Past Pupils

Honoured Old Girls 2013

A Prebble photo

Antonia Prebble, 1999 - 2001

Prefect in charge of Arts and Proxime Accessit in her final year, Antonia demostrated what it was to be an all-rounder. During her time at the College she was in choral groups, played netball and rowed and was aslo the lead role in the Guys and Dolls production and received top of the class in a number of subjects including English and Music. At the same time Antonia was balancing outside school commitments which included playing the role of Trudy in the hit series, The Tribe.

Since leaving Queen Margaret College Antonia has continued acting and is a well known for her award winning role as Loretta West in the television show Outrageous Fortune. Antonia has studied acting with Philippe Gaulier at his school in Paris and with Larry Singer at his studio in New York. Her lengthy resumé also includes playing Jane in Blue Rose, Sonja in The Almighty Johnsons, along with roles in short and feature films and live theatre.

Antonia received her honour in recognition of her services to: the Entertainment Industry.


N Lee photo

Nicolette Lee (Purvis), 1964 -1971

Nicolette is the Volunteer Co-ordinator Manager at Christchurch Cathedral and personal assistant to the Dean. As you can imagine when the February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake struck, her community spirit and compassion played an integral part in the city’s recovery. She has helped to provide some normality for the Cathedral’s community with the return to regular services and pastoral support. She has been involved in many welfare initiatives in the wider community and for more than two years has organised and led a team of volunteers providing hot meals twice a week in the east of Christchurch. She has worked selflessly and tirelessly to help the city and its people come to terms with the loss, destruction, and sorrow of the earthquakes.

Nicolette received her honours in recognition of her services to: the Christchurh Cathedral and the Post Earthquake Recovery.

Honoured Old Girls 2012

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Mary Lambie, 1973 to 1978

We all recognise the voice, face and writings of Mary Lambie a popular media personality who has been working in the industry for 20 years.

Her smile greeted many of us as the host of Good Morning, she took us to Iran on Intrepid Journeys and helped New Zealanders with their money problems on Money Doctor; just to mention a couple of shows she has worked on. She spent time on our airways as Radio New Zealand’s Tokyo correspondent and asked us the tricky questions on Newstalk ZB. Woman’s Weekly Columnist and co-author of the book "101 Quick Tips for Surviving your Kids". Now the owner operator of a Subway restaurant in Auckland, where she lives and is the proud mother of three young children. Did we mention she also finds time to support charities and run marathons!

Mary received her honour in recognition of her services to: Broadcasting.

Dr Sally Davenport, 1972-1978

Sally has worked extensively in the field of chemistry and is a research expert in the areas of strategy, technology, innovation, research management and policy.  She is the author of numerous publications.

A Prefect and Proxime Accessit in her final year at QMC, she attended Victoria University majoring in Maths and Chemistry and achieved Honours for her Bachelor of Science. After completing her PhD in Chemistry she spent a year at Oxford University on a postdoctoral fellowship.  This was followed by another postdoctoral position in London and several consultancy positions.

Former Head of the Victoria Management School, she continues to teach management at the university while taking on the role of Commissioner for the New Zealand Productivity Commission.

Sally received her honour in recognition of her services to: Research and Tertiary Education.

Honoured Old Girls 2011



Hilary Barry, 1980 -1987

Hilary is a well recognised New Zealander, who presents the 6pm weeknights edition of 3 News. However in her formative years she was a QMC student and Head Prefect.

After leaving QMC she completed BA in Linguistics at Victoria University and a Certificate in Journalism and then went on to begin her career in radio. However looking to diversify she became a 3 News reporter in Christchurch 1993, then moved to Auckland to and continued to work with 3 News. Hilary was voted Favourite New Zealand Female Personalityat the 2006 Qantas Television Awards and her coverage of the February 22 Christchurch Earthquake was picked up live by Australia's ABC News24 and ABC1 as well as Seven News and CNN International.

Hillary received her honour in recognition of her services to: Broadcasting.

Dr Helen Small, 1970-1982

Prefect and Dux in her final year at QMC, Helen went on to achieve a BA in English from Victoria University, Wellington then received her PhD from Cambridge.

She was the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship from 2001 to 2004, spending much of it as a Visiting Scholar at New York University. In 2008 was awarded the prestigious Truman Capote Award for literary criticism for her book The Long Life which examined old age in literature and moral philosophy. She is currently Oxford Dean and Faculty Member of Pembroke College.

Helen received her honour in recognition of her services to: Research and Tertiary Education.

Georgia Dry, 1987-1993

Georgia Dry was President of the Old Girls' Association from 2008 - 2010. She is a mother of two and recruitment manager at IRD.

Georgia received her honour in recognition of her services to: the Old Girls' Association.


I’ve been in Istanbul doing research and just got back to Abu Dhabi:

I am loving it over here!

Megan Vincent chose to attend Queen Margaret College in order to complete the IB Diploma, a two year pre-university internationally recognised qualification.

She received marks of over 40 placing her in the top 6% of participants in the world and was the fourth person in New Zealand history to receive a fully funded scholarship to New York College (NYC) Abu Dhabi. Megan shares with us her views on the diploma and life in Abu Dhabi.

Why did you choose the IB Diploma? I have always had aspirations of studying overseas, so the IB Diploma was a great option for an internationally recognised diploma that would significantly expand my opportunity for study elsewhere than New Zealand.

What did the IB Diploma teach you? The most valuable lessons taught were learnt beyond the courses offered. Students learn to deal with a comparably heavy workload and to take on areas of knowledge they may have never encountered before.

Do you recommend the IB Diploma? The IB Diploma provides an all rounded education and forces you to pursue areas you may not be confident in by challenging you academically and building character. The IB Diploma substantially increases the opportunity a student has of attending university overseas, with many scholarships available solely for students who have taken the diploma. If you are looking to pursue higher education overseas I would argue the IB Diploma is invaluable, without it I would not be able to attend the institution I currently do.

Aspects of the IB Diploma you enjoy: I enjoyed how my courses all pushed me in different directions, from creating sculptural textiles, drafting a 4000 word paper to memorising Spanish verb tenses. I was thoroughly challenged and introduced to areas of knowledge I otherwise would not have encountered. I doubt any seventeen year old really fully knows the direction they wish to take in life, so the way the IB Diploma has students select subjects in various areas is incredibly valuable.

How is life over in Abu Dhabi? Very busy! I am currently working on two internships, researching with a professor, alongside a full course load but enjoying every minute of it.

What has been the highlight of studying in Abu Dhabi? The NYU Abu Dhabi is really unique in terms of the international community, with classmates from literally almost every country imaginable, making friends with this versatile network of talented individuals has been an amazing experience. Whilst I am already abroad the potential for more travel is intoxicating and so far I have had the opportunity to travel to Istanbul twice, New York, Georgia, Nepal, Israel, Jordan and India.

Cecilia Bremner

Since leaving Queen Margaret College Cecilia Bremner has spent six months working as a ski instructor in Aspen, Colorado, USA before starting university study at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Describing Aspen as "one of the most fantastic experiences I had so far." Cecilia elaborates, "It was amazing to wake up in the mountains every morning and to ski all day with some of the most upbeat people I have ever encountered. This job challenged me both mentally and physically but also made me more adaptable. Because of this I value the lessons learnt during this time."

Now at McGill where she is majoring in Economics and the Earth’s Environment with a minor in Classics, Cecilia tells us how she is going.

"It took me a while to get used to the system and size of McGill University but I have enjoyed the challenge. Students come from all over the world to study there and it has been eye-opening immersing myself in the diverse atmosphere. I have learnt about different cultures and their educational experiences including the subjects they take and systems they go through at school. Many speak multiple languages and I have noticed that philosophy and history seem to be focal points in their education systems which often leads to intense conversation and debate.

Montreal is a very distinct culture within Canada due to the Quebecois and French influence. This adds another dimension and interest to studying here. Although classes are in English, French is the first language of the city. For example, all the billboards and street signs are in French."

If studying at a multi-national university with over 22,500 undergraduate students is not enough, Cecilia has chosen to do a junior year abroad at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

"I have now been here one week. The classes at St Andrews are much smaller and I have easier access to my professors than at McGill - the benefit of being at a smaller university and being in 3rd year."

Cecilia also had the opportunity to spend her recent summer working for the commercial markets team of an energy company (ENMAX Energy Corporation) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Comedy Miss Fletcher g13 pm 53 15816 A4

Hayley Sproull - A Rising Star

What was your greatest achievement at QMC? 7th form (Year 13) brings to mind many proud moments, but my involvement in the 2007 Queen Margaret College production of Richard III for the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival was an unforgettable and life changing experience.

It was the performance that confirmed my love of acting and all things theatrical. I was awarded for the performance and selected for a trip to London with the 2008 Young Shakespeare Company. This was the trip which inspired me to apply for drama school. In fact, it was during that trip I sat in the photo booth at Tescos supermarket, took my picture and sent off my Toi Whakaari application.

What have you been up to since leaving the College? I took a year off in order to perform in London with the Young Shakespeare Company and also perform at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo with my marching. I applied, auditioned, and was accepted into Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School which gave me a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Acting.

Straight after I taught drama skills at an all-boys high school (I will not say which one but I will say that I would never do it again). I then wrote and performed an original show Miss Fletcher Sings the Blues. The show saw me awarded the Best Wellington Newcomer Award at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, along with a number of other awards.

While figuring out how to be a comedian, actor and musician at the same time, I did a number of different acting jobs; one which included playing a vampire with Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords. I am now writing two new shows; one is a two-man comedy show about being an alien, and the other is a Taki Rua production about being a white Maori. Watch this space…

What is your greatest achievement since leaving QMC? Doing the thing I said I was going to do. The performing arts industry is neither kind nor easy, but I feel proud that I am out there, doing what I love, every day. And even (sometimes) getting paid to do it. This is almost unheard of.

I have also continued with my other passion, which is marching, and I am heading off to Scotland and Russia with my team, Lochiel, this year to represent the sport and our country.

Have there been any bumps in the road since leaving school? As an actress, times can get pretty hard. Things can get very quiet and it is hard to remember why you wanted to do this in the first place. These are the times that I have to just dig in, keep trying and not just wait around for other people to determine my future.

I am able to use these quieter times to write new material, compose new songs and plan ahead for my next self-driven project. I always have something on the go, so if people are not going to hand me a job, I will just create one myself.

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Spotlight on Dahee Lim, 2010 - 2012

"I frequently tell my parents that one of my greatest choices in life was choosing to attend Queen Margaret College."

Dahee Lim, whose award winning art was the cover of Celebration 2012 handed out at Prize Giving, has a passion for the arts and often had a camera around her neck so that she could capture every moment of her Queen Margaret College life.

When Dahee joined the school from South Korea, her main concern was whether she could make friends easily as her spoken language was lacking in fluency. However, she found her feet quickly, gaining respect from her peers and teachers alike for her lively personality and determination to give everything a go!

She danced in the QMC’s Got Talent competition, which she won, and entered the Te Papa Schools’ Hobbit Art Competition which she also won. She also penned an essay which saw her win the opportunity to attend a Chronicle Glass Studio Workshop in Wanganui. At Prize Giving 2012 Dahee was the joint winner of the Lisa Cohen Prize for a Discerning Individual.

Dahee chose to attend the College as she wanted to improve her English and complete the IB Diploma. As she planned to attend university in another country after graduating, the diploma suited her needs.

Two and a half years later she has an IB Diploma and is now fluent in English and, all going to plan, in September 2013 she will be attending university in England.

Postgraduate + QMC = Scholarship

Following in the footsteps of well-known New Zealanders; former Prime Minister Sir Wallace Rowling, historian Michael King, author Witi Ihimaera and academic Bill Manhire, two QMC Old Girls have been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship this year.

Francesca Brown and Jenni Tipler were both in the 2004 Year 13 cohort and now both have not only received the Scholarship but have been admitted to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

Francesca graduated from Canterbury University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours and a Bachelor of Arts in French and German. She now works as a solicitor in the Litigation Department of Bell Gully. Francesca is one of 15-20 lawyers from around the world to undertake a Master of Laws degree in Law, Science and Technology, specialising in Patent Litigation, at Stanford University, which began in August.

Jenni graduated from Auckland University in 2010 with a conjoint BA/BE in Philosophy and Civil Engineering with First Class Honours. She then graduated with a Masters in Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology (MEEES) in May 2012 at the Rose School in Italy as part of an Erasmus Mundus program funded by the European Commission. Jenni will begin her PhD at Stanford University in September at the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center. She is currently working at Beca in the Structural Engineering Team.

Holly Winton is another Old Girl and daughter of teacher, Jeannine Winton, to receive a scholarship for postgraduate study aboard. Holly was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and a Curtin University Postgraduate Scholarship (CUPS) for the next three years.

Holly has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Geography and a graduate certificate in Antarctic Studies at the University of Canterbury, the latter including fieldwork in Antarctica. She went on to complete a Master of Science majoring in Geology at Victoria University of Wellington, which included another stint in Antarctica and a trip to an Ice Core laboratory in Milano.

While Holly begins her PhD in Geochemistry at Curtin University in Perth, another Old Girl Dr Cathy Bartram recently completed her PhD in Linguistics at the School of Oriental & African Studies, London University. Cathy was awarded an AHRC Scholarship (Arts & Humanities Research Council) for this Doctorate. Entitled, "An investigation of tone in Walungge", a Tibetan language in Nepal, Cathy has specialised in tonal languages.