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Students shine at Polyfest '24

A message from Principal, Mrs Lyndy Watkinson

Tēnā koutou katoa

Over the past week hundreds of Avondale College students have performed at our Polyfest assemblies, at Fia Fia nights and competed at the Polyfest festival. My congratulations go to each of our groups for your outstanding performances on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

In assembly last week I spoke about culture, language and strength of identity, and we have certainly seen a celebration of each of those things over the past week. I applaud the performers in all of our groups for the way that you have shared your culture with us in such a meaningful way. I was delighted to see our Filipino group on Breakfast TV talking not just about their dances and costumes, but also about what they mean. This is exactly why Polyfest is so precious to our school – this year we had almost 400 students involved, 36 teachers working alongside groups, 13 different cultural groups and we were represented on all 6 stages at the competition. Every single one of our students and staff has had an amazing learning opportunity over the weeks of Polyfest, and for that I thank everyone involved.

I was incredibly proud to see all the hard work pay off as each of our groups took to the stage, and the results speak for themselves, with Avondale College once again placing at the highest of levels.

On Wednesday our Kapa Haka group performed a stunning bracket, which received the congratulations of the judges as well as their tutors and whānau. In the afternoon our Diversity groups took to the stage, with performances from our Chinese, Fijian, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Sri Lankan groups, along with a new Avondale College group for 2024 – a Vietnamese group. The costuming and choreography for each of our groups created a visual spectacle as they performed their five-minute items! I am delighted to announce that for the second year running the extremely competitive Asian Continent division was won by the Avondale College Filipino Group – many congratulations to that group.

On Friday our Tongan group was first up, with our full group performing a powerful lakalaka. Then our Cook Island and Niuean groups performed, with our Tongan Tau’olunga group ending the day for us, in stunning costumes.

Last year we did not have a Niuean group, so the group had worked really hard to rebuild for 2024. As they came off stage we knew that their performance had been pretty special and the results certainly endorsed that – 3rd place in the Tame, 2nd place in the Lologo/Koli Vaha Tuai, and 1st place in both the Kamataaga and Lologo Tapu Tuai! All up this placed us in 3rd place overall for co-ed schools – congratulations to the Niuean Group!

On Saturday our Samoan Group took to the stage and gave a flawless performance, with every song, step, gesture and transition in perfect time. Our group placed in 8 of the 9 judging categories, with 3rd place for Sasa, 2nd place to Miller Fa’amausili as Fuataimi and 1st place in Ulufale, Ulufafo, Togiga, Maulu’ulu, Pese o le Aso and Taualuga. This meant that Avondale College were crowned champions - 1st place on the Samoan Stage! Incredibly, this is the 12th time in 20 years that we have won this title.

Many thanks to all of the teachers, tutors, student leaders and parents who have made such a considerable contribution to our success at Polyfest, and particularly to Ms Alai who led our Polyfest campaign this year, and to Mr Eneliko, Ms Turnbull and Mr Mazid, who were the TiC’s of our prizewinning groups.

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