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Board Candidate Statements 2022

Families of students at Westlake Girls High School will have received their voting papers for the 2022 Board elections on 10 August. You have through to 4pm on Wednesday 7 September to cast your vote. Please note we have FIVE places available on the Board.

Here are the 15 candidates, listed alphabetically by last name, beginning with the four current serving Board Members standing for re-election.

Joy Bradfield
(Current Board member standing for re-election)

My name is Joy Bradfield, current board chair, re-standing for the WGHS board. I’m seeking your support for re-election for the following reasons:
I have been privileged to be elected Chair by my fellow board members at the start of each year for the past 5 years, which reflects my in-depth knowledge of board legislation, processes and compliance requirements (12 years in school governance), my depth of understanding about WGHS, and my inclusive leadership approach. 
My focus moving forward will be a rapid recovery from the effect of covid lockdowns, as we seek to attract international students, increase our income streams, increase the number of teachers, and promote ongoing professional development.
I will continue to prioritise the recruitment, development, and retention of the very best teachers, to ensure we remain at the cutting edge of girls’ education.
I will ensure we reconnect as a school community by making full use of our stunning new event centre, having seen this through from conception to construction.
As a North Shore resident (26 years), with a BSc(Hons), property and planning experience; I work part-time, allowing availability to contribute to the school.
I have continuously advocated for the school, and have built strong school community connections over three daughters and nine years at WGHS.
I will continue to ensure that at the core of every decision is a desire to see all students thrive.
I will ensure ongoing investment in curricular resources, technology, and a modern learning environment to benefit all students and staff.
Myself and the board are united with Principal Jane Stanley in striving to create an environment where all students can enjoy their school years, and achieve to their highest potential.
I believe that trusted hands and stability will be much needed as we lead into a period of global uncertainty. 
I will continue to provide strong leadership as we seamlessly welcome new board members to the table, and progress more exciting projects.
I do not take lightly the mandate to contribute to WGHS as your nominated representative, and seek your support for re-election to the Board.
Ngā mihi nui.

Russell Clements
(Current Board member standing for re-election)

Hi there.
I am coming to the end of my first term on the WGHS Board and am keen to serve another. My daughters Frederika (y12) and Delilah (y9) are currently at Westlake Girls High School, and Abigail who just finished y13 is now at Otago Uni.
I am constantly impressed by the various opportunities available to our daughters at Westlake Girls, and the way they are encouraged to stand up for themselves and what they believe in, guiding them to develop as strong independent women.  I believe the distractions of social media and misinformation need to be offset by real life interactions, building positive relationships and mindful perspectives better preparing our daughters for the future.
I have served on the Board at three of the four levels of our local Community of Learning, Pupuke Kahui Ako. I am retiring from Takapuna Normal Intermediate School Board of Trustees after 6 years, the last 3 with Victoria Mahan (another WGHS candidate who was chairperson at TNIS and very effective in my opinion). I also served 6 years on Takapuna Primary School Board previously; there has clearly been some crossover there! 
The skyscape and potential population of our local area is rapidly changing and is putting pressure on our already stretched resources. I have seen the real issues of attracting and retaining great teaching staff to our school but I believe we have a great team and will continue to improve.
I currently run Appliance Outlet (the real one) in Burswood with approx. 20 staff who sell and service new and refurbished appliances so have broad experience in operations and managing people.  I am also a qualified accountant and have been on the finance committees of all school boards I have sat on (incl WGHS); bringing financial expertise to the board table. 
Most importantly, I can offer a dad’s perspective; much to my daughters’ delight!
Please give me your vote so I can help steer the school to best meet the needs of ALL students.

Kim Tay
(Current Board member standing for re-election)

Kia ora, I’m Kim Tay, standing for re-election to the WGHS Board. Both my daughters have enjoyed Westlake, and even though my youngest (Rosie Larkin) is in Y13 I’m putting my hand up for another term. It takes a while to get to know how the school runs, and I feel I have a lot more to give for a second term. Also I think it helps to have some continuity so we can hit the ground running post-election.
Covid not only disrupted teaching and learning, but it put a massive strain on the school’s finances – so I’d love to be able to continue building on the fundraising initiatives I’ve been working on to date. Like most parents, I had no idea how many additional teachers and resources the Board funds from parent donations, sponsorship, international students, hiring the sports grounds and facilities, etc. My background in marketing, market research and community engagement has helped me to support the school in this important area. External revenue needs to increase so we can provide the teachers and resources for the best possible education and experience for students.
Covid has also taken a toll on staff and students – the other area I’m keen to keep working on is staff and student wellbeing and resilience. I’m a facilitator of wellbeing and resilience workshops, and work with the NZ Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience who have deep experience in education. We need to ensure our amazing teachers don’t burn out, and our students learn strategies to support their mental health.
I’m an approachable, energetic, positive and enthusiastic team player, with a pretty unusual ethnic background (Singaporean dad, Dutch mum), who grew up in Christchurch – so I get on well with a wide range of people. I have lived in Greenhithe for the past 9 years, I work flexi hours so I have the capacity to give energy, time and ideas to Westlake – it’s my only voluntary role. Thanks for taking the time to vote, and for what you do to support Westlake. Ngā mihi nui.

Challen Wilson
(Current Board member standing for re-election)

Kia ora, my name is Challen Wilson. I have been an active Westlake Girls High School (WGHS) parent since 2015. I am highly motivated to support the overall success and hauora (wellbeing) of our school and girls as an inclusive whole. I have enjoyed serving our community on the school board for the past year and supporting our international students when and as we’ve been able to host over the past 3 years during the pandemic.
With a background in strategy, communications, government, community empowerment, creative practices, business, and intrinsic knowledge of te ao Māori from a bicultural and intercultural standpoint, I believe I can truly support WGHS in our investment in continuing to shape our strategic direction to be innovative, connected, inclusive, kind and to nurture a thriving future in this dynamic and fast-paced era.
As a trustee for WGHS I would continue to champion the vision and goals of our school, teams who ignite them, our teachers, office staff, leadership and most importantly our many whānau to gain the ultimate outcome, and that is to fulfil the aspirations and successes of our girls.
I believe all our students deserve the very best education to succeed. For me, WGHS is and should always be emblematic of supporting women across a spectrum of capabilities so that each one of them can nurture the leader within through their education. I am 100% committed to reaching this lofty aim and for each of our girls to reach their highest potential.
My governance experience spans 15 years. I have provided my skills in the international not-for-profit space, for membership collectives and iwi authority, on arts trusts to holding membership in national women’s leadership groups, to name a few.
I would value the opportunity to bring an eclectic mix of high-level governing knowledge, creative skills, and business nous to our school.

Anna Anderson

My name is Anna Anderson, and I am standing for the Westlake Girls’ High School Board.
I currently have two girls at the school, Year 13 and Year 10. I have had my three daughters go through the school from year to year.
I have found the school to be exceptional with the care of the students.
My career background is within finance. I have worked for both the BNZ and the ASB Banks and am currently working part-time for the Ministry of Justice in Legal Aid Takapuna.
I wish to be a part of the next three years of the school embracing all the great functions that exist currently and wish to volunteer to help implement new and exciting options that may come in the future.
We need to continue to nurture, protect and guide our young women of the future. I would very much like to be a part of this.

Jo-ann Blomfield

Hi, I’m Jo, a parent at Westlake Girls High School and wishing to stand on the Board to make a positive impact in our young girls’ lives.
I have 30 years experience working in the health sector with the last 10 years managing a large hospital after hours. The job I currently do requires excellent communication skills, team work, strong leadership, time management, strategic planning and accountability for my decisions. All essential and valuable to have on the board. I am currently or have worked on committees in the hospital for adverse events that have occurred, safe staffing, covid response, assistance of the new graduate program and professional development portfolios.
My husband and I are raising four children, three sons and one daughter. They are 21, 20, 17 and 14 years of age. Our daughter is currently in Year 10 at WGHS, our third son is finishing Year 13 at Westlake Boys currently and moving onto a Law degree next year, and our two older sons are currently at Auckland University studying Criminology and Engineering. Our family volunteers for the Guide Dog Foundation as puppy raisers and boarding guide dogs which is extremely rewarding.
I am passionate about ensuring all children grow into amazing independent members of society and all reach their full potential, to be the best they can be, however that looks for each individual.
I am committed to supporting and strengthening our school and community to make a difference and effect change for the better. I want to make a positive impact on all of the young women at WGHS by providing strong leadership and governance to ensure all of the students are empowered and equipped for their futures.

Gavin Busch

My name is Gavin Busch and I am standing for the Westlake Girls High School Board. I am married to Deana, live in Narrow Neck and have two daughters presently attending in Years 9 and 10 as well as a son in Year 5 at St Leo’s Primary School. For the past three years I have been the Presiding Member of the Board at St Leos Catholic Primary in Devonport. This position has provided me with a good understanding of School Governance and appreciation of the unique issues and challenges schools face in today’s changing world. I am active throughout our local area and am presently on the Board of the Takapuna Beach Business Association, as well as a 20 year plus member of Devonport Rotary and an Associate Member of the Institute of Directors. In my spare time I am also a Volunteer Firefighter based with the Devonport Brigade. Professionally I have a personal financial advisory practice in Takapuna and a background in Finance, Investment and Economics. As a newer family to the school we have been impressed with the very high standard of education and excellent extracurricular activities and sports that are available. As a member of the board, I believe I can provide significant value to the school staff, students and wider school community through applying my business and school experience. I am passionate about ensuring that schools provide a quality education, in a safe and vibrant environment. I look to embrace new ideas around education that will help our children challenge themselves, grow in confidence while setting them up to be well positioned in tomorrow’s working environment. I ask that you consider me for a position on your school board.

Matt Ellwood

My name is Matt Ellwood and I am standing for the Westlake Girls’ High School Board.
Tēnā koutou What I can bring to the Board and Westlake Girls’ wider community is an in-depth insight into educational pathways, student support and preparation for higher study across both the Secondary and Tertiary education sectors, particularly from a Creative Arts perspective. I am currently the Whitecliffe Head of School, Fine Arts, and my daughter Koromiko is in Year 9 at Westlake.  Whitecliffe is a Private Tertiary Establishment with Certificate, Degree and Masters Qualifications in Fine Arts, Digital Design, Fashion, Jewellery, Arts Therapy and IT. I joined as a Senior Lecturer in 2008 and have been Head of School since 2020.  Prior to this, I was a lecturer at Auckland University (Elam School of Fine Arts) and was also the Tuakana Coordinator for the NICAI faculty (including schools of Architecture, Dance, Fine Arts and Music). Prior to this, I was Head of Art at Long Bay College (1998-2001) and have extensive experience as a National examiner (NCEA and previously Bursary exams), Panel Leader, Facilitator and national resource developer, contracted to NZQA and Ministry of Education during this period in the Secondary sector. I am also a practising artist (an important symbiotic part of tertiary teaching), with PBRF rated research and extensive exhibition experience both nationally and internationally.
What this 24 years of experience gives me is the knowledge and expertise to actively listen, critique and prioritise decision-making for effective short, medium, and long term planning in the best interests of ākonga learning experience and achievement.  A key educational philosophy for me is the concept of ako. I.e. grounded in the principle of reciprocity that also recognises that the learner and whanau cannot be separated. I am excited about the prospect of working as a Board Member to support the Principal and Westlake Girls’ High School to be an inclusive, barrier free learning environment.

Sujata Giri

My name is Sujata Giri, I have lived in the North Shore for over 21 years.  I grew up in Whitianga and went to Otago University where I studied Accounting.  I am married to Craig and we have two children, Tara and Liam.  Tara has just started at Westlake Girls High School in Year 9.  Heartbreakingly we lost Liam after a long battle with leukaemia when he was 6 years old.  That journey taught me many life lessons and perspectives, and having the support of friends, family and an incredible community is so important. I have coached and managed Tara’s netball team for several years, along with being involved primary and intermediate school fundraising committees.  I love music, play the guitar and sing and have been in a few bands.  I enjoy drawing and art where I make cards to raise money for various children’s health charities. I currently work for New Zealand Carbon Farming and have significant experience in the IT and Telecommunications industries having spent 17 years working for Microsoft, TelstraClear and Vodafone in various roles within Operations and Accounting.  This includes capital planning, project management and sales operations with a focus on being able to execute and deliver against strategies. My broad background across accounting, finance, strategy, and sales is often called upon to bring a balanced approach to decision making.  I am also a member of the Institute of Directors and will look to complete the Companies Directors Course later this year.   I am passionate about family and community and how these two should seamlessly integrate within our society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and discover their potential.  I wish to contribute to our school and community by being on the Board for Westlake Girls High School.  I enjoy taking on challenges and working with relevant people to drive an outcome. I believe my diverse professional background in Finance, Operations and IT would benefit to our school, along with my strong communication skills and approachable personable nature.  Please vote for me.

Danielle Grant

My name is Danielle Grant and I am standing for the Westlake Girls’ High School Board.
I am a strong believer in school boards of trustees, especially as a parent. Giving back to my community is very important to me.
Good governance and open and transparent decision-making are values I hold in high regard. I am a Member of the Institute of Directors, a Justice of the Peace, an RMA Hearings Commissioner, a current member of Bayview School Board of Trustees for the last nine years, and the Deputy Chair of the Kaipatiki Local Board, Auckland Council.
I have been fortunate to serve on the Bayview Primary School Board with a wonderful Principal and along with my fellow board members and senior staff, we built a strong and supportive culture that enabled free flowing conversations and exchange of ideas. I will be standing down from Bayview, and hope to follow my daughter, a year nine student, on her journey through Westlake Girls.
I have a business background as a company managing director of a mid-sized advertising agency, corporate senior management roles and not-for-profit senior leadership holding chair positions.
Confident and engaged school leadership at a board level provides an atmosphere for staff to deliver exceptional teaching environments and encourages outstanding learning opportunities for our daughters.
School leadership requires a pro-active Board who will address the issues, no matter what. The objective is a positive school environment. I’ve been through most things as an experienced School Board member: policy development, staff issues, exclusions, ERO reports, maintenance issues, playground designs, floods, graffiti, budget issues, covid and the list goes on.  At the heart of all decisions are the welfare and learning outcomes of our students. A strong Board enables confidence for the principal. Being the sounding board for whatever challenges lay ahead, as a team we face it all together.
I welcome the opportunity to serve Westlake Girls’ High School and to enjoy the journey along with my daughter and all the incredible students at our school.

Nicholas Hill

My name is Nick Hill, and I am standing for the Westlake Girls School Board.
I grew up, was educated, and live on the North Shore with my wife and two daughters, one of which is in Year 9, with our youngest coming to Westlake in a few years.
We have been impressed with the environment and opportunities that WGHS provides. The overwhelming positive atmosphere, the quality of teaching, relationships and the expectations that all girls will achieve to the best of their ability are aspirational and reflect the intention of the schools’ leaders and staff.
I have the professional knowledge and interpersonal skills to continue contributing to a strong governance team. As a respected educator, I bring a wealth of experience relevant to the role. I have worked in education my entire career and am the current Principal of Belmont Intermediate School, where I have been the Principal for nine years. My qualifications include a Master of Educational Leadership (pending), a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and a Bachelor of Education.  My expertise is in strategic planning, property, student well-being, health and safety, governance and educational leadership.
Contributing to best practice governance that empowers the leadership and management of the school to continue their outstanding work in a highly supportive manner would be my priority as a board member. I believe that an effective Board is stewards of the school, is visible, and has clarity around effective Governance.
I have the heart, passion and educational expertise to serve the Westlake community and collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that we continue to provide a world-class educational experience for our daughters.
I want to ensure that ALL Westlake Girls High School students thrive in an equitable environment where they are supported to achieve personal excellence.
Yours sincerely Nick Hill

Stephven Kolose

Talofa lava, my name is Stephven Kolose, and I am standing for the Board parent representative for WGHS. I have been a parent/guardian at Westlake for 9 years. My daughter Dora is currently in Year 12. I also have three sons aged 5, 7 and 9. I also have four nieces (two current and two previous students) who are/have attended the school since 2014. Westlake has provided our family with many positive and rewarding experiences from academic, to arts and sports successes. It’s a testament to the schools quality of teaching, coaching and resources. For this, I wish to give back to the school through sharing of both my work, and life experiences. I bring to the board a new pair of eyes, and a fresh set of ears.  I have a Doctorate in anthropometric surveillance and 3D body scanning (AUT), Master of Science in Human Factors (Loughborough), Post-graduate Diploma in Ergonomics (Massey) and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Otago). I work for New Zealand’s primary health and safety regulator (Health team), am a trained health and safety officer, president-elect of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of NZ, and a research advisor to AUT Sports Research Institute of New Zealand (SPRINZ). Previously, I’ve  been a scientist for the military (11 years), anthropometrist, ergonomics consultant, research mentor, and Youthline counsellor.  I am a professional Ergonomist trained in NZ and England. Ergonomics at its core is all about ‘people’ and helping them realise their potential, limitations, and optimize performance. Ergonomics is about understanding peoples relationships with equipment and technology, work environment, procedures, right up to organizational culture and of course, other people! With these skills, I bring to the board an emphasis on academic achievement, problem solving, and a steadfast ear for health and safety concerns.  Finally, as a proud parent of Samoan descent (Matautu-Lefaga, Leauva’a), I’m extremely passionate about promoting academic success among Pasefika, and ethnic minority groups at WGHS.  It would be a huge honour to be elected on the board, and serve the schools needs as best I can.

Victoria Mahan

My name is Victoria Mahan, and I am standing for the Board for Westlake Girls High School. My family and I live in the local community, and my daughter Isla is a student at the school. 
As a Board member, I can offer the school my experience from the commercial sector, as well as my knowledge and experience of school governance, and my personal passion to help steer the school into the future. 
I am currently the Board Chair for Takapuna Normal Intermediate. I am proud of the role that I have played as a parent trustee for TNIS, and the developments the current Board has driven over the last 3 years. Our goals have been: to enhance student achievement; to ensure the school has the right resources and facilities; to invest in wellbeing programmes for students and staff; and to communicate effectively with our community.  I am stepping down from my position on the TNS Board this year, confident that the school will continue in the positive direction established during my tenure.
Prior to my time at TNIS, I was the Board Chair at Northcote Primary School, having been asked to join the Board to help stabilise and improve the school’s financial position.
I am a qualified Chartered Accountant and member of the Institute of Directors, with extensive and unique commercial experience both in NZ and abroad.  I have been fortunate to spend the last 18 years working in the IT sector and currently hold the position of CEO at Entelar Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spark New Zealand which specialises in distribution, services and logistics for IT products and services.  As CEO, I lead an enormously diverse team of 83, and, as a team, we are very proud of the progress we have made with our company culture, our growth, and the transformation of our business.
I believe the school’s future success lies not only in creating an excellent learning environment for all, but in improving community engagement, increasing communication, and developing partnerships with key people and organisations in the community. Being part of the Board will allow me to apply my skills and experience to all of this, as well as fulfil my great personal desire to give back to the community in which I live.

Paul Matenga

My name is Paul Matenga and I am standing for the Westlake Girls High School Board. My daughters Aimee (Year 12) and Emma (Year 9) both attend Westlake Girls High School. The outstanding academic, sporting, cultural and life skills opportunities open to our children is a real credit to the staff and management of Westlake Girls High School. I value quality education and its delivery, because it will enable our children to achieve the right life outcomes and achieve their full potential. I have Bachelors of Engineering (Electronics) and Bachelors of Applied Management. I am a serving member and Senior Leader in the NZ Navy, with 20+ years of Governance and Management skills. Throughout my career, I have been very fortunate to work with and lead diverse teams (civilian and military personnel) in delivering positive outcomes for the NZ Navy; these learned experiences, skills and the knowledge of how to deliver outcomes, are easily transferable into the School Board environment. I am currently the President of the NZ Navy Day Care Organisation and have previously held many roles on other committees. I enjoy working with people to enable the delivery of positive outcomes. I have a proactive attitude and a strategic outlook which will further enable the Westlake Girls School Board in delivering the agreed outcomes. I believe strong governance is crucial for a school and would look to contribute to Westlake Girls representation, leadership and accountability. I have extensive experience in managing workplace relationships. I provide strategic advice on all aspects of people management, organisational change and understand the importance of ensuring good working relationships are in place. If I were elected to the Westlake Girls High School Board, I would bring these skills with me. I believe I can assist to ensure good governance of the school is achieved, navigate any challenges and ensure a strong partnership is in place between parents, community and the school.

Sundip (Sunny) Patel

My name is Sunny Patel and I am standing for the Westlake Girls School Board.  I am a Police Inspector and lead over 200 staff. My wife and I were both born in England, where I also worked as a Police Officer in London prior to coming to New Zealand in 2004. We have two daughters, one who is in Year 10 at WGHS and the younger will be joining her next year. I have a passion and vested interest to ensure that all students are provided with and have access to a quality education that will give them with the opportunity to achieve their potential. Passionate about education, I have a Master’s degree in International Security and a Bachelor’s degree in Business, majoring in Human Resource Management.   I have previous school governance experience having been on the Board of Trustees (BoT) at Northcote Primary School. During my term, I was involved in a new build for classroom blocks, the recruitment of a new principal and developing local stakeholder partnerships.    Keeping our children physically fit and active is also a priority of mine. I play football, cricket and golf, as well as being a qualified cricket coach.    I have a close working relationship with key stakeholders in the community including the Ministries of Education, Social Development, Health, and several non-government organisations. I have previously chaired Māori, Pasifika and Ethnic reference support groups held within the North Shore community. With Indian heritage, I am multilingual in English, Gujarati and Hindi.   I will bring a diverse set of skills to the BoT and I will utilise my knowledge and experience effectively. As a leader working in a senior managerial position for several years, I have substantial experience in empowering teams to achieve desired goals. I have a pragmatic approach and my experience working in the police allows me to view issues with a broad perspective and find solutions to complex situations. I believe in good leadership, having a strong vision and an effective partnership with the school leadership team. I would make a valuable contribution to the governance and future of WGHS.