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Meet the Candidates for 2023 WSC Parent-elected Board members

A Meet the Candidates event will be held at school before the end of October. Please keep an eye out for an email from school confirming the date, time and venue.

 

Meet the Candidates for 2023 parent-elected Board members

 

 

Alicia Murray

I am a parent of Austin in year 9 at Springs, and Keira who is year 7 at Pasadena Intermediate. My stepson, Vincent, attended Springs between 2015-2021. I live in Morningside with my husband Ian and our children. I have a mixed heritage include English, Dutch and Maori ancestry and I whakapapa to Ngati Whakaue.

I am passionate about the local community and diversity and inclusion.

I am a lawyer by day and believe I have the skills and capability to provide a meaningful contribution to the board table. I understand the principles of governance and the regulatory environment in which the school operates.

I have relevant experience, including being on the board of trustees for Mt Albert Primary School for 6 years and serving as deputy chair; being President of Auckland Women Lawyers Association and being on the governing committee for 7 years; and I am currently on the board of the Competition Law and Policy Institute of New Zealand.

Springs fosters an inclusive and compassionate environment that allows students to grow and develop into young adults who are equipped to participate in society and it is important to me to help continue and support the school’s focus on these values.

 

Arwen Vant

Kia ora, I’m Arwen Vant, and I’m standing for the Board of Trustees for Western Springs College-Ngā Puna o Waiōrea. Our children are in Year 11 and Year 9.

I love the educational approach at Springs which supports young people to explore and develop their interests and strengths. I’d like to use my skills and experience to support the success of Springs as a school and to help create the future for our children and young people.

As a communications, strategy, marketing and business leader, I have 20+ years of commercial experience across Xero, Spark, and communications consultancy firms in New Zealand and the UK. I’ve learnt the value and importance of good communication, but also the importance of listening carefully and deeply to people.

My approach to education is that of lifelong learning and I believe in the value and strength of a growth mindset. For my whanau over the last three generations, education has been a pathway that has opened many doors. My original Masters degree is from the University of Auckland, and I’m now back at the University doing part-time postgraduate study at the Business School. It’s exciting learning alongside people from many different generations and backgrounds.

I’ve previously volunteered as a parent educator at Playcentre, so have many years of committee experience, and I currently coach kids mountain biking for a local Auckland club.

I’m excited by the journey that Springs is on, particularly as it looks to drive greater community engagement and participation. I would love to bring my passion for education, and my deep experience in communications, marketing, strategy and business to serve both Western Springs College and the community

Ngā mihi

Arwen

 

Ben Norrie

I live locally in Ponsonby and have one student at Western Springs and a further child who will join the school in the future. I have lived in the area for 16 years and believe in strong public schools serving their communities. I am impressed with the school culture that is being built at Western Springs and would like to support the school in continuing to develop to its potential. I have strong leadership and financial management skills to offer. I am currently the Chief Financial Officer at OfficeMax, previous to that I have experience in financial management roles across New Zealand, Australia and the UK. I am a good listener and have an open and inclusive approach to work. Outside of work our family likes to get outside, enjoying hiking, mountain biking, boating and just generally being in the outdoors.

 

Chantel Meiring

My passion is to make an impact and use my skills to mindfully engage and support the educational goals and direction of Western Springs College. I’m a wife and mother of a Yr.10 student and reside in Westmere. My experience working with various cultural diverse communities taught me how to build effective relationships with different stakeholders and establish partnerships to achieve the goals we’ve set out. I am a counsellor (Provisional Member NZAC) and have the awareness of mental health and people in a social context including developmental paradigms for understanding individual and group behaviour. Therefore, I believe I can contribute to help govern and ensure all Western Springs College students have the opportunity to progress and achieve their goals.

 

Kirsten Lacy

I am a parent of a Year 11 student with a second child to join the school in 2025.

I believe self esteem, creativity & problem solving go hand in hand, and are essential for our tamariki development & I’d love to contribute further to the community

I am the Director of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki with a team of 150 staff and a strong focus on educational partnerships, and learning from early years into adulthood.

I have an MBA & a masters in Museum management, and strong fundraising, marketing, business strategy skills having led art museums for 25 years.

 

Lara Nettle

I’m Lara, a proud parent of Inigo, a WSC Year 11 student. I’m running for the school board, and I am asking for your vote because:

Community Commitment: Our schools are the heart of our community. I’ve actively contributed to community enterprises through roles like Gribblehirst Community Hub and the Te Atatu Peninsula makerspace. I bridge the gap between individuals and community belonging.

Business & Leadership: My social enterprise experience has taught me effective budget management, responsibility, and strategic planning. I prioritise children’s needs in every decision. I’ve recently completed a postgrad certificate in “Leading Change for Good,” emphasising community values in leadership. I am currently enrolled in a masters of Organisational Change and Resilience

Inclusivity & Support: I’m deeply committed to ensuring every student gets the support they need to thrive. My experience of advocacy for neurodivergent children equips me with insights into their challenges and effective strategies that help every student to succeed.

Priorities on the Board:

Inclusivity: I’ll champion an environment where every child feels valued and supported.

Community Engagement: I’ll strengthen connections between schools, families, and local groups for a thriving community.

I’m dedicated to collaborative, transparent, and inclusive decision-making. Let’s shape a promising future for our children together.

 

Louise Gardiner

Tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Louise Gardiner ahau.

I have been a member of the Springs Waiōrea school board for the past three years, and the board chair since April 2022. Prior to this, I was the chair of the Rangi-Mata-Rau Point Chevalier School board for 5 years.

My son Jacob is in year 11 at Springs and my daughter Neve is at Pasadena Intermediate. I have a long-term commitment to and stake in Springs Waiōrea providing an exceptional education for our rangatahi.

I am passionate about local schools serving their communities, and passionate about the kaupapa of Springs Waiōrea. These past extraordinary years reinforce the need to equip our learners as empathetic, critical thinkers with broad skills to succeed in an uncertain future. We must ensure equitable opportunities for all our learners to participate and achieve and it’s the board’s responsibility to ensure effective approaches, practices, funding and governance for this to happen.

Since becoming board chair last year, I have worked closely with board members and senior leaders to improve the governance and assurance practices of the board, including detailed reporting on student achievement. If re-elected, I would lead a focus on developing stronger school community engagement, including a revitalised strategic plan that our school/kura whānau has actively participated in shaping.

I am committed to the co-governance constitution at Western Springs College-Ngā Puna o Waiōrea, and along with other members of the board have led the recent adoption by the board of a co-chair leadership model that reflects te tiriti partnership.

I have over 25 years’ experience in public sector roles in governance, strategy, policy, external relations, stakeholder management, technology and business improvement. I have also led business support functions including business planning and reporting, finance, property, risk, health and safety, project management, and procurement. I am self employed as a consultant and project manager working with public sector organisations to ensure their investment and approaches are valuable and impactful.

Previous positions have included a strong education focus including managing the NZ Parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee ; advisor to the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee; and principal policy assistant to the Chief Executive and Chief Education Officer of Southwark Council (London.

It would be an absolute privilege to continue to represent my community on the Springs Waiōrea Board.

 

Geoff Devereux

 

My name is Geoff Devereux. I’m standing for the board because I want to invest my skills to give better support to teachers, helping them to produce happy, healthy, thriving members of our community, regardless of ethnicity or wealth. I understand that resources in public education are scarce, and have experience to help them go further. I believe the school is great, but we can always make it better so I’ll challenge the status quo to find opportunities for growth, always putting the pupils’ and teachers’ needs first.

I live in Grey Lynn with my wife Liz and two daughters, (year 12 and year 8). Our eldest is currently a pupil at Western Springs College-Ngā Puna o Waiōrea, and our youngest will be a pupil in 2025.

I’ve spent my life devoted to learning, then connecting the dots to solve problems and improve, both for my whanau, myself and my clients. Now is the time to give more time and experience back to my community.

We chose WSC for our girls’ secondary education because it provides the right balance between educational performance, creativity, multiculturalism and personal growth/wellbeing. We believe firmly in public education as a way to build better citizens.

I grew up in Tamaki Makaurau on the North Shore, attending Westlake Boys and Auckland University where I completed a BCom degree. I spent the 90s living in Ponsonby and Grey Lynn after which I moved to the UK for 14 years. Coming back in 2011, we settled our family back in Grey Lynn.

My professional career has been focussed on launching, growing and leading tech businesses, digital and professional services businesses around the world. I typically partner with creative people, providing the commercial guidance to succeed.

Today I work with ambitious, resource constrained businesses to help them flourish. Aside from my own client commitments, I’m on the NZ Trade and Enterprise Beachheads team, supporting Kiwi exporters to grow bigger, better, faster. In the past 4 years I’ve worked with around 100 different NZTE exporters, developing and implementing strategic plans to help them grow. There is nominal payment for this work, which is partly about giving time for the good of New Zealand. I also chair an advisory board for a growing NZ brand agency.

Elect me to the board and I will commit to working for our young people to get the education and future they deserve.

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