sports Awards Dinner

Tickets are now available for the annual Sports Awards Dinner, to be held in the Avondale College theatre on Friday 23 October.

Parent teacher interviews: Change of location to A Block!

Thursday 24 September

We are hoping to improve the parent/teacher interview experience by trialing a location change from the PAC to the Atrium and A Block classrooms tomorrow evening.

Please make your way to our new Atrium building, where you will receive a map outlining the location of your child's teachers. As parking is likely to be at a premium, we would encourage you to consider parking at the back of the school, or at Avondale Intermediate (Holly Street entrance) and walk through the gate towards the Coilege.

We trust this will be a positive change - and welcome your feedback!

Appointment times are still available from 4.30pm to 7.00pm. Booking appointments can bee made when students take in the appointment sheet to the subject teachers to fill in manually.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow evening.


Tues 15 - Sat 19 Sept

Avondale College is proud to present 'Footloose!', the musical. The energetic show is based on the 1984 film of the same name, and features great music and show stopping dance numbers from a superb cast of Avcol students. Footloose tells the story of Ren McCormack (Jireh Lolotoa Peniata), an upbeat Chicago teen who moves to a small town in which, as a result of the efforts of a local minister (Junior Soqeta), dancing and rock music have been banned. Footloose will run in the Avondale College theatre from Tuesday 15 September through until Saturday 19 September at 7.30pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. Bookings can be made through the college library: phone 820 1731, or email

Jazz & Soul concert: 22 September!

With more groove, funk and soul than you can shake a stick at, this year's Jazz & Soul concert is not to be missed. The line up features the college's award winning Jazz Combo (Platinum Award winners at the Auckland Sec Schools Jazz Competition); this year's Talent Quest and song writing competition winners, as well as performances from Danielle Lesatele, Junior Soqeta and more! With guest performances from the prestigious Auckland Jazz Professors' band, Neutrino Funk, it promises to be a spectacular evening of jazz, soul and funk. Join us in the Avondale College theatre. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7.00pm start. Entry is by gold coin.

Avondale welcomes home Nadia

Nadia Lim launches lifestyle cookbook at former high school

On the pages of Avondale College's yearbooks is an ambitious student with dreams of being the next cooking sensation.
What a difference 11 years makes.

That student is Masterchef winner Nadia Lim who next week returns to her former high school – where she topped food technology every year – to launch her fourth cookbook, Nadia Lim's Fresh Start Cookbook

This latest endeavour has proven a labour of love and "one of the hardest", Lim says, because it wasn't just a cookbook, it's a lifestyle book. 

"I get a lot of emails and messages from people asking for advice on healthy meals to lose weight. I used to go to the effort of writing individual dietary plans and then I thought why don't I just do a book?"

The book contains 100 recipes of healthy meal ideas accompanied by exercise tips that form a 12-week programme aimed at helping people lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"I want people to be able to do something like this for the rest of their lives, it's not a short-term fix.

"It's a sustainable approach and focuses on the positives. It looks at what you should be eating instead of saying what you shouldn't."

Since winning Masterchef in 2011, Lim's career has been a whirlwind of success tied in with good old-fashioned hard work. She is achieving all those goals she wrote in her yearbook.

As well as four published cookbooks, the qualified dietician is the co-founder of food business My Food Bag which encourages households to try new recipes with premium ingredients.

She is in the process of launching the business in Australia which sees her on a plane at least three to four times a week.

"My Food Bag is changing people's lives. People tell me they are cooking things they haven't before, they're holding dinner parties – that's gold for me."

Nadia Lim's Fresh Start Cookbook launch is at Avondale College Atrium, 51 Victor St, on August 31 at 6pm.

Tickets cost $10 including refreshments and can be purchased from Avondale College School office, Paper Plus Browns Bay, Remuera, Glenfield and Meadowbank or online at Eventfinda.

 - Stuff

Avondale students amongst top ranks at world Microsoft competition

Avondale College world class: Azizul Islam, Ellen Greenly and Di Kun Ong


Three Avondale College students have beaten more than half a million competitors from around the globe to place in the top ten in the world finals of the Microsoft Office Specialist championships – for the second year in a row.

This year the international competition attracted more than 600,000 competitors from 145 countries, including many from universities and other tertiary providers. Only 145 of the world’s best made it to the finals in Dallas in August – and following the New Zealand final, (in which Avondale students won 11 of the top 12 places) six of these international competitors were from Avondale College. 

When the final results were announced last week, three Avondale students were once again named in the top ten of their various categories. Ellen Greenly (18) came ninth in Microsoft Word 2010; Azizul Islam (16) placed ninth in PowerPoint 210; and Di Kun Ong (16), ninth in PowerPoint 2013. 

What is particularly significant is that, unlike many of their competitors who spend many months of intense preparation in the lead up to the event, these kiwi world-beaters hadn’t come through an official Microsoft course. 

Instead the Avondale students have all been part of the college’s ground-breaking Innovation Programme, where Microsoft applications are just one small part of the platforms they use every day to solve real-world challenges.

Teacher Paul McClean attributes the students’ success to their ability to think holistically and apply intuitive and creative solutions to complex problems while under pressure. 

“These astonishing kids are going from strength to strength, “ says McClean. “And not by learning productivity tools or even other technologies, but by relishing the chance to think. This is having a heartwarming and profound effect on shaping their values, skills, and importantly, how they see the world.”

Of course, making it to the top is never without its dramas: a change to quota rules meant that with only two weeks to go, the Avondale students found out that they couldn’t compete in their preferred application. Then a lightning strike to their plane delayed their flight to the US, leading to a mad dash to ensure connecting flights were boarded with only minutes to spare. 

The students took it all in their stride, determined to make the most of every opportunity – whether that was performing well under the intense exam-room pressure; connecting with other students from around the world; or sprinting from location to location in a once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing spree.

“It’s a good feeling to be placed in the top ten in the world,” says Year 12 student Azizul Islam. “And now we really want to strive to do even better next year.”


  For more information:

Susan Elijas

Communications Manager
Avondale College

021 244 5459

Paul McClean

Innovation Programme
Avondale College

021 530184

Jazz Combo wins Platinum award

Convincing a panel of judges to award your band a score of over 90% is no easy feat, but such is the calibre of Avondale's Jazz Combo this year that they managed just that - taking away a Platinum Award at the finals of the annual Auckland School Jazz Competition on Saturday 15 August.

The Avondale College band was one of only four Auckland schools to make it into the finals following their performance in the semi-finals in which they showcased a variety of jazz styles, including bossa/latin and swing. 

Saturday's performance put them in the top three, alongside Lynfield College and Rangitoto College.

Congratulations to teacher Mike Robinson and the combo members:


Alysha competing at International Geography Olympiad in Russia

International Geography Olympiad scholar, Alysha Johnson

Representing New Zealand at International Geography Olympiad in Russia from 11 to 17 August is Year 13 student Alysha Johnson. 

Alysha is one of only four students making up the New Zealand team at this competition, which tests the very best Geography students from 41 countries in their subject knowledge and application of geographic concepts and processes.

In addition to the competition itself, Alysha will also have the opportunity to sight-see and explore the surrounding area with the 150 other contestants.

We wish her well!

Filmmakers inspire Media students

Director of 'Syrenia', Fraser Grut and actor Tom Grut at Avondale College

Year 12 and 13 Media Studies students gained a unique insight into their study of funding and marketing in the New Zealand Film Industry on Wednesday, with the visit of filmmakers (and former students of Avondale College) Fraser and Tom Grut.

The brothers spoke to the students about the process of directing (Fraser) and acting in (Tom) their new film, ‘Syrenia’, which tells the story of a young boy who creates a fantasy world through the lens of his home movie camera after the untimely death of his parents.

Their visit gave our students an insight into the reality of being young filmmakers in New Zealand, and the process of creating a film – all the way from scripting and production through to post-production and distribution.

'Syrenia', which is Fraser’s first feature film, will be screening at the Rialto cinema, Newmarket 10-13th August.

Book tickets here: 

Meet Nadia Lim at Avondale College!

Monday 31 August, Avondale College Atrium, 6pm, $10


Join us for great evening with the very talented Nadia Lim of My Food Bag, My Kitchen Rules and MasterChef fame, as she returns to her former school, Avondale College.

It's an amazing chance to meet this New Zealand icon in person and to hear of her adventures in food so far. It will be a wonderful evening of laughter, fun and fabulous talk about food. Nadia will captivate us with stories of her travels and business, her love for cooking and the terrific recipes in her new book, 'Nadia Lim's Fresh Start Cookbook'. You will learn how delicious, nutricious and easy her meals are to cook for yourself and family.

Tickets to this event are limited, and there is only one event in Auckland, so be in quick!

Nadia's book will be available to purchase on the evening, and she will personally sign them for you.

Refreshments are included in the ticket price, so see you there at 6.00pm when you can socialise with your friends and get your book signed by Nadia, before she begins to speak at 6.30pm. Nadia will be available for signing afterwards as well.

Tickets are $10, and are available from the school office, or from


Avcol students off to the Microsoft World Champs

Avondale College students are once again proving they are world class, having won six of the seven places in the New Zealand team heading to compete in the Microsoft World Championships in Dallas, Texas, in August.

Di Kun Ong, Bronwen Lamb, Nathan Lee, Aiden Sharpe, Muhammad (Azizul) Islam and Ellen Greenly all won the right to compete in the international event after gaining exceptional results in the national competition held last month. In fact the Avondale students blitzed the competition, gaining 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th places in every Microsoft 2013 Office application except PowerPoint, (where, unofficially, only the competition’s elegibility criteria prevented an Avondale first).

Making it to the finals is no small feat. Each year around 750,000 students from 130 countries enter the Microsoft Office Specialist championships, with only just over one hundred making to the finals.

Avondale College and HP New Zealand announce innovation partnership

6 July 2015 – Avondale College and HP New Zealand have today announced a strategic partnership which will see them collaborate to transform Avondale College from a legacy-based education paradigm to a new, digitally-enabled, learning and innovation model.

The partnership signals a commitment by Avondale College to incorporate innovative, design and critical thinking into its curriculum and expose students and teachers to the potential of technology, so that they may actively contribute to the fast-changing world around them.

“In addition to the overhaul of our ICT infrastructure, this partnership represents our greater strategic focus on introducing innovation practices into the school and driving positive change in the curriculum,” said Brent Lewis, Avondale College Principal.

“We recognise success in the world is increasingly influenced by new knowledge, industries, and technical advances. Our ability to develop capability and the talent of those who will become our future generators of intellectual property, products and services is critical to how we will compete in the global marketplace as a nation.”

“New Zealand’s ICT skills shortage is well-documented so we are delighted to be partnering with HP New Zealand to address this challenge and help our students to gain real-world success.”

The initiative will see the full redesign and update of Avondale College’s technology environment, including its systems architecture, digital software and tools – from an administrative level right through to curriculum delivery.

Students involved in the college’s ground breaking Innovation Programme will also have the opportunity to add HP’s Accredited Technical Associate qualifications to their already impressive portfolios. 

Avondale College and HP New Zealand also intend to establish an Incubation Hub for the identification, testing and implementation of innovative ideas and solutions.

Keith Watson, HP New Zealand Managing Director said: “Avondale College has long positioned itself as a leader in the education space. We are pleased to be able to support its innovative vision and collaborate to create a 21st Century learning environment, leveraging the combination of our local and global capability and experience.”

“It is important for HP as a representative of industry to take a leadership role in promoting ICT as a career and providing Kiwi kids with the tools and skills they will need to succeed into the future.”

Avondale College is one of New Zealand’s largest secondary schools with over 2600 students, including 150 international students, 160+ staff and provides an outstanding and broad academic curriculum, sporting and community services.


For more on Avondale's Innovation Programme, follow this link...

Avcol band wins second place in Smokefree Rockquest

Rocking their way to second place in the West Auckland regional finals of the Smokefree Rockquest on Saturday night was Avondale College's band, The Kicking, Screaming Love Machine.

The six piece band (Oscar McFarlane, Cullen Erson, Zain Azimullah, Josh Parker, Myke Prayoncorn and Arjuna De Simas Oakes) performed two original compositions to win a top-two spot in the hotly-contested competition, which gives them a shot at the national finals in September.

Drummer - and vocalist - Joshua Parker also won the MAINZ musicianship award for his outstanding performance on the night.

The band now has the challenge of putting together two new original pieces and a music video to win one of only nine places in September's grand national final.

Check out this video of the regional heats:

Architectural award for Avondale College

Avondale College's 40 million dollar rebuild has received an award at the 2015 Auckland Architecture Awards in the Education category.

The New Zealand Institute of Archicture recognised Jasmax’s three-stage, four-year project at Avondale College as a project with a positive communal effect. “The arrangement of confident buildings and courtyards must surely energise and affirm pupils each day,” the jury said.

"The completion of a three-stage, four-year project at this large, aspirational state high school has given its community buildings that it can be inspired by and proud of. Deploying the language of an urban street, the arrangement of confident buildings and courtyards, which are given texture and interest via textured concrete formwork and coloured plywood paneling, must surely energise and affirm its pupils each day. The environment within which they easily move is assured and sophisticated, the well-appointed teacher work rooms must be a delight to their users, and the retention of a wing of the school’s historic early buildings is to be applauded. "

Avondale College will be will now be considered for 2015 New Zealand Architecture Awards, which will be announced this November.

Visiting author inspires students

After collapsing at a school rugby game, Andrew Fiu’s undiagnosed rheumatic fever left him with a severely damaged heart. A survivor of six open heart operations, the author of ‘Purple Heart’ inspired Avondale College students on Tuesday 27 May, speaking as part of the Writers in Schools Programme.

Andrew had his audience rolling with laughter as he regaled them with stories from his youth as a Samoan migrant finding his feet in New Zealand. His message was literally one from the heart:

“Look, we all have hard lives, no-one is immune,” he says. “The key is how to move forward despite all the drag weighing you down. ‘Tomorrow’s another day’ as they say but it’s only another day if you cruise. It’s going to be a fantastic day if you know deep down inside that you will achieve at least one thing.” 


Avcol students join in with APO´s massive orchestra for NZ Music Month

Being part of a 400-strong orchestra was an amazing experience for some of our most talented junior musicians as they took part in the 'Bring it Together' event held at the Vodafone Events Centre on 12 May.

The special day was organised by the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, and involved school orchestras, bands and choirs from over 60 schools. Musicians from the APO joined forces with the students to play popular orchestral repertoire en masse. The programme included Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' theme, ‘Happy Happy’ from Ren Stimpy, Tchaikovsky's 'Marche Slave' and David Hamilton's 'Call to Arms'.

Led by New York conductor and educator extraordinare Beth Cohen, this mass performance of up to 1000 students was a part of the APO's celebration of New Zealand Music Month. 

To view a slideshow of the event, visit the APO's website here.

Talent Quest 2015

Honours Assembly

That Avondale College students are highly successful across a broad spectrum of areas was particularly evident at our Honours Assembly on May 6, where some of our highest achieving students were honoured for their achievements this year. Guest speaker Michael Jones presented the awards, noting that not only do these students bring honour to themselves, but their achievements bring honour to their school and the wider community. Congratulations to all who received awards.


For a full list of our Honours Awards recipients, please follow the link below.


Related Links > Honours Assembly May 2015

Orchard for Avondale students

Howling winds and pouring rain did nothing to deter a group of determined Horticulture students from planting out an orchard at Avondale Primary School recently, as part of the primary school’s involvement in the Orchards in School scheme run by the KidsCan charity.

Led by Mr Norton and Ms Eyre, our students’efforts were captured on camera by TV3, with the segment airing on Wednesday 6 May  on Campbell Live.

Our students were praised by Principal of Avondale Primary, Greg Chalmers, who wrote to thank the College, saying: “The students were quite outstanding – respectful and hard working – a credit to you all in the horticultural department.”

To view the Campbell Live article, follow this link and fast forward 17 minutes.

Notice from your Board of Trustees

24 April 2015

Dear Parents & Caregivers

 I wish to personally advise you that Mr Derek Burgess has resigned from the Avondale College Board of Trustees. Derek has been a parent representative on the Board for almost five years, serving as Chair of the Property and Finance Committee, and also on the Personnel Committee and Discipline Committee. Unfortunately new business developments are no longer allowing him to give the time necessary to continue his board role to his exacting standards. This is a loss for the school and for those of us on the board and school team that have very much enjoyed working with Derek. 

Derek's resignation was accepted in March 2015, and Mr Dave Erson (Deputy BOT Chair) immediately took over the role of Chair of Property and Finance, to ensure continuity in this important area. 

We are required to fill the casual vacancy that has now arisen for a sixth parent representative on the board, either by way of Selection or Election. Towards the end of last year we were approached by Mrs Jenni Tupu, expressing interest in joining the Board of Trustees, and delegated board members duly interviewed Jenni and invited her to attend our board meeting. We were impressed by her skills and experience and were therefore pleased to formally co-opt her onto the Board of Trustees at our meeting 4 February 2014. We hereby advise that we intend to fill this vacancy by way of selection, and that Jenni Tupu has expressed she is willing to be selected by your board as a full parent representative.

The following notice has been placed with Suburban Newspapers this week and explains that you must advise us in writing if you would rather we hold a by-election to fill the position. If the 10% threshold is reached within 28 days, an election will duly be held.

Deb Collis

Chairperson, Board of Trustees




28 April 2015

A casual vacancy has occurred on the Board of Trustees for an elected parent representative. The board has resolved under section 105 of the Education Act 1989 to fill the vacancy by selection.

If ten percent or more of eligible voters on the school roll ask the board, within 28 days of this notice being published, to hold a by-election to fill the vacancy, then a by-election will be held. 
Any eligible voter who wishes to ask the board to hold a by-election should write to:

Deb Collis, Chairperson
Avondale College Board of Trustees
Victor Street, Avondale

To be received by: 28 May 2015

Sir Graham inspires 1st XV at rugby launch

Sir Graham Henry presents the Avondale College 1st XV with their jerseys for the 2015 season

Rugby coaching legend Sir Graham Henry is no stranger to presenting black and white jerseys to talented rugby players – but this time the jerseys had the Avondale kiwi rather than the silver fern on the front.

Guest of honour at the college’s launch of the 1st XV’s rugby season, Sir Graham - ‘Ted’ - inspired a room full of rugby players – girls and boys - drawing their attention to the college’s HEART values as a way of carrying the school’s culture onto the rugby field.

His advice was simple: “Not easy, but simple,” he said. Have fun – the more fun you have the better you play. And make good mates – the relationships developed with team mates will be ones that last for life. 

He encouraged the players to work hard, develop their culture, and to work on simple ways of showing this on the field. “You guys have real ability,” he said. “Have the structure, then express yourselves within that. It’s what ‘team’s’ all about.”

The Avondale College rugby season commences for boys on 2 May and for girls on 4 May.


ANZAC day commemorated at Avondale College

A Field of Remembrance and a WWI timeline running the length of the transverse corridor are just two of the ways ANCAC day is being commemorated at Avondale College.

Organised by a student steering committee under the guidance of history teacher Ms Clementine Fraser, a special ceremony was held after school on Wednesday 22 April, during which 30 white crosses were placed in specially consecrated ground between the library and A Block. Each cross represents a soldier with connections to the Avondale area who lost their life during the Great War.

An informative and visually stimulating display gives more insight into the events of the war, with students having worked on creating the timeline in their own time during the school holidays. The timeline focuses on 22 key events of the war, and has at its centre a stunning wreath of handmade poppies made by Mrs Shannon Freestone and fashion technology students.

Students can find out more about the historic event and discover links with family members who were involved, by visiting the college library where special information pods have been established.

Ethan wins $100,000 scholarship



News of Ethan Sorrell's scholarship to Cambridge is spreading far and wide! (See below!)

Read the NZ Herald's article here...


Kiwi philanthropist awards full scholarship to 18 year-old to Cambridge


24 March 2015

A scholarship funded by businessman Sir Douglas Myers for a future New Zealand leader to study at Cambridge University has been awarded to exceptional 18 year-old Ethan Sorrell from Waterview, Auckland.

Last year, while studying at Avondale College, Ethan came first in the world in the Cambridge International exams for both Psychology and Biology, was top in New Zealand for A level Chemistry and Physics, and achieved the best average score among New Zealand students across any three A-level subjects.  He also came top in Scholarship Physics.

The Sir Douglas Myers Scholarship provides an opportunity for students to complete undergraduate study at Gonville and Caius College, at the University of Cambridge (UK) - one of the most prestigious universities in the world.  The Scholarship, worth approximately NZ$100,000 over three years will provide Ethan with his tuition fees and a living allowance.

Ethan who is currently at the University of Auckland, will take up the scholarship to study bioengineering in October this year.

Ethan says, “I want to solve real world problems that can help improve the quality of people’s lives worldwide.  My dream is to take part in research to do with the brain and the use of the nervous system, to develop thought-controlled prostheses.  I aim to enable those who have lost limbs to lead lives parallel to those who haven’t.”

While at Avondale College, Ethan was awarded a silver medal at the International Biology Olympiad for secondary school students held in Bali last year.  As well as achieving high grades, he was also the Deputy Head Boy, represented the school in the 1st XI football team, and was co-organiser of the school ball.  In addition he represented Auckland in the national track and field championships, competing in the high jump and long jump.

In announcing the scholarship, Mr John Taylor, Chair of the selection panel said, “It is Sir Douglas Myers’ hope that the scholars will be great ambassadors for New Zealand wherever they are in the world, whether or not they return home in the near future".

Universities New Zealand, formerly the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, administers this scholarship, in addition to 40 other undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships, each year.


Polyfest slideshow...


Avcol cheers on Martin Guptill

Avondale College was cheering on Martin Guptill as the former Deputy Head Boy blazed a record-setting 237 not out against the West Indies at Wellington Regional Stadium on Saturday...

Martin was drafted into the Avondale College First XI in third form, and played goal keeper for the school's First XI football side, plus stints with rugby, softball and Kilikiti...

Read more about his success in the Herald's article here...


Polyfest schedule for Saturday 21 March

Avondale College has been well represented at Polyfest - and Saturday's event will feature no less than six groups!  invited back to the Diversity Stage after their stunning performances on Thursday are our Japanese, African and Chinese groups.  Don't miss the performances at the Manukau Sports Bowl on Saturday 21 March!

8.00am Kapahaka
10.15am Chinese
11.15am Japanese
11.45am African
1.55pm Samoan
2 pm Niuean.

Polyfest Community Evenings

Students have been working hard perfecting their routines for the upcoming Polyfest event to be held in Manukau from 19-21 March.

Parents and the wider school community will have the opportunity to view these performances at a  series of shows held in the Performing Arts Centre.

All performances commence at 7pm.

Entry is by gold coin donation, with the exception of the the Samoan Fiafia concert - tickets for this event are $10, with tickets available from the Samoan Group members and payment to be made at the door.


MONDAY 16 March: Diversity Groups (African, Chinese, Fijian, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Sri Lankan and Thai)

TUESDAY 17 March: Tongan Group

WEDNESDAY 18 March: Samoan Group

THURSDAY 19 March: Niuean Group


Jazz Combo perform at Kauri Karnival

Contributing to the fun family vibe at the Kauri Karnival at Parr’s Park on Sunday 8 March was Avondale College’s Jazz Combo. The band played from 2pm until 4pm and were headliners for the renown ukulele band, The Nukes.

The festival was a free family event organised by Auckland Council, celebrating kauri and raising awareness on kauri dieback disease.


Introducing our Head Prefects for 2015

Tyler Guttenbeil, Natasha van Tilburg, Michael Woodward, Junior Soqeta (Head Boy), Eva Zhu (Head Girl), Danielle Lesatele, Marcus Smillie, Lesieli Kaufanga

All our Prefects were presented with their official badges at Monday's assembly. Selected to the role of Deputy Head Prefect for 2015 are: Tyler Guttenbeil, Natasha van Tilburg, Michael Woodward, Danielle Lesatele, Marcus Smillie and Lesieli Kaufanga.  Head Boy is Junior Soqeta, and Head Girl: Eva Zhu.


Special assembly honours Scholarship recipients

Avondale College's high achieving Scholarship students - along with their parents and teachers - were honoured at a special assembly on Monday 23 February.
The students - past and present -  were awarded the college's red 'Scholarship' badge in recognition of their outstanding achievement.  The assembly was followed by a special lunch held in the college's Pavillion.

Avondale College students were awarded a record 48 Scholarships, including 8 Outstanding Scholarships and a Top Scholar (Physics) in the 2014 examinations.

Cambridge students honoured at awards ceremony

Top Scholar Ethan Sorrell is awarded the John Morris Scholarshiop for the Top A Level Student in New Zealand's Cambridge Exams for 2014

Our highest achieving students received their awards at the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards Dinner held at Westlake Boys' High School on Thursday 19 February.

At this event, Avondale's outstanding scholar Ethan Sorrell was awarded the ACSNZ John Morris Scholarship for the top A Level student in New Zealand, a scholarship which has a value of $10,000.


Pupils on top of NZ for exam results

Featured in the Western Leader on 18/02/15 are our high-achieving Cambridge Scholars...

Read the article here

Parenting/Caregiver Strategies for Teenage Success

Free Seminar Tuesday 24 February in the PAC - 7.00 - 8.30pm


Parent/caregivers of all Year Levels Welcome

Dear Parent/guardian

We understand that NCEA/CIE can be confusing, difficult and stressful time for both students and parents. That is why we are bringing to our College an extremely engaging Study Skills Coach and Inspirational Speaker, Darren Pereira, who will give you practical strategies that will help you help your child not only survive, but thrive in NCEA/CIE. It will help you understand teenage pressures and give you a toolkit of communication skills to build your child’s resilience and create a positive home environment for academic success.

Our speaker has worked with over 260,000 students, parents & teachers around the world to build a 3-way partnership to raise achievement.  He will be presenting an engaging study skills / organisation / resilience program to Year 11 and Year13 students.

In his presentation to parents, he will be covering the latest on Dr. Carol Dweck’s work on developing a Growth Mindset. Darren will specifically focus on the following:

·      What is the difference between a Growth & a Fixed Mindset.

·      What neuroscience is telling us about how the brain functions (i.e. neuroplasticity).

·      How to use Positive Process Praise to develop a Growth Mindset in our students and raise their achievement.

·      What the research tells us about how to develop ‘Grit’ in kids - work by Angela Lee Duckworth.


Darren will then present specific strategies that Year 11 parents can apply to follow up on the study skills program being presented to the students.  These include the following:

• how to support your child in becoming well organised & develop positive study habits

• how to communicate effectively to help build your child’s learning confidence for academic success


This event is not to be missed if you want your child to succeed in NCEA/CIE.


More information:

NETSAFE Parents´ Meeting

Thursday 19 February 7.00pm - 8.00pm Avondale College Atrium

Presented by Lee Chisholm

Lee is the Operations and Training Manager at NetSafe. She delivers cybersafety and digital citizenship presentations around the country to parents and caregivers, school staff and management and the wider community.

Lee has a background in counselling, mediation and management, and joined NetSafe in 2005. Schools and the public contact NetSafe to seek advice on a wide range of online challenges. Lee’s experience enables her to share some preventative strategies to reduce the chances of your children being adversely impacted by online challenges.

The session will cover:
• Internet safety
• Safe online habits at home and beyond
• Understanding social networks and how they can be used positively
• Some challenges presented by using social media
• Conversations you might have with your children about online practice
• A chance to ask questions


Hot off the press is the very latest ERO report on Avondale College!

The report concludes:

"Avondale College provides a high standard of education. It offers students a broad, well designed curriculum that is responsive to their diverse needs and aspirations. Students achieve well and take pride in their school. High quality self review underpins the board’s strategic decision making and planning.

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years."

Read the full report here...

or download your copy by following the link below.

Related Links > Avondale College ERO Report 21/01/2015

Evening for Parents/Caregivers of Year 9 Students

All parents and caregivers of Year 9 students are warmly invited to the school on Tuesday 10 February at 7:00pm. (We are meeting in the school theatre.)

You will receive information about much of what we have to offer our community in terms of activities, support, curriculum, the Family Connection and the online services that are available to you.

There will also be an opportunity to meet the Principal, Deans and your child's homeroom teacher.

We look forward to meeting you and further developing our relationship with you for the benefit of your child.


TV1 News: Top of the world kiwi whiz kid nails Cambridge exams

Watch Ethan being interviewed on TV One News here!


A high achieving youngster has his sights set on a prestigious scholarship after topping the world in this year's Cambridge International Exams (CIE).

Aucklander Ethan Sorrell hopes to soon be packing his bags for Cambridge, England.

"I've applied for a scholarship to Cambridge which is what I really wanna do, the ultimate goal is to get into biomedical research to improve the lives of people really through biomedical engineering," he told ONE News.

The aspirations come after the 18-year-old Avondale College student achieved the rare feat of coming top of the world in both psychology and biology. He's also first in New Zealand in chemistry and physics.

Achieving a premium award for topping the country in three A-level subjects, Ethan says there've been no shortcuts to his success.

"It's about two, three months of just studying every day."
Ethan chose to do the CIE system over NCEA while he was deputy head boy at the decile four school.

"I liked the way it was examined, I liked getting a percentage to know exactly where you fit in rather than an excellence or a merit which could mean anything really," he said.

The Cambridge education system is hugely popular, more than one-and-a-half million students sit the exams every year. Avondale is among more than 60 NZ schools that offer it along with NCEA.

Ethan's father David Sorrell says he has never had to tell his son to do his homework.
"All we do is support him in what he's doing, never ever had to push him, never had to say why don't you go do some work."



Top Cambridge results!

Great news received today from the Cambridge International Examinations centre: Avondale College students have come top in the world in two subjects and top in New Zealand in five subjects as well as achieving one overall award.

Receiving top honours is Ethan Sorrell who not only topped New Zealand in A Level Chemistry and Physics, but came first in the world in Psychology and Biology. In addition, Ethan also received the ‘Best Across Three Cambridge International A Levels’ award which recognises his achievements as New Zealand’s top Cambridge scholar. 


Also receiving top national awards were Pooja Nagaraj who came first in New Zealand in IGCSE Business Studies; Run Qi (Ery) Zhu – top in AS Level Physics; and Jayden Cooke who rounded off his impressive year with top in NZ for A Level Applied ICT.


Congratulations to all of the staff who have contributed to these students' success and especially their subject teachers in 2014: Helen Lowe, Paul McClean, David Farquhar, Jane Berry, Phil Irwin, Sally Bowden and Jason Smallman!

 27 Jan 2015


Cambridge AS and A Level exams were taken in 127 countries across 2000 schools, with more than 435,000 subject entries last year. This is the third consecutive year in which impressive results have been achieved by Avondale College CIE students.


2014: Top in World: Psychology A Level, Biology A Level; Top in NZ: IGSCE Business Studies, AS Level Physics, A Level Applied ICT, A Level Physics, A Level Chemistry

2013: Top in World AS Applied ICT; Top in NZ in AS Level Psychology

2012: Top in World AS Psychology; Top in NZ in IGCSE Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Accounting

Junior Prizegiving 2014

Congratulations to all our students who received awards at this year's Junior Prizegiving.

For a full list of recipients, please follow the link below.



Related Links > Junior Prizegiving Booklet 2014

Avondale College well represented at YSPOTY Awards

The ASB Young Sports Person of the Year Awards is designed to recognise the sporting achievements of high school students reaching their highest pinnacle across multiple sporting codes across the Auckland Region. The Awards were held at Eden Park on Thursday 20 November. This year there were five students from Avondale College who had been identified for their sporting categories.

Natasha van Tilburg – Cricket Girls
Luke Fielding – Distance Running
Gabrielle Fa’amausili – Swimming
Daxxon Vong – Badminton
Ruth Minturn - Wreslting

Three out of our five finalists won their categories: Natasha van Tilburg, Gabrielle Fa’amausili – winning the award for the second year in a row and Ruth Minturn also winning the award for the second year in a row. Gabrielle won the “ASB Young Sportswomen of the Year” award last year and was nominated for the award again this year. The ASB Young Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year went to students from Kings College and Takapuna Grammar School. It was a fantastic evening and all students should be extremely proud of their efforts this year.  

Francis to travel for US Youth Leadership Exchange

Francis Flores has been selected to participate in the US Embassy Youth Leadership Exchange programme, which will take place in the USA from 30 November.  Only 18 high school students from across Australia and New Zealand were chosen for the three week educational exchange opportunity. The primary theme is civic education and community service and the secondary theme is environmental issues and climate change. They will begin on the west coast in Portland, Oregan or Seattle, Washington. Finally, they will travel to Washington, D.C. for the 'Synthesis Workshop'. We are looking forward to seeing what fun follow-on activities he will bring back to Avondale College. Congratulations, Francis!

NZ Herald Article: School years full of positives

ear 13 student from Avondale College Alisa Samountry studying at her dining table. Photo / Jason Oxenham


Featuring on Page A12-13 of today's New Zealand Herald is Year 13 student Alisa Samountry!


School years full of positives

Alisa Samountry is just weeks away from wrapping up years of New Zealand schooling.
The 17-year-old Avondale College student sat a chemistry exam yesterday afternoon, with her final end-of-year exam on December 1.

Now considering what to study at university, with bio-technology a possibility, she said a combination of factors had made her school years a pleasure.

Near the top were teachers that went the extra distance and were also relatable.
"They don't just treat you like children. They get along with us, are down-to-earth and genuine.
"Our teachers always offer tutorials after school, and make clear if we have any questions they are there for us."

Alisa said the number of extra-curricular opportunities offered at Avondale - she was a member of the school show and played premiere hockey - had also ensured her enjoyment of school.

The size of the school, at about 2670 students, was a positive, too: "every day you see a new face".




Read the full article from the NZ Herald website here:


Sports Awards Dinner

Avondale College's top sports men and women received their prizes at the College's annual Sports Awards Dinner on Thursday 21 October. Guest speaker and All Black Patrick Tuipuloto entertained the audience with his after dinner speech before presenting the top awards.

Congratulations to all who received prizes at this special event.

For a full list of award recipients, please download the document below.


Related Links > Sports Awards Recipients 2014

Junior wins Unitec Songwriting Competition!

Junior Soqeta (centre) with Unitec representatives Psalms Marsters and Patrick Mose

Congratulations to talented musician Junior Soqeta who has beaten amateur and professional songwriters of all ages to win the overall prize in the Unitech Songwriting competition.

Junior’s song – written and sung in Fijian – gathered more than 3,800 views on YouTube to win the People’s Choice award. In addition to the kudos, Junior won $1000 in prize money. 

The competition was run by Unitec, to promote and celebrate Pasifika languages through music.

You can view Junior's song here:

Senior Academic Prize Giving

Congratulations to all who received awards at our Senior Academic Prize Giving on Tuesday 4 November.  Taking away the top honours for the year were:

Pushti Shah (Proxime Accessit NCEA)
Ethan Sorrell (Proxime Accessit CIE)
Tianheng Zhang (Dux CIE)
Hitesh Patel (Dux NCEA)

For a full ist of prize-winners, please download the booklet in the link below.



Related Links > Senior Prizegiving 2014 Booklet

Dance Spectacular Slideshow


Spectacular showcase by Dance students

The Avondale College Dance Spectacular certainly lived up to its name, with stunning performances wowing the audience in last week's shows.  With the event showcasing genres ranging from classical ballet to modern hip hop (and everything in between!) there is no doubt dance is thriving at Avondale College. Congratulations to all who helped make this such a superb event!

Industry qualifications give a head start to our ICT students

With the integration of Microsoft certifications into Cambridge ICT, Innovation Programme and, recently, junior courses, Avondale College students have been able to not only validate their college-based project learning experience, but also gain industry-recognised credentials that will set them apart from other applicants in a competitive future employment market.

Richard Gordon, Director of IC Central, along with Mr Lewis, presented the awards to students in a special classroom ceremony recently. Of particular note were the four students (Ellen Greenly, Ashley Mark, Jayden Cooke and Darius Au) who achieved the Microsoft Office Master Qualification – which represents the highest award for thinking quality and proficiency. 

Thirty-eight other students – both seniors and juniors -  also received awards, with some gaining up to four specialist qualifications, and others being recognised for their achievement in Expert level qualifications.

The awards are the icing on a very successful cake for our Innovation Programme students, who are now wrapping up their concept to completion projections, using the industry-standard tools of Microsoft Visual, Viso 2013 and Project 2013. Underpinned by their Microsoft Office qualifications, the significant quality of their projects and documentation, according to Richard Gordon, IC Central, “would put many industry professionals to shame.”

Our Innovation 2014 students are now finalising their projects and completing Scholarship reports, and will be presenting their 2014 experience to large audiences over the next month.


Microsoft Master Qualification: Ellen Greenly, Ashly Mark, Jayden Cooke, Darius Au
Microsoft Excel Expert Level Qualification: Roderick Westerman , Punit Prajapati
Four Microsoft Specialist Qualifications: Michael Jordon, Di Kun Ong, Anoosh Zarrar, Daxxon Vong
Three Microsoft Specialist Qualifications:
Jonathan Bolter, Zill Darji
Two Microsoft Specialist Qualifications: Tony Chuxin, Azizul Islam
Microsoft Access Specialist Qualification: Daniel Black, Deon Sabu, Divyanshu Sareen, Justin Zhou, Neil Ng, Nikhil Donthireddy, Nisal Eriagama, Timothy Young, Arthur Mandisodza, Baobin Deng
Microsoft Excel Specialist Qualification: Megh Shah, Nathan Lee, Yannis Tijoriwalla
Microsoft Word Specialists Qualification: Nia Sky, Patricia Salcedo
Junior Students: Sophie Lu (two qualifications), Brian Kumar, Cody Malaki, Eric Huang, Howard Mao, James Poss, Kevin Gao, Kevin Sorromero (two qualifications), Paul Choi, Shrey Tailor, Phoenix Doolan and Tham Palasmith

Sports Academy Trials - 14 November

Trials for the 2015 intake of Sports Academy students will be held at Avondale College on Friday 14 November.
To register your interest, please email

Library Concert Podcast

Avondale College's performance at the lunchtime concert series at Auckland City Library has been recorded as a podcast. You can listen to it here...

Natasha makes White Ferns at only 16!

Natasha van Tilberg has been named in the New Zealand women's cricket team's high performance squad. The wicket-keeper batsman is the youngest in the squad of 20, which features current players from the White Ferns' recent tour to the West Indies, as well as six others. 

Players in the squad will receive specialist coaching support, individual strength and conditioning programmes, mental skills training and athlete life services.
New Zealand Cricket’s Head of Cricket Lindsay Crocker says it’s a different approach to previous years, with more focus concentrated on a smaller group of players.
“These players are likely to play big roles for the White Ferns over the next few years and we’ll be providing the necessary resources to support their ongoing development as much as possible,” says Crocker.
“With the emergence of the ICC Women’s Championship, the women’s game has gone to an exciting new level. Through the newly established role of High Performance Manager and the 10 women’s contracts, we’re taking a number of steps to increase our strength and depth and create a viable succession plan.
“We hope to see the benefits at events such as the 2017 ICC Cricket World Cup and beyond.”
The White Ferns next series is against England at home in February.

Source: NZ Cricket

Jazz and Soul night - outstanding

The Jazz and Soul Concert was, once again, a fantastic night showcasing some of the very best of musical talent on offer at Avondale College...

Sports Awards Dinner - 21 Oct

Get your tickets for the sporting event of the year! The annual Sports Awards Dinner is being held on Tuesday 21 October, in the PAC. Tickets are $40, and are available from the school office throughout the holidays and in the first week of Term 4. Get your team together and look forward to a great night of celebration!


Jazz and Soul night - Wednesday 24 September

Don't miss out on what will be one of the highlights of Avondale College's performing arts year! Wednesday 24 September in the theatre at 7.00pm.

Free entry!

Vote for Junior!!

Congratulations to Junior Soqeta who has won the Fijian section of the Unitec Pacific Songwriting Competition!! He now needs to get as many views of his original song as possible!  Click on the video to hear Junior's awesome song, and help him win the People's Choice award at the same time!


Poets speak from the heart

Spoken Word poet Ahmed Sieed

Some of Avondale College's most talented poets shared their work at the college's inaugural Spoken Word Open Mic Night on Friday 19 September. They were joined by guests from Onehunga High School and Mt Albert Grammar, with all artists offering insightful and very often moving perspectives on life, love and other matters of the heart.  The evening was superbly MC'd by Year 13 student Ahmed Sieed and organiser, Mrs Sharon Cope, hopes that this will become an annual event.

Students interested in finding out more about the Spoken Word group at Avondale College should see Mrs Cope in the English Department.

Gold award for Gabrielle

Congratulations to swimmer Gabrielle Fa'amausili, who has been awarded a Gold Scholarship in the Don Oliver Youth Sport Foundation awards.  The $5000 prize money will help fund the 14 year old's expenses as she prepares to compete in the world and junior world championships next year.

To view the Western Leader article about Gabi's win, click here.

´Fame´ Opens!

With huge song and dance numbers, lots of lycra and big '80s hair, Fame opened to an appreciative audience last night who clearly loved every bit. Based on the popular film and TV series from the 1980s, the story follows the fortunes of a group of talented students studying at the High School of Performing Arts in New York, and touches on many issues facing teenagers today. The show runs till Saturday 20 September - make sure you don't miss out on one of the highlights of the Avondale College year.

Book tickets now!

Mexican Independence Day!

Mexican Independence Day (Tuesday 16 September) was celebrated in style by our Mexican International students, with traditional candy and treats at lunchtime in the International Department.

The day marks the beginning of the War of Independence in Mexico in 1810, and is traditionally celebrated as a patriotic holiday with parades, parties and festive food.

Titanium Concert

Senior music students were treated to a special lunchtime performance by kiwi band, Titanium, on Wednesday 10 September. The band visited Avondale College to promote their new single, 'Take Us Back'.

Fame! Get your tickets now...

With opening night just round the corner, months of behind-the-scenes hard work and preparation is all coming together. Make sure you get your tickets to this year's oustanding show, Fame!

The tickets cost $10 Students/Senior Citizens and $15 Adults and bookings can be made by phone 820-1731 or email

The matinee is on Monday 15 September at 12 Noon and the evening performances run from Tuesday 16 September through until Saturday 20 September and will start at 7.30 pm.


Mathex competition

The pressure was on for our Avondale College Mathex teams at the Auckland-wide competition on 20 August: 30 minutes to answer as many questions as possible out of the 20 provided. Five marks per correct answer – run relay style with a designated runner.

Avondale had four teams of four competing at Year 9 and Year 10 levels. All teams did very well on the night, with an outstanding result from one Year 9 team who achieved 85/100. Only 26 out of the 150 competing teams got a mark of 85 or higher, so this means our students were right up there with the top 17% of Year 9 students in Auckland. Particular congratulations to this team: Dominic Bailey, Jesslyn Chen, Lucy Wu and Tasi Vaili, and to the other Avondale College teams who represented the college with pride.


English & Media Literacy Awards

The inaugural English and Media Literacy Award ceremony was held in the library, with families and students treated to an evening of performance poetry, readings, live music and an outstanding gallery of static images completed by students in junior English and Media Studies.

Receiving awards on the night were:

Year 9

Jesslyn Chen, Tina Gorter, Nupur Mohini, Melissa Connolly, Julia Ling, Sasha Matsumoto, Kelly Cokorudy, Julia Tildesley, Angus Campbell, Atashna Verma, Lela Hausser-See, Nesa Aute-Neli, Justice Michael, Jessica Faamoana

Year 10

Keeley Stoehr, Radhika Malhotra, Akash Ashock, Jordan Kapo Unuwai, Tara Ramesh, Cassandra McCabe-Tatupu, Ashley Prakash, Zakaria Mohammed, Roselle Samaratunga, Gal Gross, Aaron Matutuki, lela hausser See, Anataia van Leeuwen, Bianca Craill, Ruohao Mao, Zoe May


Anita Roshkova, Jack Wu, Oscar McFarlane, Camille Balduchi, Arjuna Oakes, Eleanor Loader, Phoebe Rolfe


Spoken Word:

Priscilla Palmer, Ileana Lameta, Ahmed Sieed, Nico Calderon-Hunt, Vyoma Mistry, David Rennison, Favor Nweke

Avcol Standing Out

Avondale College was once again a huge presence at the finals of Auckland City Council's Stand Up Stand Out competition held at the Vodafone Events Centre on Friday 29 August.  Having battled their way through preliminary heats held earlier in the month, five Avondale College bands and vocal groups showcased their creativity and talent to their peers, whanau and the music industry in the competition finals.

On the night, two of our groups took away the runners-up awards: Avondale's eight-member Soul Band (directed by Mr Muir)  in the band category, and Jireh Lolotoa-Peniata, Junior Soqueta and Aaron Pulemagafa  in the Vocal Group Category.

Congratulations to all who participated:
Neil Aliioaiga, Zain Azimullah, Arjuna De Simas-Oakes, Stephen Hemara, Rokalani Lavea, Danielle Lesatele, Jireh Lolotoa-Peniata, Wilson Main, Gloria Nua, Joshua Parker, Aaron Pulemagafa, Deja Rees, Ekepati Roma, Silao Saia, Junior Soqeta, Gideon Tali and Makeke Tauia.

Singing the Winning Song

Danya Pavlovich - Up and coming singer songwriter

The Warriors’ comprehensive win on Sunday may have been partly inspired by one of Avondale College’s students, Year 13 musician Danya Pavolovich.

Danya was one of the 16 young people from the Crescendo Trust of Aotearoa who co-wrote the new Warriors’ anthem, “One Team, One Dream” which they performed during halftime at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday. 

Danya’s vocals open the song, but the 17 year old was unfazed by performing to 12,000 fans. “It was amazing,” she says. “I start the song – it was a lot of pressure, but the amazing kind of pressure.”

And the crowd loved it. “People kept coming up afterwards and saying how much they liked the song,” she says. 

Clearly the inspiring lyrics worked. The Warriors beat the Titans 42- nil.

“One Team, One Dream” is available on iTunes.


See Danya and the band preparing for Sunday’s performance on Seven Sharp here:


Danya will be performing two original songs in the Zeal ‘VERSES’ grand final on Saturday 6 September in Hamilton– an inaugural competition showcasing the best up and coming talented songwriters and performers in New Zealand. We wish her well!



Kiwi students take on the world and win

Congratulations to Shannon Metcalf - International Trade Challenge champion!


It wasn't just the All Blacks celebrating international success today.

So were two high school entrepreneurs who have just returned from Hong Kong where they competed in the Fedex Express Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge Asia Pacific Finals.

"The experience alone would have done it for us, but the prize is amazing," competitor Izzy Stangl says.

"When we went over it was like Hong Kong was the reward, if we came back with first it was like the icing on the cake," project partner Shannon Metcalfe says.

Izzy and Shannon won first place and US$4000 for their idea to create a waterless face wash solution - something that would conserve water but also help reduce Kenya's high levels of the eye disease trachoma.

It was a lot of work and not a lot of sleep.

"We figured it out on the last day. Four hours sleep in 60 hours," Shannon says.

Meanwhile, Kings College student Amanda Ngo and Nayland College student Benjamin Seelen placed second with their idea for a whitening toothpaste that can decrease the amounts of fluorosis in teeth.

The students had to create a beauty product for the Kenyan market and convince the judges that it would sell and also tackle a social problem.

"They chose Kenya because its somewhere that none of us have much knowledge of, so it really takes you out of your cultural mindset. It puts you into a different situation, so you are really out of your comfort zone," Amanda says.

The competition has been running for seven years with the students picked from among those who have been given a taste of the business world through the Young Enterprise Trust.

"Just the experience - going to Hong Kong, coming from Nelson and going to Hong Kong is just insane - the scale of everything is just insane," Ben says.

"Everyone can be an entrepreneur, like everyone can. You just have to take that risk, get excited about something and put in hard work," Izzy says.

The competition has created new friendships as well and given all the students the confidence to go out and chase their dreams.

Source: 3 News


Gabrielle wins bronze at Youth Olympics

New Zealand flagbearer Gabrielle Fa’amausili followed her fellow 14-year-old teammate Bobbi Gichard on to the podium at the Youth Olympic Games in China today.
Fa’amausili, from the Roskill club in Auckland, won the bronze medal in the 50m backstroke in 28.69s, only 3/100ths of a second behind Great Britain’s silver medallist Jessica Fullalove, while Maaike de Waard (NED) won the gold. 
The race was a difficult one for the current World Youth record holder over the same distance.
"They weren't just going to give it to me because of what I had achieved last year," said Fa'amausili after the race. "But I though this is good, I need this and hopefully next year i'll come back stronger."
This adds to the bronze medal won by Gichard in the 100m backstroke, also behind Fullalove with de Waard back in fifth.
While among the two youngest in the competition, both Fa’mausili and Gichard have earned real respect for their achievements and potential against swimmers up to 18 years of age.
It proved another strong performance from Fa’amausili who will be in action again tomorrow as part of the four-strong Kiwi team with Gichard, Michael Mincham and Jacob Garrod in the mixed medley relay.
In other swims today Gichard was 29th in the heats of the 200m butterfly in 1:06.16; Fa’amausili was seventh fastest in heats of the 50m freestyle in 26.12s, but scratched from the semifinals to focus on the 50m backstroke final.
Also Garrod was 28th fastest in heats of the 50m breaststroke in 30.04s and Mincham was 13th fastest in the 800, freestyle in 8:15.47.
Finals result:
Women’s 50m backstroke: Maaike de Waard (NED) 28.36, 1; Jessica Fullalove (GBR) 28.66, 2; Gabrielle Fa’amausili (NZL) 28.69, 3. Also: Bobbi Gichard (NZL) 29.02, 6.

Gabrielle named New Zealand Flag Bearer for Youth Olympics

By Jacqueline Le

She's used to taking the lead and now junior world champion swimmer Gabrielle Fa'amausili has been named New Zealand's flag bearer at the Youth Olympics.

The 14-year-old 50m backstroke world champion has been selected to lead a team of 50 athletes at the opening ceremony on Saturday in Nanjing, China.

"It's such an honour to be a part of the team, and to be selected as flag bearer is like a double honour," she told NZ Newswire.

The Youth Olympics are held every four years for athletes aged between 14 and 18 in 28 sports including athletics, sailing and basketball.

Kiwis will compete across 15 sports in Nanjing and have high hopes of winning medals in swimming, triathlon and beach volleyball.

The rugby-mad nation surprised some by not fielding a rugby sevens team, instead deciding to give its limited team spots to boys and girls hockey squads.

But selectors are buoyed by the results in other sports such as swimming, where Fa'amausili has stunned older and more experienced rivals.

The high school student was selected as flag bearer after an impressive year in the pool where she beat Olympians Hayley Palmer and Lauren Boyle in 50m freestyle and was crowned the girls 50m backstroke world champion - all as a 13 year old.

Her achievements at such a young age led to her winning this year's Emerging Talent Halberg Award.

New Zealand's chef de mission and Olympic hockey player Chris Arthur said the Aucklander's selection recognises the leadership and goodwill Fa'amausili has shown in her endeavours.

"Gabrielle is gracious, genuine and humble beyond her years," she said at the team's announcement on Friday.
"To hear someone say that about me is so nice and so kind," said Fa'amausili.
"I think we can all achieve something great if we work together and back each other."


Jasmine Pereira at the FIFA U-20 Women´s World Cup!

Sunday, 10 August 2014 MONTREAL, QC - AUGUST 09: Jasmine Pereira (R) of New Zealand and Aurelie Gagnet (L) of France battle for the ball during the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2014 group D match between New Zealand and France at Olympic Stadium on August 9, 2014 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Year 13 student Jasmine Pereira is now part of a history-making New Zealand Under 20 Women's World Cup Squad in the FIFA Under 20 Womens World Cup who by defeating Costa  Rica 3-0  have become the first New Zealand side to progress to the quarter finals of a major world tournament finishing second to hot favourites France in their group.

They will play Nigeria in the quarter finals on Sunday 17 August.

"Making it through to the quarter-finals for the first time is a reward of all the hard work that has gone in, not only in this tournament but in the years that have gone before," Aaron McFarland, New Zealand coach.

Find out more at the FIFA website here.

Piano Competition!


When the results from the 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship results were announced, no less than three Avondale College students were named in the top 10 for each of the three categories entered.

This is no mean feat considering the world-wide competition attracted 740,000 entries, from 140 different countries. Only 123 of these competitors made it to the World Champs held in California during July 27-30,  and three of these – representing New Zealand – were from Avondale College. 

Receiving a bronze medal for his third placing was Year 13 student Jayden Cooke for his fantastic achievement in the Word 2010 category. Darius Au and Di Kun Ong also achieved high results, with Di Kun (Year 11) coming 6th in PowerPoint 2010 and Darius (Year 13) coming 10th in Excel 2010.

This is an outstanding achievement for our three students, who are all part of Mr McCleans Innovation Programme and ICT classes.


Top students off to Microsoft World Champs

Three Avondale College students who topped New Zealand in their Microsoft Office Specialist exams are now off to the World Champs in Disneyland to compete against the best in the world.

Darius Au (17), Jayden Cooke (17) and Di Kun Ong (15) qualified for the global competition by coming top in New Zealand in the Microsoft Office Specialist National Championships held in Auckland last month.  Avondale students dominated this competition, coming 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th in New Zealand.

With over 75,000 students entering the competition globally, making to the the World Champs is no small feat.  The three Avcol boys will now compete against students from over 100 different countries. We wish them well!


Watch them here on TV1 news.

International Biology Olympiad - Silver Medal

Congratulations to Year 13 student and Deputy Head Ethan Sorrell who won a silver medal at the International Biology Olympiad held in Bali during the holidays.  Competing against 237 other students from 61 different countries, Ethan more than held his own during a series of intensive practical and theory exams.  Ethan's silver medal signifies his outstanding results, placing in the top 30% of the world's best students, with an overall ranking of 56th in the competition.

Classical Concert

48 Hour Film Festival: ´Oddball´ makes it to the Auckland Finals

This year Avondale's 48 Hour Film Festival production group  Fermented Films  (consisting of a group of 17 students and five teachers) worked tirelessly to create a short film over the weekend of the 4th-6th of April.

There was little sleep to be had as the group spent the Friday night writing the script and story boarding, filmed throughout Saturday and edited all day Sunday before rushing it in to the city before the 48 hour deadline. 

This year the genre the team was given was Rom-Com, with the following elements required:

  • a character called Morgan Foster (who lied)
  • a 'ball' as the prop
  • the line of dialogue: "Not with that, you're not!"
  • and an extreme close-up

The intensive weekend resulted in a quirky wee film called “Oddball - which came first place in its heat, winning the 'Audience Favorite' title, before going on to earn a place in the Auckland city finals.

A huge thanks to all those involved.

Students make an impact on CIO Summit Conference

Presenting to over 200 of New Zealand's top Chief Information Officers was a great warm up two students, Jayden Cooke and Ashley Mark, who will be heading to the United States next month where they will pitch their ideas to venture capitalists in the Silicon Valley.

Jayden and Ashley were invited to address the conference by RadioLIVE Business Correspondent Andrew Patterson (who was the MC for the conference), to speak about Avondale's Innovation Programme and the trip they have won to Silicon Valley.

Ashley Mark presenting to delegats at the CIO Summit Conference

Avondale College and Manurewa High join forces for unique Silicon Valley experience

Ashley Mark and Jayden Cooke - two of four Avondale College students heading to the Silicon Valley in July


The trip of a lifetime is in store for nine ICT-savvy students from Avondale College and Manurewa High School who head to Silicon Valley in July to visit industry giants and meet with start-ups and entrepreneurs.

The six day itinerary includes visits to Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google and Stanford University, as well as meetings with start-ups and entrepreneurs.  However, the students won’t just be observers. They will also have the opportunity to pitch their own ideas and innovations to venture capitalists based in Silicon Valley.

The trip, organised by RadioLIVE Business Correspondent Andrew Patterson, is being paid for by over 20 businesses and private donors who have willingly contributed to a travel fund to make the trip a reality.

The students themselves took part in a competitive pitch process to secure their places in the group.

Avondale College principal Brent Lewis says the experience will be life changing for the students. “They are having their world broken open in a very significant way. Future employment opportunities will come from focusing on the development of our intellectual property. The tyranny of distance for New Zealand trade and enterprise is being broken by IT, and these students are at the leading edge of that.”

For Jayden Cooke (17), a Year 13 student at Avondale College, the opportunity to experience first-hand the pace, energy and excitement of Silicon Valley is something he had only dreamed about. “I know I want to get into computing and I’m so excited to have this amazing opportunity to visit places like Google and Facebook.”

Daniel Wilson, Acting Principal of Manurewa High School said the five students participating in the trip were truly deserving of the opportunity.

“This trip provides a unique opportunity for these exceptionally talented students to immerse themselves in a technological world that will inspire and motivate them as innovative business leaders of tomorrow”.

Andrew Patterson, the organiser and driving force behind the trip, hopes the students will bring back to New Zealand a sense of global opportunity.  

“New Zealand is a very small part of the international economy. The students need to understand that successful businesses can be started here, but having connections with Silicon Valley is an important part of that process; it’s the epicentre of the whole technology sector globally.”

The group will depart Auckland on 6 July.
Related Links > MEDIA RELEASE

Blessing of New Building

Avondale College's newest buildings were blessed in a special early morning ceremony in May. View the video to see some images from this occasion.

Pink Shirt Day!

Pink Shirt Day will be celebrated at Avondale College on Tuesday 27 May - so bring your pink gear, a gold coin donation, and some coins for bake sale goodies, and join in promoting the anti-bullying position of Avondale College!

Pasifika Tertiary Career Awarenesss Evening

2 April

All Pasifika students and families are warmly welcomed to attend our Pasifika Tertiary Careers Awareness Evening:

Wednesday 2nd April, 7.00-9.00pm in the PAC.

Tertiary providers and ex- students now studying at tertiary institutions will be sharing their career journey stories to inspire and inform.

Avondale´s got talent!

Congratulations to all students to took part in the Talent Quest this year. The finals night proved, once again, that Avondale College is bursting with talent! The overall award went to Year 11 musician Arjuna De Simas-Oakes who wowed the crowd with his singing and keyboard playing.

Polyfest 2014

Polyfest 2014

Avondale College's Samoan Group leaders - winners at Polyfest for the tenth time...

Even Cyclone Lusi couldn't put a complete stop to the great performances happening at Polyfest this year.   Saturday's performances were postponed and the largest Maori and Pacific Island cultural festival in the world continued with blue skies and huge crowds on Tuesday.

A record number of groups performed at Polyfest this year and Avondale College was one of the leading schools with a record eleven different groups participating.

Our Indo-Fijian, Indian, Sri Lankan, Thai, Chinese and, for the first time, Filipino groups all performed on the Diversity stage and our Maori, Samoan, Tongan, Niuean and Cook Island groups performed on the competitive Pasifika stages.

352 students took part, with weeks' of intensive practice taking place in the lead up to the festival.

Avondale College's Samoan group resumed their top position this year, making it ten wins in the co-ed competition in the past thirteen years.  They also took out first place for two other sections: the entrance and the sasa, as well as other awards. 

Avondale's Tongan group also came first in one of their performances, and our Maori Group did extremely well against the very competitive Maori immersion schools, with a fourth placing overall.

Congratulations to all the students, teachers and tutors who took part!
Maori Stage

Placed 4th overall (places 1-3 were all Kura / Maori immersion schools)

Placed 2nd in Mōteatea (traditional Maori chant)

Samoan Stage

Placed 1st overall

Including 1st for the Entrance and for Sasa. 2nd for Mauluulu, Pese o le Aso, Taualuga, Taupou (female leader, Evotia Alolua), Fuataimi (male leader, Isaac Hanipale).

3rd in the remaining 3 sections.

2 students placed in the speech competition:

            Cynthia Vitalaino Logovii – 2nd in Year 9 girls

            Lagi Togia – 2nd in senior girls, impromptu speaking.

Tongan Stage

Placed 1st for their Milolua performance (there is no overall winner of that stage). Lead Dancer, Maria Lotima-Aivalu. Male lead, Raymond Lemalu Matagi

Niuean Stage
Placed 3rd overall in the Co-ed schools
Placed 3rd in the Meke

Placed 1st for the prayer song

Placed 3rd for the male leader (Logan Misiniu)


1 student placed in the speech competition:

            Tumei Tuhipa-Simelika - 2nd in Junior Girls
Cook Island Stage

3 students placed in the speech competition:

Fe'ena Syme-Buchanan - 2nd in the Year 13 Section
Kristy Apaina - 3rd in the Year 13 Section 
Nick Teau - 2nd in the Year 12 Section
Diversity Stage

Avondale College teams performing were: Indo-Fijian, Indian, Sri Lankan, Filipino, Thai and Chinese


Robotics: Semi-finalists, 2nd in NZ for Programming and winner of ´Create´ award

Our Robotics teams competed at the National competitions in March, coming away with a semi-finals placing overall, a 2nd place for Programming in New Zealand (a 30th World Ranking), and the 'Create' award for innovative design.

The match play was very challenging this year, with a difficult draw given to the senior team led by Tanmay Mohini. For the senior team this led to a less-than-ideal alliance selection for the elimination series. The juniors played very well despite their short time in the game. Alliance selection resulted in our Senior team and Junior team alliances together with a Glenfield College team.   Overall the team advanced to the semifinals, being beaten by an alliance led by Strathallan ACG.

Together they are all one team, the Avondale College Binary Blitz Robotics team. They celebrate each others' success and disappointments.  They practice, build, test, program, help and play against each other.
Over the last several months the "senior" team have put in hundreds of hours. The programming skills result and all the autonomous coding was the result of much hard work and very long hours by Varun Karkera.  Luke Cen contributed elegant engineering solutions to the game challenge. David Shi  kept the others real with critique of game strategy and Songhao Zeng assisted the others in many other ways. He was especially skillful in negotiating and translating with visiting Chinese teams in the scrimmage leading up to the Nationals.  Tanmay Mohini coordinated and led the whole effort, learning to become a negotiator and strategist during alliance selection at the end of the qualifying rounds, alongside his good building skills. He enthusiastically mentored the juniors and helped them learn the routines at the nationals.
The Junior team consisted of Spring Han (Year 10)  and James Millington (Year 9).  Both have accelerated their knowledge and understanding of the game in the scrimmages held in the last 4 weekends.
Varun Karkera has been with the team for 5 years.

Overall competition result - semifinalist
Programming skills - 2nd place in New Zealand.  30th in world ranking

Winner - Create award  
The “Create” award is earned by a team whose robot design incorporates a creative engineering solution to the design challenges of this year’s game. Attributes such as solid mechanical ability, unique design solutions and innovative approaches to playing the game will be taken into account by the judges looking for  teams demonstrating a highly creative engineering design process. 
Key Criteria: 
1) Robot is a well-crafted, unique design solution, demonstrating creative thinking 
2) Team has demonstrated a highly creative engineering design process and methodology 
3) Team has committed to ambitious and creative approaches to playing the game 
4) Teamwork and interview quality 

Year 9 Parents´ Evening

Tuesday 18 February, 7.00-8.00pm, in the Performing Arts Centre

All parents of Year 9 students are warmly welcomed to attend our Parents' evening.

Speaking on the night will be:
Mr B Lewis (Principal)
Mr A Shao (Year 9 Dean)
Ms M Anderson (Head of Guidance)
Ms A Nelson (Director of Drama)
Mr E Thompson (Network Manager)
Mr P Hill (Deputy Principal)
Mr CJ Healey (Deputy Principal)
Mr M Stenbo (Director of Music)
Mr C Jones (Director of Sport)

Your child's Home Room teacher will be available for a brief meeting in the threatre or in an adjoining room immediately after our speakers.
Tea and coffee will be available in the foyer.

Prefects announced for 2014

Congratulations to the school leaders for 2014 who received their Prefect badges at the school assembly this morning. 


Rebecca Andrell, Jahmal Beckmannflay, Benedict Brebner, Ryan Burgess, Anastasia Canty, Alisha Chandra, Elizabeth Chen, Anna Chinnamallela, Jacob Deans, Baobin Deng, Carlin Diprose, Alana Douglas, Damien Ducloux, Paitusi Eti, Zarya Fatialofa, Evotia Fuimaono F. Alolua, Safia Hussein, In-Hae Jung, Hatesa Kepu, Devdass Krishnan, Anna Leys, Natasha Littler, Crystal Liu Ji Xin, Ivan Madsen, Margaret Mano, Ana Maquiso, Crystal McDougall, Mark Mildon, Lauren Millington, Tanmay Mohini, Hiroka Morita, Emma Olphert, Shawn-Ray Pafalani, Robert Parsons, Te Kura Parsons-Grace, Ezekiel Paul, Jasmine Pereira, Stacey Purdon, Daniel Rastkar, Alisa Samountry, William Scheib, Daniel Semp, Pushti Shah, Zubayr Smith, Sorrell Ethan, Kelsey Stanyer, Micah Stininato, Stephen Sua, Leighton Taniwha, Caleb Tinielu, Dane Tracey, Frank Tuiloma, Pim Van Den Top, Logan Van Gils, Brendan Vincent, Jane Wang, Dakota Zemke-White.

HEAD GIRL: Jane Wang

HEAD BOY: Ben Brebner

DEPUTIES (Girls): Evotia Fuimaono Alolua, Micah Stininato and Pushti Shah

(Boys): Ethan Sorrell, Mark Mildon and Robert Parsons

Gabrielle wins Halberg award!

Gabrielle Fa'amausili with former Avondale College student Sir Murray Halberg following her success at the Halberg Awards

The awards just keep on coming for our Year 10 student Gabrielle Fa'amausili, who won the Emerging Talent award at the Westpac Halberg Awards on Thursday 19 February.

Sir Murray Halberg, himself an ex-student of Avondale College, was there to congratulate Gabrielle on her award.

Along with the Emerging Talent award, Gabrielle also received a $10,000 sporting scholarship. The category, designed to identify and assist future world champions was closely contested by surfer Ella Williams, rower Tom Murray and motorcyclist Jake Lewis.

Gabrielle thanked her single mum and supportive family after she won the Emerging Talent award.

She said the accolade was unexpected and she looked up to swimmers like Lauren Boyle, who was present tonight.

"It's pretty awesome [to beat them] but they're a huge inspiration as well. I hope to be as successful as them one day.''



More on the Halbergs...

Top of The World and Top in NZ awards for Avcol Students

Darius Au Tops the World in Applied ICT

Darius Au and Joan Lee will be off to a special awards ceremony this month, in recognition of their superb achievement in the Cambridge International Examinations. 

Darius came first equal in the world for his Applied ICT exam at AS Level, following an intensive year in Avondale's innovative ICT programme, led by Mr Paul McLean, which focused on problem solving and real-world examples.

It's a particularly outstanding result considering that more than one million students sat Cambridge examinations in 10,000 schools throughout the world.

Joan (Year 12 in 2013) achieved the top mark in New Zealand for her Psychology AS exam, and will pursue her tertiary education this year. 

Her success in the subject follows on from Matthew Kendall's result in 2013, in which he topped the world in the subject.



Athletics Day 2014

Images of the Avondale College Athletics Day by Mr Tetley

School spirit was in full evidence at the 2014 Athletics Day, with fantastic participation across all year levels.  Our Year 13 students rose superbly to the occasion, sporting a wide array of fun costumes.  Well done to all who took part!

Taikaka 2013

Copies of Avondale College's yearbook, Taikaka, will be posted in early January.

Senior Academic Prize Giving 2013

Dux of CIE, Eunice Ng and Dux of NCEA, Victoria Piatov

Congratulations to all our senior students who received awards, prizes and scholarships at the Senior Academic Prize Giving for 2013. 

Top Honours awards went to:

Victoria Piatov

Claire Achmad Head Girl Award

Andrew Glubb

Nathan Woolley Memorial Award

Patricia Pillay
Proxime Accessit NCEA 
Yun Xiang (Chris) Zhang
Proxime Accessit CIE
Eunice Ng
Victoria Piatov


Related Links > Senior Academic Prize Giving 2013 Main Awards

A Rhodes Scholarship for Alice Wang!

Rhode Scholar Alice Wang (2nd from left)

Former Avondale College student Alice Wang has been selected as a Rhodes Scholar Elect for 2014, following a selection meeting chaired by the Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, at Government House in Wellington on 7 November.

Rhodes Scholarships are the pinnacle of achievement for university graduates wishing to pursue postgraduate study at Oxford University, one of the world’s leading universities.

The selection criteria for Rhodes Scholarships include academic excellence, leadership and character.

Alice is currently studying at the University of Auckland, where she is completing a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws Conjoint Honours degree.

At Oxford she intends to pursue a Master in Public Policy (MPP), followed by an MSc in Economics for Development. She is looking forward to the intellectual rigour which Oxford offers and says she is “exhilarated and humbled in equal measure.”

Alice would like to return to New Zealand and be a leader in public policy to address economic and social inequality, and help create a fairer and more equitable society.

Her interest in public policy began at high school, particularly through her involvement in the Auckland City Youth Council.

At university she has led Make a Difference with Economics (MADE), a student organisation aimed at achieving tangible social change through the application of economics. She has also undertaken research for the University of Auckland’s Centre for Applied Research in Economics to reduce child maltreatment.

She is a highly accomplished musician and plays the piano, trombone, viola and oboe, as well as composing and teaching music. 

For more on Alice, click here.

Sports Awards Dinner

Miss Saigon - Slideshow

The Saturday night performance of Miss Saigon was simply outstanding - check out some images from the night here...


Report Evening - Thursday 26 September

Avondale College will hold a report evening on 26 September from 4.30-7.00pm for parents and caregivers of senior students at the college.  This will be an opportunity to discuss students' progress reports , the school examination results and preparation for the final end-of-year examinations in Term 4. 

Appointments can be booked online using the Family Connection from 9-24 September.  On 25-26 September, appointments are able to be booked manually by the students taking the appointment sheet around to their teachers and being given a time.


Miss Saigon 17-21 September

Book now for Miss Saigon - $15 for adults, or $10 for students.

For bookings phone 820 1731 or email

Our students shine at ´Stand Up Stand Out´

Avondale College dominating the music at Stand Up Stand Out 2013

Avondale College had a strong presence at the Auckland Council's Stand Up Stand Out competition, with five finalists making it through the series of heats to perform on the Vodafone Events Centre's big stage on Thursday 29 August.

Performing on the night were solo musicians Kenji Kamimura (violin) and Eric Chan Foon (guitar), solo vocalist Thomas Stoneman, and bands Revived Rhythm and 'Dale Soul.

Avondale College won three Runner Up awards on the night, with Eric, Thomas and Revived Rhythm all successfully coming away with a top two placing.

Congratulations to all who were involved!


Miss Saigon

Make sure you don't miss the fantastic performance of this year's  school show, 'Miss Saigon'.

The show runs from Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 September, at 7.30 in the Performing Arts Centre.

Tickets are $15 for adults, or $10 for students.

For bookings phone 820 1731.


Fa´amausili wins at World Junior Championships

Thirteen year old Gabrielle Fa’amausili is the new 50m backstroke World Junior Champion.

Fa’amausili led the race from start to finish with the quickest reaction time off the starting blocks. Her winning time of 28.64 was half a second outside the personal best time and New Zealand open record she set in the heat, but still enough to grab the win from Russia’s Daria Ustinova and Clara Smiddy from the United States of America.

Earlier in the day Fa’amausili qualified for the semi-finals of the 50m freestyle, but decided to scratch the event as it was due to be swum only 15 minutes before the 50m backstroke final. Her finishing time of 26.10 was a new national age group record.

Also in action on day five was seventeen year old Bradlee Ashby from the Fairfield swim club. Ashby competed in the heats of the 400m individual medley but was well outside his best finishing 17th in a time of 4:30.35.

The competition concludes tomorrow with Michael Mincham competing in the men’s 1500m freestyle.  


Gabrielle stuns with WORLD GAMES RECORD!

30th August 2013

Gabrielle Fa’amausili swum the race of her life to qualify for the final of the 50m backstroke on day four of the World Junior Championships.

The thirteen year old from Auckland smashed her personal best time in the heats to clock 28.14. She broke the NZ Open record held by 2010 Pan Pacific Championship bronze medallist Emily Thomas, and bettered the games record, qualifying for the semi-final in first place.

Fa’amausili stepped up to produce another solid swim in the semi-final, finishing with a time of 28.68 that ranks her third entering the final at 2am NZ time tomorrow morning.

Team-mate Bobbie Gichard significantly improved her personal best time in the same event. She grabbed a ninth spot in the semi-final with a personal best time of 29.14 in the heats. Her semi-final swim was a little slower, clocking 29.59 to finish 10th.

Kiwi swimmers competing on day five include Gabrielle Fa’amausili in the heats of the 50m freestyle and the final of the 50m backstroke, and 17 year old Bradlee Ashby in the heats of the 400m individual medley.     


Pathways Planning Evening - Tuesday 13 Aug

Parents and students are warmly invited to attend the Pathways Planning expo after school tonight to gather useful information for subject choice, tertiary information and ideas for their future career pathways.


Each Teaching Department will be represented, with information about their own subjects and we  have over 40 tertiary providers attending, including univerisities, ITO's, PTE's and the armed forces.

The event is being held in the Performing Arts Centre, from 3.30-6.30pm.

Classical Concert showcases rising talent

The Avondale College Classical Concert featured many talented musicians, with performances from a range of musical groups.

Fresh from their performances at Auckland’s Big Sing choral competition, the Avondale College choir performed four pieces: ‘Happy We ‘ from ‘Asis and Galatea’ by Handel, ‘Mary Did you Know’, by Lowry and Green, the traditional ‘I’m Gonna Sing’, and a beautiful rendition of David Hamilton’s ‘Blessing’.

Next the Concert Band played the four pieces they are preparing for the upcoming KBB Music Competition, ‘Get Smart’, ‘A Night on Bald Mountain’, ‘Washington Post March’, and Barry Manilow’s ‘Copacabana’.

Ave, the Avondale College Vocal Ensemble then performed if not a classical piece, a classic one, with ‘You to Me Are Everything’.

The String Group were superbly led by Kenji Kamimura in their three pieces, ‘Violin Concert in D’ by JS Bach, ‘Praeludium & Allegro’ by Kreisler, and a toe-tapping Irish medley. 

Three performances by students from Classical Music strand of the Avondale College Performing Arts Academy showcased the tremendous talent coming through our junior school, with Ning Ning Dang and Lydia Zhang performing a feisty double piano duet, Brahms’s ‘Hungarian Dance No 5’, followed by Genevieve Tang and Jane Wang, assisted by Kenji Kamimura, performing CPE Bach’s Sonata for Violin and Piano.   Ning Ning Dang and Boris Guo then rounded off this section with R Schumann’s Sonata in A Minor and L Beethoven’s Rondo.

The final performances of the evening were by the Avondale College Orchestra, with Tchaikowsky’s 1812 Overture, Haydn’s Symphony 104 (London Symphony), and Mozart’s Piano Concerto K414. This concerto featured an outstanding performance by Ning Ning Dang – a talented Year 10 student with a bright future ahead.

The Music Department wishes to thank all the parents, caregivers and whanau who work so hard to get students to every rehearsal and who support them at home in their music.


Avondale welcomes Japanese visitors

Avondale College is delighted to host a rugby delegation from sister school Daito Bunka High School in Japan, as part of the special and ongoing relationships between the two schools.

The visitors were welcomed in a special powhiri led by Mr Mr Anderson and our Te Roopu o Patiki yesterday.

Both schools are eagerly anticipating the rugby match to be held at 2pm this afternoon. This will be the fourth time the schools have played each other, with the previous games (two in New Zealand and one in Japan) suggesting the teams are well matched.

The 31 players and four staff are being hosted by Avondale families for the first two nights of their week-long tour. They will also play Liston College on Friday.


And the winner is...


Students off to national Shakespeare competition

2009 Avondale College Victor Street, Avondale, Auckland New Zealand
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